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NÚM.40

etnologia Juny 2015 · Segona època

Cultura Popular i Tradicional

REVISTA D’ETNOLOGIA DE CATALUNYA

Anthropology and ethnological heritage: a current look from Catalonia


REVISTA D’ETNOLOGIA DE CATALUNYA Número 40. Juny de 2015 Edició / Publisher Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya Direcció General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia (Catalan government), Directorate General of Popular Culture, Associations and Cultural Action Editor / Editor Lluís Puig i Gordi Consell de redacció / Editorial Board Roger Costa Solé Rafel Folch Monclús Coordinació editorial / Publisher Coordination Cristina Farran Morenilla Verònica Guarch Llop Realització editorial i disseny gràfic / Publisher execution and Graphic design Entitat Autònoma del Diari Oficial i de Publicacions de la Generalitat de Catalunya Contacte / Contact Direcció General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals Plaça Salvador Seguí, 1-9 08001, Barcelona Telèfon 93 316 27 20 Fax 93 567 10 02 cpt.cultura@gencat.cat http://gencat.cat/cultura/cpt

Les opinions expressades en els diferents treballs que es publiquen són exclusives dels seus autors. En cap cas no implica necessàriament que la revista o el mateix Departament de Cultura les comparteixin. The opinions expressed in the works published are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, either of the Magazine or of the Ministry of Culture. Dipòsit legal / Legal deposit: B-46.605-2010 ISSN: 2014-6310


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Lluís Puig i Gordi Director General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals. Departament de Cultura. Generalitat de Catalunya Director General of Popular Culture, Associations and Cultural Action Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia (Catalan government)

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he Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (Catalonian Journal of Ethnology) was founded in 1992 as a scientific publication of the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia (Catalan government), with the goal of becoming an open forum in Catalan ethnology. The term “ethnology” at that time included a diversity of perspectives in the discipline in relation to Catalan culture, each with a longstanding presence in Catalonia. On the one hand there was the most recent, that of modern academic anthropology, which had entered Spain through Catalonia by means of Claudi Esteva Fabregat at the end of the 1960s, and was institutionalized in 1972 with the creation of the Full Professorship of Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Barcelona. There also was, at the same time, the field generically understood by the term “Popular Culture”, intimately tied to folklore studies. This discipline has a long and important tradition since the second half of the 19th century in Catalonia and throughout its linguistic and cultural area of influence. At first it focussed on questions related to language, and then set about including other cultural manifestations,

including song, dance, law, material culture, and so on. Folklore, or to be more precise, folklore studies, is a field literally thousands of people in the Catalan Countries are dedicated to, in many cases as amateurs, in the study of a great variety of expression of popular culture. The Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya (The Popular Catalan Songbook), from the years 1922-1936, exemplifies this period perfectly. This task, which was sponsored by a private patron, began its archive of Catalan popular song by going back to compilations done at the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century by various well-known folklore experts, though soon after it would involve hundreds of anonymous collaborators who went out into the streets and squares of the Catalan linguistic area to personally document the songs sung by people everywhere. The result was a total of 25,000 cards corresponding to an equivalent number of popular songs. The massive work done by folklore researchers also gave us many testimonies in the form of compilations and essays, creating a school that has come down to our day. In the meantime, there was the creation of the Ethnography and Folklore Archive at the University of Barcelona in 1915, with particular mention to the journal Estudis i Materials (Studies and Materials), the first such publication of an academic character to spread word of research in Catalan culture. Unfortunately, only two issues ended up being published, from 1916 and 1918; however, its presence confirms the vigour and quality of the open, modernizing


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character that ethnographic research has historically had in Catalonia. Since 1992, then, the Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya has been an invaluable voice for Catalan ethnological research. Yet it does not only deal with Catalonia. The journal has from the start been open to a great diversity of subjects from around the world. This is clearly seen in a diversity of thematic dossiers, as well as in miscellaneous articles published by researchers from Catalonia, Spain and the world over. Together with the thematic dossiers, research funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia and that done in the context of the research program of the Inventory of Ethnographic Heritage of Catalonia has always had space in the journal, with its presence growing in size and importance in parallel to the Inventory’s consolidation as the leading research program in Catalan ethnology. Furthermore, from the very start the Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya has sought to look at the world from the perspective of Catalan ethnology, with the world simultaneously able to see what is happening in this field in Catalonia. For this reason the table of contents of each

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a Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya naixia el 1992 com una publicació de caràcter científic del Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya, amb l’objectiu d’esdevenir una tribuna oberta a l’etnologia catalana. La paraula “etnologia” incloïa llavors diverses mirades disciplinàries sobre la cultura catalana que comptaven amb una llarga trajectòria a Catalunya. D’una banda, la més recent, la de la moderna antropo-

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issue can be found in Catalan, the language of the country and the journal itself, as well as in English, while the articles in the specialized dossiers feature abstracts in Catalan and English. Technological changes and globalization, however, have altered the conception of the journal. From its original publication on paper it has gone to being a digital publication openly available online, which has exponentially increased its public potential. For this reason we have chosen to release this issue entirely in English, with 15 previously-published articles along with an original text on the Institute Ramon Muntaner, a private foundation patronized by the Generalitat of Catalonia, whose objective is the spread and support of research projects and the cultural promotion of Catalanlanguage study centres, dedicated to the study of local ethnology, amongst other questions. The selection of the articles has been made on the basis of criteria of representation, diversity and quality, as well as current interest, given that the oldest was published in 2006, when the journal had already been active for 14 years. It is our hope that this issue might be useful for readers both in allowing for greater understanding of certain aspects of Catalan society and in increasing knowledge of subject areas that world academic anthropology has been particularly interested in. n

logia acadèmica, que havia entrat a l’Estat espanyol per Catalunya de la mà de Claudi Esteva Fabregat a finals de la dècada de 1960 i que es va institucionalitzar el 1972 amb la creació de la Càtedra d’Antropologia Cultural de la Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres de la Universitat de Barcelona. Hi havia també, però, tot aquell món que genèricament coneixem com el de la “Cultura Popular”, íntimament lligat amb els estudis de folklore. Es tracta aquesta d’una disciplina amb molta tradició des de la segona meitat del segle xix a Catalunya i a tota la seva àrea lingüística i cultural, que primer va centrar la seva atenció en la llengua per després anar encabint en el seu focus altres manifestacions de la cultura: la cançó, el ball,


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el dret, la cultura material... El folklore o, més ben dit, els estudis sobre el folklore, han ocupat milers de persones a tots els Països Catalans, molts d’ells de manera amateur, en la recerca de les manifestacions més diverses de la cultura popular pròpia. L’Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya (1922-1936) exemplifica a la perfecció aquesta etapa. Aquesta empresa patrocinada per un mecenes privat va començar l’arxiu de cançó popular catalana amb reculls aplegats a finals del segle xix i principis del xx per diversos folkloristes reconeguts, per tot seguit donar pas a centenars de col·laboradors anònims que es van llançar a carrers i places d’arreu de l’àrea lingüística catalana per recollir de viva veu les cançons que cantava llavors la gent. Resultat: 25.000 cèdules sobre un nombre equivalent de cançons populars. La feina ingent dels folkloristes també va deixar nombrosíssims testimonis en forma de reculls i d’assaigs, i van crear una escola els vestigis de la qual han arribat fins als nostres dies. I entremig, la creació de l’Arxiu d’Etnografia i Folklore dins de la Universitat de Barcelona l’any 1915, del que cal destacar la seva revista Estudis i Materials, la primera eina de difusió de caràcter científic de la recerca sobre la cultura catalana. Malauradament només van veure la llum dos números, publicats el 1916 i el 1918, però el seu testimoni dóna compte tant del vigor i la qualitat com de la vocació oberta i modernitzadora que històricament ha tingut la recerca etnològica a Catalunya. Des de 1992, doncs, la Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya és un altaveu imprescindible de la recerca etnològica catalana. Però no només sobre Catalunya. La revista ha estat des del primer moment oberta a les temàtiques més diverses d’arreu del món, i així ha quedat reflectit tant els seus dossiers monogràfics com en alguns articles miscel· lanis que hi han aparegut publicats, d’autors catalans, espanyols i d’arreu del món. Junt als dossiers temàtics, les investigacions becades pel Departament de Cultura de la

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Generalitat de Catalunya i les realitzades en el marc del programa de recerca de l’Inventari del Patrimoni Etnològic de Catalunya han tingut sempre un espai reservat, un espai i un protagonisme que han experimentat un creixement paral·lel al de la seva consolidació com –aquest darrer– el programa de recerca de referència sobre l’etnologia catalana. També des del principi la Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya ha tingut una clara voluntat de mirar el món des de l’etnologia catalana i, a la vegada, que el món pogués ullar què s’estava fent en aquest camp a Catalunya. Per això la taula de continguts de cada número estan en la llengua pròpia del país i de la revista, el català, i també en anglès, mentre que els articles dels dossiers compten amb un resum bilingüe en català i en anglès. Els canvis tecnològics i la globalització, però, han afectat la concepció de la revista. De la seva edició en paper s’ha passat al format electrònic disponible en obert a la xarxa, fet que ha multiplicat exponencialment el seu públic potencial. Per aquest motiu hem optat per treure aquest número íntegrament en llengua anglesa compost per 15 articles publicats amb anterioritat més un d’original sobre l’Institut Ramon Muntaner, fundació privada patrocinada per la Generalitat de Catalunya, la finalitat de la qual és la difusió i el suport als projectes d’investigació i de promoció cultural dels centres d’estudis de parla catalana, dedicats entre altres afers a l’estudi de l’etnologia en l’àmbit local. La selecció dels articles ha seguit un criteri de representativitat, diversitat i qualitat, així com d’una certa actualitat, atès que el més antic fou publicat el 2006, quan la revista ja comptava amb catorze anys de vida. Esperem que aquest número serveixi al lector tant per copsar alguns aspectes de la societat catalana com per augmentar el coneixement de temes sobre els que l’antropologia acadèmica mundial ha prestat especial atenció. n


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Table of contents No. 40 - JUNE 2015 47

Ethnographies on the limit. Ethnographic versatility and short-circuits before contemporary violence FRANCISCO FERRÁNDIZ Higher Science Research Council (CSIC)

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The State and Exterminating Violence. In Search of a Formulation of the Elemental Structure of Genocide JOAN FRIGOLÉ Universitat de Barcelona

PRESENTATION 3

Lluís Puig i Gordi Director General of Popular Culture, Associations and Cultural Action

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The Ebro Delta Cottages: One of the Oldest and Most Unique Forms of Traditional Housing in Catalonia M. CARME QUERALT Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre Shantytowns in the City of Barcelona: Can Valero, La Perona and El Carmel Institut Català d’Antropologia XAVI CAMINO VALLHONRAT ÒSCAR CASASAYAS GARBÍ FLORA MUÑOZ ROMERO PILAR DIAZ GINER MAX DÍAZ MOLINARO MERCÈ TATJER MIR CRISTINA LARREA KILLINGER Choirs of the Barceloneta: from Claverian Choral Societies to the Silent Choirs JOSEP MARIA SOLÉ SOLDEVILA Islamic Rituals in Diaspora: Muslim Communities in Catalonia MARTA ALONSO CABRÉ KHALID GHALI BADA ALBERTO LÓPEZ BARGADOS JORDI MORERAS PALENZUELA ARIADNA SOLÉ ARRARÀS

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Water in Dry Catalonia. Historical Water Usage and Perspectives for Present-day Evaluation: Case Study of the Municipality of Torrebesses, (Segrià, Western Catalonia), in the Area of Vall Major IGNASI ALDOMÀ BUIXADÉ Universitat de Lleida Traditional Chants in Catalan Pyrenees. Social Construction of Pyrenean Villages JAUME AYATS BARBERÀ Centre d’Art i Natura in Farrera Communities of Knowledge and Information. Techno-anthropology Work as a New Science of Design ARTUR SERRA HURTADO i2CAT Foundation ICH Inventories. Implementation of the UNESCO Convention FERRAN ESTRADA BONELL Universitat de Barcelona CAMILA DEL MÁRMOL CARTAÑÁ Universitat de Barcelona

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The Gardens of Industrialization: an Example of Symbolic Colonization of the Territory PERE CASAS TRABAL Museu del Ter JORDI GRANÉ CASELLAS Museu del Ter

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New Families, New Identities: A Study on the Transformation of the Family in Barcelona XAVIER ROIGÉ VENTURA Universitat de Barcelona JOAN BESTARD CAMPS Universitat de Barcelona

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The Horizontal City. Social Struggle and Collective Memory on the Fringes of Barcelona STEFANO PORTELLI Institut Català d’Antropologia

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The Magmatic Characte of Ethnological Heritage LLORENÇ PRATS Universitat de Barcelona

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Intangible Heritage: A challenge to the authorised heritage discourse? LAURAJANE SMITH Australian National University

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Local and regional research centres: a community-based research network M. CARME JIMÉNEZ FERNÁNDEZ Institut Ramon Muntaner


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Sumari NÚM. 40 - JUNY 2015 47 PRESENTACIÓ 3

Lluís Puig i Gordi Director General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals

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Les barraques del delta de l’Ebre, un dels habitatges populars més antics i singulars de Catalunya M. CARME QUERALT Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre El barraquisme a la ciutat de Barcelona. Can Valero, la Perona i el Carmel Institut Català d’Antropologia XAVI CAMINO VALLHONRAT ÒSCAR CASASAYAS GARBÍ FLORA MUÑOZ ROMERO PILAR DIAZ GINER MAX DÍAZ MOLINARO MERCÈ TATJER MIR CRISTINA LARREA KILLINGER Els cors de la Barceloneta: de les societats corals claverianes als cors muts JOSEP MARIA SOLÉ SOLDEVILA Rituals islàmics en diàspora. Les comunitats musulmanes a Catalunya MARTA ALONSO CABRÉ KHALID GHALI ALBERTO LÓPEZ BARGADOS JORDI MORERAS PALENZUELA ARIADNA SOLÉ ARRARÀS

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Els jardins de la industrialització. Un exemple de colonització simbòlica del territori JORDI GRANÉ Museu del Ter PERE CASAS Museu del Ter

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Noves famílies, noves identitats. Una recerca sobre les transformacions de la família a Barcelona XAVIER ROIGÉ VENTURA Universitat de Barcelona JOAN BESTARD CAMPS Universitat de Barcelona

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La ciutat horitzontal.Lluita social i memòria col·lectiva als marges de Barcelona STEFANO PORTELLI Institut Català d’Antropologia

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El caràcter magmàtic del patrimoni etnològic LLORENÇ PRATS Universitat de Barcelona

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Patrimoni immaterial: un repte per al discurs de patrimoni autoritzat? LAURAJANE SMITH Universitat Nacional Australiana

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Els centres i instituts d’estudis locals i comarcals: una xarxa de recerca des del territori M. CARME JIMÉNEZ FERNÁNDEZ Institut Ramon Muntaner

FRANCISCO FERRÁNDIZ Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

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Estat i violència exterminadora. A la recerca de la formulació d’una estructura elemental del genocidi JOAN FRIGOLÉ Universitat de Barcelona

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L’aigua a la Catalunya seca. El seu aprofitament històric i les perspectives de valoració actual. Estudi del cas del municipi de Torrebesses (Segrià, Western Catalonia) en el context de la Vall Major IGNASI ALDOMÀ BUIXADÉ Universitat de Lleida

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Etnografies al límit. Versatilitat i curtcircuits de l’etnografia davant la violència contemporània

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Cants tradicionals a l’Alt Pirineu. Construcció social dels pobles pirinencs JAUME AYATS BARBERÀ Centre d’Art i Natura – Farrera Comunitats de coneixement i informació. Tasques de la tecnoantropologia com a nova ciència del disseny ARTUR SERRA HURTADO Fundació i2CAT Inventaris de PCI. L’aplicació de la Convenció de la UNESCO FERRAN ESTRADA I BONELL Universitat de Barcelona CAMILA DEL MÁRMOL CARTAÑÁ Universitat de Barcelona


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They are one of the most ancient and singular housings of Catalonia and Spain. It is one of the most important elements in the rich cultural heritage of the lower Ebro, a unique cultural inheritance, that is necessary to protect and conserve. We have notices since the Middle Ages, and it experimented an important increase during the XIXth century and the beginnings of the XXth, which is close related with the agricultural colonization of the Delta by rice fields. They were humble and simple constructions: a wooden structure with walls made of mud mixed with straw and, once it was dry, whitewashed; a vegetal covert of reed tied with twine, with only one gate, because ventilation was performed through the cover. Nowadays it has loosen his original function of agricultural warehouse, stable, tavern or home of lighthouse keeper, shepherd, peasant, fisherman... to became second home, rural gite, information center and restaurant, and it even has his own Interpretation Center. Les barraques són un dels habitatges més antics i singulars de Catalunya i d’Espanya. Es tracta d’un dels elements més importants del ric patrimoni cultural del baix Ebre, una herència única, que cal protegir i conservar. En tenim notícies des de l’edat mitjana, i va experimentar un increment important durant el segle xix i principis del xx, en paral·lel a la colonització agrícola del Delta lligada a l’extensió del cultiu de l’arròs. Eren construccions humils i senzilles: una estructura de fusta amb parets fetes de fang barrejat amb palla i, un cop seca, emblanquinada; una coberta vegetal de canyes lligades amb cordes, amb només una porta, ja que la ventilació es duia a terme a través de la coberta. Actualment ha perdut la seva funció original de magatzem agrícola, estable, taverna o llar de faroners, pastors, pagesos pescadors... per esdevenir segones residències, cases rurals, centres d’informació o restaurants, i té fins i tot el seu propi Centre d’Interpretació. Keywords: Huts, popular architecture, architecture with vegetal cover, ethnological heritage, Ebro Delta Paraules clau: barraca, arquitectura tradicional, arquitectura de coberta vegetal, patrimoni etnològic, Delta de l’Ebre

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M. Carme Queralt

Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre

She is an Anthropologist and specialist in museology. Technique of Ethnology in the Terres Ebre Museum. Specialist in Catalan ethnologic and intangible heritage. Her work field has been the Ebre River Area, especially its ethnologic heritage, and she has brought forward the contents of several Cultural Centres about territory Interpretation. She has also dedicated several books and scientific articles on this subject.

The Ebro Delta Cottages: One of the Oldest and Most Unique Forms of Traditional Housing in Catalonia

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he Ebro Delta cottages are one of the oldest, most unique types of traditional housing in Catalonia. They are without a doubt one of the most distinguished architectural features of traditional heritage along the Ebro River. As a highly important cultural legacy that is unique in Catalonia, it is essential that they be protected and preserved. These homes have been documented since the Middle Ages, though it would seem that they especially proliferated from the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century, coinciding with the emergence of rice production on the Ebro Delta. Nowadays they are used as the homes of farmers, though they are also employed as information centres, restaurants and holiday homes.

The expression “Ebro Delta cottages” refers to a wide range of popular and traditional constructions with their own particular typology. They have been used as the temporary and permanent homes of both fresh and saltwater fishermen, as well as for hunters, wardens, farmers and day labourers in the rice fields, shepherds, common labourers, salt workers, ship pilots, soldiers and lighthouse keepers. In the past they were used for a wide range of functions, such as for housing and taverns, and as shelters, warehouses, stables, corrals and so on. The cottages used as housing were built in function of specific lines of work, as they were constructed by landowners to house their workers, or by individual families. They were usually found in the midst of large parcels of land, either spread out and dispersed, or gathered together,


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eventually coming to make up the town centres of new municipalities. Their highly simple architectural structure does not vary to a great degree, featuring a rectangular floor plan, a wooden frame and a peaked roof made of thatch, itself set upon the vertical walls or resting directly on the ground. Even so, cottages of this nature found in every place of the world will always have something that sets them apart, and in the case of the Ebro Delta cottage it is the presence of vertical supports with a forked top, which are used to hold up the weight of the roofing, along with the use of what is called a solibert, a type of roofing that allows the front part of certain family cottages to be left open.1

Catalonia, with the historical cottages of the Llobregat River Delta, which have disappeared; and in the rest of the country with the cottages found in L’Horta and L’Albufera regions of Valencia, in Oriola, Murcia and on the Segura River, as well as those at the mouth of the Guadalquivir.2 They also are related to other cottages that can be found all over Europe, including those on the German and Hungarian sections of the Danube, on the Po in Italy, in the Camargue region in France, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, or others in Siberia. For a number of decades various writers and researchers, both local and foreign, have related the origin of the Ebro

Delta cottages to the arrival of families from Valencia whose task was to open up the uncultivated lands of the Ebro and convert them for agricultural use; this occurred from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. They have also been traced to the influence of large crews of day labourers from Valencia who would travel each year to carry out the then-harsh tasks of growing rice, especially in the times of planting, weed management and the harvest. We do not know since when the Ebro Delta cottages have been built, or what they were like in the distant past, though there is no question that they go back at least to medieval times. By way of

History of the Ebro Delta Cottages Like all constructions considered primitive from an architectural point of view, the traditional cottages were rather rudimentary and functional, and were in harmony with the natural environment and landscape they were found in, as they were made with material found in the Delta itself: wood, reeds, clay and brushwood.

For this reason that they can be linked to a millenary tradition found around the world, featuring structurally simple constructions made with organic material and clay from the place of origin. This tradition goes back to the Neolithic period and has been preserved around the world until our day. In the Park of Reconstructions at the Burgundy Archeodrome, we find a reconstructed Neolithic house from the Danube some 4000 years old that has highly similar architectural characteristics to those of the cottages found on the Ebro Delta. Further to this, the Delta cottages bear a close resemblance to other traditional organic constructions in Spain: in

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Farmer cottages on the Delta in the 1920s. COLLECTION OF THE ARXIU COMARCAL DEL BAIX EBRE.


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example, we can cite a number of older documents. One, from 1338, explains that in the Oliver salt flats (named after an important family of merchants from Tortosa, who produced and sold this highly important product in the Middle Ages), there was a large presence of workers during the time the salt was gathered, and the salt workers lived provisionally in permanent cottages on site which featured porches and large pantries.3 In 1469 documents also make mention of cottages used to house the salt workers from the City of Tortosa. These cottages tended to be concentrated in small villages, and the city itself was responsible for building them as well as ensuring living conditions (that is, by furnishing them and adding other features) and repairing them if they were to become rundown.4 With regards to the cottages of fishermen, from what we may draw from documentation, maps and nautical charts from the 13th and 14th centuries, and later from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the fishermen from the Gremi de Pescadors de Sant Pere (Saint Peter’s Fishermen’s Guild) built the cottages, which would face the sea and have their backs to the coastal winds; they were placed near habitual fishing areas. Over the last three centuries these

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placements did not vary in any significant way, being altered only in function of morphological changes to the Delta itself. In 1557 the Establiments dels Peixadors (the Establishments of Fishermen) refer to the cottages built by members of the Saint Peter’s Fishermen’s Guild who would fish the deep delta pools, making reference, for example, to where they could or could not be constructed.5 Fishermen’s Cottages The type of cottage built and used by Ebro Delta fishermen and their geographic location was determined by the abundant vegetation of the riverbank and the corresponding marshes (wood, reeds, wetland grass, brushwood), and where it was possible to fish on the sea and from land as well, both in the river itself and in pools and eddies. They were not particularly different from those built by farmers as shelters or as storehouses. The roof was set along the ground, though to make the frame they tended to reuse masts from old dismantled boats as well as wood brought into the coast by the tides; or else they would use pine and olive wood bought from shipwrights.

These constructions were strong, but they were usually designed as tempo-

Cottage used as a storehouse in the 1950s. COLLECTION OF THE MUSEU DE LES TERRES DE L’EBRE

rary housing: the same cottage could be used by fishermen during the week, fortnight or however long the fishing season would last, and would then be abandoned. They were usually five or six metres long and three to four wide, their rectangular floor plans setting out a single interior space. The frame could be put up in a single day, and there would only be one door. The brushwood used to cover them, such as sea rush (Juncus maritimus) and beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria), was gathered from nearby wetlands. The fishermen tended to cook in front of the cottage, where they would also eat and spend the day when they were not fishing. Inside they slept and left their few personal belongings, as well as their shared fishing nets and other equipment. Our cottage was at Raconet de Fora, on the eastern side of the Salines Velles. At that time in the Trabucador there were many dunes covered with vegetation that were so high you could not see over to the other side. The cottage was large: eight men slept inside and each of them had his box of clothing to change into when we went fishing …. We ate outside the cottage if the weather was good. We slept on bunks we made ourselves, four on each side, and when necessary two at the back. Above the door there was an air hole covered in metallic mesh where the light of day filtered in. The beds were set a couple hand-widths above the ground, with a heavy frame over top of which the stuffed matting was laid, made of corn cob leaves.6 This shared equipment included fishing tackle for various techniques, including all kinds of nets, traps made from reeds or rope, longlines, cast nets, handnets and landing nets, seine nets, a variety of fishing lines including jigging lines,


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and trammel nets. Some of this gear, as used from the late 19th century into the early 20th century, required the attention of the entire crew of workers, comprised of anywhere from 16 to 20 men who would go to the cottage once the day’s work had ended, except on holidays then the fishermen went back to their families in L’Ampolla, Amposta, La Cava (now Deltebre), Tortosa, Sant Carles de la Ràpita or Sant Jaume d’Enveja. Other kinds of fishing gear were from a much older era.7

fuel together. Those things for personal use, such as raincoats, sacks, large knives, spoons, smoking pipes and shaving material, was brought in by each individually, and was what they would call pellet. In the same way each fisherman bought his own bread, wine and sweets, as well as coffee, chocolate, cane spirit, tobacco and rum, among other things. It was quite common to see them trade whatever they had extra for any of their other needs.8

The Town of the River Mouth Cottages Women did not usually live in the fishermen’s cottages. They stayed at home with their children, or, if they worked in some fishing-related activity, they would go on assigned days to meeting points to pick up the catch, which was sold on the street by travelling vendors. It included eels, twait shad, gilthead seabream, common dentex, flathead mullet, bass, hake and sand steenbras.

With reference to the “Cottages in the Town of the Gola” (the Ebro gola or in plural goles refers to pools at the river mouth), there is documentary evidence of them from as early as the 13th century. It was an important location on both the sea and on the river that the Tortosa fishermen inhabited until well into the 20th century. In 1902 the town was still inhabited, though by then it had begun to lose its strategic function:

Those fishermen who had not obtained a spot in any of the fishing crews in the Ebro eddies through the lottery run by the Saint Peter’s Fishermen’s Guild were allowed to fish at sea, using the small village of cottages that fishermen and ship pilots had on the left bank of the river, in the area where during the floods of 1937 a new mouth appeared along with the new island of Sant Antoni. With the exception of the bunks where they slept, which belonged to the Guild as well, everything else was shared between them, such as jugs, vats, pots, pans, lights, pails, fishing tackle, metal nets, as well as their double-ended skiffs, rowboats and pontoons. They were purchased by each crew of fishermen at the start of the season, with everyone pitching in, and the material was sold in auction at season’s end. They purchased food, oil and

In the municipality of Jesús i Maria there is an island in the Ebro River called Den Graciá which is more than 5 kilometres long, with four farmhouses and a few cottages, while opposite the Buda lighthouse there is a group of 29 cottages and a larger house, which in times of greater navigational activity were lived in by ship-owners from Tortosa. This town had its own local mayor and licensed tobacconist and post. During the day they were occupied by a number of fishermen from the Saint Peter’s Guild.9 In Poblat the Town of the Gola the cottages were permanent; that is, if they became worn down they were repaired. They were larger than the ones the fishermen built along the Delta eddies or on the coast itself. The fishermen’s cottages were covered with thatch, while the walls were plastered in the cottages of the ship pilots who aided small

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wooden sailboats, steamboats and all other pilot boats in their manoeuvres entering or leaving the mouth of the Ebro. The role of these cottages, which took in the victims of shipwrecks when sea rescue was required, was highly important in the time there was still a great amount of fishing activity as well as sea and river commerce at the port of Tortosa. The question was so important that the Sociedad Española de Salvamento de Náufragos (Spanish Sea Rescue Society), created by Spanish law in 1887, set up one of its first rescue stations in the area. The Large Isolated Cottages Built at the Ebro Goles At the Ebro Goles we also know of the existence of isolated cottages, which were built in function of various activities related to farming or fishing: assisted navigation; the military defence of the Port dels Alfacs from corsair attacks and from other “enemies”; as well as the construction and use of the main engineering project on the Delta, the Buda Lighthouse, made by the English manufacturer Porter.

