Cartografías del 23F at La Central

November 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Last week, we were presenting the book Cartografías del 23F. Representaciones en la prensa, la televisión, la novela, el cine y la cultura popular / Mapping 23F. Media and popular culture representations at La Central del Raval, in Barcelona. It was a cute event, to which some colleagues and regular customers of the bookstore attended. I was sharing the table with José Carlos Rueda Laffond (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Laia Quílez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili).

The session was very interesting because the audience contributed with comments and impressions. The discussion about the cultural meanings of the coup d’êtat and its representations was really rich because we had mixed generations viewpoints (some were adults in 1981, others like my case, that lived the event as children). I had the chance to explain the content of the book, and my colleagues nicely followed the discussion on TV documentary and fiction (José Carlos) and film (Laia).

The bookstore is a beautiful place and, as you can see in the picture, the event was among bookshelves! It is really one of the best bookstores in Barcelona. I loved the fact that they mix languages in the same bookshelves, therefore, if you are interested in Factual Film, you will find Catalan, Spanish, English or French books on this topic at the same place.

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1981’s coup d’état in Spain: a cultural studies approach

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

It was in a turbulent Madrid. In 1981, democracy was trying to break the iced era of Fracoism dictatorship, but the rightists, Spanish nationalists and the army still had to say a last word. The 23rd February (23-F) was the date, during the voting for a new First Minister, Civil Guards commanded by Colonel Antonio Tejero crashed into the Spanish parliament armed and shouting “Todos al suelo, coño!”.

114_laeTVE cameras and a photographer (EFE) recorded this image, Spaniards turn on the radio that night (la noche de los transistores), and since that moment 23-F became a site of memory, a ‘meaningful place’ ready to be read and re-read for current and future generations. Coedited with Francisca López (Bates College), a new book compiles eleven articles on the 23-F impact on, broadly, Spanish popular culture. The book, Cartografías del 23-F. Representaciones en la prensa, la televisión, la novela, el cine y la cultura popular (Mapping 23F. Representations in media, fiction, cinema and popular culture), is the first monograph that takes a cultural studies approach to the issue.

23-F was explained and retold by the media each ephemeris; films used the moment as a context for drama and humour; writers located the fiction and essays around the matter (including the acclaimed Cerca’s Anatomía de un instante); and journalists, comedians or cartoonists returned to the image and the story of a failed coup d’état that marked the democratic transition and the memory of the Spanish people. The book tries to offer a comprehensible approach to the uses of the 23-F narratives and the discourses around that episode; not only interestingly for historians, media analysts or sociologists, but also to any reader aiming to understand current Spanish politics, society and culture. Added to the editors, experts on media and cultural analysis contribute to the volume: Manuel Palacio (Universidad Carlos III); Arantxa Capdevila (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Hugh O’Donnell (Glasgow Caledonian University); José Carlos Rueda Laffond (Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Laia Quílez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Ruth Gutiérrez (Universidad de Navarra); Sira Hernández Corchete (Centro Universitario de la Defensa, Zaragoza), Concepción Cascajosa and Vicente Rodríguez (Universidad Carlos III).

Mediatizing conflict in Spain

September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

We have recently published a book on the mediatization of political conflict within the Spanish context. La mediatización del conflicto político, which I have edited, offers a deep analysis on several political and sociocultural conflicts and its treatment by the Spanish press and radio. The book is leaded by a theoretical approach to the concepts of mediatization and political conflict, which also tries to update the last international advances in the field. A set of nine case studies are analysing aspects like the constitutional trial of the Catalan statue and the massive demonstrations in Barcelona claiming for the independence, the processes of legalization of the Basque political parties, or the controversies in Galicia and the reform of the regional statute. The book is also touching other topics, like the political controversies on the so-called ‘Papepeles de Salamanca’, the banning of bullfighting in Catalonia or the politization of football in Spain.

Overall, I think that with this book we have contributed to a better understanding of how media in Spain, and specifically newspapers, offer a politized and polarized narrative which not always help in a better knowing of the political reality.

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