As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Monday, 26 April 2010

...and another story

This is the impressively futuristic Parc Del Forum, which is Primavera's main site.
During some research I was doing for the festival, I happened upon a fact that I'm doubt they are going to put in the brochures! The Parc Del Forum, which was constructed in 2004 specifically for Primavera, was originally the site of Camp De La Bota: General Franco's prison camp during the Spanish Civil War. Nearly 2,000 socialist resistance fighters were executed here between 1939 and 1952.

When opened, the Forum held a monument to those who gave their lives in the conflict, but it has since been taken down - perhaps for fear of depressing all the revellers? Artist Francesc Abad's award-winning exhibition is detailed here.

Personally, I think it's a shame. Though nowadays Barca is a thriving international city, the streets in the Barri Gothic still bear the pockmarks of bullet holes; a reminder of a very recent conflict. The Catalonian people are extremely proud of their heritage and independence, and it can't have gone down well that it was glossed like this. You've only to look at the bitter rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona's football clubs to know that under the surface, things are still raw.

On a lighter note, if you want an irreverent look at the events of the war, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is a funny and insightful read.

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