In the 18th century the engineers of Charles III, who then designed the new city of Sant Carles de la Ràpita, also laid out a project, respecting the techniques and using the traditional materials of the region, to build large cottages as the permanent residences of the soldiers in the Gola de l’Ebre Detachment, whose mission was to defend the harbour. The project would never be executed, though it is interesting to see how numerous construction materials, named according to their popular use on the Ebro Delta until our day, appear in a document including a map and report from the 18th century done for the construction of these cottages for the military use mentioned, as annotated in the elevation and plan. The accompanying illustration shows one of these cottages. The words anguila (ridge beam), barraca (cottage), carena (main beam)


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or puntals (stakes or vertical posts) are some of the terms used by the engineer Juan Saliquet Negrete in November 1779, in the document entitled Plano, Perfil y Elevación de uno de los Barracones propuestos para colocar el Destacamento de la Gola capaz de contener 55 hombres (Plan, Profile and Elevation of one of the Cottages proposed to house the Gola Detachment with a capacity for 55 men).10 Once into the 19th century, we find workers cottages built at the Ebro Goles, which were connected to the construction and later use of the Buda Lighthouse, erected with the idea of avoiding the repeated tragedies and shipwrecks suffered by boats navigating the area near the mouth of the Ebro each winter. They were also used for the lighthouse keepers. Historical documents tell of how a fire on June 15, 1863, burnt down the cottages made of brushwood used as housing and storerooms for the workers commissioned with the task of raising the impressive iron tower of the lighthouse. On November 1, 1864, the cottage of the three lighthouse keepers who kept the olive oil lantern burning was also said to be covered with reeds, and was found 20 yards to the southeast of the lighthouse tower. The lighthouse tower was at that time the tallest of its kind in the world (being seven metres higher than the second tallest, in Florida), a major piece of modern engineering placed right beside these other, rather primitive constructions. The Buda Lighthouse was a conical tower some 51.5 metres high, topped by a lantern using olive oil, which was reached by a spiral staircase with 365 steps that went up on the inside of a tube serving as the centre axis of the tower itself. The lighthouse collapsed over Christmas, 1961.11 Farmer Cottages On the Ebro Delta these cottages have been the most humble of all. Since ancient times, the natural wealth of

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the Delta has given rise to other activities besides fishing, including hunting, grazing and the harvesting of shellfish, salt and thistle plants (to make soap, glass and dye for the quality printed cloth known as indianes), the gathering of liquorice (to make sweets and pharmaceutical products), as well as leeches for medical use, amongst other products. In the 17th century wheat and barley were grown on the Delta. Before the irrigation channels were finished (the Canal de la Dreta, or Right Channel, opened in 1860, and the Canal de l’Esquerra, the Left Channel, was inaugurated in 1912), they were the only two crops grown. The channels made it possible to open up a vast area for agriculture dedicated to rice paddies, a long and arduous process that was also quite costly, with all kinds of legal, agricultural and sanitary impediments along the way: We had a really hard time...Not because we lived in cottages, that wasn’t it! We suffered because everyone suffered back then. We had two cottages: one was to sleep in and nothing more, while the other, with the door in the middle, had the kitchen and was where we spent the day. And then we kept our animals in another cottage set apart from these two; that is why there were cottages with no smokestack. Most people had one cottage and that was it. But those who did not have a smokestack had terrible problems with the smoke. Oh, I remember it well! Those cottages were unbearable.12 The settlement of cottages, inhabited along livestock paths by the families of shepherd or farmers, would come to make up the oldest centres of population on the Delta. On the right side of the Delta, the 1864 census of the historical parishes of Sant Jaume and

L’Enveja recorded 900 inhabitants. In 1902, a little after the creation of the new Sant Jaume d’Enveja parish, and only in that town itself, there were 763 inhabitants, with 96 masonry buildings and 136 cottages, while in Els Muntells they also built cottages, creating the town centre:13 Maria Esteve Montià, from Els Muntells, was born on October 21, 1883, in the neighbouring town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita .… She was married in 1914 to Salvador Saborit Fernández, a bull herder who had come to the Delta from Xilxes in Castelló. It was not easy to convince her parents ... The profession of her husband obliged her to move to Els Muntells when the town was little more than a few houses, mostly cottages, aligned along the road running parallel to the Riet .… As Els Muntells did not have its own religious services, each year at Easter they would walk with their three children the fifteen kilometres to La Ràpita, to her parents’ house, to fulfil their Easter obligations (confession and communion). Settlements of cottages also emerged in the large rice farms, built by the farmers themselves or by professional cottage makers; entire families lived in them, and their job was to clear out reeds, wetland grasses and other plants to make it possible to plant rice. There were also a large number of cottages spread out over the Delta, built separately, whether on farmlands owned by the dwellers or rented out, and placed near the rice paddies, beside the roads or alongside the river, the main channels and the irrigation ditches. Whether isolated or not, these cottages had their own features that set them apart from the fishermen’s cottages or those used for storerooms. Their peaked roofs were set on vertical


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walls and the roofline never reached the ground; the side walls could be covered with brushwood or not, but the front and back walls were always lined with clay mixed with straw to be later whitewashed.14 Besides this, many farmer cottages had one of the most characteristic features of the Ebro Delta cottages, the solibert, a type of roof jutting out above the front wall of many cottages, beneath which the residents would spend their time when the weather was good. Characteristics of the Farmer Cottages Amongst the farmers on the Ebro Delta the cottage was the most common form of housing, whether they were permanent or not. Many families spent the summer in rice production, from mid May to the end of October, while they spent the winter working in the dense bushlands planted with carob and olive trees found around inland towns near the Delta where many of them were originally from. On the Delta they lived above all off the land and from livestock, though sheer subsistence also meant that they would fish (for eels, gilthead seabream, twait shad, bass and carp), hunt (for waterfowl, frogs and moles) and gather (looking for snails, shellfish, other crustaceans and wild mushrooms).

The farmer cottages were usually eight metres long and three to four metres wide. The floor plan would be rectangular and the layout rather simple, with two adjoining spaces, the kitchen and the sleeping area. The beds were set in a single large space or else in a space divided into smaller rooms without doors; if the cottage did not have a mezzanine floor this area was also used as a pantry. Some of the cottages used for temporary housing had a stable inside the residence itself, so that they did not have to build another just for the animals. Between the ground and the roof another floor was built with

wooden crossbeams and reeds, with the stable underneath and the sleeping area above, in what was the mezzanine floor. In the poorest of cottages or in those that were not lived in year round, the inside layout could also include a stable and corral. The animals and the boys would sleep in one room, while in another there would be the fireplace and the bedroom of the parents and their daughters. The horse and mare would be given the best location in the cottage, since they were the hardest to replace in case something happened to them. The ground tended to be made of rough earth that was hard and unvaried. Cooking was done on the ground over a small stove called a foguerill (with three legs), and the smoke filtered out through the organic roof. The only opening was the door, whether it was on the front or on the side, made of wood or a simple curtain. If there was a window it would be very small and could not be opened, letting in a small quantity of light. The home’s furniture and details would always be scanty, with a table, a few chairs, beds with mats or thin mattresses, boxes the clothes were kept in, along with shelves, wooden spoons, plates, pots, tins, a porró (the traditional Catalan wine-drinking vessel) and a few jugs (used to keep water or conserve meat in), along with wash basins to make soap in or to do the washing itself. Everyday life in the summer was spent outside of the cottage, which was usually lined with flowers and plants to help keep the animals away from the base of the outside walls. There would usually be an oven, a masonry or iron stove called a rameret, a light canopy overhead and a large wooden basin. At times other cottages would be built nearby to be used as storerooms and could be made into pantries, or else used as stables or corrals. Furthermore, there could be a shared cottage or one

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used to store onions, as Sebastià Juan Arbó described them in his 1932 novel Terres de l’Ebre (Lands of the Ebro):15 On the right at the front there was a space used as the kitchen and dining area... A dividing wall, built from reeds covered in clay and later whitewashed, split the cottage in two across its width; two small doors opened up, one on each side on this wall, leading to the two rooms taking up the entire end area of the cottage. On the left was where they slept on a wooden bed, while on the other side there was the small corral for the donkey, while in a corner the newer tools were left. Apart from this area all others were plastered with better quality clay and then whitewashed, so that the entire cottage had a clean and orderly appearance. During the second half of the 20th century, living conditions improved all over Spain. New transportation methods (motorcycles, cars, lorries and vans) cut down on distances, and new construction materials (including bricks, cement, roof tiles and uralitefibre cement) gave everyone the possibility of building more resistant and long-lasting housing. This led to the gradual abandonment of the cottages, or else their substitution by better-built houses, shacks and storerooms. Some owners sought to repair their cottages using new materials, substituting the brushwood used on the rooftops with fibre cement, to give an example, though in general the cottages were forgotten and began to disappear from the Delta landscape. Construction Process The tools and material used by the cottage maker and his assistants were very simple. In most construction processes they used their hands and, in preparing the clay used to line the walls, their feet. There was only one tool that


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was unique to the trade, the cottage maker needle, used to sew together the bunches of brushwood covering the rooftop. The tools used could be limited to just this cottage maker needle, a small axe, whitener, lime, rope cord, a brush for whitewashing and a zinc pail. The most commonly used tools were the builder’s hands and feet. There was no set criteria on how to choose the location of the cottage and lay it out, or to determine its size and inside plan, the nature of the door, the presence of the roof jutting off the front or not, of the inclusion of a window or the number of rooms, to offer a few examples. Each builder (whether a shepherd, a fisherman, a hunter or a farmer) would adapt it to any required uses. In erecting the cottage, first of all the wood was brought together, along with the thatch and reeds; the braided rope was made and then the cottage was framed. Afterwards the floor was levelled and hardened. The side walls were set out by driving posts into the ground (called istantirons), logs generally made of olive wood, to which three higher vertical posts, each with a forked top, were added: one in the centre (the centre post) and the other two on the respective ends (what were called pendelocs or pendalocs), setting

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out the front and the rear, which could be rounded. The horizontal structure was nailed in over top of the set of vertical stays (called l’estacada, the stakes), with the ridge beam defining the peak above, called the anguilera (or anguileta) and the main structural beam below it, at the highest part of the cottage. Finally the angled part of the structure was nailed in, including the ribs of the roof, which extended past the frame towards the ground, to make the overhang. Sometimes the cottage was strengthened even more by tying the central stakes and the ribs together with what were called crevetes, referring to a type of brace. The entire structure was then covered with gathered reeds, bunched and sewn together and then sewn onto the various vertical stays using the needle. The first reeds were set along the ground and the final ones finished off at the top near the ridge beam defining the peak. The reed bunches were sewn onto the ribs in evenly spaced pairs, leaving spaces between them. The organic roofing material was also sewn onto the reeds and the ribs with the cottage-making needle (a metrelong iron needle that was slightly curved), row by row, beginning with the overhang and finishing at the peak.

Farmer cottages affected by the 1937 flood. Courtesy Maria Aguiló. COLLECTION OF THE MUSEU DE LES TERRES DE L’EBRE.

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The thatch, which was generally composed of rice stalks, fine rushes (Juncus sp.), bulrush (Typha sp.) and wetland grasses (Phragmites sp.), was sewn on in bunches as well. This was the most delicate operation, since the slope of the ribs and the proper overlapping of the rows was what made the cottage waterproof and durable. Finally, the walls were lined with clay, filling holes and cracks, using mud that was made into a paste by stomping on it; it was then mixed with hay to make it denser. Once dry, it was whitewashed with lime and whitener, a process that was repeated every two to three months. The rooms inside the cottage were also set apart by reed walls that were plastered in the same way. The name of each feature of the cottage structure has been passed on orally for generations, making it possible to encounter a great number of local variations (such as the term for a wooden board, istantiró or santiró):16 My grandmother, who lived as a renter in the village, thought we could have our own place there on our own land ... and the cottages were built. I was nine years old, it was 1923. My father bought everything the cottage maker told him to acquire up at the Ros herding area where they sold firewood, since when they did the pruning or cut down olive trees they made olive wood boards (santirons) that would last a lifetime. Some ten boards are used for a cottage that was six or seven metres long. They are used as lateral braces that hold up the ribs used to make the cottage roof. So Mr Ros came down with a cartload of these boards, and he also brought firewood with him to sell to whoever wanted some, since down here you could not find that kind of material.


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hay … They had come to this place a few years earlier, where they found a home in that abandoned shack, fixing it up here and there and setting up the tavern: four glasses and two bottles of firewater.

The tavern cottages and other large ones used for day labourers were bigger than those used for housing, though their structure and layout was quite similar. It was typical in the taverns to serve wine, while on Sundays and holidays they would serve other kinds of hard liquor and meals. This is how Arbó described it in his previously cited 1932 novel, Terres de l’Ebre (Lands of the Ebro):

The day labourers’ cottages, from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, gave nighttime shelter to the men who went in crews to work in the rice paddies, especially doing the planting, weeding and harvesting. The storage cottages were used as domestic pantries or were where agricultural tools and equipment or else fishing gear and nets were kept. Those used as shelters and to leave carts and other material did not have front wall and were rather small, since their only use was to leave some equipment and provide shelter in times of bad weather. All these cottages had thatch roofs. In the cottages used as corrals and stables, or for raising rabbits, the farmers also raised hens, quails, ducks and geese. They tended to have a closed off exterior space with water coming directly from the rice paddy. The cottages used as stables were where livestock was kept (including horses, cows, sheep, goats or pigs) and they usually had their walls lines with wooden planks to protect them from the animals, who would kick against them or even eat them.

When supper ended the men gathered in the tavern, set up in a building that was half stand-half cottage, where a man from Valencia lived with his entire family. Guests came in dirty, with the same clothing they had worn while working. They sat around one of the four rough tables near the door, on their little stools, downing one glass of wine after another, discussing the weather and the land, and getting old. At the end of the tavern, separated by a curtain of burlap sacks ... the children lay sleeping on a bed of

Recent Cottages on the Delta There are hardly any truly authentic cottages left from amongst those of a certain age and built in line with traditional parameters and for traditional uses. Those that do remain have been preserved by their owners more or less how their ancestors or they themselves had made them. Some of them, once in the hands of public institutions, were rebuilt and are today preserved to give testimony to the past. Nowadays, however, the majority of traditionallybuilt cottages in the Delta have been conceived and set out for newer, more

Construction of a cottage as a holiday home, 2005. Courtesy David Monllau. COLLECTION OF THE MUSEU DE LES TERRES DE L’EBRE.

Other Cottages Besides the cottages used traditionally as housing for farmers, shepherds or fishermen, on the Ebro Delta there were other types of cottages directly related to everyday life and agricultural activities. These constructions were built following one of the two basic cottage typologies we have seen: either the wooden frame of the thatch roof had an overhang that went down to the ground; or the roof was supported by the side walls of the home. There are very few examples of these kinds of typically small cottages left. Once their utilitarian function was abandoned they were no longer built, or else, being even more rudimentary constructions than most others, the organic material used to make them would not survived the test of time.

We can classify these cottages into three main groups, according to their use and size: tavern cottages and large cottages used to put up men working as day labourers for the night; warehouse and storeroom cottages, cottages for shelter, and those used to leave horse carts and tools; and cottages meant for animals and other products, used as

corrals, stables, for cold storage, as rabbit pens, for onion storage, for shared use, and so on.


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contemporary uses; that is, they have been directly built for educational, recreational, museum, heritage and tourist purposes. In the 1980s, individuals and institutions in the area (including the Ebro Apprenticeship Camp (Sant Carles de la Ràpita), the Museu Comarcal del Montsià, now part of the Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre (Amposta) and the Ebro Delta Nature Park (Deltebre) sought to research, preserve

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and promote the values of historical and ethnological heritage, technical knowhow, architectural merit and cultural interest. The traditional cottages of the rice farmers have become one of the symbols of the Delta, an identifying feature acknowledged by the general population. In this way the cottages have become one of the most popular symbols of the Delta and are reproduced on many items and for a multitude of events, being used as the theme for floats in

town festival parades, for the names of businesses, on pins, plates and other tourist souvenirs, as well as on t-shirts. From the 1990s on, thanks to mostly private but also public initiative, new cottages began to be built, using traditional materials and methods, though updating the conditions of their interiors. A number of individual hobbyists from Amposta, Sant Jaume d’Enveja and Deltebre have resuscitated the former trade of cottage maker.17 Amongst cottages built for educational and heritage purposes there is the cottage at the Museu del Montsià (Amposta, 1984), the former cottage of the Ebro Apprenticeship Camp (Sant Carles de la Ràpita, 1986-2002) and the one used as an observatory by the ecomuseum of the Ebro Delta Nature Park (Deltebre, 1988). Amongst those now used as restaurants, country stores, information centres or galleries, there are the L’Estany restaurant (Amposta, 1993), the cottage of the Moviment Escolta Guies Sant Jordi de Catalunya (the Saint George of Catalonia boy scouts and girl guides, at El Poblenou del Delta, 2001) or the information centre and country store in the recreational area of the Casa de Fusta (Amposta, 2004).

Cottages used to protect fishermen from inclement weather, 1933. Courtesy Maria Cornelles. COLLECTION OF THE MUSEU DE LES TERRES DE L’EBRE.

The majority of cottages still left on the Delta are used as holiday homes or farmhouses, and were built in the late 1990s. Still today the idea is to revive, with a family-oriented focus in mind, one of the most characteristic features of the former way of life on the Delta. It goes without saying that the construction of these new cottages is now adapted to the demands of comfort, hygiene and full functionality this type of home requires, to the degree that available construction material and the techniques used to build them might allow. This means, for example, that they have kitchens and bathrooms with wall tiles, a proper smokestack


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and various fully functional windows, amongst other features. The Ebro Delta Cottages Information Centre In June 2005 the Ebro Delta Cottages Information Centre was opened at Sant Jaume d’Enveja, in the heart of the Delta. An initiative of the City of Sant Jaume d’Enveja, it was carried out with the collaboration of the Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre and the Ebro Delta Nature Park. The permanent exhibition allows visitors to enjoy a historical and cultural visit explaining this

unique and ancient form of traditional architecture, perfectly adapted as it is to the Delta environment. The main goal of the centre is to evaluate, conserve and promote one of the many features of the historical, ethnological and cultural heritage of the municipality, giving a new meaning to those aspects of the town that make it unique, with a special focus on those most directly related to the presence of humans on the Ebro Delta. From a more general point of view, the Information Centre also draws

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attention to and promotes popular and traditional culture amongst town residents, along with other inhabitants of the Ebro Region and the visiting public, whether coming as tourists, students or for some other purpose. Those coming from outside the Delta find the Ebro Delta Cottages Information Centre to be a place where it is possible to visit and learn more about the history of some of the oldest forms of traditional life on the Ebro Delta. n

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Juan Arbó, Sebastián (1978, primera edición en catalán 1932) Tierras del Ebro. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés Montesó Gallego, Ramon (2004) Recuperació d’una barraca, habitatge dels avantpassats del delta de l’Ebre. Tortosa: Col·legi d’Aparelladors i Arquitectes Tècnics de les Terres de l’Ebre

Queralt Tomás, M. Carme (2008) “Les barraques del delta de l’Ebre”, Caramella. Revista de música i cultura popular, núm. 18, pp. 6-9 Martí Comes, Ramon (1989) El Delta de l’Ebre. Barcelona: Edicions de Nou Art Thor

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.28.year 2006) under the title Les barraques del delta de l’Ebre, un dels habitatges populars i més antics de Catalunya

Queralt Tomás, M. Carme (1992) “Las barracas del Delta del Ebro. Un modelo de hábitat tradicional”, Narria. Estudios de artes y costumbres populares, núm. 57-58, pp. 10-15

Queralt Tomás, M. Carme (2006) “Les barraques del delta de l’Ebre. Un dels habitatges populars més antics i singulars de Catalunya”, Revista de Etnologia de Catalunya, núm. 28, pp. 96-108

NOTES 1 Sanchis Guarner, and later Max Thede and W. Giese, studied this feature and published on it in 1933 and 1951 respectively. 2 Queralt Tomàs, Maria Carme. “Las barracas del Delta del Ebro. Un modelo de hábitat tradicional” in Narria, 57, pp. 57-58. Madrid: Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 1992. 3 Pitarch López, Josep. Les salines del delta de l’Ebre a l’Edat Mitjana. Barcelona: Columna Tresmall, 1998. 4 Arxiu Comarcal del Baix Ebre. Arxiu Municipal de Tortosa, Salines-81; f. 4v ss. 5 Foguet Marsal, José. Cofradías-Gremios especialmente fluviales de la ribera del Ebro. Madrid: Impremta de Juan Pueyo, 1923. 6 Oral account by Francesc Navarro, as recorded by Lluís Millan Roca in “Francesc Navarro Santos ens parla de la pesca amb nanses i de la barraca de pescadors”, Ràpita. Sant Carles de la Ràpita: Ajuntament de Sant Carles de la Ràpita, March 1993.

7 Some of them are mentioned in medieval and modern books and documents, for example in Despuig, Cristòfol. Col·loquis de la insigne ciutat de Tortosa. Edited by Eulàlia Durán. Barcelona: Curial, 1981. 1557 (1st Edition).

13 Miralles, Monsignor Fernando, op. cit. and Ayet, Monsignor Vicent. “María Esteve Montiá, abuela centenaria” in Delta. La Veu del Poble. Sant Jaume d’Enveja: Ajuntament de Sant Jaume d’Enveja, 1983.

8 Personal recollections gathered in 1934 by Joan Moreira in Del folklore tortosí: costums, ballets, pregàries, parèmies, jocs i cançons del camp i de la ciutat de Tortosa. Tortosa: Cooperativa Gràfica Dertosense, 1979 (2nd edition).

14 Salvadó Arrufat, Joan. De la falç a la recol·lectora. Vida i cultiu tradicional al delta de l’Ebre. Amposta: Ajuntament d’Amposta, 1991.

9 Miralles, Monsignor Fernando. Guía del obispado de Tortosa. Tortosa, 1902. 10 Archivo General Militar de Madrid. Servicio Histórico Militar. Ejército de Tierra. Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar. SH. T-18/8. 11 Millan Roca, Lluís. Naufragis a la Mar de l’Ebre. Sant Carles de la Ràpita: Ajuntament de Sant Carles de la Ràpita, 1991. 12 Josep Oliver, farmer. Oral memory recorded by the author in Sant Jaume d’Enveja. Audio library of the Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre, 2005.

15 Juan Arbó, Sebastià. Terres de l’Ebre. Barcelona: Catalònia, 1932. 16 Oral memory of Joan Franch, farmer and shepherd from Deltebre, recorded by Ramon Martí Comes in El Delta de l’Ebre. Barcelona: Edicions de Nou Art Thor, 1989. 17 Montesó Gallego, Ramon. Recuperació d’una barraca, habitatge dels avantpassats del delta de l’Ebre. Tortosa: College of Architects and Technical Architects of the Terres de l’Ebre, 2004.


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Shantytowns in the City of Barcelona: Can Valero, La Perona and El Carmel 1

Ethnohistory Research Group on Shantytowns CATALAN INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY

Presentation of the Study

T

he social history of the phenomenon of shantytowns in Barcelona throughout the 20th century represents an essential legacy for understanding the process of building the city. However, the fragmentary and scattered information that exists about the phenomenon and the recent disappearance of major shantytowns in the city, of their

names and memories, is evidence that their footprint has been undervalued in explaining the city’s history. For this reason, in late 2004 a research team of historians, anthropologists and geographers from the Universitat de Barcelona was formed, and we began the study entitled “Shantytowns in the City of Barcelona. Ethnohistorical Study of Three Cases: Can Valero, La Perona and El Carmel”2 within the framework of the Ethnological Heritage Inventory of Catalonia (IPEC)

Xavi Camino Vallhonrat He has a PhD in Urban Anthropology from the Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona. He has focused his research on the study of sport in public space, and on processes of social exclusion in the city of Barcelona. He is currently the head of the Social Sciences area at ELISAVA, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (UPF), and works in the Office for the Plan of Non-Regulated Settlements, City of Barcelona.

Òscar Casasayas Garbí With a BA in History from the University of Barcelona, he has researched shanty-town conditions in the city of Barcelona in the 20th century. He is currently a social sciences teacher in Barcelona’s official secondary education system.

Flora Muñoz Romero Master in Sociology of the Territory by the ICSTE of Lisbon, she has degrees in Sociology by the Autonomous University of Barcelona and in History by the University of Barcelona. She combines her professional activity in business and architecture with the historical research of urban processes, including the building of the shanty-town areas of Barcelona in the first half of the 20th century or the history of the porter’s lodges of the city.

Pilar Diaz Giner She has degrees in Anthropology by the University of Barcelona, Technical Certificate in Social Work from the UNED and Postgraduate studies in Mediation by Pere Tarrés University. She has been member of the team of research about shantytown areas in the city of Barcelona. Nowadays she works as Social Worker in a Center of Social Services of the Town Council of Barcelona.

and in collaboration with the Institut Català d’Antropologia (ICA). The object of study of this research is shantytowns understood as a process of informal appropriation of land to build substandard housing (without prior planning for the land, lacking infrastructure, built with wood, mud, brick and/or recycled materials) as a spontaneous response to a lack of accessible housing in urban areas. Starting from this premise, the research team proposed:

Max Díaz Molinaro He has a Master in Digital Documentation from the Pompeu Fabra University, and a BA in History from the University of Barcelona. His professional career has focused on the study of shanty-town neighbourhoods in Barcelona during the 20th century, while he has also studied archives and documentary processes. He works in the library system of the University of Barcelona, and occasionally collaborates with MUHBA - Museu d’Història de Barcelona (Museum of the History of Barcelona).

Mercè Tatjer Mir She has degrees in modern and contemporary History (1971) and PhD in Geography (1987) by the University of Barcelona. Nowadays she is Professor Emeritus of Didactics of the Social Sciences in this University. Expert in geography and urban history, she has collaborated and collaborates at present with different groups of planning and research as well as with public, civic and pedagogic institutions and in numerous programs of research of the cultural and industrial heritage.

Cristina Larrea Killinger She is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. In the last years she has collaborated with the La Habana University (Cuba), the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil) and the Federal University (Brazil). She has also worked with other institutions of research in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Nowadays, she is member of the Food Observatory of the University of Barcelona. She is interested in the study of the relationship between health, development and environment.


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• Creating a database inventory of the documentation found in the archives on the shantytown phenomenon in Barcelona in the 20th century. • Analyzing the shantytown phenomenon in the city throughout the 20th century. • Reconstructing the social history of three shantytowns: La Perona, Can Valero and El Carmel. • Creating an oral collection of interviews with shantytown inhabitants. Three historically and geographically well-differentiated shantytowns were chosen for the ethnographic study of the shantytown phenomenon. La Perona was chosen because it was one of the last shantytowns to disappear from the city in 1989 and because of the characteristics of the process of relocating its inhabitants. Can Valero was chosen because of its size; its slum dwelling population was the largest and most extensive of the city during the period of the Franco dictatorship up to its eradication in the 1970s. Finally, El Carmel was interesting because a large number of its inhabitants succeeded in being relocated within the same neighborhood through local struggle and neighborhood associations. We are aware that while searching the archives enabled us to contextualize

Barcelona’s Shantytowns, existing from the beginning of the 20th century until their virtual eradication in time for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, were an urban phenomenon that played an important role in the city’s social and urban development. By means of Ethnohistorical research methodology using archives, field research, oral history and databases, researchers have been able to reconstruct the social life in three shanty towns and analyse the importance of these districts in the history of Barcelona. This is a summary of the dissertation titled Barraquisme. La ciutat (im)possible. Generalitat de Catalunya. Barcelona, 2011.

the different processes by which the three shantytowns were configured and disappeared, the three case studies could not serve, for the moment, to explain the global phenomenon of shantytowns in Barcelona in the 20th century. In this regard, we hope that our findings serve to motivate new studies reconstructing the uniqueness of other shantytowns that allow for a cross-disciplinary study to address the phenomenon globally. The ethnographic study of a disappeared phenomenon, as is the case here, precludes the use of one of anthropology’s fundamental methods: participant observation. To address this shortcoming, documentary and bibliographic research that helped us to contextualize and complete the use of oral history in reconstructing the three disappeared shantytowns was indispensable. The first phase of the search for literature and compilation of primary and secondary documentation that was undertaken in 26 public and private archives3 enabled us to contextualize the phenomenon, learn about the existence and location of different shantytowns and understand how they were eradicated and how those affected were relocated in addition

El barraquisme a Barcelona, existent des de principis dels segle xx fins a llur virtual eradicació a l’època dels Jocs Olímpics de Barcelona de 1992, fou un fenomen urbà que va jugar un important paper en el desenvolupament social i urbà de la ciutat. Mitjançant la metodologia de la recerca etnohistòrica utilitzant arxius, treball de camp, història oral i bases de dades, els investigadors van poder reconstruir la vida social en tres nuclis de barraques i analitzar-ne la importància en la història de Barcelona. Aquest article és un resum de la monografia Barraquisme. La ciutat (im)possible. (Generalitat de Catalunya, 2011).

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to how public opinion about shantytowns was constructed and what were the municipal policies on intervention and the role of the church.4 During this first phase, conversations with archivists, historians, social workers, clergy and so on put us in contact with shanty dwellers and other specialists from which a network of interviewees was built. At the same time, surveying the different housing estates the shanty dwellers had been relocated to, visiting different neighborhood organizations and disseminating information leaflets about the research brought new interviewees into the network. Although the archival search was ongoing throughout the study, the second phase was based mainly on obtaining oral information based on the lived experience of those who were there. For this reason, our main tool was indepth interviews (92) and, to a lesser extent, focus groups (6). Two guides were produced, the one for shanty dwellers differing from the one for persons linked to the phenomenon, but these were flexible and adapted to the unique experience of each interviewee. This flexibility in the use of in-depth interviews allowed for a better channel of communication, characterized by the use of more eloquent statements and greater trust between researcher and interviewee. On more than one occasion a single interviewee was interviewed a number of times to delve more deeply into a specific topic relevant to the research. Usually a single person was interviewed, but in some cases two people participated. A total of 63 interviews were conducted with shanty dwellers and 29 with persons Keywords: Shantytowns, Public housing, Neighbourhood associations, Social exclusion, Urban segregation Paraules clau: barraquisme, habitatge públic, associacions veïnals, exclusió social, segregació urbana


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linked to the phenomenon (27 on La Perona, 31 on Can Valero and 34 on El Carmel). Below are three summaries corresponding to the reconstruction of the three shantytowns studied based on the oral, documentary and bibliographic sources compiled. Although in the future we plan to continue analyzing the phenomenon to derive new findings, we will finish this paper by providing some of the most important conclusions drawn from this first study.

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Brief History of the Can Valero Neighborhood of Montjuïc Montjuïc, a hill in Barcelona, became a prominent place in the origin of the city’s shantytowns. Its proximity to the city center and isolation due to its orography facilitated the setting up of a quarantine camp made up of 4,000 shanties in 1821 during a yellow fever epidemic (Carreras i Candi, 1916). The exploitation of Montjuïc’s quarries reached its peak from 1870 on, and many of the stonecutters who worked there built shacks in the vicinity to be near their work, as can be seen in a

number of topographic maps from the period (Roca, 2002: 327). In the 1900s, a host of small rustic holdings used to grow fruits and vegetables had cropped up on the north side of the hill. Their tenants were residents of the city and surrounding area who spent Sundays there and built small shacks to take shelter in and store tools (Fabre; Huertas Clavería, 1976). The construction of the grounds for the second Barcelona International Exposition in 1929 required hun-

Aerial view of Montjuïc showing the extent of shanty building in the stretch between the Olympic Stadium and the castle in the late 1960s. ARXIU NACIONAL DE CATALUNYA, TAF HELICÒPTERS SA COLLECTION.


