Scary visit to post-20N Madrid

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have been recently visiting Madrid for a conference on memory and public space. Strange and even scary feelings. I was presenting some overview on the trajectory of Catalan productions on historical fiction. The organization of the event was really nice and the discussions were, in general, rather productive. But I wanted to point an anecdotal situation when I talked to the participants about a recent production of TVC-TVE entitled ‘Tornarem’ (We shall return). I have been arguing the lack of interest showed by Spanish television in the Catalan productions, even they touch struggling topics in a quite innovative manner. The problem, for one student, was that the promo of the production was in Catalan (!) -although it is subtitled in English. Her argument pointed the following idea: ‘How do you expect to arise interest among Spanish television using Catalan language?’. I answered that I was not able to understand this rationale and, ‘although’ being in Catalan, you can dub the text into any desirable language. The rest of the assistants did not express any sign of being aware of the high degree of ‘nationalist rationale’ contained in the student contribution.

After the sessions, I walked to my hotel with a couple of colleagues talking on the post-20N scenario in Madrid, after PP have won the elections. I kept my mind in the debate with the student… and then we passed by the Arch of the Victory, a colossal monument in the memory of those who fought in the fascists part during the Civil War. It shows inscriptions talking about Franco as ‘Hispanorum Dux’. The people passed by with a hectic attitude around the great plaza and it seemed that we were the only ones annoyed by such a brutal and clear nationalist monument. There is something in this country I will never be able to understand. Madrid people walk routinely around the Arch of the Victory without doing any question -a perfect example of banal nationalism-, not asking themselves why to keep the exaltation of such ideals. Meanwhile, in the hotel I was able to dial dozens of TV channels (even from Italy, Germany… some private with ugly Shopping TV, Tarot…) but unable to tune a Catalan TV channel.

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Narratives of conflict on Spanish and Catalan television

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Neighbourhood squabbles or claims of right? Narratives of conflict on Spanish and Catalan television

Hugh O’Donnell, Glasgow Caledonian University
Enric Castelló, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona

It is in the explanation of conflicts that narratives of confrontation are most clearly deployed. In the definition of the problems, in the roles embodied by the different subjects, in the lexical choices made when referring to territories or symbolic objects, we establish differences in terms of how such confrontations are (to be) understood. These narratives are articulated through structures which work to construct the origin of the problem, the solution, the victim or aggressor and so on. Applying a narratological analysis, the aim of this article is to offer a set of key elements for understanding news constructions of the — essentially political — conflict among nations and regions within Spain. Starting from a study of five cases and a comparison of ten TV news items from both the Spanish (TVE) and the Catalan (TVC) public-service channels concerning recent conflicts, the authors attempt to throw light on the ways in which different and divergent conceptions of the same set of problems are presented from a “national” point of view.

Keywords: Catalonia, narratology, news narratives, political conflict, Spain, television

In: Narrative Inquiry 21:2. 2011. (pp. 191–212)

New face for CJCS

November 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

It is a pleasure to introduce you the new face of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies. After 3 volumes with the picture of the telecommunications tower in Montjuïc, we wanted to renew the image of the journal. We have worked with Intellect, which has a great department of design, in configuring the new look and, at the end, we have opted for the trencadís.

The aim was to get a texture, a kind of colorful cover page. Catalan trencadís, which was so used by modernist artist and has a principal expression in the works by Güell or Gaudí, appears to be a great chance. It also expresses plural images, complexity, creativity, discontinuity, and other suggesting concepts. The result is a vivid cover page with which we hope to launch following volumes and that is the good presentation and now the identity appearance of our publication. I hope you also like this evolution.

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