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A group of shanties in the district of Magòria (Montjuïc) in the 1920s. ARXIU NACIONAL DE CATALUNYA, BRANGULÍ COLLECTION (PHOTOGRAPHERS).

dreds of workers, many of whom, coming from neighboring provinces and within Catalonia, found a city where popular housing was scarce and rental prices were beyond their means. A great number of them, following widespread practice on the hill, built their homes near their workplace, and as such a large number of shanties appeared scattered along its north face, some of them concentrated in neighborhoods like La Cadena, La Font de la Mamella, L’Animeta, La Magòria and El Polvorí, among other, more sparsely concentrated areas. It was in this decade that Montjuïc’s shantytown grew to become the largest slum area in the city, going from 1,055 shanties in 1922 (Pons; Martino, 1929) to approximately 3,500 in 1928,5 shortly before the shacks that harmed the image of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition were eradicated and their inhabitants relocated to four groups of Cases Barates (literally, “cheap houses” –affordable housing estates) provided by the Patronato Municipal de la Habitación de Barcelona (Housing Board

of Barcelona). A huge wall was built to conceal and isolate the remaining shanties on top of the hill for the same reason. Valero Lecha i Plana, an innkeeper from inland Catalonia, opened a snack bar behind the stadium in 1929, and over time it gave its name to the settlement of shanties that grew up on the hill after the second great wave of immigration that began after the Spanish Civil War. Montjuïc would once again be a destination for those workers who, confronted with the lack of popular housing in the city, opted for shanty dwelling in areas where living in these constructions was already a reality. Can Valero would become the name of a slum area that together with Els Tres Pins comprised the two large districts on the north slope of the hill, which were bounded by Montjuïc Castle to the south, the Passeig de l’Exposició to the north (along which the large wall isolating the area ran), the cemetery to

the west and the Passeig de Miramar to the east. From the 1940s, newcomers to the shanty settlements would privately purchase the parcels and small shacks from the old garden owners, who because of the overcrowding of the shanties began letting go of their holdings. Others, in the gardeners’ absence, would occupy the land. Over the 1940s and 1950s there were frequent scams in the sale of land on the hill, and the sales and transfers never had any formal legality. Once the land was acquired, the shack had to be built without the authorities noticing, since a census of the shanties was taken beginning in the 1950s and new buildings or expansions were prohibited, making it necessary to build them at night. On the land we bought there was a summer lean-to shed that had been used for the garden. We used this structure to build the brick shanty. First we made a roof from leatherboard and we gradually built the


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brick walls from the inside to keep “the fuzz” from finding out we were building a shack. We bought the materials from the Can Valero bar, which gave them to us on credit. [...] Later we removed the external shed structure and were left with a two-room shack of about 40 meters. After adding facing and whitewashing we had to dirty up the walls so it looked old. (Interview from 12 April 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(CV) B.A.]) The settlement of shacks was totally lacking in basic urban infrastructure since the City of Barcelona had never made any sort of urban planning investment. There was no sewage system or running water; there was power at the entrance to the enclosure, which was where the few owner families who had a meter lived. The most common system for obtaining electricity was hooking up to the mains and sharing the cost of consumption among neighbors, which weakened the power supply. There were only seven public taps for a population that by 1957 had reached 29,958 people inhabiting 6,090 shanties in the neighborhoods on the hill (Duocastella, 1957). Supplying water became one of the main daily occupations of some Can Valero families. Others who were more fortunate had wells on their land: We had two wells, one for washing and the other providing water for sale, because on the way from the Font de la Mamella to Casa Valero there was nowhere else to get water. As such, a lot of people came to buy water from us. We sold it at 10 cents for a twenty-liter demijohn. The water was very good, and many people had to make many trips to carry all the water they needed. It was a very busy shack. (Interview from 25 September 2007. Code: [EN (RR)(CV) J.B and J.H]) There was no trash collection within the district, despite the paradox that

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residents of Valero Petit and Les Banderes had to live next to the garbage dump that Foment d’Obres i Construccions S.A. (FOCSA) had set up to fill the quarries that had ceased to operate. The stench and risk of explosion from gases released by decomposition were part of life in Can Valero.6 Can Valero’s population in 1960 was quite stable, with an average of 15 years residing in the neighborhood and a broad age structure of between 30 and 50 years, both men and women. This shows the limited integration of its population, which remained in the settlement over generations without gradually moving to apartments in the city. In spite of this, 75% of the men were fully integrated into the city’s work force, with jobs in construction, industry and at the port. Among the women, 7.6% worked outside the home, in cleaning, trade and industry. One of the biggest problems was overcrowding, because of both the concentration of shanties and the small size of the dwellings, on average 25 square meters. Family space inside the shack was 5.5 square meters per inhabitant and there were an average of 1.9 people per bed. In addition, each shanty housed 1.2 families, which conditioned the subsequent relocation process (Echenique, 1965). The church was the only institution acting on the social level in the slums. In Can Valero, a Carmelite priest, Father José Miguel, took charge of providing the neighborhood with minimal welfare structures (previously nonexistent) in the 1950s. Funding from his congregation and the collaboration of individuals and charitable foundations like the Miró Trepat construction company made it possible to create a small school and set up a dispensary, which over time would become a clinic. In the early 1960s, the Teresian nuns of the Infant Jesus of Prague built a school

in Las Banderas, a smaller settlement within the broader Can Valero district, with financial support from the above construction company. The presence of catechists from Marian congregations in the settlement in the early 1960s would introduce variety into the paternal nature of social welfare and gave way to the creation of a night school and later a youth center, which created the newsletter La Voz de la Montaña (1967-1969). The arrival of a Caritas social worker in late 1967 opened a new space for community development in the district and laid the foundation for organizing a local movement that emerged in response to the process of eradication started by the city council: the Asociación de Padres de Familia La Esperanza (La Esperanza Family Association, 1967-1972). Residents raised public interest in the relocation through a very vigorous press campaign,7 which led to the residents being able to humanize the process of being relocated from Montjuïc, and one apartment was offered per family instead of per shack, as was the practice of the City of Barcelona, since in many cases more than one family or the different generations of a family lived in a single shanty. Likewise, work was done to ensure that all families obtained the first payment to acquire the apartments and to prevent the transfer of shacks for apartments among the poorest residents. The new leaders of future neighborhood associations in the rehousing areas emerged from this first experience in neighborhood organization. The factors that sparked the eradication process were Franco’s statements on this on a visit to Montjuïc Castle in 1963, the construction of the Amusement Park of Montjuïc (opened in 1966) and the project to install the TVE studios on the hill, which were urban planning interests for which the shantytown was a nuisance. The relocation of families from 1965 to


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1972 was to subsidized housing estates promoted by the Obra Sindical del Hogar through the Unidades Vecinales de Absorción (Neighborhood Absorption Units, UVAS)8 (Pomar, Cinco Rosas and Sant Cosme) and, for the last 375 families, to the La Mina housing estate (Domenech; Juncosa, 1973). The owner families, as the heirs to Casa Valero, came to agreements about the expropriations and gradually disappeared from the neighborhood. Brief History of the La Perona Neighborhood According to the archival documentation consulted,9 there is evidence of a new shantytown in District X, on Ronda de Sant Martí de Provençals, beginning around 1945. Despite variance in its territorial expansion on account of population changes, we can see that during the period of maximum expansion it occupied the stretch of Ronda de Sant Martí between the district of La Verneda and the train tracks and from the Pont d’Espronceda to the Riera d’Horta.

In 1947, the wife of the president of Argentina, María Eva Duarte de Perón, travelled to Barcelona and visited the shantytown area of Ronda de Sant Martí. As a result of this visit, the idea spread among the shanty dwellers that Eva Peron, La Perona, wanted to build homes for the poor on this land, and for this reason the district adopted the name La Perona. La Perona was a very rich lady who really looked after the poor. This woman gave money to the neighborhood so that we poor people living there would have water and electricity and to fix the streets because they were made of mud. But what she gave and what it ended up used for, well, it was all lost and none of it happened. Later there were more trustworthy people who wanted to fix things up and that was when they fixed the

streets and put in water. We already had electricity before that. (Interview from 9 October 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(PE)A.F.L. and J.G.T.]) The shacks were built on public land and land affected by the rail service (RENFE) alongside the edges of the tracks. It seems that the land was kept open in anticipation of expansion. However, this did not prevent some RENFE workers from appropriating the land for their own use and turning it into gardens and some newly arrived families from using it to build their homes. Given this phenomenon, the idea spread that it was a good place to build a house and many RENFE workers, knowing this, took advantage of the demand for land to sell the gardens to whoever wanted to settle there. This was the case for J.’s father, who learned of the sale of plots of land in La Verneda after only one week in Barcelona and moved there. My father came in 1947 because my mother told him life was difficult in the town and to go to Barcelona. My dad had some friends

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who lived in the shacks in the Barceloneta, so he went there. He was there one week and decided he didn’t want to spend winter on the beach, and then they learned that there was a place called La Verneda where they were selling gardens. Between the three friends they bought a large plot of land and divided it into three parts. Each of them paid three hundred pesetas because the RENFE workers had these gardens. (Interview from 15 October 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(PE) J.-B.S.-M.-R.]) From the late 1940s through the 1950s the number of shanties in La Perona increased as the district became a place of refuge for immigrants from different regions of Spain, especially Andalucía. One of the people interviewed explained that his family sold the bar they had in their town (Granada) to come to Barcelona because “it was the immigration era and we all came to Barcelona because we thought it was the land of milk and honey.” (Interview from 15 October 2007. Code: [EN(RR) (PE) J.-B.S.-M.-R.])

Aerial view of the district of La Perona in the 1980s, of the stretch between the Pont d’Espronceda and the Pont del Treball. In the lower right you can see the group of shacks that made up the school for adults. Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge, Barcelona. AUTHOR: MARIANO VELASCO.


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Most shantytown residents were thus newcomers for whom renting an apartment was out of reach and who worked in factories, in the construction industry, in domestic service or by setting up a small shop or workshop there in the shantytown. This is why we often understand the building of shantytowns as a transitional situation in anticipation of obtaining a better home. In most cases, however, this situation was prolonged, and when people began having children the social background of the neighborhood changed so that by the mid-1960s we can see that most inhabitants had been born in the neighborhood (San Roman, 1986). Over time these hopes would become reality for many shanty dwellers who moved to other districts by their own means, to new blocks built by the Obra Sindical del Hogar and a number of cooperatives and companies such as Construcciones Españolas (Carrasco; Garriga, 2000: 84). By 1966 it is estimated that there were approximately 200 shanties and 3,000 shanty dwellers in La Perona (Rispa, 1993). For its part, the parish church of Sant Martí took care of the most underprivileged, providing them with food and clothing as it had for decades. The period from 1966 to 1967 was a turning point in the history of La Perona. The shacks abandoned by families who moved to apartments were reoccupied by other families with fewer resources, most of whom were gypsies. Motivation for greater transformation began with a demonstration of naval exercises attended by Franco, which led to the urgent and forced eviction of some shantytowns like El Somorrostro, Can Tunis and Montjuïc. Some of the evicted shanty dwellers were moved to unoccupied shacks in the districts of La Perona, El Camp de la Bota and Sant Roc in Badalona.

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The drama for most of these people began when a municipal pickaxe was taken to the El Somorrostro neighborhood in the Barceloneta. Within twenty-four hours the area had been demolished, and a few days later a contingent of sailors from our squadron disembarked there to participate in the Navy Week shows. (Pons, 1967). The 1970s was a period of economic crisis that struck the poorest among Barcelona’s population forcefully. The effects of this were seen in the most underprivileged districts, and in the case of La Perona, it coincided with the move of a large number of gypsy families from other areas of the city, whom for social and urban planning reasons the administration had decided to relocate to the neighborhood (San Roman, 1986). Overcrowding and growth in the number of shanties rose to 653 in 1971 according to A. Rispa (1993). In view of this situation, the city’s intervention consisted in extending water services to the neighborhood and paving some areas while simultaneously relocating some shanty dwelling families to apartments in La Mina and Pomar from 1968 to 1974. Following these interventions there was a significant drop in the production of subsidized housing until this activity was taken up again in 1981 (Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge, 2003). At the same time, in the early 1970s, with the new social intervention model adopted by Caritas based on community development, social worker Sister Pilar López settled in the district. Community works were begun with her involvement, like the creation of a kindergarten, school and dispensary. Later, in the late 1970s, other educational projects promoted by the city council were added, such as the establishment of a school for adults and children’s and youth centers.

However, the situation of economic crisis led to greater social competition that wound up translating into greater inequality and criminality, which, added to the growing number of gypsies arriving in the neighborhood generated several episodes of social conflict.10 According to data collected in social worker P. López’ study (1990) of La Perona district, in the early 1970s 69% of inhabitants were gypsies of various origins,11 and in the late 1970s this increased to 95% of inhabitants. One gypsy who was already living in La Perona in the early period recalled that when most of the non-gypsy families left the neighborhood began to deteriorate and to be discriminated against. Defending himself against accusations made against the gypsies, he said: The gypsies paid for the stolen cars in the neighborhood. If there was a car stolen and you were a gypsy and walked in front of it, you paid for the theft of the car. (Interview from 12 November 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(PE)C.H.]) In 1981 the First Catalan Conference on Barcelona’s Gypsy Population was held, and T. San Román, together with the research team he coordinated, presented the Report on the Population of the La Perona District.12 From this moment on, the Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge, which had been in charge of care services and control of shanty building since 1979, began to develop a relocation plan within the framework of the Plan to Eradicate Slums with three strategies: first, apartments from the secondary market would be allocated; second, two new single-family housing areas would be built; and third, the needs of those shanty dwellers who wished to return to their place of origin by their own means would be met. At the same time, professional integration projects would be developed to adapt shanty dwellers


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to the new social conditions. The second proposal planned was impossible because of protest from the residents of the La Pedrosa housing estate and the district of La Verneda. Because of these protests the administration chose to abandon the second proposal and opted to relocate shanty dwellers to apartments on the secondary market and to offer compensation to families that chose to return to their cities of origin. In February 1985 104 apartments had been allocated, 35 gypsy families had received assistance for finding an apartment, and 90 families had accepted money in exchange for leaving their shanties (Carrasco; Garriga, 200: 83-102). The abuse of this last option meant that many of these families found themselves on the street again without resources, seeking new empty spaces to move into. The La Perona neighborhood disappeared once and for all in 1989, when the last shanty, occupied by the Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, was demolished. Brief History of the El Carmel Neighborhood El Carmel is part of Horta-Guinardó, the 7th municipal district of Barcelona, and it is characterized by steep slopes resulting from a rugged geographical location. The neighborhood was formed in the early 20th century when the first houses with gardens were built and the first roads began to connect the area with the city. The area’s social composition and the use of its space would change over the century from the waves of immigration; in general terms, the neighborhood would cease to be a recreational area for the city’s more or less well-off classes and would become characterized by the concentration of a population of humble origins in a confined space lacking basic services in certain areas.

The existence of shanties is recorded in the early 1940s, coinciding with the

second great wave of immigration to Catalonia. At first glance, the shacks in El Carmel were not part of a unified group. There were five different groups and some small pockets of homes in certain streets of El Carmel where one sometimes found a fragile boundary between shanty and self-build home. The five groups were Francesc Alegre, Ramon Casellas (El Santo), Marià Labèrnia (Los Cañones), the shanties of Hospital de Sant Pau and the shanties of Carrer de Marsans i Rof and Carrer de Font-Rúbia. From an administrative point of view, the shanties were part of the district of Can Baró, but as those who were there explain, their immediate ties were to El Carmel. We studied the first three groups –Francesc Alegre, Ramon Casellas and Marià Labèrnia– as a matter of unity in terms of the local struggle and because of geographical location (Turó de la Rovira). From interviews we know that the first shantytown began atop Turó de la Rovira in the air-raid shelters found at the end of Carrer de Marià Labèrnia. The first families arrived around 1944 and used the abandoned

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military installations for shelter. The area around the bomb shelters gradually filled with shacks despite a number of expulsion attempts by the police. A resident of Los Cañones described the eviction that took place around 1955: At midnight it was pouring rain. They knocked on doors, especially at the bomb shelters, because there were these two facing the sea and then more above them. The police came, Mr. “Scarface,” whose name I don’t know, but his face was scarred. A wonderful person: may he never have been born. They put us in their truck and took us to one of those pavilions on Montjuïc. (Interview from 9 May 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(CA)M.G.M.]) The Francesc Alegre and Raimon Casellas areas grew up around 19461947. All three shantytowns were fully established in the early 1950s, and their population came mainly from Andalucía and Extremadura. According to reports published by the Servicio de Erradicación del Barraquismo (Shantytown Eradication

Detail of the shacks of Los Cañones, so called because the anti-aircraft guns used during the Spanish Civil War were located in this space. In the background the shanties of Francesc Alegre can be seen under the highest apartment building. PATRONAT MUNICIPAL DE L’HABITATGE, BARCELONA.


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Service) of the City of Barcelona, in 1956 the existence of around 570 inhabited shacks was recognized, for just under 3,000 inhabitants (Fabre; Huertas Clavería, 1976). A great number of the first settlers arrived in Barcelona with the idea of starting a new life; while most had fled poverty, their prospects in Barcelona would not be much more hopeful. Despite the uncertainty represented by living in a shack with the idea that their stay there was temporary, the district took on a life of its own as explained by one resident: Well, it was a town. You come from one town and then you find another town, set up in a different way, [...] disorganized, with an uphill climb, that doesn’t have water; well, OK, the town we were in didn’t have water either. [...] But that’s what you found, a load of shacks, the side of the hill full of little white houses, with leatherboard, a bunch of stones stuck on the roofs. Everyone was an immigrant. (Interview from 24 May 2007. Code: [EN(RR)(CA) F.G.S.])

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Historians Lluís Bou and Eva Gimeno, referring to the shanties in El Carmel in the late 1960s, believed that: “Beyond the grim reality of the numbers (even if they did not balance) and for many years, shantytowns formed part of the landscape of El Carmel, which helped promote the urban legend that identified it as an inhospitable and dangerous neighborhood –where it was hard enough for taxis to make the drive up– adjectives accepted outright by a large part of Barcelona’s citizenry that lived on the fringes and bowed their head before the existing social reality in El Carmel. Gone were the descriptions of the past of the neighborhood as ‘picturesque and pleasant.’ Inhospitable, probably it was, given the limited accessibility; but with regard to dangerous, that should be called into question since it was more dangerous for those who were forced to live under very harsh conditions (without water, electricity, a sewage system, garbage collection and so on) in shacks located in steep places where children could get hurt easily” (Bou; Gimeno, 2007). The social reality of the shantytowns was heterogeneous and peculiar. On

Scene of daily life in the district of La Perona. Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya, Solidaridad Nacional collection.

one hand, many inhabitants tried to reproduce part of their life in their place of origin –the physiognomy of the neighborhood was an example– and on the other hand they were new, unrecognized citizens who worked in factories, in the construction industry, cleaning private homes or by setting up a small shop or workshop there in the shantytown. Their children, in the best of cases, went to nearby schools if the family income permitted; if not, they entered the labor market prematurely. Above we described the isolation suffered by the El Carmel neighborhood, both from a geographic perspective and from the lack of investment in infrastructure on the part of the City of Barcelona. In 1969 a group of residents that included some shanty dwellers decided to create the Centro Social del Carmelo (Social Center of El Carmel). In 1972 it would disappear to make way for the creation of the Asociación de Vecinos del Carmelo (El Carmel Residents’ Association). A protest movement for improvements to the neighborhood originated from this association: potable running water, the creation of schools and day care centers, a health care center, urban planning improvements, public transportation and more. In the case in question, the shantytown committee of the association would work to provide the shanty areas with basic infrastructure and to promote the construction of subsidized housing in the same neighborhood. One prominent member described it thus: I would say that the El Carmel Residents’ Association was an example to follow for many associations. It carried a specific weight because there were a lot of people who gave their all in exchange for nothing, who spent many hours alongside us, and then we proposed doing things and achieved them. Why?


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Well, because when we went to talk to the administration, we didn’t go alone. We were people who had informed ourselves about what it was that had to be done, and what it was that had to be said, so we weren’t lost –we had architects, we had master builders, we had doctors, we had nurses, we had everything. When we went to talk to the health care system, we had people who knew what the health care system was. When we went to talk to the urban planning department, we had people who knew what the urban planning department was. (Interview from 8 November 2006. Transcription code: [TR(CA) P.G.D.01]) Shortly before the death of dictator Francisco Franco, most of the shantytowns had running water and electricity, and a garbage collection service had also been created. The next step was to find an optimal space for building subsidized housing, but once again negotiations were tedious. This led the association to exert strong pressure on the city council, and a meeting was arranged with mayor Josep Maria de Porcioles i Colomer, who promised to explore the possibility of relocating residents within the neighborhood and to start the paperwork for those residents who wished to obtain an apartment in the Canyelles housing estate (Camallonga; Custòdia; Fonollà, 1985). With plans in place to eradicate the shacks and resettle residents, the choice was to either obtain economic compensation and personally undertake finding an apartment or to take advantage of the plans for relocation to public housing. Most shanty dwellers went for the second option. Briefly and following the chronological order of rehousing, in 1977 123 families were relocated to the Canyelles housing estate, most of them from the Francesc

Alegre shantytown. In 1984 the keys were given out to 161 apartments in the Raimon Casellas housing estate, a historical milestone since they had succeeded in being relocated within the same neighborhood. Finally, in 1990 the last 87 families from the Francesc Alegre shantytown moved into the Can Carreras housing estate.13 This entire process was successful thanks to pressure from the neighborhood movement and the subsequent collaboration between the residents’ association, the Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge and the City of Barcelona. Conclusions The reconstruction of the three shantytowns from bibliographic and documentary research and oral sources allowed us to confirm that the configuration of shantytowns always responds to a vital necessity for the more disadvantaged social classes facing the problems of work and housing in urban contexts. Indeed, the increase in slums in Barcelona was brought about by waves of immigration, but the main cause of the shantytowns was determined by a lack of rational housing policy.

Shantytowns were and are established above all in the empty spaces within the urban fabric, on small plots of land awaiting their turn to be transformed, in the vacant lots and abandoned spaces of interurban areas and very often at the limits and boundaries between two cities. All of them, in one way or another, are like boundaries to the structured city. In the first two decades of the 20th century, settlements grew and became established along the waterfront and on Montjuïc, where shanty building had been a practice tied to work as in the case of stonecutters and fishermen. The postwar immigration gave the phenomenon new dimensions, placing it at its peak in the 1950s

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when the shantytowns became true neighborhoods within the urban area and not cracks or lawless cities as they had been called in some cases. They were, in short, spaces with social life, closely bound and related to the rest of the city. People who worked in the city lived there, and they organized to improved living conditions in their neighborhoods. They were, however, neighborhoods that grew up spontaneously outside of urban planning and which, in principle, except for some cases, were never recognized as part of this city –and perhaps this is why they disappeared. This negation was made patent with the lack of municipal action regarding infrastructure and services, a total neglect until the 1970s when the new political mood sought to provide the remaining districts with minimal living conditions. Only the social action of the church, from the initial charity to the community development of the 1960s, mitigated the marginalization to which these areas had been condemned by the city. Eradicating the shantytowns was nearly always more an impulse responding to urban planning needs and projects that appeared than a policy focused on resolving a social problem. Most slum inhabitants were relocated to planned estates, often outside city limits, and their names (La Perona, El Somorrostro, Can Valero, El Camp de la Bota) were replaced with other names proposed by institutions (Parc de Sant Martí, Platja de la Barceloneta, Avinguda de l’Estadi, Fòrum de les Cultures). On the other hand, the life stories collected show us a wide diversity in ways of experiencing and understanding life in the shantytowns. For many people, shanty dwelling was a choice forced on them by a lack of resources; for others, it was a temporary way of saving to be able to obtain an apartment; still others


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sought to build a neighborhood from the shanties and fought for its recognition. All of this diversity also helps us to see that within the shantytowns, as in the rest of the city, there is a structure wherein different social and cultural categories can be distinguished. And

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these differences are made more evident when periods of greater poverty generate greater social competition and inequality is exacerbated, as occurred in the 1970s and 1980s and led to the shantytowns’ exclusion from the rest of the city.

By way of conclusion we would add that shantytowns are not the only response in the face of a social problem like the lack of affordable housing. The disappearance of shantytowns does not always represent a solution to the problem. n

Duocastella, R. (comp.) (1957) Los Suburbios. Semana del Suburbio. Barcelona.

Pons, Agustí (1967) “50 familias expulsadas de sus barracones... para ser alojadas en barracas”. El Noticiero Universal, 19 de desembre.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bou, Ll. M.; Gimeno, E. (2007) El Carmelo ignorado: Historia de un barrio imposible. Ajuntament de Barcelona: Agència de promoció del Carmel i entorns, cop. Col·lecció Construir Barcelona. Camallonga, J.; Moreno, M. C.; Fonollà, F. (1985) “El Carmel estrena habitatges”. Habitatge, núm. 1, gener. Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge, Barcelona. Carrasco, S.; Garriga, C. (2000) Els gitanos de Barcelona. Una aproximació sociològica. Àrea de Serveis Socials. Diputació de Barcelona. Carreras Candi, F. (1916) Geografia General de Catalunya, La ciutat de Barcelona. Barcelona.

Doménech, R.; Juncosa, R. (1973) “Una experiencia de trabajo social comunitario en un barrio de barracas de Muntjuïc”. Revista de Treball Social, núm. 51, juliol.

Pons, F.; Martino, J.M. (1929) Los Aduares de Barcelona. Editorial La Ibèrica: Barcelona.

Echenique, M. (inèdit) (1965) El barraquismo en Montjuïc. Tesi doctoral. Escola Superior d’Arquitectura, Barcelona.

Rispa Roca, Agustí (1993) (inèdit-mecanoscrit). Breve historia del barraquismo en Barcelona y su evolución desde 1980 hasta su total erradicación. A l’Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí.

Fabré, J.; Huertas Claveria, J.M. (1976) Tots els Barris de Barcelona. Edicions 62: Barcelona.

Roca i Blanch, E. (2002) Montjuïc, la muntanya de la ciutat. FOCSA: Barcelona.

Lòpez, Pilar (1990) (inèdit-mecanoscrit) 15 años en La Perona: 1974-1989. Una experiencia de Trabajo Social con gitanos. A l’Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí.

San Román, T. (compilació) (1986) Entre la marginación y el racismo. Reflexiones sobre la vida de los gitanos. Alianza Editorial: Madrid.

1 Coordinators: Mercè Tatjer and Cristina Larrea. Researchers: Xavi Camino, Flora Muñoz, Oscar Casasayas, Max Díaz, Pili Díaz, Eva Cerveto.

4 The documentary research enabled us to create a database inventory with more than 300 entries.

2 This final report was presented to the Ethnological Heritage Inventory of Catalonia in December 2007. Its annexes contain a listing of interviews conducted (document), digital interviews (DVD), summaries of digital interviews (document), unrecorded interviews (document), the interview guide for shanty dwellers (DVD/document), the interview guide for people involved (DVD/document), the list of interviewees (DVD/document), the ACCESS documentary database (DVD), the IPEC register of voice recordings (DVD), the IPEC register of photographic recordings (DVD), collections of photographs (DVD) and the transcriptions (DVD/document).

5 For the 1928 estimate: “Comunicación sobre el acta de construcción de las Casas Baratas de Eduardo Aunós.” Patronato Municipal de la Habitación. Barcelona, June 1928, p. 17.

10 A tracking of the neighborhood conflicts can be found at the Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí in the folder of press clippings La Perona: eradicació de les barraques i lluites veïnals (1979-1991).

7 To follow the neighborhood association’s press campaign and the negotiations with the City of Barcelona and the Ministry of Housing, consult the Diario de Barcelona, the Noticiero Universal and the Correo Catalan from 1967 to 1968, as well as the 22 issues of La Voz de la Montaña at the Arxiu de Cáritas.

13 “Memòria del Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge.” No signature. Arxiu del PMH. For the subject at hand, you can consult the reports for 1979-1990, in particular the sections “L’eradicació del barraquisme” and “L’adjudicació de vivendes.”

3 Among the archives consulted, mention should be made of a few for how important the documentation we were able to obtain from them was: Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Barcelona, Arxiu Municipal Administratiu de Barcelona and Secció Prearxivatge, Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya, Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge, Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí, Arxiu Municipal de Sants-Montjuïc, Arxiu Municipal del Districte d’Horta-Guinardó and Arxiu de Cáritas.

8 Unidades Vecinales de Absorción Social, a project by the Obra Sindical del Hogar (OSH) to relocate shantytowns.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no. 33. year 2008) under the title El barraquisme a la ciutat de Barcelona. Can Valero, La Perona i el Carmel.

NOTES

6 “La única luz que ilumina las barracas son las llamas del vertedero.” Telexprés (27 February 1967).

12 May be consulted at the Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí.

9 Much of the information relevant to the La Perona shantytown can be found at the Arxiu Municipal del Districte de Sant Martí, the Arxiu Històric del Poble Nou, the Arxiu Municipal Administratiu de Barcelona and the Arxiu del Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge.

11 Spanish (both newcomers and several-generation-established) and Hungarian origin. (López, 1990)


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Josep Maria Solé Soldevila He is currently working on his doctorate in Contemporary Catalan History at the University of Barcelona. He has worked on various projects, with special mention going to his role as a researcher in the project Human Cost of the Civil War, whose goal is to develop a census of victims of the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia, and in the oral history study Libertarian Syndicalism in Living Voices, which examines this movement during the years of the Spanish democratic transition. He also did the study Choirs of the Barceloneta: from their Mid-19th-Century Origins to the Present.

Choirs of the Barceloneta: from Claverian Choral Societies to the Silent Choirs In the middle of the 19th century the Catalan Countries underwent profound transformations brought about by the process of industrialisation. Thanks to its strategic location, the Barceloneta maritime neighbourhood (Barcelona) would become one of the districts most affected by these changes, its physical face radically altered as it was transformed into one of the most important focal points of Catalan industry. Every spring, at the Pentecost, this neighbourhood was the Choir Festival celebration, a celebration that came from the humorous choral societies that they were created tin the origins of the Catalan choral movement. A meitats del segle xix als Països Catalans es van donar profundes transformacions ocasionades per l’impuls dels processos d’industrialització. Gràcies a la seva localització estratègica, el barri marítim de la Barceloneta (Barcelona) es convertiria en una de les zones més afectades per aquests canvis socials, i la seva estructura física es veié radicalment alterada transformant-se en un dels punts focals més importants de la indústria catalana. Cada primavera, durant la celebració de la Pentecosta, es du a terme en aquest barri la Festa dels Cors, una celebració que té els seus orígens en els orfeons i les agrupacions corals humorístiques que van aparèixer en els inicis del moviment coral català.

The Origins of the Catalan Choir Movement

were seen as an opportunity but almost always viewed with a degree of fear.

n the middle of the 19th century the Catalan Countries1 underwent profound transformations brought about by the process of industrialisation. The first steam powered machine was installed in Barcelona in 1833 (quite appropriately the Bonaplata textile mill was popularly known as “El Vapor” (The Steamer)), and in 1848 the first railway line was inaugurated between Barcelona and Mataró. Thanks to its strategic location,2 the Barceloneta maritime neighbourhood would become one of the districts most affected by these changes, its physical face radically altered as it was transformed into one of the most important focal points of Catalan industry. Faced with this newly developing scenario, a variety of social agents on the ground would shift in the same way the territory itself had, adapting themselves to changes that at times

One of the people who actively participated in the richly changing cultural and associational panorama being forged in Barcelona in those years was Josep Anselm Clavé. The son of a family of merchants from the nearby Ribera neighbourhood, from a very young age he participated in political initiatives connected to republicanism, while showing particular interest in music. As a result of his social commitment and his participation in various urban revolts at the beginning of the 1840s, he was arrested and detained in the Ciutadella military citadel. It was precisely during his detainment that Clavé thought of temporarily leaving strictly political action in order to create an organization dedicated to worker resistance, with the idea of gathering together financial resources to create a Mutual Support Fund through recitals to be held in cafes and taverns.

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Keywords: Choral movement, humorous choral societies, folk music, popular celebration, popular neighbourhood, working class, The Barceloneta (Barcelona) Paraules clau: moviment coral, societats corals humorístiques, música popular, festa popular, celebració veïnal, classes populars, La Barceloneta.


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his discourse were clearly class-based. He argues that they worked as intermediaries between “the more general propositions of the industrial order and those who recognized themselves in an incipient proletarian identity.”5 In this way, more than one hundred and fifty years later, the question set forth in the middle of the 1970s by historian Eva Serra as to whether Clavé “was really a liberator or in fact an accomplice, perhaps naive or unaware, of a form of entertainment that was pacifying and essentially conformist”,6 continues to arouse debate.7

Photograph from the early 20th century of Barceloneta’s Pomells de Joventut Federation, on an outing. SOURCE: ARCHIVE OF THE COORDINATOR OF BARCELONETA CHORAL GROUPS.

Yet La Aurora, the name of that resistance organization made manifest as a small orchestra and led by Clavé from 1847 to 1850, would end up being too small for the task he had in mind. After contact with Narcís Monturiol, the utopian Icarian movement and emerging cultural initiatives that in one way or another were close to him, and using as his model the choral societies of Saint-Simon, Clavé founded La Fraternidad (The Fraternity) in 1850. Grounding his work on the experience and human capital forged in his years with La Aurora, Clavé began to give shape to his new project, whose goal

would be the moral education of the working classes through the creation of choral societies.3 Nevertheless, there is no agreement on who would be objectively benefitted by his activity. While for Ricard Vinyes “the Claverian action left a sharp imprint on the culture of the lower classes, spreading and popularising different ethical-social values in alternative to those of the dominant classes,”4 and becoming “relevant in the shaping of the communist tradition”, Albert García Balañà in contrast understands that in spite of not sharing his goals with the bourgeoisie, it cannot nevertheless be said that his practice or

Choral Societies in the Barceloneta These first choral societies, made up exclusively of men and created by Josep Anselm Clavé and his disciples, would multiply to such an extent that they chose to set up a coordinating body, the Euterpense Association (A1860), and publish a journal, El Metrónomo (1863). Clavé began collaborating with the weekly paper with a series of articles where while explaining the origins of the movement, he would also defend his role as a pioneer in the creation of choral societies throughout Spain in debate with the Tolosa brothers,8 claiming that once the Sociedad Coral La Fraternidad (The Fraternity Choral Society) had been set up, “its members gave themselves up fully to the study of the choral pieces La fiesta en la aldea (Festival in the Town) La flor de mayo (The May Flower) and El tiempo de Terpsìcore [sic] (The Time of Terpsichore) which I composed quite intentionally; and on the 14th of August, 1850 and the 7th of December of the same year, their noteworthy merits were made public, verifying them respectively on San Miguel Street in the Barceloneta and on Cambios Viejos Street of this same city.”9 Just two years later, La Fraternidad, accompanied this time by a new choral society called La Aurora in clear homage to Clavé, in what was its third performance, par-


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ticipated during “the early hours of the following 11th of April, holiday of Easter … songs sung in the early dawn of that day that were known in Catalonia by the name of caramelles10 and that both societies performed in various neighbourhoods of the Barceloneta.”11 With these precedents, and in spite of the fact that we do not know the personal identity or where members of the Fraternity Choral Society had their club, it would be difficult to explain such choral activity in the port neighbourhood without there being a close relationship between one or a few members of the choir and the Barceloneta. While the holiday programming of the choral societies of the Barceloneta was spread out throughout the year, with variations in intensity and aims, the two most important times in the calendar year were precisely the Easter season and Pentecost. The first of them is held on the first Sunday of the first full moon of Spring, being nothing more than the sacralisation of the pagan holiday welcoming good weather, and, with it, the rebirth of nature. As we have just seen, it was traditional to sing caramelles during Easter, which was a holiday that was above all preserved amongst townspeople in the mountains, even though it had put down roots in the towns of the Barcelona plain and in the Barceloneta, where maritime motifs where added. The singing of caramelles had (and still has) the characteristic of being a moving performance; to follow the criteria set out by the anthropologist Manuel Delgado in Carrer, festa i revolta (Street, Festival and Revolt) in characterizing different festive uses of public space, it had a cosmic trajectory, that is, it was a festive activity that moved along a more or less established route and did so in orderly fashion, “dramatically reproducing the ideal terms of distribution of positions in the very heart of the social structure.”12

On Easter Sunday, the group of singers would parade down the streets and perform at previously-selected homes, beneath the balconies where the singers’ fiancées might live. Once the show had ended, the singers would push a long staff up to the balconies with a basket hung on the end which was duly filled with foodstuffs, especially eggs. With the food gathered during the singing an outing was arranged, quite typically to Montserrat.13 It should be pointed out, with regards to the idea of asking for food from spectators on the balconies, that the caramelles are considered the oldest Catalan example of ritual festive extortion, a trait that over time would spread out to other festive practices.14 Even though in the case of the Barceloneta the customary routes did not leave the neighbourhood streets, thus limiting the festive territory, on special occasions it did go beyond them. For Pentecost the celebration that still today is most robust involves the choral societies going into the street in costume, parading in orderly fashion to live music (that has changed over time), with large reproductions of their work tools attached to their backs. The Pentecost festival began on Saturday morning, with various choirs walking through the streets by way of good-bye celebration, visiting the clubhouses of the various choral societies. After the parade, the members of the different groups would leave the neighbourhood for an outing that had been planned over the entire year. Two days later, on Pentecost, the choirs would return to the neighbourhood and, in the middle of the afternoon, would parade again, returning once more to the headquarters of the different societies, with the food they had brought back with them from their trip hanging off their clothes. In spite of this early presence of the Claverian choirs in the Barceloneta,

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it was not until 1863 that a choir was officially set up in the neighbourhood. The official organ of the Euterpense Association described its beginnings in this way: “ … the young workers who made it up all belonged to the Casino Artesano, in whose headquarters they have a day academy headed up by the intelligent maestro of various Euterpense Societies, Mr. Bach Sentena,”15 who was one of Clavé’s closest collaborators. Only three years earlier Antoni Font had pushed ahead the creation of the Casino Artesano, “the first neighbourhood entity in the Barceloneta,”16 founded with the idea of improving conditions in the community. On September 29 of that same 1863, taking advantage of the neighbourhood festival, the choral society had its public presentation under the direction of Manuel Vilardell. They presented a dance and also announced the beginning of classes in a number of subjects, including choral singing. The banner, which was almost as important as the singers themselves, would be made by the workshop of Joan Medina, an embroiderer specialised in this kind of hanging flag. A year after it was founded, the choir of the Barceloneta participated in the Gran Festival d’Euterpe (Great Euterpe Festival), also known as the Festival of Two Thousand Voices participating under the organization of the Euterpense Association. The purpose of the event was to further knowledge of the activity of the Claverian choral societies. The thirty-four men from the Barceloneta choir performed Els pescadors (The Fishermen) and Una orgía (An Orgy) on June 5, without winning any of the many prizes being granted. Els pescadors, a Catalan fishermen’s song featuring both maritime and amorous imagery composed by Clavé in 1861, has been one of the most performed pieces by the Barceloneta choral societies ever since, and rightly so. Eight years after Great Festi-


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val, in 1872 the Fifth Great Festival of Euterpe was held in El Torín, the long disappeared bullring of the Barceloneta. On that occasion, the choir that was in fact representing the maritime neighbourhood was another choral society that had been quite active during the final years of the 19th century: La Perla de la Barceloneta. The Choral Societies after Clavé After the death of Josep Anselm Clavé in 1874, the Euterpense Association fell into crisis due to ongoing debates as to the direction the movement should take. The size it had taken on and the arguments over various aspects of its social role made it impossible to keep the movement together. The following years seemed like there were nevertheless positive for the choral socie-

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ties in the Barceloneta. There are more of them, and as a consequence, their public presence expands as well. As for their activity, the main function continued to be recreational, and was centred on the organization of dances, concerts and parties, just as Clavé had envisioned. These activities were held at the social club of each of the respective choirs, which normally was a tavern or café. Yet despite being spaces that were not always the most adequate for the activities proposed, they were regulated by sufficiently strict norms with the goal of creating a positive ambience in promoting fraternal bonds between the different members. In order to accomplish this goal, members had to behave in a way that would not be a morally offensive, and with this goal in mind political and social subjects were also prohibited

as discussion material. While at first the only beneficiaries of programmed activity were society members, they were allowed to invite family members and the odd friend, so that their behaviour as well had to be watched over by the member who had invited them. In spite of having been created under the auspices of Clavé’s model, these new choral societies began to forget him. In fact the first choral societies that were called humoristic and began to set out their own identity, which in the long term would determine one of the distinguishing traits of the choral societies in the Barceloneta, emerged just before the end of the century, under the watchful eye of the Claverian choirs. Even so, the mark of Clavé was seen not only on an organizational level, but also in the spirit of coop-

A choral society of the Barceloneta has their photograph taken during a trip to the countryside. SOURCE: ARCHIVE OF THE COORDINATOR OF BARCELONETA CHORAL GROUPS.


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eration between society members and with the least favoured in society. In this regard we can cite various examples: a performance done on April 29, 1873, in recognition of the men and women of Puigcerdà who were resisting the Carlist offensive, with the participation of La Fraternidad, amongst other societies;17 the concert organized at the Casino Artesano of the Barceloneta on July 22, 1882, to collect money for the families affected by a furnace explosion on Amàlia Street;18 the Christmas festival in benefit of unemployed workers on December 21, 1884, held at the Bon Retiro theatre with the presence of La Nova Australia, turning into a humoristic mass choir of over five hundred singers;19 a day in solidarity with the victims of the shipwreck of the “Reina Regente”, held on April 7, 1895 in the Palau de les Belles Arts (Palace of Fine Arts), with the participation of the Casino Choir20; or another event in support of the poorest residents of the Gràcia neighbourhood, with the presence of the Casino Choir once more, held on August 15, 1902, in the tent raised at the corner of Passeig de Gràcia and Aragó Street.21 The Choral Movement as Participant in the Transformational Project of the Spanish Second Republic Existing data allows us to state that in no case did a change of government or regime have a substantial affect on the activity of the choral life of the Barceloneta until the Fascist uprising. Having said this, we can observe that the most important political events did end up having an influence on its practices. In the case of the proclamation of the Second Republic the influence does indeed stands out. It is for this reason that, in our analysis of the behaviour of the Barceloneta choir movement during this brief period, we have chosen to leave aside references to the traditional calendar of festivities and holidays, which would continue to be

carried out as in previous years. Here we opt instead to focus on activities more closely tied to the new political situation. The overall discourse of the choir movement and not only those following Clavé had always emphasized apolitical positions, as in their Rules and Statutes there was always a phrase prohibiting “serious activity in political and social matters.”22 In turn, while it is also true that the choirs can be seen involved in matters that went clearly beyond the strictly musical or cultural domain, it cannot be denied that they had always emphasized mutual support and assistance quite beyond political or party-based positions. Perhaps what should be said about the Catalan choral movement is that in spite of being made up of organizations active above all in the field of music, it was never able or willing to shut itself off from its context, seeking instead to intervene in social reality in favour of what was held to be just, without that stopping them from continuing to carry out their principal task, which was musical. Yet when on April 14, 1931, the Second Republic was proclaimed, the discourse and practices of the choral societies shifted, as would happen in any case with society as a whole. The first show of explicit support for the new political system was found in an editorial published in La Aurora, the official paper of the Federation of Clavé Choirs, just after the Republic was proclaimed. In that time of particular social effervescence the discourse developed by the Federation took a look back in time in search of the guiding principles of its founder, recalling his social status while affirming itself as a working class organization, which meant it was objectively interested in the consolidation of the new legal and political structure. Besides this new political and social context, which was clearly favourable

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to the development of its ideological principles, the Claverian choirs began the period of the Republic without the internal tensions of previous decades, allowing them to “recover lost ground when it came to presence on the street, in citizen-initiated or official public events, and with an influence on the social and cultural life of the country.”23 Although a degree of stability set in after an initial period of uncertainty, events in favour of the Republic were held non-stop. In the first year, the Administration Commission for a commemorative plaque in support of the proclamation of the Catalan Republic organized a series of events on Montjuïc, where we find the presence of Els Pescadors. They performed with the Dalia Barcelonina and the Artística Gracienca, as well as the Orfeó de Llevant, which, under the direction of the maestro Alier, closed the event performing Cant de la senyera (Song of the Catalan Flag), Sota de l’olm (Beneath the Elm), L’Hereu Riera (The Heir Riera), Bai, bai, bai and Nostra Dansa (Our Dance).24 In the years that followed the proclamation of the Republic was commemorated, “that change of regime in the Spanish state that fills the people with joy after having worn the strangling harness around its neck”,25 bringing “to complete satisfaction the entire organization of the Claverian choirs, inasmuch as they had seen fulfilled one of their main ideas, that of liberty.”26 Despite this new state of things, political and social conflicts persisted. One was related to the difficulty of approving the Statute of Catalonia. One of the best-known manifestations in favour of its approval without modification took place on Sunday, April 24, 1932, with the main player being the Autonomous Centre of Commercial and Industrial Clerks (Centre Auton-


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omista de Dependents del Comerç i la Indústria, CADCI), which had called the event. Many associations from around Catalonia gave it their support and were present in the demonstration with their Catalan flags. In representation of the Barceloneta there was the Petit Mar i Platja Choral Society, the Centre Cooperatiu de Pescadors Choral Group and the Orfeó Llevant society.27 The death of the President of the Generalitat (Catalan government) Francesc Macià on December 25, 1933, also awakened in the choral sphere the need to render him homage. This was the aim of the brochure published by the Humorística La Perla Choral Society of the Barceloneta, which featured the portrait of Macià and included the words of a song composed by G. Verneda (Tino) and the maestro M. Moret, entitled La mort de l’avi (Death of the Grandfather). The final verses of the song are an indication of their love for the president and their nation: “Still the people do not forget you/ and remembering will cry / Long live

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Free Catalonia! /and our granddad Macià!” (Però el poble no t’oblida, / I recordan-te cridarà: / ¡Visca Catalunya Lliure / i el nostre avi Macià!”28 The Catalan national day, September 11, would also give rise to interest on the part of the choral societies that has not been appreciated until now. The Commission given the task of organizing the events of the day was made up of representatives from different organizations, with the task of drawing up a program that would revolve around the monument to Rafael de Casanova. It is quite surprising to see the amount of choral societies that went to the monument during the day, usually for the purpose of leaving a floral wreath, while others chose to sing. The Barceloneta was once again present with the participation of Les Gavines and the Orfeó Llevant, who performed the Hymn to Catalonia by Sabater and the Cant del Poble (Song of the People) by Amadeu Vives.29 Two years later, the same two choirs would participate once again on the same occasion. That time, however, the Orfeó de Llevant changed locations,

On their return from their Pentecost outing, members of choral societies parade with foodstuffs hanging off their clothes. SOURCE: ARCHIVE OF THE COORDINATOR OF BARCELONETA CHORAL GROUPS.

going instead to the Fossar de les Moreres (Cemetery of the Mulberry Trees) where, together with La Violeta de Clavé they performed Els Segadors (The Harvesters) and L’Emigrant, a piece “that the crowd warmly applauded.”30 This bond between various Barceloneta choral societies and political Catalan nationalism did not end there. The fact that the president of Les Gavines, Josep Tomàs i Piera,31 belonged to Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (the Republican Left of Catalonia) allows us to observe a few unusual scenes. The first took place on February 27, 1934, when the Mayor of Barcelona was paid a visit by the society’s board.32 Two years later, on March 19, 1936, they were to visit the Generalitat, the Catalan governmental palace. That time the entire choir went and was received by President Lluís Companys, with the children performing Els Segadors. Afterwards, the president of the society and professors Estivill and August closed the event by offering Companys a bouquet of red carnations.33 Besides these more explicitly political activities, the choral societies continued to participate in those of a more social nature. Here we might include the festival organized by the Municipal Assistance Committee of District I, “made up of all political factions”,34 in benefit of the district’s poor. Held in the tent ceded by the Ateneu Pi i Margall and raised in Francesc Magrinyà Square in the Barceloneta, it featured the participation of the Barceloneta choral societies La Perla, Orfeó Llevant and Les Gavines, amongst others. There was also the event organized by the children’s mutual members section (Els Petits Mutualistes) of the Federation of the Catalan Societies of Mutual Support held in the Palau Nacional (National Palace) “in honour of their youngest associates.”35 Another participant was the children’s association Agrupació Infantil Gavines i Gavots36 of the Bar-


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celoneta, under the direction of Josep Taxes. Finally we might refer to the event organized on June 21, 1936, in the Gràcia neighbourhood, with the aim of increasing support for a fund to provide lifetime pensions to the elderly in the community.37 The event, which was fully programmed, included a “session of danceable music with mass appeal”38 as performed by Les Gavines children’s dance troupe, and which was broadcast by Radio Barcelona. With the beginning of the Civil War after the military coup, it was the Les Gavines choral society that made the greatest effort in defending the project of the popular front. An example would be its participation in a benefit festival in support of a fund for the Central Committee of AntiFascist Militias that was organized on Sunday, September 20, 1936, by the Gràcia E. C. sports club, and held at the Guinardó football stadium. The activities, which lasted throughout the day, began at 10 o’clock in the morning with “concerts of Folklore and popular music”39 by the Federation of Folklore Organizations of Catalonia with the collaboration of other institutions. On the same day, the Sarrià Worker’s Centre organized a festival in support of the Anti-Fascist Militias.40 Les Gavines participated in this same festival, sharing the stage with other groups. The period of the Republic thus ended in the same way as it had began, with the Catalan choral movement giving its support to the Republic, now at war with Fascism. Building a New Choral Movement between Fascist Instrumentalization and Independence The fascist victory in 1939 meant the end of the Catalan choral societies, whether grouped together in the recently founded Federation of Clavé Choirs and Choral Groups or acting on independently of it, as was the

case with the humoristic choral societies, amongst others. In the month of January, the Franco authorities closed down the Federation of Clavé Choirs and Choral Groups, and with this closure the united initiative of Clavé, long desired and so diligently worked for, was cut short, meaning the sudden end of the two hundred choral societies that had belonged to it. This shut-down responded to official ruling 6.001, which stated that the civil governor of the province of Barcelona orders that “the reorganization of said organization is suspended as long as the purging is yet to be completed.”41 It took until November 3, 1950 for the Spanish state to legalize the Federation of Clavé Choirs once again, and then only under the control of the Syndicated Organization of Education and Leisure. Before this, however, some choirs had restarted their activity, with the limitations of the period present, such as with the Censorship Decree of March 27, 1939, which took out of circulation the works of writers and translators who had been condemned to die or had gone into exile. One of the pieces affected by the censorship was (to give an example) the biography of Josep Anselm Clavé, written by Josep Lleopart.42 In any case, the revival of this complex web of societies would take place slowly, for as historian Pierre Vilar has observed, “if profound crises cause social unrest, prolonged crises wear out all kinds of energies.”43 Furthermore, as the anthropologists Joan Prat and Jesús Contreras have pointed out,44 the rupture brought on by the Fascist uprising was one of the two factors leading to the decadence of what we call the traditional and/or popular, since the “instauration by force of a political-administrative apparatus, which amongst other things automatically meant the suppression of institutions representing the Catalan nationality”,45 had the twin goal of eliminating both

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the expressions most strongly pertaining to the overall body of popular classes and to the different nations making up the Spanish state. The other factor, the process of industrial development, had even earlier been causing “a progressive homogenization or uniformity of models of consumption ... models of behaviour within the family unit in different places and media, and relationships between individuals: workplace behaviour, use of leisure, appreciation and spread of access to school education”,46 all of which had begun to cause these cultural patterns to shift. The recovery of the Claverian movement in the Barceloneta during the first years of the Franco government thus was directly conditioned by the political regime itself, as the choirs participated in initiatives organized with the idea of instrumentalizing them for political benefit. These events focussed on expressions of Catalan popular culture that appeared to be more easily assimilated, while “strategically leaving aside their Republican and revolutionary origin so as to put greater emphasis on aspects related to workers’ syndicates and songs like Glory to Spain.”47 In this way they were restricted to participation in the caramelles competitions organized by the Syndicated Organization of Education and Leisure48 or the City of Barcelona on Holy Saturday, or to collaborating on the occasion of the centenary of the first choir festival in 1850, in events planned by City Hall and organized by an Official Commission comprised of individuals representing the network of associations in the neighbourhood, together with others belonging to the Falange. The Els Pescadors choral society, which had reorganized itself just a year earlier, participated with the performance of Cant a la Vinya (Song to the Vineyards) and Les flors de maig (The May Flowers).49


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In the 1980s, the Humoristic Choir All i Oli has their photograph taken in front of their centre, with the group banner proudly displayed. SOURCE: ARCHIVE OF THE COORDINATOR OF BARCELONETA CHORAL GROUPS.

This straightjacketing of the Federation of Clavé Choirs would change over time, as it became more clearly aligned with the dominant National Catholicism of the time. An indication of this historically unique shift can be seen with the strengthening of ties to the Church. The activities related to the Catholic Church that most stand out were the Gatherings at Montserrat, which became annual events that the Claverian choral societies could not miss. Even so, the most explicit collaboration of the Claverian choral societies with the fascist regime was their participation in a few events meant to welcome the head of state and of the government Francisco Franco. On May 13, 1960, they had planned to send out an expedition from the Federation of Clavé Choirs to Portugal, though “circumstances of national interest,”50 that is, the arrival of “His Excellency the Head of State General

Franco and of the Government of the Nation”51 made them change their minds and postpone the trip. They held that it was better to stay in Barcelona to deal with “any order that could come to us related to rendering homage to the General.”52 The order did indeed come, and on the night of May 21 they responded “with the greatest of success ... gathering five thousand choir members together in the historical Plaza de San Jaime to perform Glory to Spain.”53 The second incident took place in June, 1966. The reception took place at the entrance to Barcelona on the Diagonal, at the Pedralbes Palace. After a long wait in the sun, the dictator finally arrived and the choir, ready for their moment, performed L’Empordà. When they finished, the general clasped his hands together in appreciation as the singers’ waved their traditional Catalan hats in the air.54 During the years of the Franco dictatorship the presence of humoristic

choral societies also diminished. As they were accustomed to seeing all aspects of life from a critically mocking perspective, it took them longer to be revived, and the process was more difficult than for the choirs rooted in the Claverian tradition. Those that did try to stay active had to put up with the intromissions of a regime that had chosen to take control over any grassroots initiative in order to stretch out its own lifespan. The Els Tranquils choral society ended up being the subject of an investigation whose final report from September 17, 1949, stated that “it is a choir, which although at this time has a board of directors that is not known to be politically active, meets in a place known as Bar “MANEL” that does not have a very fine reputation in the moral sense and in the political sense, having clients from amongst the people of the port and fishermen, the majority being undesirable types who do not agree with the Regime, so that the Choir in question is not


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particularly trustworthy and perhaps in the future will be the pretext for the organization of any kind of activity, given the type of people associating there.”55 So that in spite of not being able to accuse the members of Els Tranquils of anything in particular, the report raises a shadow of suspicion over them, their usual meeting place and those sharing it with them for the simple fact of being “people from the port and fishermen” (we might wonder what was to be expected from a bar in the Barceloneta), who without any proof were mostly considered to be “undesirable types who do not agree with the Regime”. This is a clear sign of the persecution and vulnerability of its citizens, and helps to explain the prudence with which the humoristic choral societies sought to revive their activities.

The Revival of the Choral Movement in the Barceloneta On November 20, 1975 Spanish head of state Francisco Franco died. After a short period of convulsion, the regime began a timid reformation process while the working class movements took to the streets together to call for freedom(s). The joyful burst of the masses, calling out for what they had long desired, spread throughout the country; in the Barceloneta neighbourhood as well the choral societies, under the direction of new individuals and social agents, took it upon themselves to rebuild the infrastructure of associations they had previously been part of. The previous network had been made up of centres (known as ateneus in Catalan) and clubs for the general population, workers, Republicans and Catalanists who “had become the veri-

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table leaders of the civil and cultural uprising in Catalonia since the end of the 19th century”, being recognized as “a fundamental expression of mass identity upon which the cultural life of the country was organized.”56 As is well known, amongst the main factors in this awakening were the neighbourhood associations, having not only worked for the improvement of daily reality in close proximity in difficult times, but who at that time, with the death of Franco, had taken a degree of political initiative by calling the first demonstration for political amnesty.57 They also involved themselves in the revival of the historical network of Catalan associations independent from political power when it came to setting holidays. In the case of the Barceloneta Neighbourhood Association, one of the main tasks undertaken was

At the end of the 1970s, the Lozano family, members of the Humoristic Choral Society Els Afortunats, dressed up to parade through the neighbourhood. SOURCE: POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION OF THE BARCELONETA.


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to revive the choral societies, an effort that focussed on the creation of two choirs meant to join those that had been revived even under the Franco regime. These new choirs were the Coral Gavina, the first mixed gender choir in the Barceloneta in over a hundred years, and the Rosa dels Vents, a children’s choir which would immediately have sixty participating members. If this was what community members organized in the neighbourhood association were up to, those outside of that association would prove to be equally active. Little by little, the number of humorous choral societies grew as well, reviving Pentecost as their main festive event with the new name of the Choir Festival. In any case, some of what we might call the fundamental characteristics of the humorous choral societies were still changing. What had once been one of the identifying

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features of these organizations, namely their humorous choral pieces, had been driven into silence after forty years of dictatorship; such songs had disappeared from festive events, and were no longer considered essential features of them. If anyone wanted their humoristic choral society to sing something, they would have to look back into the past to revive practices that had been dampened by sheer force. Apart from this activity, once the festivity had been reawakened, little by little some of the traditions were modified as well, being adapted to the interests of new participants and social demands. Thus in 1993, for example, a group of women took the initiative to do away with their decidedly secondary role so as to become active participants in the festivities, creating the first of many female choral societies, La Sirena. That said, not everyone has looked favour-

ably upon these and other changes of recent years. This is because the choral movement in the Barceloneta has a mass, working class following that is not the case with many of the festive events in Catalonia. It is precisely because it is alive and that residents claim it as their own that the Choir Festival enlivens emotions and arouses debate amongst those who, being so deeply involved, might fear that any changes will end up killing it off, in spite of apparently being so widely successful. n

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Amades, Joan (1984). Costumari català. Barcelona: Edicions Salvat. Ayats i Abeyà, Jaume (2009). Cantar a la fàbrica, cantar al coro. Cors obrers a la conca mitjana del Ter. Barcelona: Eumo Editorial. Carbonell, Jaume (2000). Josep Anselm Clavé i el naixement del cant coral a Catalunya (18501874). Capellades: Edicions Galerada. Carbonell i Guberna, Jaume (2007). La societat coral Euterpe fundada per Clavé. El Prat de Llobregat: Rúbrica Editorial. Delgado, Manuel (1992). La festa a Catalunya avui. Capellades: Editorial Barcanova, SA. García Balañà, Albert (1996). “Ordre industrial i transformació cultural a la Catalunya de mitjans segle XIX: a propòsit de Joseph Anselm Clavé i l’associacionisme coral”. In Recerques, no. 33. Ethnography of Public Space Research Group, Catalan Institute of Anthropology, Manuel Delgado, coordinator (2003). Carrer, festa i revolta. Els usos simbòlics de l’espai públic a Barcelona (1951-2000). Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura.

Larrea, Quim, ed. (2004). Celebració del ¼ de mil·leni de la Barceloneta (1753-2003). Barcelona: Port Authority of Barcelona with the support of Foment Ciutat Vella. Lleonart, Josep (1937). Josep Anselm Clavé. Barcelona. Editorial Barcino. Martí, Josep. El Folklorismo (1996). Uso y abuso de la tradición. Barcelona: Editorial Ronsel. Prat, Joan and Contreras, Jesús (1984). Les festes populars. Barcelona: La Llar del Llibre. Serra i Puig, Eva (1974). “Un programa de cultura popular”, Serra d’Or, December. Solé i Sabaté, Josep Maria and Villarroya, Joan (1993). Cronologia de la repressió de la llengua i la cultura catalanes (1936-1975). Barcelona: Curial Edicions Catalanes. Soler i Amigó, Joan, director (2005-2008). Tradicionari: enciclopèdia de la cultura popular de Catalunya. Barcelona: Enciclopèdia Catalana and Generalitat de Catalunya. V. 7. Vilar, Pierre (1995). Introducció a la història de Catalunya, Barcelona: Edicions 62.

Vinyes, Ricard (1989). La presència ignorada. La cultura comunista a Catalunya (18401931). Barcelona: Edicions 62. Press El Metrónomo La Vanguardia La Aurora Archives Consulted Archive of the Coordinator of Choral Groups of the Barceloneta Archive of the Federation of Clavé Choirs Archive of the Govern Civil de Barcelona Municipal Archive of the District of Ciutat Vella Municipal Archive of the District of Gràcia Popular Archive of the Barceloneta


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NOTES 1 Països Catalans, a term describing the Catalanspeaking territories of Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Andorra and the southern French region of Roussillon (Translator’s note).

17 Carbonell i Guberna, Jaume Josep Anselm Clavé i el naixement del cant coral a Catalunya (1850-1874). Capellades: Edicions Galerada, 2000, p. 573.

2 Vinyes, Ricard La presència ignorada. La cultura comunista a Catalunya (1840-1931). Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1989, p. 89.

18 La Vanguardia, July 24, 1882, p. 3.

3 Idem. 4 Albert García Balañà, “Ordre industrial i transformació cultural a la Catalunya de mitjans segle XIX: a propòsit de Joseph Anselm Clavé i l’associacionisme coral”, in Recerques (1996), no. 33, p. 122. 5 Eva Serra i Puig, “Un programa de cultura popular”, in Serra d’Or, December 1974, p. 75. 6 Two of the most interesting and contrasting interpretations of the meaning of the choral societies conceived by Clavé are found in Garcia Balañà, op. cit., and Vinyes, op. cit.

44 Prat, Joan and Contreras, Jesús Les festes populars. Barcelona: La Llar del Llibre, 1984.

20 La Vanguardia, April 7, 1895, p. 7.

45 Ibid., pp. 135-138.

21 La Vanguardia, August 14, 1902, pp. 2-3.

46 Idem.

22 Statutes of the Agrupació Choral Humorística El Ganxo.

47 Joan Soler i Amigó, director, Tradicionari: enciclopèdia de la cultura popular de Catalunya, Barcelona Enciclopèdia Catalana and Generalitat de Catalunya, 2005-2008, v. 7, p. 62.

23 Carbonell i Guberna, Jaume La societat coral Euterpe fundada per Clavé. El Prat de Llobregat: Rúbrica Editorial, 2007, p. 46. 24 La Vanguardia, December 13, 1932, p. 10. 25 La Aurora, March 1933, Year XLVI, no. 3, pp. 3-4. 26 Idem. 27 La Vanguardia, April 26, 1932, p. 6.

8 El Metrónomo, no. 8, March 1, 1863, p.2.

31 Josep Tomàs i Piera (Barcelona 1900 – Guadalajara, Mexico, 1976). Trained as a lawyer, he joined Acció Catalana, a political party emerging out of the Lliga Regionalista on the initiative of its young intellectuals, who were disappointed with the party of Francesc Cambó. Tomàs i Piera participated in the local section of the Barceloneta, which was officially presented in March 1923 with the name Joventut Nacionalista de la Barceloneta. Finally, he would end up as a member of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), a party he would be elected to the Spanish Congress for in 1933 and 1936. He would be Minister of Work, Health and Social Prevision and Vice-President of the Congress in the government of Largo Caballero in September, 1936.

10 The inclusion of the steam-powered engine in industrial processes led to the prohibition of factories inside the city walls due to the dangers they could bring with them. The Barceloneta, which was outside the walls, thus became one of the areas chosen to place factories with the new technology, given that it was near the city and the port. Besides this, the train line from Mataró crossed just above the maritime neighbourhood. 11 Idem. 12 Research Group in Ethnography of Public Spaces, Catalan Institute of Anthropology, Manuel Delgado, coordinator, Carrer, festa i revolta. Els usos simbòlics de l’espai públic a Barcelona (1951-2000). Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura, 2003, p. 54. 13 Amades, Joan Costumari català. Barcelona: Edicions Salvat, 1984, pp. 879-880. 14 Delgado, Manuel La festa a Catalunya avui. Capellades: Editorial Barcanova, SA, 1992, pp. 39-40. 15 El Metrónomo, no. 28, July 19, 1863, p. 4.

28 Popular Archive of the Barceloneta, box 012. 29 La Vanguardia, September 10, 1932, p. 5. 30 La Vanguardia, September 12, 1934, pp. 4-5.

48 The Caramelles Contest that had begun during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and was maintained during the Second Republic was cut short during the Civil War, to be picked up again by the Syndicated Organization of Education and Leisure in 1943. 49 La Vanguardia, August 25, 1950, p. 10. 50 La Aurora, July 1960, p. 3. 51 Idem. 52 Idem. 53 Idem. 54 La Vanguardia, June 23, 1966, p. 7. 55 Archive of the Civil Government of Barcelona, Registry no. 6542. 56 Solé i Sabaté, Josep Maria and Villarroya, Joan Cronologia de la repressió de la llengua i la cultura catalanes (1936-1975), Barcelona: Curial Edicions Catalanes, 1993, p. 26. 57 On Saturday, February 1, 1976, the Assembly of Catalonia, the unified Anti-Franco political institution in Catalonia, used the legal coverage and hard-won prestige of the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona to call a demonstration in the centre of Barcelona, with the support of thousands of people.

32 La Aurora, July 1934, Year XLVII, no. 7. 33 La Vanguardia, March 20, 1936, p. 6. 34 La Vanguardia, September 28, 1934, p. 6. 35 La Vanguardia, September 29, 1934, p. 7. 36 Gavines and Gavots could be the name given to the children’s section of Les Gavines, although at times it is also called the Children’s Section of Les Gavines. 37 La Vanguardia, June 7, 1936, p. 9. 38 La Vanguardia, June 21, 1936, p. 11. 39 La Vanguardia, September 18, 1936, p. 6. 40 La Vanguardia, September 20, 1936, p. 6. 41 Solé i Sabaté, Josep Maria and Villarroya, Joan Cronologia de la repressió de la llengua i la cultura catalanes (1936-1975). Barcelona: Curial Edicions Catalanes, 1993, p. 84.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no. 34 year 2009) & (no. 37 year 2010) under the title Els cors a la Barceloneta and Els cors de la Barceloneta. De les societats corals claverianes als cors muts : reconstrucció de la intervenció social de la pràctica coral.

16 Quim Larrea, coordinator, Celebració del ¼ de mil·lenni de la Barceloneta (1753-2003), Port Authority of Barcelona with the support of Foment Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, 2004, p. 43.

43 Vilar, Pierre Introducció a la història de Catalunya. Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1995, p. 13.

19 La Vanguardia, December 21, 1884, p. 5.

7 Under the auspices of the City of Barcelona, which did not look favourably on the transformational project of Clavé, Joan and Pere Tolosa founded the Orfeó Català (1853), with a more conservative social proposal that was closer to the mindset of the authorities.

9 Caramelles is the term given to the choral singing of popular religious songs during Easter, with the choirs often going door to door (Translator’s note).

42 Lleonart, Josep Josep Anselm Clavé. Barcelona: Editorial Barcino, 1937.


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Islamic Rituals in Diaspora: Muslim Communities in Catalonia Introduction1 In the already abundant academic literature on Muslim communities in Europe, the study of Islamic rituality has been quite modest compared to other subjects that have gradually been examined in recent years (such as the institutionalisation of Islam, the issue of leadership within these groups and their expressions of identity). The importance given to some topics shows how European societies continue to think about their Muslim populations,

many of which are still linked to recent immigration. Unlike external aspects that supposedly identify these populations, rituality is considered something experienced within scarcely visible community settings. Moreover, if we conceptualise this rituality starting with the assumption that one of the keystones of modernisation is the rise of individualism and a resulting deritualisation, understood as a desire to give up ceremonies of collective consecration, we end up accepting as a lesser

Marta Alonso Cabré She has degrees in Art History and Social Anthropology from the University of Barcelona, and has a DEA (Diploma in Advanced Studies) in Social Anthropology. She is currently working on her doctorate in Social Anthropology at the UB, with the PhD thesis entitled Help Your Own Whether They’re Right or Not: the Diya in Contemporary Mauritania.

Khalid Ghali Bada He has degrees in Psychology, Social Anthropology, Audiovisual Communication, and Advertising and Public Relations. He is currently a psychologist at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona and a social worker for the City of Barcelona. He researches in transcultural psychiatry and anthropology, and has participated as a researcher in various projects related to Islam in Catalonia.

Alberto López Bargados An anthropologist, he is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. He has written various books on the Sahara (Arenas coloniales (Colonial Sands), 2003; Culturas del litoral (Coastal Cultures), with Jesús Martínez Milán, 2010). In Catalonia he has participated in various research projects on Islamic rituals and on the presence of anti-Muslim behaviour and discourses in Catalonia.

This article analyses Islamic rituals in Catalonia (Spain), such as Ramadan’s fasting or the Feast of the Sacrifice (Id al-Adha). In a context of diaspora, these rituals tend to be redefined and recontextualised, as collective ritual expressions that reflect how Muslims try to find its place in European societies. According to Baumann (1992), we want to stress the connective component included in these rituals to embrace people and issues that do not nominally belong to the group. Inside plural societies, the expression of rituals is part of the search for public recognition. Aquest article analitza els rituals islàmics a Catalunya, tals com el dejuni del mes sagrat del Ramadà o la Festa del Sacrifici (Id al-Adha). En un context de diàspora, aquests rituals tendeixen a ser redefinits i recontextualitzats com rituals i expressions col·lectives que reflecteixen els intents dels musulmans de trobar el seu lloc en les societats europees. Segons Baumann (1992), volem accentuar el component de connexió inclòs en aquests rituals per tal de vincular abraçar gent i esdeveniments que no pertanyen nominalment al grup musulmà. En el marc de les societats plurals, l’expressió dels rituals és una part de l’intent de cercar el reconeixement públic

Jordi Moreras Palenzuela He’s a Professor in the of Anthropology at the Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona. He is the author of Musulmanes en Barcelona: espacios y dinámicas comunitarias (Muslims in Barcelona: Spaces and Community Dynamics, 1999), Els imams de Catalunya (The Imams of Catalonia, 2008), Una mesquita al barri (A Mosque in the Neighbourhood, 2009) and Espais de mort i diversitat religiosa: la presència de l’islam als cementiris i tanatoris catalans (Spaces of Death and Religious Diversity: The Presence of Islam in Catalan Cemeteries and Funeral Homes, 2014), written with Ariadna Solé.

Ariadna Solé Arraràs She has degrees in History and in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Barcelona, and a postgraduate degree in Citizenship and Immigration: Management of Cultural Diversity, from the Pompeu Fabra University. She is currently working on her PhD in Social Anthropology at the UB, with a doctoral thesis entitled Rituals funeraris transnacionals entre Senegal i Catalunya (Transnational Funerary Rituals between Senegal and Catalonia).

Keywords: Muslims, Islamic rituals, diaspora Paraules clau: Musulmans, rituals islàmics, diàspora


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evil the transformation of rituals into a private and intimate affair, confined within particular groups. This study takes a different approach: first, we understand that rituals continue to have many of the classic features that have been highlighted in the abundant literature on the anthropology of ritual, but since they were further developed in a Diaspora,2 they tend to be redefined and recontextualised. The interpretation that must be made of these ritual expressions goes beyond the reproduction of what belonged to an original situation (meaning the way they are celebrated where Islam is clearly in the majority) and understands ritual as a mirror reflecting a diverse group that has already been gradually adapting to European societies for several decades. According to this argument, we then stress the connective component included in these rituals to embrace people and areas that do not nominally belong to the group. Thus, we apply Baumann’s arguments (1992) that in plural societies, the expression of rituals is part of the search for public recognition. Research has shown us examples of how Islamic group rituals such as the breaking of the fast during the month of Ramadan or the Feast of the Sacrifice (Id al-Adha) increasingly relate to parts of the Catalan population, which are invited by the local Muslim communities to participate in them. The rituals extend their festive nature beyond the boundaries that define the group to involve other actors in the specific local context, seeking recognition for them. The study of rituality goes beyond quantifying a specific community’s degree of religious observance.3 We have noticed community affluence when celebrating festive rituality without going into speculation about their level of religiosity or about whether or not keeping up these ritualities fit with the parameters of the narrow and demanding path towards

(dis)integration proposed within Catalan society with regard to these groups.4 Separating the subjects of belief and religious practice in terms of method by viewing their relationship as very far from mechanical, as one would like, we understand that analysing festive rituality allows us to grasp some of the dynamics that characterise Muslims groups in Catalonia today. Through ritual, we may observe a community characterised by an endemic insecurity of resources, social invisibility that makes recognising it difficult, organisational fragility and a lack of doctrinal leadership, as well as doctrinal dispersion that accentuates its external dependence. Moreover, in a context of growing social reactivity to outward expressions of Islamic religiosity in both individual and group settings, rituals become highly assertive declarations of identity, meaning a kind of “business card” announcing a group’s desire to continue celebrating its cohesive practices while also starting to open the connective dimension to involve other spheres and people beyond their community’s limes. Ramadan as an Ephemeral Metaphor of Community The ninth month of the Muslim Hijri Calendar, Ramadan is considered the “holy month”, the best one for expressing religious devotion, since it was the month when the entire text of the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This is why it occupies a central place in the Islamic festive calendar, partially because it ends with one of the two most important festivals, Id al-Fitr, or the breaking of the fast. The practice of mandatory fasting related to this period is probably the Islamic religious observance that is most famous to non-Muslims.

Various studies indicate that the percentage of observance of the fast during Ramadan is high, which is explained by the highly social and communal aspect it takes on during this festive period.

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Moments of communal recreation that take place during this period, which stress relational and family-linked aspects, become particularly important in Diaspora contexts. This is the chance to express social co-existence and to share with the cultural group of reference their daily determination and spaces instituted as their own ordered around a religious principle, differentiated from times and spaces that belong to Western society. Compared to the Gregorian calendar used in Western Europe, Ramadan is an exceptional time that develops in a context also understood as exceptional. That is why it appears to us as a singular moment in which to observe how different forms of understanding what it is to be a Muslim are expressed in a non-Muslim context. It is a time when it can be observed how social, cultural and religious references of origin are recovered (partially, ideally, by reifying them and contextualising them). Therefore, it is a good time to analyse how the limits of the communal bond are defined and redefined, both on the local and global scale (with the entire Muslim Umma), as well as with regard to the distance and/or proximity established vis-à-vis Western society. Given its exceptional and cyclical nature, Ramadan is a time of socialisation and initiation for the young (who perform their first fasts by imitating adults), but it is also a time of atonement for adults, who seek to expiate their spiritual sins and social offences. In both senses, Ramadan is a time for sublimating religious practices into a host of supplementary practices accompanying the orthodox requirement to fast), i’tikaf (or seclusion in the mosque during the month, especially in the last ten days) and expanding the fast to begin one week before the start of Ramadan and to stop one week after it ends. An individual’s enthusi-


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asm for observing these supplementary and recommended practices (mustahabb, not mandatory but deserving of reward, or ajr) may sometimes indicate a pious character.5 Beyond its doctrinal and co-existence-related dimensions, the celebration of Ramadan in Catalonia in recent years has also been taking on a relational component connected to the gradual external dimension adopted by this set of ritualities. The group celebration of iftar, or daily breaks in fasting organised by local communities, where policymakers, civil society representatives and all other citizens are invited, has become publicly known to the point of becoming something common. These new liturgies –interpreted by the political class and many citizens in multicultural and not religious terms– are beginning to be identified as evidence of willingness of these groups to open up to Catalan society. Ashura, the Annual Ritual of the Shia Community Ashura is the most important ritual for Shia Muslims. It takes place on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month in the Muslim calendar, and commemorates the death of Hussein in Karbala in 680 AD. The son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad, Hussein was the initiator of Shia Islam and therefore of the great rift between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Despite the doctrinal differences that separate them, Ashura expresses the greatest discrepancy existing between Shia and Sunnis in ritualistic terms. It seems that the date of Ashura is historically of Jewish origin, when it was a day of fasting and expiation, a custom adopted by Islam. Some Sunnis commemorate the 10th day of Muharram with voluntary fasting during the day followed by a family meal in order to recall Noah’s abandonment of the Ark, as well as Moses’ salvation thanks to God’s intervention against the Egyptians. This

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fast is understood as recommended, but not mandatory. In addition, the Shia evoke the martyrdom of Hussein. The colour black is worn by most participating in the Shia ritual and weeping and self-flagellation are common. The faithful embody a procession in which they sing litanies and may beat themselves rhythmically on the chest with one hand and then the other. When the march ends, it leads to a prayer accompanied by speeches referring to martyrdom, read by members of the community. While listening to these speeches, some in the audience often externalise their

mourning and empathy for the martyr with tears and sobbing. Next, the faithful eat together. The repetition of music, gestures and themes is constant during the celebration. Due to its spectacular nature, the celebration of Ashura is often depicted graphically by international media outlets. In Catalonia, Ashura has been celebrated since 2004, organised by the Al-Qaim Cultural Association located in the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina in Barcelona. The mourning and self-flagellation carried out during the procession that brings together members of the small Shia community in

Announcement of the Feast of the Sacrifice in the Tariq ibn Ziad Mosque (Barcelona, 2007). MARTA ALONSO


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the city (mostly of Pakistani origin) have been a subject of controversy among neighbours, who have forced Barcelona City Council to agree with the community on the conditions for the celebration. Nevertheless, the unique nature of this event continues to establish a strong contrast in the public space, not so much because of its meaning, but because of the threefold combination of ritualistic gesturing, collective weeping and self-flagellation. Voluntary bleeding as a testament of mourning to Hussein’s martyrdom disappears from the ceremony as a condition imposed by Barcelona City Council to avoid the worldwide reproduction of images that have a strong impact on Western consciousness, which is increasingly hostile to any form of voluntary bloodshed. This criticism of ostentatious violence, whether self-inflicted or practiced upon other objects, also seems to be present in the reactions provoked by the Feast of the Sacrifice, as we will see below.

Id al-Adha, or Sacrifice Faced with Deritualisation Inevitably associated with the month of pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), Muslim tradition says that believers all over the world must conduct their own replica of sacrifice as part of the hajj, which pilgrims perform on the 10th day in Mina, where each immolates a sheep to commemorate the founding sacrifice of Ibrahim/Abraham. A central act in the symbolic Muslim universe, the ecumenical nature of this ritual in the Islamic countries is evidence that may be noted wherever a Muslim family or community is located. The diversity of names given to this festival (Id al-Adha, Id al-Kabir, Tabaski, Qurbani, or simply the Feast of the Sacrifice) underscores its extension and generalisation.

During this celebration, sacrifice and commensality appear linked, which allows us to understand the importance of the Id festival within the heart of the Umma. It is a personal act of faith par excellence, since the person both offering and performing sacrifice is preferably

Id al-Fitr (Trinitat Vella Pavillion), 20 September 2009. JORDI MORERAS

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the same (except in the possible case of collective sacrifice, normally of a camel or cow, or when the person offering the sacrifice recognises his or her incompetence or inability to carry out the sacrifice). Moreover, sociability is part of the process of sharing the meat of the Id, a true driver of a festive atmosphere that in the contexts of the Diaspora in Europe becomes an invaluable opportunity to (re)create an Islamic identity that is both abstract and emotive, meaning detached from the respective roots of each immigrant community. In Europe, however, the performance of ritual Muslim sacrifice must overcome the challenges of fitting a minority ritual practice with its own dynamics and inertia into a social structure where the religious field presents constants highly different from those practiced by observers of the ritual, or at least are perceived as such by the other members of European societies. This is not simply a problem of accommodation by which Muslim immigrants and their descendants, possessing their


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own, exuberant religiosity, would have to adapt their particular way of understanding and practicing religion to the basic principles of individualised religious experience centred on the popular beliefs of modern or post-modern Europe, but a problem in conceptualising the place that “religion” should occupy in the social fabric. Thus, initiatives to “domesticate” the performance of this ritual by introducing hygiene-related concerns, to supervise that the sacrifice is carried out “in controlled sanitary conditions”, are significant. In recent years, various public Catalan institutions (Barcelona Provincial Council and the Government of Catalonia) have made different recommendations for the sacrifice to be performed according to the restrictions set by health laws. Therefore, the sacrifice ends up becoming a practice conducted in closed premises, like a slaughterhouse (where much more activity is observed than on other days), within the sector of production and emerging market for halal products. Two effects result from this practice: on one hand, the mercantile aspect is strengthened because each family acquires a sacrificed sheep (a situation that ends up inflating the price, which increases each year); on the other hand, delegating the act of slaughter to someone who is not the head of the family actively drains the ritual of meaning or at the very least gives it new meaning by eliminating the sacrificer’s emulation of the Prophet Abraham only to strengthen the aspects of eating together. Mawlid an-Nabi: Between Popular Devotion and Orthodox Revulsion The celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad is known by different names in the Muslim world. The word mawlid (mawlud or moulud) designates a birthday, by antonomasia that of the Prophet Muhammad. The 12th

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day of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal is the date generally admitted for celebrating Mawlid an-Nabi. Islam also celebrates the birth of other venerated figures of Islamic mysticism, which generate significant expressions of a popular Islam that is often questioned by proponents of doctrinal orthodoxy. Like Mawlid an-Nabi, their celebration leads to true pilgrimages (musem) that bring many people around the tomb of the venerated saint, where different activities are organised like dhikr (chanting sessions), readings from the Qur’an, group meals and donations to charity. However, this example of popular devotion is harshly criticised by more orthodox groups. From the Wahabbi perspective, which denies the mystical and esoteric dimension of Islam, Mawlid an-Nabi is rejected as an unacceptable innovation because it is interpreted as a kind of cult around the Prophet. More orthodox variations of Islam openly express their rejection of this holiday, which is significant in itself, given its popular nature, which involves parts of the Muslim community accustomed to relating with a heterodox and marginal religiosity, as in the case of women. We have centred the study of this holiday on two groups (Senegalese and Pakistani) that celebrated Muhammad’s birth with devotion. Among the Senegalese, especially those belonging to the Tijaniyya brotherhood, Mawlid is known as Gàmmu, a name taken from an old pre-Islamic celebration that took place shortly before the start of the rainy season. The Pakistanis call it Milad (an Urdu derivation of the Arabic term) and, as in the previous case, it was celebrated publicly in a space provided by the local authorities of Lleida and Barcelona, respectively. In both cases, the calendar was changed and the holiday was postponed a few days later than when it is held in its countries of origin in order to adapt it

to the break from business at the weekend. In summary, the celebrations turn into a series of recitations, speeches and songs of praise for the Prophet, which take place in an event that takes on a clearly festive dimension and where food is shared among those attending. In communal considerations of this celebration, it is interesting to observe how popular devotion is maintained as a principle of popular devotion transferred to the family sphere, despite the influence of orthodox criticism, expressed in Catalonia through two literalist doctrinal trends, Tabligh and Salafiyya. Conclusions: the Production of Rituals in Diaspora Throughout our research, we have been able to verify the validity of ritual practices within Muslim communities in Catalonia, questioning the assumption taken from the most conventional theories of modernisation suggesting that the secularising influence of Western society would entail the gradual abandonment of these rituals, practices that the first generation of Muslims that came to this society wanted to maintain as a means of remembering and strengthening their bond with their country of origin. We have been able to see that the various rituals that mark the holiday calendar of the Muslims of Catalonia involve not just the first generations, but all that come after. Young Catalan Muslims actively participate in these rituals, which they interpret as a way to stand before society and express a dual identity rather than solely referring to the society of their parents’ origin, which they often do not identify as their own. We have also noted the different types of reactions in Catalan society regarding a series of Islamic rituals that are beginning to become rather well known in the public sphere.

Due to what these expressions imply (as testaments to the validity of one of


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Ashura (Passeig Lluís Companys, Barcelona), 19 January 2008. KHALID GHALI

the main universal religious traditions in Catalonia), but also to what they represent (as an element that may help to guide and structure a heterogeneous group formed by people of different national and cultural origin), the active participation of representatives of the political class and civil society in these ritualised celebrations is prominent in its own right, full of new meanings and an intense symbolism (which is probably not always perceived by the public authorities). Finally, we appreciate that rituals bring order, but they also awaken internal discrepancies. Despite the “religious vitality” demonstrated by the Muslim communities of Catalonia in observing these festivities, we cannot speak of a homogenisation of meanings related to these ritual practices, and even less of unanimous observance that becomes the only way to enter the community. Considering the regenerative powers of communal bonds in ritualities instituted by human groups, one of

their main aims is to guarantee the reproduction of the group, establishing mechanisms of continuity in the time shared, strengthening socialisation and transmitting them to future generations at the same time. However, the main challenge that these practices must face come from processes of religious individualisation, which promote the recreation of the religious heritage that individuals received from their families, according to their criteria and life experiences. And yet young generations’ responses to this family-based socialisation (in addition to the one brought by the mosque), which is not shared in terms of content or orientation, involves the search for alternative spaces and readings regarding some religious principles that should link them more to the European society that raised them than to the society of their parents’ origin, which they sometimes view as strange.

This would be one of the main internal dynamics influencing the development of an effective religious socialisation practice. The second dynamic is external in origin and is related to the “absence of legitimacy” that this socialisation suffers in the eyes of European society, which continues to question families’ willingness to pass their cultural and religious values on to their children, since this is considered evidence of a lack of desire to integrate. Faced with a social context that is hardly understanding about this religious transmission (which logically contrasts with Muslim societies of origin), it becomes a private family choice with no correlation to the immediate social context (Dialmy, 2007). Within this environment, the family as a social institution is seen as conditioned by its inability to pass on content that helps to define socially acceptable membership, which leads it to focus its efforts on developing senses


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of belonging that are only communityoriented. Community-based initiatives to ensure (or complement) this socialisation are limited by two conditions. The first is the absence of economic or symbolic resources or of social and political influence to transform the lack of social legitimacy of this practice, setting up initiatives and spaces to carry out religious transmission in a dignified way and according to the willingness to maintain the communal bond. The second shows that transplanting and reproducing Islamic ritual practices have led to wear and erosion regarding their form and content. In her study in Islamic rituals of birth, circumcision, marriage and death among Muslim groups in the Netherlands, Nathal Dessing (2001) argues that celebrating these ritual practices in a social context that continues to actively question them means a loss of competence for ritual actors as well as a reduction in ritual redundancy. In other words, the rituals are becoming simplified, gradually losing part of their content, and increasingly showing less diversity, at least with regard to what was appropriate in countries of origin, perhaps due to the very reification to which they are subjected once they are updated within a context suspicious of any ritual effusiveness. In fact, Dessing’s argument is related to this idea of

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“emptying ritual substance” that European societies seem to impose upon Muslim communities, an idea exposed by Mohamed H. Benkheira (1998) according to which such an imposition suggests that “integration takes place not through politics (meaning through the place taken by individuals in the polis), but through the very substance of those individuals”, so that the process to incorporate Muslims in Europe is implicitly understood as deritualisation. The assumption behind these arguments is the idea that Muslim groups will integrate into secular Europe better if they abandon the (public) observance of their religion. This is a premise that permeates a large part of political interests (as well as of academia, it must be said) in relation to the evolution of these groups. In brief, the study of these rituals not only shows their regenerative ability to mobilise groups, produce religious enthusiasm and recreate identities: Islamic rituals in Catalonia are mechanisms established by these groups for the purpose of making a relational connection with Catalan society, expressing their own singularity along with their willingness to form part of it. n

NOTES: 1 This paper is a summary of the study “Diasporas and rituals: the festive calendar of the Muslims of Catalonia”, conducted as part of the Inventory of the Ethnological Heritage of Catalonia in 2007-2009, for which the CIDOB Foundation was hired. 2 More than a condition or a contingency resulting from the territorial displacement inherent in every migratory experience, the Diaspora is a construction built from the context where groups that have immigrated may think about their condition (strangers in this society and strangers in the society of origin), their continuity (in the form of identities that overcome the condition of perpetual transit, meaning postmigratory identities), as well as their relation to their origin (certainly idealised and temporarily rediscovered once or twice per year, whenever possible), but about which they also have opinions, which can occasionally take a bitter turn (Brah, 1996; Saint-Blancat, 1997). 3 Different sociological studies on Muslims in Europe have concluded that maintaining certain religious observances could help to establish a scale of the evolution of their social insertion. It has been asserted that maintaining certain observances (especially those with social connotations, such as the use of the hijab by women or the frequency of mosque visits) is detrimental to the assimilation of these populations, and vice versa (see Tribalat, 1995). Benkheira (1998) questions the implicit “emptying of ritual substance” that European societies impose on Muslim communities. 4 The fact that these celebrations prompt discussion within Catalan society is demonstrated by the various views covered in the press that we have aimed to collect and analyse during our fieldwork. 5 This enthusiasm is expressed by a sick person’s desire to continue fasting, for example (despite the orthodox recommendations against it and the problems this creates for the attending religious staff), or by boys and girls observing their first fast (which can also worry education professionals).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baumann, Gerd. «Ritual implicates ‘Others’: rereading Durkheim in a plural society». A: Daniel de Coppet (ed.); Understanding rituals. Londres, Routledge: 1992, pàg. 97-116. Benkheira, Mohamed H. «Peut-on intégrer l’islamsi on le vide de sa substance rituelle?». A: Islam de France, 1998, núm. 2, pàg. 42-49.

Dialmy, Abdesamad. «Belonging and Institution in islam». Social Compass, vol. 54 (1) (2007), pàg. 63-75. Saint-Blancat, Chantal. L’islam de la diàspora. París: Fayard Éditions, 1997. Tribalat, Michèle. Faire France. París: La Découverte, 1995.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no. 36. year 2010) under the title Rituals islàmics en diàspora. Les comunitats musulmanes a Catalunya.

Brah, Avtar. Cartographies of Diaspora. Contesting identities. Londres-Nova York: Routledge, 1996.

Dessing, Nathal M. Rituals of birth, circumcision, marriage, and death among Muslims in the Netherlands. Leiden: Peeters, 2001.


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This article seeks to contribute to the debate on the challenges the anthropology of violence poses to contemporary anthropology. Due to its special thematic, theoretical and methodological difficulties, the anthropology of violence can be considered a frontier territory in the discipline, where agreed ways of going about ethnography are being constantly questioned. The theoretical frameworks available turn out in many cases to be insufficient, the research strategies established must be subjected to substantial adjustments, the rhetoric used to express our analysis needs to be particularly self-reflexive, and the knowledge generated must be returned to society in more effective ways, ranging from the usual channels of publication and distribution to other, more flexible, ‘rapid response’ formats. Overall discussion of the general characteristics of the anthropology of violence is followed by an example: the research the author has been carrying out since 2003 into exhumations of Civil War mass graves in contemporary Spain. Aquest article pretén contribuir al debat sobre els reptes que l’antropologia de la violència planteja a l’antropologia contemporània. P er les seves especials dificultats temàtiques, teòriques i metodològiques, l’antropologia de la violència pot considerar- se un territori fronterer de la disciplina, en el qual es posen a prova contínuament els modes consensuats de fer etnografia. Els marcs teòrics disponibles ens resulten en molts casos insuficients, les estratègies d’investigació establertes han d’exposar-se a ajusts molt substancials, les retòriques amb què expressem l’anàlisi han de ser especialment autoreflexives, i la devolució a la societat del coneixement generat s’ha de fer més versàtil, des dels canals habituals de publicació i difusió fins a altres formats més àgils de «resposta ràpida». Després d’una discussió general sobre les característiques generals de l’antropologia de la violència de les últimes dècades, es posa com a exemple la investigació que l’autor està duent a terme des del 2003 a les exhumacions de les fosses comunes de la Guerra Civil, a l’Espanya contemporània.

Francisco Ferrándiz

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Centre for Human and Social Sciences (CCHS) Higher Science Research Council (CSIC) MADRID_SPAIN

Professor Francisco Ferrándiz is a full status research scientist at the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology (Instituto de Lengua, Literatura y Antropologia, ILLA), Centre for Human and Social Sciences (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CCHS), part of the Higher Science Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC). His fields of interest include cultural studies, popular religiosity, visual anthropology, medical anthropology, anthropology of the body and the anthropology of violence. His latest book (Anthropos, 2014) is “El pasado bajo tierra: Exhumaciones contemporáneas de la Guerra Civil” (The Past Below Ground: Contemporary Exhumations from the Spanish Civil War).

Ethnographies on the limit Ethnographic versatility and short-circuits before contemporary violence1

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n this text I shall defend ethnography as a weapon loaded for the future, a tool for research and analysis with a fruitful past and undeniable future possibilities, with great potential for the critical analysis of the changing circumstances of social and cultural reality, adapting to them with flexibility and rigour. A fundamental challenge for our discipline, as Gupta and Ferguson (1997) sustain, is the gradual reflexive and critical adjustment of traditional methods and subjects of anthropological study to a more and more complex reality that is global and interrelated, while being equally demanding (it must be said) of members of its own discipline and their analysts. Such an adaptation, for these same writers, requires a re-evaluation of the more or less formalized “hierarchy of purity” of habitual field sites, a re-evaluation that could be an opportunity to “reinvent the field”, both in terms of methodol-

ogy and location, of the anthropologist’s positition. That is, faced with the transformation of research scenarios, the constant and parallel innovation of the theoretical and methodological frameworks we are used to becomes essential, including the ways we imagine ethnographic scenarios, and strategies and documentation of the return on knowledge. Ethnography has enough resources, flexibility, and rigour to go along with these changes, not only maintaining its “family feel” but likewise enriching and broadening its social relevance. I will also defend the position that the anthropology of violence and the anthropology of social suffering Keywords: Violence, exhumations, common graves, ethnography of the conflict, Spanish civil war Paraules clau: Violència, exhumacions, fosses comunes, etnografia del conflicte, Guerra Civil Espanyola


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have raised their profile significantly in recent years. They are complex horizons of the field that, precisely for the specificity and for the nature and variety of the theoretical and methodological challenges they raise for us, are in a position to become “frontier territories” of contemporary anthropology. Perhaps because we are speaking of “limit ethnographies”, the study of violence and conflicts opens up new scenarios for research, requir-

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ing us to re-evaluate other more classic scenarios, setting out new types of problems, confronting us with social agents in sometimes extraordinary and extreme situations, questioning our rhetoric and our ethical commitments and encouraging new modes of interdisciplinarity. Along with this, we find ourselves questioning the terms and general conditions of debates concerning our methods, styles and repertoires of knowledge production. Just as some

Discrepancies over the visibility of scientific knowledge are relevant in the delimitation of ethnographic representation. A benevolent image, like the homage to a victim of the Civil War, is representative of the process of recovering historical memory. GETTY IMAGES

defend the persistence of modified or restricted modes of on-the-ground fieldwork as a basic “sign” of the discipline, we now find highly articulated defences of “the anthropology at a distance”, taking it as a legitimate way of placing the analytical lens over situations of extreme violence where it is impossible or highly unadvisable to be present on the ground, utilizing the comparative method and professional skill to articulate “anthropological versions” of situations we can merely get a glimpse at through the mass media (Robben, 2008). In this article, which is indebted to the important and now classic contribution of Nordstrom and Robben (1995), I will employ examples of my most recent fieldwork to make an evaluation of how some problems set out by the anthropology of violence and of social suffering might be useful in reflecting, from a more general framework, on the nature, limits and challenges of our work. General Considerations on Ethnography Let us begin with some general considerations on ethnography. Velasco and Díaz de Rada consider it a general methodological process that characterizes social anthropology, whose main “methodological situation” is fieldwork (1997). Hammersley and Atkinson, in contrast, understand ethnography as a “method or set of methods” of a fundamentally qualitative nature, where the ethnographer participates in the daily life of the people being studied. In their opinion, it would even be possible to speak of ethnography as “the most basic mode of social research”, since it is the most similar to life routine (1994). For Marcus and Fischer it is “a research process in which the anthropologist observes, records, and engages in the daily life of another culture...and then writes accounts of this culture, emphasizing descriptive detail” (1986). Pujadas points to two basic meanings


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of the term: as a product, generally written although on other occasions found in a visual registry; and, in contrast, as a process, based on fieldwork (2004). For Pujadas, ethnography is one side of the so-called anthropological triangle, constituted on the other two vertexes by contextualization and comparison. Bryman for his part notes that the concept of ethnography has sometimes come to be assimilated by the text, which is the final product of the entire research process (2001). From the perspective of qualitative sociology, Willis and Trondman suggest we might conceive ethnography as a “family of methods involving direct and sustained social contact with agents and of richly writing up the encounter, respecting,

FIELDWORK, THE DIFFERENTIATING FEATURE OF ETHNOGRAPHY, BECOMES EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANT IN THE STUDY OF VIOLENCE recording and representing at least partly in its own terms the irreducibility of human experience.” In their opening “Manifesto” for the journal Ethnography, these writers propose the following characteristics: the importance of theory as a precursor, medium, and outcome of ethnographic study and writing; the centrality of “culture” in the research process; and the necessity for a critical focus in the research and writing of ethnography (2000). Although we have already seen that there are certain research scenarios that, at least in some phases and for determined problems, make research in the field difficult and require strategies for “research at a distance” (Robben, 2008), all these writers agree that the “distinguishing mark” of ethnography involves the presence of the researcher

in the studied field; this presence quite logically carries with it a set of significant methodological consequences. An important characteristic of ethnology is that the researcher cannot control what is happening in the situation in the field chosen for the corresponding study, so that his or her presence ends up being fleeting. Another point in common amongst the mentioned thinkers is how they do not consider ethnography to be a closed research model, preferring to see it as “heterogeneous” like the objects of study it is applied to. For this reason, its practice puts the researcher in a position to utilize highly diverse techniques, adjusting and modulating the context of the study (Velasco and Díaz de Rada, 1997; Bernard, 1998). In this way it is an eclectic and reflexive practice that obliges the researcher to live out the research project within a kind of “methodological schizophrenia”, or in a state of “explicit awareness”, to use Spradley’s term (1980), or in some type of “widened perception” (Peacock, 1989, cited by Velasco and Díaz de Rada, 1997). If we accept that the main instrument of research is the researcher, this latter should ideally be able to live daily life like any one of his or her informants, taking up the social practices analyzed in his or her routine, and even in his or her own body (Esteban, 2004; Wacquant, 2004). This experience should then be connected to the questions guiding the research, the roles played in the field and the techniques employed at every given moment. Further to this, immersion in the field, especially when long-term, requires the ethnographer to develop and cultivate a type of specific attitude towards reality, something Atkinson (1990) and Willis (2000) call ethnographic imagination, according to which it is necessary to keep up a dual focus, permanently communicating a global perspective on the subjects and problems studies, and the restricted, daily contexts we work

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in (Hannerz, 1998). Or, as Eriksen titled his introductory book on the subject, it is a question of negotiating the tension between “small places”

FIELDWORK PUSHING TO THE LIMIT WILL PREDISPOSE THE ANTHROPOLOGIST TO BECOME PARTICULARLY CAUTIOUS and “large issues” (1995). In summary, I would like to emphasize that ethnography requires specific, in-depth training, and it is always emerging; it can be understood as a process where feedback dynamics are set up between theory and practice, reality and text, research design and changing situations, field scenarios and the application of research techniques, between the researcher’s position and that of informants, between the researchers and the readers of their texts, and so on. Researching Conflicts, Violence and Social Suffering I will now set out a series of problems related more specifically to the ethnographic research of conflicts, violence and social suffering. Anthropologists who have dedicated recent decades to these subjects seek metaphors and key words to characterize an evasive field, rife with dilemmas and trap doors, which sometimes can end up pushing the theoretical and methodological repertoires to the limit. In the introduction to the compilation of basic texts by Scheper-Hughes and Bourgeois, Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology (2004), the authors bring together some of the most commonlyused terms in Anglo-Saxon anthropology so as to get to the foundation of such highly precarious territories: symbolic violence (Bourdieu), culture of terror, space of death (Taussig), states of emergency (Benjamin), banality of


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Nowadays one of the great challenges for the anthropology of violence is to seek out the mechanisms of the imaginary networks of political terror in times of globalization. GETTY IMAGES

evil (Arendt), peace-time crimes, invisible genocides (Scheper-Hughes), violence continuum (Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois, 2004), and, to close with one of the most successful, grey zone (Levi). At the opening lecture of the VII Congress of the Federation of Anthropology Associations of the Spanish State (FAAEE), celebrated in Barcelona, which dealt with the imaginary networks of political terror in times of globalization, Roger Bartra challenged anthropologists to open up the “black boxes” containing the structures of production, mediation and conflict resolution: “The black boxes of the 9/11 airplanes hold keys to understanding the imaginary networks of political power –and terror.” (2003). In a subsequent article on the anthropology of violence, Carles Feixa and I prolonged this technological metaphor condensing concrete, global experiences by proposing the culturalist

deciphering of cell phone SIM cards (Subscriber Identity Module cards), which as micro-electronic terminals of the Al-Qaeda network, triggered the March 11, 2004, bomb attacks in Madrid. Earlier Nordstrom and Robben had titled their book on research in situations of “violence and survival” as Fieldwork under Fire (1995). With more or less success, and with the risk of contributing to this rather shrill inflation of metaphors for practical and conceptual orientation through quick-sand ridden landscapes, I would like to use the images of a “minefield”, of “ethnographies on the limit”, in characterizing research on these subjects, furthermore applying them to a growing proportion of contemporary ethnographic projects. This conception of the ethnographic field as a tricky minefield, pushed to the limit of its energy, theories and methods, leads us as researchers of social reality to become extremely cautious, raising

the precision of our work, designing plans able to anticipate dangers and difficulties, modulate investigative distances and analysis, take on ethical dilemmas and conceive of strategies in the anticipation and deactivation of existing obstacles. We have already observed in an earlier text that the recent rise of research on violence, conflicts and their consequences (sometimes brought together under the non-specific umbrella term social suffering) responds, according to quite a few writers, to a previous deficit in the discipline caused by more or less explicit connivance with the agents of such violence, straight jacketing the discipline from a theoreticalmethodological perspective that led to “selective blindness” or “imperial nostalgia” vis-à-vis supposed “savages in extinction” (Ferrándiz and Feixa, 2004; Starn, 1992; Nagengast, 1994; Rosaldo, 1991). Writers like Starn


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(1992), Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois (2001) and Green (1995) have been highly critical of the obscurantist practices they perceive in part of classic and contemporary anthropology, as developed in sites of conflict in relation to the forms of violence that were not classifiable as tribal or ritual, and where their presence was clear in studied societies. Starn for example, in his well-known article “Missing the Revolution: Anthropologists and the War in Peru”, criticized the disinterest anthropologists specializing in the Andes had shown with regards to the (no doubt clandestine, though hardly invisible) expansion of such an important guerrilla group as Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), during their fieldwork in the 1970s. According to Starn, the theoretical and methodological baggage of the time, together with a nostalgic vision of the Quechua communities as the residue of a PreHispanic past with no ties to existing Peruvian society, made it inconceivable to speak of a clandestine political organization with massive and dramatic consequences like those then being prepared –thus making it nonexistent as an object of study (1992). Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois (2004) suggest that part of this “avoidance” could also be related to fears that analysis of indigenous modes of violence could exacerbate stereotypes of “primitivism”, or “savagism”, which in turn could encourage or justify violent reactions. Even so, they also point to something crucial in the restructuring of the discipline: it has been colonial and imperialist violence itself, similar to current forms of postcolonial violence and exploitation, that has historically produced many of our “subjects of study” since the discipline’s beginning (just as Taussig pointed out in 1987). Some writers, like Green, insist on remembering that violence on a state level, or even situations that could be catalogued as ethnocide or genocide, have been

for decades the fundamental political stage of our fieldwork, without their being adequately incorporated into corresponding interpretation and analysis (1995). As Nagengast observes, in general terms and until relatively recently, anthropology had never been in the first line of studies on collective violence, terrorism and violence in state-related contexts (1994), in spite of all the data and debates we might be able to offer given our preference for field researchers and the comparative method (Sluka, 1992). Short-circuiting Classical Anthropology If it is possible to speak of a short-circuiting of classical anthropology, in recent decades a shift has been made towards a situation of particular interest regarding this previously ignored violence. The same increment in the visibility of violence (as we consume it through the mass media), together with new theoretical developments allowing us to set apart, distinguish, contextualize and relate different types of violence with greater precision, are fundamental features in its current popularity as a research subject. Here we come across what could be collateral damage of note: the overproduction, and as a consequence the possible “excess representativity” of violent aspects of human societies, linked furthermore to the demands of an “academic market” that is more and more competitive and inclined (especially in the Anglo-Saxon world) to a certain “spectacularization” of academic production. In the more traditional fields of study of anthropology of violence, amongst which there are those Nagengast has called tribal (pre-state or sub-state) scenarios of violence, where the interest lies in the analysis of violence of a “practical, physical and visible” type (1994), in recent decades many other research areas have been added, intensified, and balanced out that respond to corresponding social, political, economic

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and cultural transformation linked to the impulses of globalization. We are not only dealing with the appearance of new research scenarios, but also of the transformation of more classic areas in the discipline, in parallel with the expansion and progression of our methodological and conceptual instruments for confronting violence. The recognition and analysis the ways of violence are produced and transformed into the new “sounding boxes”, into the “fluxes of globalization” is also important for the anthropology of violence and conflict. In all cases we find ourselves in complex, multifaceted contexts, moving from the most intimate spaces of human experience to the most global processes, where conflicts and violence are not fixed modes of social action but rather practices undergoing a “continual process of mutation”. It is not so much that they have changed their nature with globalization. Instead, existing tension in this historical moment, as found amidst the acts, uses, representations and analyses of violence, has transformed each one of these spaces of

GROWING SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND POLITICAL COMPLEXITY MEAN THAT CONFLICTS AND VIOLENCE ARE IN AN “ONGOING PROCESS OF MUTATION” social action, thus affecting the overall context where violent acts are executed, interpreted and analyzed. As BernardHenri Lévy observes with regards to 9/11, “the stock of possible barbarities, which we had thought to have run dry, increased with a never-beforeseen variation. As always, as happens every time we believe it to be turned


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off or asleep, when no one expects it, it goes and wakes up with maximum fury and, above all, with maximum inventiveness: other theatres, new front lines, and new, more fearful adversaries, the reason why nobody had seen them coming” (2002). It is clear that the expression of violence in the mass media is a fundamental feature of this process of feedback, not only because of what is shown or magnified, but also because of what is silenced, diverted, simulated or hidden. Glocal Tension between Violence and Domestic Consumption When it comes to anthropology and its more habitual areas of field study, this glocal tension between violence and its domestic consumption (Ignatieff, 1999; Echeverría, 1995; Feldman, 1994), between “traditions” and their new cybernetic expressions, does not only affect mass political violence but indeed any type of violent practice, including those that seem to develop in more domestic and local contexts, and thus in principle are apparently “less disconnected” to global flux. The international debates and campaigns developed in recent years in relation to clitoral ablation or stoning for adultery, and their growing, fundamental link to debates on human rights, have transformed social, cultural and political contexts where violence previously took place and negotiated its legitimacy and meaning. Thus even the kind of violence that was once considered ancestral in certain spheres (including that of anthropology) is now “transnationalized”, taking on a new visibility. It is now made out of new forms, with social, historical, juridical and gender-based processes, finding form as –more or less– the seductive flag of the moment, to be waved by the world humanitarian community (Ignatieff, 1998 and 1999). The cause of addressing this violence will be infiltrated into the agendas of certain feminist groups,

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or become more or less stridently adhered to in discussion of migratory flows. It could just as well oblige corresponding local authorities charged with the task of guaranteeing a pure identity and political and domestic power to create justifying discourses to respond to a globalized audience. Or, in the best of cases, it might lead them to break with the practice altogether (Ferrándiz and Feixa, 2004). Many keys to the debate on the anthropological study of violent events can be found in sources like Dangerous Fieldwork (Lee, 1995), and in the articles brought together by Carolyn Nordstrom and Tony Robben in their Fieldwork Under Fire (1995), by Greenhouse, Mertz and Warren in Ethnography in Unstable Places (2002), and by Sanford and Angel-Ajani in Engaged Observer (2006). Robben and Nordstrom (1995) emphasize the “slippery” nature of violence, as well as its cultural character. Violence can be confusing and can lead to disorientation –it does not have easy definitions, not even amongst the social agents implicated. It affects funda-

mental and highly complex aspects of human survival, and has a huge role in the constitution of the perceptions of those involved. For these writers, the complexity of the situation can come to produce an “existential shock” in the researcher (beyond the “cultural shock” characteristic of the discipline), destabilizing the dialectical balance between empathy and distancing. In this situation, methodological difficulties are important. To begin with, Lee appeals to common sense. We do not have to go to a conflictive site if the fieldwork to be carried out is dangerous in a given moment. These given dangers, which could include accidents, robbery, muggings, illness, environmental pollution and the like, had not been systematically studied, and were considered simply “little struggles” to be informally commented upon amongst colleagues. Lee goes on to set apart two types of dangers in ethnographic fieldwork: environmental and situational. The first refers to the dangers posed to a researcher because of the nature of the field chosen, as was the case with many phases of my fieldwork in Venezuela,

On the basis of a number of fieldwork projects, such as on armed separatist groups in Northern Ireland, basic guidelines concerning action and safety for anthropologists were begun to be set up. AGE FOTOSTOCK


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where we had to “enter” into marginalized neighbourhoods controlled by youth gangs, and even by armed children. The second arises when the presence of the anthropologist gives rise to some type of conflict that could lead to an act of violence. It would seem reasonable that these potential dangers are fundamental in the design of research agendas and in choosing or discarding ethnographic scenarios. As Lee has also shown (1995), just as in some situations the presence of the anthropologist can go against the informants, in others it can work as a “free pass” for them, since the social agents know that an act of violence taking place in the context or against a foreigner has a potential media or diplomatic repercussion, which could either be interesting or not to the different factions. On occasion, furthermore, some people who are “voiceless” or with “weak political representativity” in a given conflict could for multiple reasons be interested in accepting a relationship with an ethnographer. Sluka, basing himself on his field experience studying armed separatist groups in Northern Ireland, lays out a series of general principles meant to guarantee the safety of people involved in a study with a significant political and military component, including the researcher, but especially concerned about his informants. The first is to develop a reflexive awareness of the difference between “real” and “imaginary” dangers, which are quite often influenced by media stereotypes. Some of the points he raises include the previous calculation of danger, the need to diversify the subjects studied so as to reduce the public visibility of the most conflictive of them, the elimination from the agenda of incorrect questions or subjects, the setting up of safety and confidentiality measures with regards to compromising field materials (such as with recordings and photographs), the clear definition of the limits where

the researcher is willing to participate or not, or the search for financing sources for the study itself (1990 and 1995). Feldman, who like Sluka worked in Belfast, built his “field” with the clear idea that “in order to know I had to become expert in demonstrating that there where things, people and places I did not want to know” (1991). Lee points out that it is crucial when conducting fieldwork in conflict situations to avoid provoking any possible suspicion that you are carrying out a secret study –like with the case that took place in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, when an American anthropologist was

DELIMITATING THE CONCEPT OF “VIOLENCE” MEANS TAKING ON A BROAD VISION OF REALITY. DEALING WITH ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON VIOLENCE MEANS BEING AWARE HOW MULTI-FACETED IT IS injured by the IRA– and it is recommendable for the researcher to take on the preventative role of “routine coward”. In his study on Belfast, Feldman ran into problems managing the rules of spatial segregation between Unionists and Republicans. When he realized that the only social agents who could move from one space to another were the police and the army, he chose to not use these routes in his ethnography. Any violation of these spatial codes would be ethnographically absurd at least, if not a sign of “complicity”. That is, he had to stay in control not only of what he said or asked, but also of where it would be “politically correct” for him to physically be at each and every moment in the city.

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It seems clear enough that within this ethnographic framework, violence is presented as a multi-faceted subject of study with multiple edges. Unquestionably, there are radical differences between some research scenarios and others. Still, as a basic rule, to the degree that violence sharpens in intensity (to the point of reaching the extreme Swedenburg calls treasonous field sites, there on the first line of combat, where the virulence of social confrontation is so great that informants would not understand intermediate positions or field relationships with people or groups considered to be rivals (1995), the uncertainties and dangers to carry out research also increase, whether for the anthropologist or for the informants and communities involved in the study, in the short or long term. In the circumstances described by Swedenburg, who did his field research in Gaza, the ethnographer becomes necessarily “contaminated” or “tainted”, often irreversibly, by the social relationships established in the field, closing many doors to him; in quite a few cases “participant observation” is neither desirable nor safe. As Lee too observes (1995), the ethnographer is in a delicate position, since the information flux is very restricted, the terrains of suspicion are rather heightened and it is not hard for a researcher and his or her sources to be taken as spies or possible informers. In most cases, the primary resource of work is what Horowitz calls “cognitive disagreements” or “metaconflicts” (1991), which expose us to wave after wave of seduction or rejection on the part of the different categories of agents in a given social field. Here a question without a single answer could be asked, deserving to be formulated assiduously before and during the research process: what constitutes, in each case, “good enough” field work on a type and context of specific violence? Lacking any sort of precise solution or model, the viability and quality of the project would be


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related to the capacity to carry out the research project in a “form of chronic and critical reflexivity”, from where it might be possible to permanently and dynamically rethink the ethical aspects of the study, the (scientific, militant) position of the researcher with regards to the subject of study and the social agents involved, the methodological decisions taken when working between victims and perpetrators of violence, or the prioritizing of participative data gathering on practices and/or imaginary worlds and representations of violence, to mention a few aspects. In the epilogue written for Fieldwork Under Fire in 1995, Feldman pointed out that due to its difficulty, we were dealing with an “in transit” research site where activity took place on the limit. In his view, which I agree with, if it were possible to speak of a new ethnology of violence, it should not be moving towards theoretical and methodological orthodoxy if its task is to produce “counter-labyrinths” and “counter-memories” versus forgetfulness and terror. We are thus speaking of sophisticated critical analysis. In “spaces of death”, and even in “low intensity terror and violence zones”, the ethnographer’s lenses of analytical certainty and the subjects he carries out his research begin to mix murkily, generating special types of problems, (dis)encounters and translations. On the other hand, if we continue with his diagnostic, the arrival of violent people, deaths, mutilation, disfiguration, traumatized people or those who have disappeared from anthropological discourse, necessarily had to open up rifts in research strategies and in the rhetoric registering these individuals’ emerging presence. We cannot thus wait for continual or lineal paths in the ethnography of what are called states of emergency. With such antecedents, I will now set out a set of reflections on the ethnographic scenario I have been researching for a number of years: pre-

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sent-day exhumations of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War. Through them I will show some examples of how the study of violence and the fields of uncertainty it generates might contribute to more general debates on a discipline in continuous movement. Quick Response Ethnographies In 2003, after finishing my research project on the María Lionza spiritist cult in Venezuela, I began to follow the process of exhumations of mass graves from the Civil War, in the context of debates on policies of memory in contemporary Spain. The image of a minefield raised earlier is especially adequate in reflecting the impact these exhumations is having on certain sectors of Spanish society, especially amongst the grandchildren of the defeated side in the war. There was a new awareness for many that the rural landscapes where some of them were still living and others spent relaxing summer holidays, in many cases contained abandoned graves and a diversity of repressive scenarios. On a high impact scale, this has been highly shocking for many, giving rise to social movements of a dimension transcending the local contexts dedicated to recovering cadavers, a movement that in its most recent manifestation began around the year 2000 (Ferrándiz, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2009b, 2010). The first question I raised was this: is there any reason for social and cultural anthropology to become involved in the study of suppressed memory, to explore the “black boxes” of repression, to dig into the victorious schemes of the winners of a civil war? Was there any point in looking at the shifting status of commemorative monuments, the residues of historical prisons and concentration camps, the movement and public and private management of skeletons and mass graves, the political, juridical and media life of unearthed cadavers? I believe so, and for a number of reasons.

First, because as a number of colleagues have shown (Verdery, 1999; Robben, 2000; Sanford, 2003; Díaz Viana, 2008), the analysis of mass graves and of violently mutilated bodies allows for a productive convergence of anthropological disciplines, including the study of violence, death, victimization, human rights, mourning, emotions and social suffering, memory, ritual, kinship, mass media, audiovisual production and art. At the same time, the exhumations and accompanying social, political and symbolic action taking place around them constitute ethnographic sites of “deep play”, while at the same time being complex, demanding and extraordinarily fertile, condensing multiple processes running the gamut from the deepest emotions and barely perceptible gestures to media spasms and similar reactions from the realm of high politics (Geertz, 1992: 339-372). The main difficulties I have found in this research project are as follows: the complexity and competitiveness of the preferred ethnographic space in the first phase of the research (the exhumations) and the lack of public knowledge

EXISTING VARIABLES RELATED TO THE EXHUMATIONS OF MASS GRAVES FROM THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR MAKE ETHNOGRAPHIC SITES MORE COMPLICATED of the role of the social anthropologist; social and media pressure related to the return of knowledge; and policies related to the representation of violence. The exhumations are difficult ethnographic spaces to manage for all social agents present, including social anthropologists. Along with


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the tension accompanying the gradual unearthing of the remains, the emotional presence of family members, the flow of images and gruesome details of the circumstances of the executions, we must add the lack of predefined protocols for interaction and behaviour, and, for many individuals present, the lack of established political, symbolic and emotional guidelines for dealing with such situations, which in many cases are only once-in-a-lifetime experiences (2009b). General rules for interaction, access to the remains and even “appropriate behaviour” are negotiated by some family members, associations and technical teams, especially those directly involved in unearthing remains, yet these guidelines do not always work and are not equally satisfactory for everyone. Within this complex plot, even though social anthropologists have the theoretical and methodological frameworks with

which to interpret violence and the desolate landscapes it leaves in its wake, we do not have the disciplinary training of (to give an example) forensic scientists, who are used to working in close quarters to these situations. In this case, proximity involves dealing with cadavers of people who met violent deaths and all the processes going along with their gradual visualization. In relation to the “existential shock” described by Robben and Nordstrom (1995), ethnography in this case necessarily needs to provide gradual emotional training (in any case an important part of ethnography as a discipline) so as to handle a highly charged ambience in a way that will remain relevant for the research process. Upon this ground, sometimes complicated decisions have to be taken regarding the idealness of an interview in a given moment, the filming or photography of a specific situation,

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the selection of “informants” in a highly fluid and volatile social field, or the management of nervousness often brought on by the presence of “experts”, journalists, politicians and activists on the ground. This latter situation could lead to a certain “research fatigue” or “coding and categorizing saturation” amongst some of the people in proximity to exhumations, subject as they already are to a high level of emotional tension arising from the mere appearance of bones and the dramatic re-creation of those tragic events (Clark, 2008). With regards to the survival of the social anthropologist, in a “professional limbo” in amongst the various researchers working on various aspects of historical memory in Spain, let me make a few general observations (referring especially to the exhumations) that could be extrapolated to the dis-

Emilio Silva, president of the ARMH, clearly understood the importance the presence of anthropologists would have during the exhumations of mass graves from the Civil War. CORDON PRESS


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cipline in general. Once I had chosen the excavations of mass graves as the “starting and anchoring scenario” of my long term research on policies of memory in contemporary Spain, I put myself into contact with Emilio Silva, president of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (Associació per a la Recuperació de la Memòria Històrica, ARMH); a trained sociologist, he was able to perceive from the start the relevance of having anthropologists present. Silva was always open to seeing different specialists join efforts in analyzing and understanding a variety of aspects of such a multi-sided phenomenon. In spite of this, not everyone in the context of the exhumations immediately understood what a social anthropologist was or what he or she would exactly be “good for”. Like the occasion the forensic scientist Francisco Etxeberria (Leizaola, 2006) commented to me, with a mix of curiosity, snideness and affection: “I coordinate a team, I find graves, there’s the excavator, I identify bodies, do a technical report and give the body back to the family: what do you do?” He was not the only one who had doubts. With every exhumation, in almost every instance of coming into contact with those present, we began our ethnographic work by answering questions. What do we bring to these scenarios of violence? Did we know how to unearth bones or identify the disappeared? Could we provide psychological support? Were we working for the media? Should we be included amongst the “activists of memory”? What solutions would we offer to the respond to the suffering of the victims? Who reads what we write? What was our presence good for? At the beginning of the process, when various associations dedicated to reviving historical memory started to sign agreements with universities or contact specialists to create technical teams to carry out the exhumations with more

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reliable protocols, social anthropologists were quite often not included amongst the group of experts taken to be absolutely necessary. This was regardless of the fact that many of the things going on in these excavations have been an academic subject of interest for our discipline for decades and still are today, as I have mentioned previously. Nowadays, many descriptions of exhumations in the press speak of the presence on the ground of “historians, forensic scientists and archaeologists”, though they rarely mention social anthropologists. This lack of public visibility for our work can be worrisome. If everyone does know more or less what is done by an archaeologist,

ANTHROPOLOGICAL WORK ON THE EXHUMATIONS SHOWS HOW A BACKGROUND IN CLASSICAL ETHNOGRAPHY IS NOT ENOUGH a forensic scientist, a psychologist, a journalist, a politician or a documentary researcher, the terms social anthropologist or cultural anthropologist cause a degree of confusion. This confusion in turn often leads to “short-circuited expectations” amongst anthropologists and all kinds of informants. It has taken a long time for our presence to be considered timely and necessary, especially by means of our gradual specialization in gathering testimony, which to a certain degree has become our “ethnographic alibi” when analyzing other ongoing processes that are too long to explain with each unearthing, and to every person who asks us what we are doing there. The process of giving and gathering testimony is not, on the other hand, merely a data gathering technique in

a context of participatory observation. Rather, it has an important “political” component for people who, as quite often happens (publicly or privately) break their silence for the first time in front of a digital video camera. This introduces a new factor of complexity into ethnographic work, no longer solely relative to the structure and meaning of the emerging communities of expression and listening. It also has to do with the handling of recorded material after the exhumations. Specialization in witnesses, for its part, makes us competitive with other professionals, especially with “parachuting journalists” who have fallen in from nowhere (when they do appear), since our expectations and strategies in obtaining information are as highly divergent as the “in-depth interview” or the sound bite with its juicy quotation. Alongside our full acceptance into technical teams, our range of action has also diversified notably. In other situations we have even come to coordinate exhumations upon occasion (Ignacio Fernández de Mata, at La Lobera near Aranda de Duero, Burgos, 2004; Julián López and Francisco Ferrándiz at Fontana, Ciudad Real, 2005); we have organized lectures and summer courses, and have participated more or less actively in associations and in very solid projects for the recovery of historical memory (Ángel Del Río and José María Valcuende, All the Names Project (Projecte Tots els noms)). Faced with a subject such as this, it is essential to consider the issue of anthropology’s social responsibility (Del Río, 2005; Sanford and AnjelAjani, 2006). In a project of this nature, so relevant from the perspective of social debate, people and collectives we work with will frequently require of us “results with an immediate return”. This could occur with the exhumations themselves (on the part of family members demanding explanations or media looking for an expert opinion),


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In ethnographic research on the exhumations, cultural anthropology has been necessarily driven to interact with other fields, like history, psychology and forensic anthropology. GETTY IMAGES

in public events where the procedures followed during the digs is explained, with the ad hoc rituals whereby the remains are returned to the family, in lectures in community centres or oldage homes, or in conferences organized by interested associations or political parties. Elsewhere I have insisted on how important it is that for specific subjects, like those related to violence and social suffering, anthropology be agile enough to turn itself into a “quick response” discipline (2006). This would not mean renouncing or not appreciating the importance of the discipline’s most usual formats and cadences (even though they are themselves changing very quickly), but widening the repertoire. It would mean being able to diversify the discourses we transmit knowledge with for different kinds of aims and audiences, all the while (as we suggested at the start) modulating research strategies to properly comprehend rapidly

evolving problems, even those moving at a lightning-quick pace. If we are able to handle this challenge, perhaps we could then speak of a combined strategy of “ethnographic fluids” designed to deal with “slippery” problems (Delgado, 2007) by means of a “dialectic of surprise” of reciprocal illumination (Willis and Trondman, 2000), and of “multiple rhythms and formats of the return on knowledge” in the academy and in society. Just as has happened for years in our field, and as our institutions increasing require of us, the more we are able to go deeper into the registry of “quick response”, the more we will be able to increase our relevance in present-day social debates. This will give us the capacity for critical analysis in a variety of contexts, whether in academic meetings, NGO board meetings or relating to the mass media, where we are often underrepresented or where we find it difficult to “translate ourselves” in relevant fashion.

The Ethnography of Mass Graves When it comes to policies for the representation of violence, criteria involving “a dense context, reflexivity and a critical apparatus” are fundamental in the case of exhumations and historical memory, with the exception that in this case we are required to interact with –and construct ourselves in relation to– fields of knowledge as varied as history, psychology and forensic anthropology. So as create a more subtle understanding of the previous debate, I will offer two examples related to the digitalization process of historical memory, and, more generally, to the problems arising from audiovisual products of the ethnology of violence (Ferrándiz and Baer, 2008). Exhumations of mass graves give us very explicit images of repression, inscribed in the cadavers that are gradually brought into sight. The most recent cycle of exhumations has taken place in the context of the information


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and knowledge society, and this is a key feature of their spread through the social milieu, in political debates and even amidst the judicial apparatus (Ferrándiz, 2009, 2010). As technologies for the digitalization of images become less expensive, with video and photographic cameras as well as cell phones, we are able to begin to think about how the new “site of memory” might be its digital expression (Ferrándiz and Baer, 2008). At the exhumation sites many people present have such technologies available, and there is an almost compulsive digital registry of everything going on, although with diverse motivations and visualization strategies. Even though there is a great variety of events, objects and people who might be “digitizable”, maximum attention is usually given to the bones, and, more specifically, to the signs of violence left upon them. How can all these images be fit into the ethnographic discourse? How might they be able to modify understanding of the problem analyzed and the very structure of production of ethnographic knowledge? Is it possible to speak of the emergence of a new franchise in the “globalized market of horror and suffering” (Ignatieff, 1998: 29-37, 1999)? I will deal first of all with the use of these images in public presentations, and then in academic publications. In my first public presentations using PowerPoint, I sought quite precisely to shift attention away from bone remains, in an attempt to show that, to a degree, “there was life” beyond the exhumations. I sought to show that what particularly interested social and cultural anthropology were the parallel processes of remaking social networks, the more or less spontaneous ritualization of mourning, the enunciation of past narratives in emerging contexts, and so on –all taking place not only within but also around the exhumations. In a moment of uncertainty regarding our

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role as researchers in the process, this is what differentiated us from other specialists. While the archaeologists and forensic scientists worked the mass graves inwards, with highly technical protocols, social anthropologists (like psychologists) worked more “qualitatively” from the grave sites outwards. This difference could be clearly seen in lectures, talks and public interventions of any kind. Amongst images of gestures by family members, ritual offerings and old photographs, I would always show

THE CRITERIA OF DENSE CONTEXT, REFLECTION AND CRITICAL APPARATUS ARE BASIC FOR CASES INVOLVING EXHUMATIONS AND HISTORICAL MEMORY some cranium with a clear bullet hole, in testimonial fashion, so as to refer to the impact “those” images had had as they came to light in contemporary Spain. I would not even spend very much time on the image. In the majority of cases, I used images that had already been shown to the public eye by some high-impact news media outlet (covers of El País newspaper, for example), which allowed me to use them at the same time as a secondary source on the media expression of the process, reflecting on the shifting of the thresholds of tolerance regarding certain images documenting the violence of rearguard Franco-era repression. That is, I would use a selection of images (deliberately discarding those with more explicit or less mediafriendly violence) so as to mark off the discipline in particular in relation to the “forensic style”, even though my project deals with analysis of violence. On top of this there was a paradoxical situation. In many of these interventions, I participated with archaeologists and

forensic anthropologists, whose visual presentations, conditioned in turn by training in their respective fields, went in the exact opposite direction. After viewing a number of long presentations where the main characters were exhumed bones, a visual “complicity of style” (MacDougall, 1998) with the forensic scientists began to emerge, which in turn profoundly modified my understanding of the problem. As with the rest of the local, national and even international audience, I began “to get used to” seeing bones of executed individuals projected onto large white screens, just like what was gradually happening for me with the bones seen live in the graves, digitalized bones seen accompanied by measuring tapes, guiding arrows, technical terms, reconstructions of bullet trajectories, and so on. I came to realize that all of my caution and the limited mention being made of these images, lagged far behind the interest found in the technical process of recovering historical memory, and the degree of absorption (even saturation) there began to be in Spanish society and in other more globalized circles. It should be said that the number of television series with strong forensic content was not unrelated to this process, as they are turning into powerful, already “popularized” ways of understanding and imaging various criminal scenarios (Kruse, 2010). My study had to include, in a more relevant way, not only the bones as they appeared in the graves, but also the way they were digitalized by various social agents and elaborated by various kinds of specialists. Even so, in spite of having brought them more relevantly into the analysis and into my presentations (as we shall see), the limit continued to be marked by an ongoing fear a promiscuous, decontextualized use might have, leading to the banalization of historical facts and of the social suffering they these images still give rise to in the present, what Bourgois called the pornography of violence.


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As a second example, let me consider a publication on the ethnography of mass graves (2006), where I was given the possibility of including various photographic images. At first they were to go inside the journal, but later on they were to be meant for its front and back covers. When I received the publisher’s proposal, I felt rather uneasy. The image he had chosen for the back cover was a close-up photograph of two skulls with a bullet hole in each and their jaws out of place. The image was not only extraordinarily explicit, but it also had been taken by the photographer with a more aesthetic than documentary approach, using the angular light and shadows of the evening. It was a “magnificent” photograph. I wrote to the publisher to comment on the consequence of giving priority to an image like that, especially in the context of an ethnographic study, and particularly one in Spain. It was clearly the image with the greatest impact and highest quality, but

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was it also the most representative? Did it describe the process better than the others? Was the best place to view such an image in an academic publication? Images like it were circulating in Spain in the mass media and in cyberspace, and were a fundamental part of the forensic reports and their PowerPoint presentations given before full auditoriums, as we have seen. For my part, I was willing to take on the debate concerning the politics of representation in anthropological discourse, though it was something that had to be done with a theoretical and psychological armature. In the end, this image for the back cover was replaced by another that was more benevolent with the brutal violence of the Franco-era repression, and undoubtedly more “comfortable” and representative of the process of recovering historical memory than the first: a wide shot of a grave once emptied, after a commemorative ceremony. In this case, in shifting from explicit violence to its ritualization,

the fear of trivialization through the spectacle of the process of recovering historical memory had imposed itself over high-impact imagery, privileging a kind of visual prudishness that other specialists we collaborate with would consider timorous. The disciplinary discrepancies regarding policies for the visibility of scientific knowledge are, in the cases of violence we have dealt with here, relevant in the delimitation and reconsideration of the limits of ethnographic representation. The double page, colour publication three years later of a very similar photograph, taken at the same exhumation by the same photographer for the El País Semanal report “Un tupido velo. 140.000 muertos invisibles” (A dark veil: 140,000 invisible deaths), written by Benjamín Prado (January 18, 2009), represented for me the confirmation of a new turning of the screw in the limits of tolerance towards certain aesthetics of horror in contemporary Spain. n

Del Río, Á. «Los alcances del movimiento social de recuperación de la memoria histórica: Apuntes de la experiencia andaluza». A: Narotzky, S.; Valcuende, J. M. (ed.) Las políticas de la memoria en los sistemas democráticos: Poder, cultura y mercado. Sevilla: ASANA-FAAEE, 2005. P. 133-153.

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Atkinson, P. The Ethnographic Imagination. Londres: Routledge, 1990. Bartra, R. «Las redes imaginarias del terror político». Claves de Razón Práctica (2003), 133, p. 4-9. Bernard, H. R. «Introduction: On Method and Methods in Anthropology». A: Bernard, H. R. (ed.) Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Londres: AltaMira Press, 1998. Bourgois, P. «The Continuum of Violence in War and Peace: Post-Cold War Lessons from El Salvador». Ethnography (2001), 2(1), p. 5-34. Bryman, A. «Introduction: A Review of Ethnography». A: Bryman, A. (ed.) Ethnography (2001), Londres: Sage. Vol. I. Clark, T. «‘We are Over-Researched Here!’ Exploring Accounts of Research Fatigue within Qualitative Research Engagements». Sociology (2008), 42(5), p. 953-970. Delgado, M. Sociedades movedizas: Pasos hacia una antropología de las calles. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2007.

Díaz Viana, L. Narración y memoria: anotaciones para una antropología de la catàstrofe. Madrid: UNED, 2008. Echevarría, J. Cosmopolitas domésticos. Barcelona: Anagrama, 1995. Eriksen, T. H. Small Places, Large Issues. Londres: Pluto Press, 1995. Esteban, M. L. Antropología del cuerpo. Barcelona: Bellaterra, 2004. Feldman, A. Formations of Violence: The Narrative of the Body and Political Terror in Northern Ireland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. „„ «On Cultural Anesthesia: From Desert Storm to Rodney King». American Ethnologist (1994), 21 (2), p. 404-418.

«Epilogue: Ethnographic States of Emergency». A: Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.) Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. P. 224-252.

Ferrándiz, F. «La memoria de los vencidos de la Guerra Civil». A: Narotzky, S.; Valcuende, J. M. (ed.) Las políticas de la memoria en los sistemas democráticos: Poder, cultura y mercado. Sevilla: ASANA-FAAEE, 2005. P. 109-132. „„ «The Return of Civil War Ghosts: The Ethnography of Exhumations in Contemporary Spain». A: Anthropology Today (2006), 22(3), p. 7-12. „„ «La etnografía como campo de minas: De las violencias cotidianas a los paisajes posbélicos». A: Bullen, M.; Díaz Mintegui, C. (coord.) Retos teóricos y nuevas prácticas. Donosti: Ankulegi, 2008. P. 89-115. „„ «Fosas comunes, paisajes del terror». a: Revista de Dialectología y Tradiciones Populares, LXIV (1), 2009a. 61-94 p. „„ «Exhumaciones y relatos de la derrota en la España actual», a Jerónimo Zurita (2009a), 84, p. 135-161. „„ «De las fosas comunes a los Derechos Humanos: el nacimiento de las ‘desapariciones forzadas’ en la España contemporánea». Revista de Antropología Social, vol. 19 (2010).


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Ferrándiz, F. i Baer, A. «Digital Memory: The Visual Recording of Mass Grave Exhumations in Contemporary Spain». a: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [En línia], 6(3), art. 18, 2008. Disponible a: http://www.qualita-tive-research.net/ fqs-texte/3-05/05-3-18-e.htm Ferrándiz, F. i Feixa, C. «Una mirada antropológica sobre las violencias». Alteridades (2004), 14 (27), p. 149-163. Geertz, C. La interpretación de las culturas. Barcelona: Gedisa, 1992. Green, L. «Living in a State of Fear». A: Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.) Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. P. 105-127. Greenhouse, C. J.; Mertz, E.; Warren, K. B. (ed.) Ethnography in Unstable Places: Everyday Lives in Contexts of Dramatic Political Change. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Gupta, A.; Ferguson, J. «Discipline and Practice: ‘The Field’ as Site, Method and Location in Anthropology». A: Gupta, A.; Ferguson, J. (ed.), Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Hammersley, M.; Atkinson, P. Etnografía: Métodos de investigación. Barcelona: Paidós, 1994. Hannerz, U. Conexiones transnacionales: cultura, gente, lugares. Madrid: Cátedra, 1998. Horowitz, D. L. A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Ignatieff, M. «The Stories We Tell: Television and Humanitarian Aid». A: Moore, J. (ed.), Hard Choices: Moral Dilemmas in Humanitarian Intervention. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998. „„ El honor del guerrero: Guerra étnica y conciencia contemporánea. Madrid: Taurus, 1999. Kruse, C. «Producing Absolute Truth: CSI Science as Wishful Thinking». A: American Anthropologist (2010 ),112(1), p. 79-91. Lee, R. M. Dangerous Fieldwork. Londres: Sage, 1995. Leiazola, A. «Antropología a pie de fosa: diálogo con Francisco Etxeberria y Francisco Ferrándiz sobre la memoria de la Guerra Civil». Ankulegi (2006), 10, p. 33-46. Lévy, B.-H. Reflexiones sobre la Guerra, el Mal y el fin de la Historia. Barcelona: Ediciones B, 2002.

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Marcus, G.; Fischer, M. J. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: an Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1986. Nagengast, C. «Violence, Terror, and the Crisis of the State». A: Annual Review of Anthropology (1994), 23, p. 109-136. Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.) Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Pujadas, J. «L’etnografia com a procés de recerca: Dissenys d’investigació aplicats a l’anàlisi de la societat contemporània». A: Pujadas, J. (coord.) Etnografía. Barcelona: Editorial UOC, 2004. Robben, A. «El trabajo de campo desde la distancia: enfrentando la paradoja de una antropología de la guerra contra el terror». A: Bullen, M.; Díaz Mintegui, C. (coord.), Retos teóricos y nuevas prácticas. Donosti: Ankulegi, 2008. P. 55-87. „„ «State Terror in the Netherworld: Disappearance and Reburial in Argentina». A: Sluka, J. K. (ed.) Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror. Filadelfia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. P. 91-113. Robben, A.; Nordstrom, C. «The Anthropology and Ethnography of Violence and Sociopolitical Conflicts». A: Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.), Fieldwork Under Fire. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. P. 1-23. Rosaldo, R. Cultura y verdad. Una propuesta de análisis social. Mèxic: Grijalbo, 1991.

Resistance and Terror. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. P. 190-218. „„ «Reflections on Managing Danger in Fieldwork: Dangerous Anthropology in Belfast». A: Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.) Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Spradley, J. P. Participant Observation. Nova York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1980. Starn, O. «Missing the Revolution: Anthropologists and the War in Peru». A: Marcus, G. E. (ed.) Rereading Cultural Anthropology. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992. P. 152-180. Swedenburg, T. «With Genet in the Palestinian Field». A: Nordstrom, C.; Robben, A. (ed.) Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. P. 25-40. Taussig, M. Colonialism, Shamanism and the Wild Man: A study in Terror and Healing. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987. Velasco, H; Díaz De Rada, Á. La lógica de la investigación etnogràfica. Madrid: Trotta, 1997. Verdery, K. The Political Lives of Death Bodies: Reburial and Post-colonial Change. Nova York: Columbia University Press, 1999. Wacquant, L. Entre las cuerdas: Cuadernos de un aprendiz de boxeador. Madrid: Alianza, 2004. Willis, P. The Ethnographic Imagination. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000.

Sanford, V. Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala. Nova York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.

Willis, P.; Trondman, M. «Manifesto for Ethnography». Ethnography (2000), 1(1), p. 5-16.

Sanford, V.; Angel-Ajani, A. (ed.) Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism. Londres: Rutgers University Press, 2006.

NOTES

Scheper-Hughes, N.; Bourgois, P. (ed.) Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Scheper-Hughes, N.; Bourgois, P. «Introduction: Making Sense of Violence». A: ScheperHughes, N.; Bourgois, P. (ed.) Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology. Londres: Blackwell, 2004. P. 1-31. Schmidt, B. E.; Schröder, I. W. «Introduction: Violent Imaginaries and Violent Practices». A: Schmidt, B. E. i Schröder, I. W. (ed.) Anthropology of Violence and Conflict. Londres: Routledge, 2001. P. 1-24. Sluka, J. A. «Participant Observation in Violent Social Contexts». A: Human Organization (1990) 49, p. 114-126. „„ «The Anthropology of Conflict». a: Nordstrom, C.; Martin, J. (eds.) The Paths to Domination,

1 This is a shorter, updated version of “La etnografía como campo de minas: De las violencias cotidianas a los paisajes posbélicos” (Ethnography as a minefield: from everyday violence to post-war landscapes). In Bullen, M. and Díaz Mintegui, C. (eds.), Retos teóricos y nuevas prácticas, San Sebastián: Ankulegi, 2008, pp. 89-115.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.37. year 2010) under the title Etnografies al límit. Versalitat i Curtcircuits de l’etnografia davant la violència contemporània.

MacDougall, D. Transcultural Cinema. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

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Joan Frigolé

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Universitat de Barcelona BARCELONA_CATALONIA

Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona, his research has focussed on economic and social transformation, the processes whereby culture and nature become heritage, and on genocide and procreation. He is the author of Cultura y genocidio (Culture and Genocide) (2003) and Dones que anaven pel món. Estudi etnogràfic de les trementinaires de la Vall de la Vansa, Alt Urgell (Women Who Roamed the World: Ethnographic study of the medicinal herb gatherers of the Vansa Valley, Alt Urgell) (2005)

The State and Exterminating Violence In Search of a Formulation of the Elemental Structure of Genocide This article discusses different aspects of genocide. Firstly, examination of minor and more infrequent cases in the literature is used to show the general or unvarying characteristics of genocide and massacre. Next, we examine the transformation of the state apparatus that plans and carries out genocide through the secrecy, dissimulation and exceptional nature that characterise its operations. Finally, the article focuses on genocide denial through recourse to the ethnic factor. El text tracta diversos aspectes del genocidi. Per mitjà de l’anàlisi de casos menors i no habituals en la literatura es posen de relleu propietats generals o invariants del genocidi i la massacre. S’analitza a continuació la transformació de l’aparell de l’estat que planifica i executa un genocidi a causa del secret, la dissimulació i l’excepcionalitat que caracteritzen el seu funcionament. Finalment, es fa referència a la negació del genocidi mitjançant el recurs al factor ètnic.

Keywords: Genocide, ethnic conflict, violence, State Paraules clau: Genocidi, conflicte ètnic, violència, Estat

T

he focus of this text is genocide. Reference to other terms like massacre and ethnic cleansing has the sole objective of delimiting genocide by way of contrast. I do not begin with previously established classifications and definitions, nor with the major dominant examples in the literature on the subject, focussing instead on non-habitual examples, and even minor ones. By analysing and comparing these examples I seek to formulate general principles of genocide and other forms of violence. The first example is set in Mexico: “Six members of the same family were executed in their home, where there were also six children between the ages of four and ten years old. The gunmen had the children taken from their beds and shut inside a room, ordering the six adults onto their knees in the living room, where they were killed with a gunshot to the head. The children were left unharmed, though they had to be treated for panic attacks.” (La Jornada, December 12, 2009, p. 12).

The second example is set in Iraq, where what was said to be an AlQaeda contingent murdered twentyfour Sunnis in two different homes. In the first home, “they ordered the adults to go upstairs, while the children stayed downstairs. They told them not to worry. Once they were on the upper floor, all the adults were shot, leaving the children crying and shaking in fear.” In the second house “they separated the children from the adults and, once they had them upstairs, they slit the throats of three men and two women.” (El País, April 4, 2010, p. 5). The assassins, the victims and the reasons were different in both cases, though the clear distinction between the spaces of the homes shows the clear differentiation made between generations, between procreators and procreated. The first are murdered, the second group are left alive. This is the common feature the two cases share. The third and fourth examples are from Mexico. Poniatowska writes of the assassination of a popular leader: “Revolutionary outbreaks after the


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Genocide does not discriminate anybody, since it seeks to ensure that in the future there will not be any type of reproduction of the causes that brought it about. GETTY IMAGES

1910 Revolution, no matter what they involved, have always been cut short by the police and the army. Rubén Jaramillo, who was from Morelos like Emiliano Zapata, was murdered in 1962 together with his wife Epifania, in an advanced state of pregnancy, along with three of their children, one week after he had been embraced by the then President of the Republic, Adolfo López Mateos.” (1981: 144)1 Then the fourth example: “... the paramilitary troops thought they would eliminate our seed, and not only have we not disappeared, but our Lord father and mother has given us wings with which to fly”, proclaimed a man representing an association called The Bees in an homage to 21 women, 15 children and 9 men assassinated in Acteal, Chiapas, on December 22, 1997 (La Jornada, December 23, 2009, p. 26).

There are significant differences as well between these two cases. In the first example, the perpetrators belong to the formal apparatus of the state, while in the second case both assassins and victims are indigenous people. In spite of this the case is not turned into an ethnic conflict, since the state utilizes indigenous people, militarizing or arming them to fight against indigenous social movements. The examples indicate the extermination of a family, including an unborn child, and a massacre of almost three times more women and children than men, giving us an idea of the huge disproportion of power between perpetrators and victims. The difference in relation to the first two cases is that the perpetrators of the massacres do not differentiate

between generations, to the point of showing even more violence towards the younger generation than their procreators. The elimination of offspring here symbolizes a break in the continuity of the group in question. When we compare these four cases, we see that the generational variable, that is, the distinction between adults and non-adults, is meaningful in the first two cases while not in the last two. The position of the cases in relation to the generational variable is symmetric and inverse. The two final cases point symbolically and in reality to the extermination of the family or local group. The massacre is an attack against the structure of procreation; that is, the members of the following generation are also killed


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for having been born to their given parents. This is thus the meaningful difference in relation to the first two cases. Massacre and Genocide The first two cases exemplify massacres, while the final two demonstrate the logic of genocide. They represent micro-genocides. Genocide kills procreators and the procreated, the latter being included for being the children of the former, and because they represent a guarantee of future reproduction of their procreators. Genocide seeks to make a definitive break in the genealogical chain and thus suppress the reproduction of a group. Genocide lasts a relatively short period of time, though its objective is to have an everlasting impact. Sémelin defines it as “the total eradication of a collective defined according to the criteria of the persecutor.” (2002: 490). Yet perhaps the idea of totality as applied to genocide refers to the fact of eliminating the procreative structure, rather than the totality understood in numerical terms, always dependent upon a classification system and inherent ambiguities.

What is involved in the step from the idea of an enemy and his death, to that of the extermination of his progeny and his identity? The answer is the coincidence of exclusion, stigma and dehumanization. For Sémelin, a massacre is preceded by an operation of the spirit that involves “a way of seeing an ‘other’ stigmatizing him, lowering him and annihilating him, before in fact killing him.” (2005: 25). All of this implies his death, but not the idea of attacking his “root”. This idea comes about when thinking in terms of procreation, when killing him absolutely cannot be thought of without also thinking about the elimination of his progeny. A powerful image of procreation is found in the “seed”, mentioned in the example from Acteal, Chiapas,

which for many cultures expresses the idea of procreation and the continuity of the family or group.2 In Cambodia during the genocide, at the extermination camp of Tuol Sleng, entire families were killed, something conceived as “pulling out the plant from its root”. The justification of the extermination of a group’s capacity for procreation could invoke future protection from such procreation. According to Peter Longerich, author of a biography of Himmler, this latter once wrote: “I did not have the right to exterminate only men and let the children grow up and take revenge upon our children and grandchildren.”3 It was thus, in August 1941, that he also ordered the shooting of Jewish women and children. There is an important difference in the four examples with regards to those perpetrating the acts. From what can be deduced from the context of the news stories, in the first Mexican case the assassins were the hired guns of a drug trafficking ring, acting in the context of a conflict with a rival group, while in the Iraqi case, they were members of an insurgent group fighting against collaborators of the state and invading forces. As for the final two examples, the perpetrators belong to the regular or irregular army of the Mexican State. State power and the attack against procreation are united in these two micro examples. This is highly interesting, in that it demonstrates that genocide is not just a question of scale, but a basic structure that is repeated regardless of the magnitude of the phenomenon. The attack on the procreative capacity of the group to be exterminated or wiped out can take on forms other than assassination itself. One of these actions involves stealing the progeny and later denying its original identity, so as to convert it into an “other”, as with the case of the “stolen generations” of Australian aboriginals, the children stolen

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by the Nazi regime in Poland, and with the Argentina dictatorship. In each of these examples, turning progeny into something else meant different things: a civilized person; a Germanized member of the Aryan race or a member of the group; or even a member of a family of murderers. The kidnapping and theft of children of the group in question could be covered up by means of the formula of adoption. In these three cases, “adoption” becomes a perverse

ONE OF THE EXPRESSIONS OF GENOCIDAL INTENTION IS THE DESTRUCTION OF FAMILY TIES AND THE SYSTEM OF PROCREATION practice, sharing in the very purpose of the kidnapping: the disappearance of the group by means of the action of erasing or distorting the identity of the youngest members of the group (Frigolé, 2009). For Feierstein genocide is “a specific modality of destruction and reorganization of social relationships” (2007: 26). Kinship relationships are grounded around the question of procreation, and its destruction causes an enormous impact on survivors’ identities. Mujawayo, a female survivor of the Rwanda genocide, expresses it this way: “Who are you when you are no longer the sister, the daughter, the wife, the niece, the aunt of someone else. You find yourself in an affective void, in a kind of life where you do not exist, since you no longer belong to yourself. You are here, but who are you here with? You have nobody with you.” (2008: 142). Let me propose the following definition: “ … genocide is the result of a


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plan conceived by a State authority and directly or indirectly executed by the State apparatus … with the objective of eliminating a population or a human group as a category within a classification system referred to human, national, political, etc., diversity. The criteria and categories of this classification system are established from specific “theories” or ideologies adopted by the political authority. At a symbolic level, genocide pretends to be total, but as a historical process is subject to the action of predictable and unpredictable factors, including the victims’ capacity to resist. Genocide implies an attack on the human group’s reproduction in all its possible ways and in this context, the attack on the procreation system becomes a crucial mechanism. The attack on the procreation system is the most explicit expression of the genocidal intentionality.” (Frigolé, 2008: 26) In line with the first examples offered here, I propose the following definition of “massacre”: “a collective though selective slaughter of defenceless people.” Sémelin defines massacre as “an organized process of destruction of civilians.” (2002: 486). In the earlier examples, the generational variable is what determines the selective character of the massacre. The gender variable could also determine the selective character of a massacre in the case of femicide. The State, Legitimate Violence and Illegitimate Violence According to Weber, the state is “the agent with the monopoly on legitimate violence in society. Individual or sectarian violence is illegitimate.” (Gellner, 1988: 70). The repressive policy of the state towards the population can adopt a normative institutional model or not. When repressive practices are placed on the edge and/or are contrary to the regulating norms established by the state itself, we are faced with a phenom-

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enon given the name state terrorism, and when violence on the part of the repressive apparatus of the state, which should be regulated and under control, no longer has such characteristics, we are speaking of impunity. A term that should be related to genocide is war, which can be defined in many ways: irregular, dirty, low intensity, undeclared, fratricidal, and so on. Genocide can be thought of as a by-product of war. As early as the Biblical tale, war often involves the

MAX WEBER OBSERVED THAT THE STATE IS “THE AGENT HOLDING THE MONOPOLY ON LEGITIMATE VIOLENCE WITHIN SOCIETY” “holy extermination” of the defeated. Lemkin coined the term genocide in the context of Nazi Germany’s occupation of Europe during the Second World War. War with genocide is a qualitatively different reality from war without genocide. The protection of its citizens requires a number of previsions on the part of the state, but the elimination of citizens does as well. The objective of extermination determines changes in state organization: new organisms and the redefinition of existing ones, new rules and a new language. The hierarchy and division of powers of the state are regulated by public legal norms, though the goal of extermination obliges the apparatus of the state to move into the realm of secrecy and concealment. This is not an informal terrain, but rather highly formal and regulated, however secret it may be. Concealment enables the later negation of the facts. Repression tends to be public, since it is dissuasive and exemplifying, even reaching levels of terror, but extermination as an

end in itself is inconfessable and, for this reason, is carried out in secret or is disguised. Let us consider the example of the extermination carried out by the Argentine military dictatorship. According to Jacobo Timerman, head of the newspaper La Opinión, a navy official gave him a preview of the extermination in these words: “‘If we exterminate all of them, there will be fear for a few generations.’ ‘What do you mean by all of them?’ ‘All of them ... maybe twenty thousand. And their family members along with them. They have to be wiped out along with those who can remember their names.’” (2000: 68). In order to carry out their objective, the military dictatorship created “a large network of forces for special tasks with branches spread out all over national territory”, that had as its objective the dismantling of guerrilla organizations and radicalized political opposition. In 1967, Major Masi had stated: “The best way to fight a guerrilla is with another guerrilla.” The slogan was echoed in the words of Brigadier Norberto Sciutto when he explained how imitation was the key to their success. “It was necessary to combat the enemy with its own procedures … Total liberty was given to the special task forces, unlike what any unit of the conventional army had ever had, not even the forces involved in the counter-insurgency campaign in Tucumán … The men of the special task forces dressed in civilian clothing and moved around in cars without licence plates, often protected by the darkness of night … The majority of their objectives were not combatants, but rather historical members of the revolutionary Marxist political wing and revolutionary Peronism, or just as well workers, students and highly active union leaders. In general, the way of capturing them was by means of kidnapping rather than detainment. In the majority of cases they were not treated like suspects or prisoners of war,


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Extermination as an end in itself is inconfessable, which is why in Nazi Germany, the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda it was carried out in secret or was disguised.

Turkish state in the Armenian genocide, Nazi Germany in the Jewish genocide, Rwanda in the genocide of the Tutsis, the Yugoslav state in the Bosnian genocide, and so on.

nor were any charges laid against them, nor were they officially recognized as having been arrested by government forces. Quite simply, their trails were lost in any one of the hundreds of clandestine detainment centres.” (Robben, 2008: 228-29). Kidnapping and the stealing of the children of those arrested were activities also governed by the same pattern of illegality and clandestine action.

The disguise taken on by the Argentine military and police institutions during the dictatorship does not represent a specific, exclusive characteristic; rather, it is something shared with other states that have planned and carried out policies of extermination. The organizational camouflage –irregular army forces– and organizational language –codified, with changing significations– are key features of all genocides. They were used by the

In responding to the historian Bernard Lewis, who denies the Armenian genocide, Yves Ternon states that “genocide is a crime carried out in total secrecy” (Altounian, 1999: 523). The government of the Young Turks, in carrying out the Armenian genocide, created “a secret extralegal corps called Special Organization, whose mission was to organize a widespread massacre. It was made up mainly of convicted criminals who had been freed from prison, who were divided into units stationed in critical points along the deportation routes and the deportee camps in Syria.” (Adalian, 1997: 51). The deportation of the Armenians and the way it was carried out was a highly efficient instrument in their extermination. The government also created organizations like the Immigration Commission, whose goal was to ensure the expulsion and deportation of the Armenians, and a Commission to deal with their “abandoned” possessions. Organisms related to the deportation of the Armenians, which “officially were under the auspices of different


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ministries, were all under the direction of the head of the Special Organization and the Central Committee of the Young Turks.” (Kévorkian, 1999: 144). The secrecy and concealment surrounding the planning and execution phases of genocide adopt many forms, such as the use of irregular military forces, clandestine facilities, codified administrative language, the “absence” of the executor, the elimination of evidence, and so on. Vidal-Naquet writes of the “absence of the executor” in relation to the Jewish genocide: “The gas chambers, which began to operate for the Jews in Auschwitz at the beginning of 1942, were at the same time the crime weapon and the instrument of its denial. There is no paradox in this, since the gas chambers are an instrument of anonymous death. Nobody is responsible. Nobody is the assassin. It is the situation brought on by Ulysses when he takes on the name Nobody and poor Polyphemus cries out that Nobody has blinded him. Who is the assassin? Is it the doctor who makes the selection, the häftling who leads the condemned mass, the SS that take Zyklon B to the gas chambers? Nobody is the executor, because everyone participates in the death, which makes every denial possible.” (1995: 319320). This characteristic is congruent with extermination’s high degree of

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organization, which various writers have reflected upon in using the metaphor of the modern factory and the organization of the production line.

STATE VIOLENCE CONSISTS IN ATTACKING THE INTEGRITY OF THE BODY BY MEANS OF TORTURE AND MURDER Codified language assists in the process of cover-up and denial. The Nazis used terms like disinfect, treat, exploit, and so on, to describe the various operations the extermination process was segmented into. The term Sonderbehandlung or SB, that is, “special treatment”, designated executions by means of the gas chamber4 and Leichenkeller, morgue, the gas chamber itself. In relation to the Jewish genocide, Hilberg has written the following: “The machinery of destruction, then, was structurally no different from organized German society as a whole. The machinery of destruction was the organized community in one of its special roles.” (Bauman, 2002: 33). The term “special” is repeated in relation to extermination policy: special

organization, special tasks, special treatment, special roles. All genocides reflect society itself in the wider sense of the term (culture, the economy, the political system). This point is fundamental. No radically new principles, practices, gestures or names have to be invented; rather, already existing principles, practices, gestures and names are shifted into a new domain and context. This displacement allows them to take on a new function and meaning. In the case of Germany, a capitalist industrial society, this is the model that is applied in the genocidal context. The “codified” vocabulary of the Nazis arises from the transference of principles, practices and gestures of the ordinary society overall to the specific labour of the camps and of extermination. It is not only an imperative of secrecy or the wielding of power to interpret or above all deceive; the same gestures in parallel contexts are unified by means of the same terms, to the point where we are required to set them apart by means of quotation marks. Bensoussan writes that “both for the assassins on the ground and those in the office, the genocide of the Jews was a job to do.” The word piece as applied to cadavers indicated dehumanization, yet above all this is seen in the way the procedures and objectives of the factory production system were transferred into the realm of genocide.

Violence and the Body State violence attacks the integrity of the body by means of torture and assassination. Fatal violence can be accompanied by the presence of the corpse or involve its disappearance. This latter takes on various modes: burial in secret graves, cremation, throwing bodies into the sea, and so on. If the corpse is not made to disappear, two different and opposing situations could arise, clearly distinguished by the question of respect or lack of respect towards the body. The humiliation or profanation of

the body could be compatible with keeping it intact, or could just as well lead to it being cut into pieces. A recent example of the former case: after the murder of a Mexican drug lord on the part of the military, his cadaver was exhibited with the trousers dropped and the body covered with banknotes. A recent example of the second case: the pieces of bodies floating down a river in Colombia, humble young men assassinated by the military, accusing them of having been guerrilla fighters.

What relationship can be established between the treatment of corpses and the modes of violence here described? The policy of extermination of a group does not end with the assassination of its members, as it lasts beyond their death in the treatment of their bodies. The physical disappearance of corpses or their disfiguration through quartering becomes a metaphor of total extermination.


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The Ethnic Factor and Denial of Genocide John Bowen states that “descriptive anthropological categories like ethnic conflict, genocide, indigenous people, do not only condition any investigation; they also send messages to a wider audience regarding how science can explain underlying reality, the basic causes and historical roots of group violence. Such audiences include ‘our’ governments, as well as the population implicated in conflicts and the international organizations seeking to resolve them.” (Bowen, 2002 b: 394).

A basic reason to oppose use of the term ethnic cleansing, beyond its origin itself (Frigolé, 2008), is that it presents ethnic groups as the basic units of society, while in fact societies are made up of diverse and highly pluralistic overlapping realities and identities, with loyalties that balance each other out. Bowen sets out three erroneous premises in relation to ethnicity: “First, that ethnic identities are ancient and unchanging; second, that these identities motivate people to persecute and kill; and third, that ethnic diversity itself inevitably leads to violence.” (Bowen, 2002 a: 324). In relation to the first premise, a black South African intellectual, in referring to the changes brought on by colonization, stated: “We lost our humanity and gained ethnicity.” (Comaroff, 1994: 207). Well-known South African ethnic identities like the Zulu were forged in that period. In Rwanda they were the result of two systems superimposed from the outside: one was the Biblical tale of how peoples spread out over the earth, while the other had to do with the European feudal system that divides people into lords and vassals, mutually reinforcing the other’s role. The ethnic model is used to justify genocide, presenting it as a derivation of tribal conflicts, though it can also be used to deny it, as seen in the

following example: “Joaquim Vallmajó was a priest from the town of Navata who was killed in Rwanda in the course of a massacre. A mad spree of blood and hatred broke out between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups, and the two parts carried out mass assassinations.”(5) This is a flagrant negationist interpretation of the genocide. It was the state apparatus, governed by a single party and not an ethnic group, which planned and drove forward the massacres. Jean Pierre Chrétien, a French specialist, describes the Rwanda political system that planned the genocide as “tropical Nazism”. The denial of genocide is equivalent to a second massacre. Mag-

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nifying the murder of a missionary by means of a denial of the genocide of eight hundred thousand or more Rwandans is not fair to his memory or to the victims of genocide. Genocides take place in specific places and times, though perception and assessment of them evolves as time moves forward. What happens next does not only depend upon “the fact in itself”, but upon local, national and international contexts. Recognition and evaluation of genocides occurs in function of many contributions and efforts, such as the creation of images, studies, celebrations, polemics, spread of knowledge, and so on. Geopolitics, that is, the interests of powerful states,

Geopolitics is a key feature in the negation of a genocide such as that perpetrated against Australian aboriginals, unrecognized until recently by Australian society and authorities. PHOTOAISA


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is a key feature in the recognition or negation of genocide. Kiernan (2002) demonstrates the geopolitical reasons for a double negation –that of the genocide of Australian aboriginals and of the population of East Timor– on the part of successive governments and conservative intellectuals in Australia. Becoming aware of the occurrence of genocide is a slow process. In this sense,

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Vidal-Naquet points out that “the process whereby historians themselves became aware of the specificity of the Jewish genocide in the context of the Second World War was not immediate. The war against the Jews shifted from the periphery to the centre of reflection on the Second World War after a long period of incubation.” (1995: 330). Sémelin argues that the reception and recognition of a genocide “is

constructed gradually, it is propagated little by little, finding resistances there and there, finally showing itself to be an unarguable truth.” (2005: 184). n

sudafricanas. In Fernández de Rota,J. A. (ed.) Etnicidad y violencia. Coruña: Universidad da Coruña, 1994, pp. 205-225.

Kiernan, Ben. «Cover-Up and Denial of Genocide: Australia, the USA, East Timor, and the Aborigines». Critical Asian Studies (2002), 34, 2: 163-192.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adalian, Rouben. «The Armenian Genocide». In Totten S.; Parsons, W.; Charny, I. (ed.). Century of Genocide. New York: Garland, 1997, pp. 41-77. Altounian, Janine. «A quel autre parlent les héritiers d’un génocide? (le cas armenien)». In Coquio, C.(ed.). Parler de camps, penser les génocides. Paris: Albin Michel,1999, pp. 514-528. Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernité et Holocauste. Paris: La Fabrique Éditions, 2002. Bensoussan, Georges. «Pour une lecture politique de la Shoa». In Coquio, C. (ed). Parler de camps, penser les génocides. Paris: Albin Michel, 1999, pp. 141-152. Bowen, John. «The myth of global ethnic conflict». In Hinton, A. (ed). Genocide: An Anthropological Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002 (a), pp. 324-343. „„ «Culture, Genocide, and a Public Anthropology». In Hinton, A. (ed.) Annihilating Difference: The Anthropologyof Genocide. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002 (b), pp. 382-395. Comaroff, John. «Etnicidad, violencia y política de identitdad. Temas téoricos y escenas

Feierstein, Daniel. El genocidio como práctica social. Entre el nazismo y la experiencia argentina. Buenos Aires: FCE, 2007. Frigolé, Joan. «Procreation and Its Implications for Gender, Marriage and Family in European Rural Ethnography». Anthropological Quarterly (1998), 71, 1: 32-40. „„ Cultura y genocidio. Barcelona: Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona, 2003. „„ «The Extreme Faces of Power: Genocide, Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing». Kula, 1, 2 (2008): 20-28. „„ «Vides robades. Genocidi i procreació». Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (2009), 34: 80-91. Gellner, Ernest. Naciones y nacionalismo. Madrid: Alianza, 1988. Kévorkian, Raymond. «L’extermination des déportés arméniens dans les camps de concentration de Syrie et de Mésopotamie (19151916)». In Coquio, C. (ed) Parler de camps, penser les génocides. Paris: Albin Michel, 1999, pp. 187-221.

NOTES: 1 Another example: the assassination of four of five members of the Nevado family (parents, son and daughter), and the failed non-fatal attack against the youngest son carried out by paramilitary troops in Colombia in the 1980s. Juan J. Aznárez, “Matando a la familia Nevado”, El País Domingo, April 6, 2008, pp. 8-9.

4 Kalterbrunner would declare in the Nuremburg Trials that “SB could also mean lodging in a luxury hotel” (Vidal-Naquet, 1995: 320). 5 Joan Ribas, “Separar el gra de la palla”, El Punt Diari, back page, March 16, 2008.

Robben, Antonius. Pegar donde más duele. Violencia política y trauma social en Argentina. Rubí (Barcelona): Anthropos, 2008. Sémelin, Jacques. «Du massacre au processus génocidaire». Revue Internationale des Sciences Sociales 4, 174: 483-492, 2002. „„ Purifier et Détruire. Usages politiques des massacres et génocides. Paris: Seuil, 2005. Timerman, Jacobo. Preso sin nombre, celda sin número. Buenos Aires: Ediciones de la Flor, 2002. Vidal-Naquet, Pierre. Réflexionssur le génocide. Paris: La Découverte,1995.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.37. year 2010) under the title Estat i violència exterminadora. A la recerca d’una formulació d’una estructura elemental del genocidi.

2 More ethnographic references to the metaphorical duo of seed and field, and to the concept of procreation (Frigolé, 1998).

3 Klaus Wiegrefe, “El mayor asesino de masas”, El País Semanal, no. 1680, December 7, 2008. p. 24.

Mujawayo, Esther. «Le génocide des Tutsi du Rwanda: témoignage de femme”. In La Igualtat té sexe? Andorra: XXIV Universitat d’Estiu d’Andorra, Government of Andorra, 2008, pp.139-155. „„ Poniatowska, Elena. Fuerte es el silencio. Mexico: Era, 1981.


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Ignasi Aldomà Buixadé Born in Poal (Lleida) in 1955, he has a doctorate in Geography and Territorial Planning from the University of Barcelona and the University of Montpellier, and a Master in Agrarian Development Projects from the Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen of Montpellier. He is currently Professor of Territorial Organization at the University of Lleida and the author of various articles, books, and research projects in Agrarian Studies and Territorial Planning.

Water in Dry Catalonia Historical Water Usage and Perspectives for Present-day Evaluation: Case Study of the Municipality of Torrebesses, (Segrià, Western Catalonia), in the Area of Vall Major On the basis of the heritage conserved, the oral testimonies and the historical documentation, it shows how the inhabitants of drylands from Torrebesses (Western Catalonia) have developed through time strategies for harnessing rain water, surface and groundwater that have allowed them to move forward with a diverse range of agricultural production and related activities and have made it possible for the subsistence of a relatively dense network of local communities. Sobre la base del patrimoni conservat, els testimonis orals i la documentació històrica, l’article explica com els habitants dels secans de Torrebesses (Segrià) han desenvolupat al llarg del temps estratègies per a l’aprofitament de l’aigua de pluja, la de superfície i la de la capa freàtica, fet que els ha permès seguir endavant amb una ampli ventall de productes agrícoles i activitats relacionades, i que ha possibilitat la subsistència d’una xarxa relativament densa de comunitats locals.

Keywords: Drylands, hydraulic, irrigation, Catalonia Paraules clau: secans, hidràulic, regadiu, Catalunya

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n spite of the pejorative connotation the dominant discourse of our day attributes to dry lands, throughout history they have been economically and culturally vibrant territories, and this vitality has been associated with the presence of water. A good example would be the dry lands of the Segrià district in Catalonia, and especially the municipality of Torrebesses studied here. These dry lands have developed strategies over time to benefit directly from rains and resultant usable groundwater, used for a diversity of agricultural production and for other productive activities, besides meeting the direct water consumption needs of local inhabitants. In this paper we set out to analyze knowledge, infrastructures and systems related to water conservation, as contextualized by hydro-geological reality and socio-economic dynamics. In doing so, the study begins with an inventory of infrastructures and material features that are relevant for the regulation of the water cycle in dry lands. This goes along with a systematic summary of historical knowledge related to the water cycle, both in terms of scientific and technical observations, and in relation to water management

practices as related to various activities and conservation initiatives. Together they have all come to make up part of the Ethnological Heritage Inventory of Catalonia. At the same time, and despite the fact that this study brings together only the main conclusions, a hydro-geological evaluation has been made of how the water cycle works in the dry lands of the Les Garrigues district, both in terms of the quantity and quality of the resource, and in relation to its distribution and condition. An assessment has been carried out of the reuse, renovation and reconversion of existing constructions and facilities through the Technological Institute of Lleida (Institut Tecnològic de Lleida), a participant in the program, and itineraries have been designed for heritage observation, education and promotion, as well as water cycle management in dry lands. For the reasons here indicated, a multidisciplinary team participated in the study, with the intervention of University of Lleida professors Ignasi Aldomà, a geographer, Enric Vicedo, a historian and Josep Carles Balasch, a geologist, along with geographers Marina Guillén, Joan Ferrer and Josep Ramon Mòdol and the agricultural engineer


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Water drawn from a well with a pulley was enough to fill the adjacent trough. Animals drank from them, gardens were watered, and it was even possible to do the washing, maximizing usage of water resources (Maials district limits). MUNICIPAL ARCHIVE OF TORREBESSES.

Manuel Murillo. Carles Pubill and Carles Labèrnia participated from the Technological Institute of Lleida, while Josep Preixens and Mateu Esquerda were the lead researchers in developing the inventory.

Material and intangible testimonies in the present speak to us of the local population’s capacity for adaptation and knowledge acquisition in relation to the possibilities afforded by the water cycle.

Dry Lands and Water Shortage Management Over time the inhabitants of Les Garrigues have adapted and have learnt to benefit from the water available in their own territory. Les Garrigues is a dry land, though it is not a desert; water is abundantly present and many opportunities are available for its utilization.

As Torrebesses is found in an inland area set off from the main watercourses flowing down from the Pyrenees, the population and activity of the town and of other municipalities in the district historically depended on rainwater. Precipitation falls on surfaces that are not in principle ideal for water absorption, as occurs with the presence

of Oligocene substrates with a very low porosity; a proof of this is the absence of important natural springs on the high planes and on the hills that characterize most of the region. The only surface of any consideration with the capacity for water retention and storage is found at the bottom of valleys, where we find rather deep alluvial or colluvial substrates. The annual average infiltration feeding the aquifer of the Vall Major allows us to acknowledge that there was enough water available for historical consumption needs. Water use has been adapted


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MAP 1

Torrebesses and Vall Major as contextualized in the hydrographical system of the Ponent plains.

The abundance of water at the valley floors of the main watercourses Set and Vall Major directly rely upon the size of their capitation areas. This explains the hydrological preeminence at Torrebesses of the two main valleys in the municipal limits, above all Vall Major (Great Valley), whose name clearly describes it.

to the needs of the moment, and increasing consumption, along with the emergence of new conservation infrastructures, has gone along with the process of human settlement of the territory. The structural hydric deficit was not considered until quite recently, in the 1980s and 1990s, when projects were developed for mass pumping of irrigation water from aquifers at the valley floor.

animal assistance, with simultaneous food, water and service requirements across the board. In order to meet the water needs of people, animals and crops, a full-fledged program of water management and usage of the limited hydric resources found locally would be developed, leaving in its wake a vast quantity of material heritage and knowledge, constituting the central purpose of the study.

Water Management as the Basis for Human Settlement Over the years the enhancement of the overall percentage of the surface area dedicated to agriculture would lead to greater needs for manual labour and

As seen in this study, responsible water consumption involves two clearly differentiated areas set apart by priority water uses, in line with the dual hydrological nature of the analyzed territory. On one hand there are strictly

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agricultural water use practices, above all related to the area that accumulates the resources or main reserves, at the valley floor. On the other hand, in the rest of the territory, represented by hills and high plains, technical and infrastructure development is motivated by the need to meet the requirements of people and animals, which is done by direct utilization of rainwater. As we shall see, there is no strict separation between them. There is, however, a rather significant difference between the water supply for crops found at the valley floor and provision for drinking water on the hills and on the high plains, with the accompanying development of specific infrastructures in each given area (see attached figure). The total sum of heritage related to water in the inventory, beyond the strict confines of the town centre, comes to 313 heritage sites, each defined by the main feature characterizing it. It should be kept in mind that in some cases these sites have additional features or facilities that complement the main feature, so that the total number of facilities comes to 342 (see attached table), without taking into account basins, sinks and other small, more or less mobile features. The most frequent facilities found are wells, which do not raise considerable classification doubts and number about two per family. The density of wells over the entire territory of the municipality is 5 per square kilometre, though this figure rises to one per hectare when considering the main valley floors where they are mostly found. Along with these wells there are other facilities for gathering and storing water (supply galleries, water tanks, water-drawing mechanisms, and so on) that highlight the wells’ economic and heritage value. Ponds, pits dug into bedrock, masonry reservoirs (known as aljubs) and cis-


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GRAPHIC 1

Characteristic features of built water-related heritage, according to physical placement, 2010 inventory. HIGH PLAIN ■

NARROW CHANNEL

HILL ■ VALLEY FLOOR ■

RESERVOIR WELLSPRING IRRIGATION CANAL BASIN

135

WELL MILL STONE PIT CISTERN POND MASONRY RESERVOIR 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

NUMBER OF INVENTORIED SITES

SOURCE: elaborated by the author from the inventory of construction in the municipality. The numbers refer to sites, as defined by the most characteristic facility (see note in accompanying table).

GRAPHIC 2

Characteristic features of built water-related heritage, according to construction period, 2010 inventory. BEFORE 1950 ■

8

NARROW CHANNEL

10

GENERAL TOTAL ■

1

RESERVOIR

6 6 6

WELLSPRING

14 15

IRRIGATION CANAL 6 7

BASIN

76

WELL

135

5 5

MILL

21 23

STONE PIT 5

CISTERN

9 36

POND

42 45

MASONRY RESERVOIR

53 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

NUMBER OF INVENTORIED SITES

SOURCE: elaborated by the author from the inventory of construction in the municipality. The numbers refer to sites, as defined by the most characteristic facility (see note in accompanying table). From amongst all elements in the inventory it is important to differentiate between those built in recent decades and those from the first half of the 20th century and beforehand, as these latter are significantly different in terms of form and materials. In recent decades a significant number of new wells have been built, as well as some ponds, larger more historical reservoirs and water deposits.

terns (the term includes more recent examples and those with more unique typologies and materials) are different types of storage methods for rainwater falling on the hills or high plains, used mainly for human and animal consumption. These four typologies, which have a similar storage function, together comprise a quantity of examples that is close to the number of wells; their density and spread throughout the territory is thus remarkable. Furthermore, there are other reservoir features like tanks and deposits that are more modern, and others whose function is not related to maximizing rain water usage. Irrigation canals, for their part, have a significant heritage and economic interest in many dry lands. In Torrebesses this interest is related to their size and their importance in constructive terms. The structure of irrigation canals has made it possible to irrigate a good part of the valley floor, and along with these major canals we find bridges, tunnels, ponds, splitter walls, narrow banked channels and other common water storage features that accent their potential and interest. Finally, in the generic section of wellsprings, there are a few natural springs and their corresponding stone fountains, with the inventory also including three historical flour mills and two older olive oil mills, all with quality water management facilities. It should be said that the inventory carried out does not fully cover all waterrelated heritage. There are unique features in the territory with an important artistic or heritage interest, such as basins and stone-lined channels, which for their mobile nature or smaller size have not been explicitly included in the inventory. Besides this, there are still remains of sinks and other water management systems related to existing facilities or to specific crops that


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are not large enough or do not have particularly special traits. As such, they have not been included in the inventory, spread out as they are throughout the study area or with a limited “constructed” size. All of these details are in any case considered here within our general analysis of water management in dry lands. The Valley Floor as a Key Area in Water Cycle Usage In the geomorphology of the Les Garrigues district, valleys function as channels, cutting the high lands in direction SE-NW and E-W, and then ending up in two or three main valleys that flow into the Segre or Ebro rivers. The valley floor is a natural drain, channelling rainwater runoff and water accumulated in the alluvial sediments at variable depth. Towns in the region were generally founded along the valley floors, accompanied by smaller fields, irrigated crops and mills, and other features. The spread of hydraulic heritage and the constructed merit of the features found along the

valley floors, clearly demonstrate the economic interest of surface water in this dry territory, which could today seem to be and in fact really be suffering from water shortages. The main irrigation canals, which we can consider to be central since they constitute fundamental infrastructure running down the middle of the valley floor, are the area’s largest and most important construction projects. These canals originally appeared for the purpose of draining the valley floor, channelling excess rainwater and reducing risk of erosion and destruction of fields and their edges. Thus the river in Vall Major is essentially the irrigation canal of Vall Major, appearing in present-day topographic maps as a creek or ravine. The irrigation canal regulates this historical function of water runoff, its seasonal importance shifting in function of rains, with more activity in the spring and autumn, and with a summer drought between. Currently it is rather infrequent to see water running through Vall Major, fundamentally

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because the aquifer at the valley floor is overexploited and rainwater never manages to refill it. The main supply lines were done with lateral canals branching out from the main irrigation canal. These lateral canals, which are smaller and of a lower construction quality than the main one, are also in a worse state of conservation, even though many can be perfectly well identified. With the exception of the occasional starting section of a lateral canal, the smaller ditches are dug into the earth, with the clay typical of the area ensuring optimal sealing conditions. Their profile denotes a minimal slope, gaining in altitude over the floor of the valley so as to be able to use the water for mills or agriculture, taking advantage of the effects of gravity; thus on a map these ditches appear at the valley edges and fit into the adjoining hillsides. The greatest demand is in summer when water is scarcer and when surface water most typically disappears. In

TABLE 1

Water heritage in the municipality of Torrebesses, 2010 inventory (1) HERITAGE FROM BEFORE 1950

TOTAL HERITAGE

COMPLEMENTARY FACILITIES

FACILITIES DENSITY

FACILITIES PER FAMILY

Masonry Reservoir

45

53

0

1,9

0,4

Pond

36

42

3

1,7

0,3

5

9

0

0,3

0,1

21

23

7

1,1

0,2

Mill

5

5

0

0,2

0,0

Well

76

135

2

5,0

1,0

6

7

17

0,9

0,2

14

15

0

0,6

0,1

Natural Spring

6

6

0

0,2

0,0

Deposit

1

6

0

0,2

0,0

Cistern Stone Pit

Basin Irrigation channel

Narrow Channel GENERAL TOTAL

8

10

0

0,4

0,1

223

311

29

12,5

2,4

SOURCE: elaborated by the author from the inventory of construction in the municipality. (1) A distinction is made here between inventoried places and facilities, in that inventoried places, with different registries in the heritage inventory, sometimes include more than a single feature or facility. Thus the wells are accompanied by some kind of deposit for water, which could mean basins or larger troughs, included as such when larger than 2 m2. (2) Instead of indicating numbers of homes the choice was made to refer to numbers of families, since there are homes that are connected and work collectively. While in documentation from the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century there were 78 owners with ploughing animals and 208 homes in the census, and early agrarian censuses gave a maximum of 147 farms (1972), the choice has been made to use 140 as the reference for numbers of farms in establishing an indicator of facilities per family.


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these circumstances the main reserve of water was found in colluvial terrains running along the valley floor, previously fed by rainwater or by seepage from the main irrigation canals. At certain points the aquifer is so near to the surface that the water is close to swelling out in natural springs, as is the case with the natural spring water fountains found at either end of the municipal limit, or with the town fountain found nearby, at the confluence of the Major and Siscars river valleys. Still, in most cases it was necessary to drill into the earth to access groundwater through wells.

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an intense human presence, where the water requirements of the outlying areas of the municipality almost matched the needs of the town centre. This is what fundamentally explains the rich constructed heritage related to water usage spread out over the entire municipality. Once above the main valley floors, water was obtained from rain runoff, which was channelled into various types of deposits. Ponds were dug

where the ground was softer, and stone pits and masonry reservoirs appeared in areas with harder rock surfaces. Rainwater was directed towards these generally rounded deposits using lined waterways freed of brush and kept clean, with the idea of draining more or less larger capitation basins. These features were called aigĂźeres, referring to drainage systems, and they were also used to bring water to the fields, in some cases making use of existing paths used for walking.

MAP 2

Water heritage map of the municipal limits of Torrebesses, 2010 inventory.

We cannot establish dates from existing remains so as to clearly identify the construction period of the wells now found. However, the construction materials used do allow us to pose a few hypotheses. From the oldest, simplest and most shallow wells dug into the ground itself to the most recent, which are deeper and complex, using metallic tubing, there is a gradual shift in construction materials with their corresponding techniques, setting apart the successive periods in well construction. Historically, after simple earth-lined wells, we find those made of stone, mostly non-mortared stone, while into the 20th century we begin to find brick wells and, after them, those done first with cement piping and then with metallic tubes. Direct Use of Rainwater. Ponds, Pits and Reservoirs Nowadays, when the outskirts of rural towns seem practically empty, it is difficult to appreciate how not so long ago human presence and activity were dense and constant. Only such human presence can explain the amount of constructed features spread out over areas like the municipal limits of Torrebesses, meeting not only agricultural needs but also those of seasonal residents. We are in fact dealing with environments and landscapes with

Masonry reservoir

Spring fountain

Reservoir

Sink

Narrow channel

Cistern

Splitter Wall

Irrigation channel

Olive oil mill

Basin

Spring

Flour mill

Stone pit

Well

Area of influence of the farmhouses (200m)

Pond

Vat

Well/Trough

Source: elaborated by the author from the inventory of construction in the municipality. See the concentration of wells in the valley floor, near irrigation canals, while ponds, masonry reservoirs, stone pits and other water-retention systems are found on the hills and on the high plains.


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Different types of water deposits are found all over the high plains and hills in the area. Their task was to ensure drinking water for people and animals during the periods spent working in the fields. It is not unusual, therefore, to find that a good part of these facilities are near to or related to cabins and farmhouses used as temporary residences. Besides this, water stored in different locations in the municipal limits could also be used for the occasional irrigation of a specific crop, besides serving as a complement to domestic consumption if circumstances so required. The presence of ponds, stone pits and masonry reservoirs, found throughout the municipality, can be related to the agricultural settlement of the territory. There was most likely a particularly intense period of settlement in the 18th century, when agriculture grew rapidly to the detriment of more generally common economic activity in the forest, or with livestock. By means of terracing and other types of support infrastructures for agricultural activity, settlement grew most sharply in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The total amount of cultivated land peaked in the 1950s, even though local demography had already begun to fall off in the first decades of the century. Meeting Domestic Needs and Water Consumption Water consumption is a primary necessity of those inhabiting the town centre, satiating the thirst of people and animals as well as responding to cooking and food preparation needs, and those related to domestic cleaning, clothes washing and other necessities. In order to meet such demands, a variety of family strategies were developed. This led to a diversity of infrastructure solutions, including shared ponds, fountains and wells around the town,

as well as private cisterns and other highly varied solutions depending on each residence. Historically, domestic water supply for the inhabitants of Torrebesses had two key reference points: the large constructed pond in the upper part of the village, and the smaller one in the lower part. Compared with other sources of water supply, the water from the ponds was clearly preferable as it was of superior quality, and only water coming from other masonry reservoirs, which were also filled with rainwater, was more highly appreciated. However, these reservoirs were usually found farther away and were for more exclusive use. Residents were clearly more habituated to consuming water from the ponds, in spite of the

fact that its colour or taste was not always optimal. When water availability in the ponds fell, it was necessary to recur to other supply sources. For reasons of its proximity and for the abundance of water found there, the natural spring fountain at the valley floor, at the confluence of Vall Major and the Siscars River, was the preferred place. The well of the town was just beside this fountain; as it was much deeper than the spring, it was possible to access reserves from below the river bed in times of greater drought. When it came to water for drinking or cooking, if there was not enough in the ponds or if the water found in them was discoloured, the townspeople preferred the water from the two

Filling jugs at the pond above the town from the access stairs still conserved. MUNICIPAL ARCHIVE OF TORREBESSES

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fountains in the municipality to the water from the spring fountain or the wells at the valley floor. However, the trip to the fountains took considerably longer and water flow was weak, so that there would typically be a long wait to fill up with water. In dry conditions it was even more common to go to the fountain –no evidence exists suggesting it ever dried up– and it was not unusual to even go at night. For the houses in the town and for any kind of covered construction, the most autonomous way of ensuring water availability was to take advantage of rainwater falling on the roof. The implantation of such self-sufficient supply systems was relatively easy and gave better results in freestanding buildings, unlike with the townhouse-style homes characteristic of Torrebesses and other towns in the interior. It is likely for this reason, and also due to the relative abundance of available resources near the town centre (as already observed) that the presence of homemade water capitation systems using cisterns has not been particularly significant in Torrebesses.

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Hydraulic Heritage in Presentday Development of Dry Lands In general terms, the inventory of rural heritage in the municipality of Torrebesses, along with the study of a diversity of territorial variables, together paint a picture where agricultural production on larger farms has expanded and human presence has decreased, symptomatic of the shift in agricultural activity since the 1960s. Local agroclimatic conditions have not been adapted to the models of industrial agricultural transformation, as seen in agricultural areas where production is more intensive; nor have there been local initiatives to open up specific lines of development adapted to the zone. As a consequence, agricultural activity in the present consists fundamentally of intensive livestock exploitation, almost entirely unrelated to the local agrarian base. Agricultural land is being lost, while, in general, areas of uncultivated terrains or forested areas are expanding.

heritage built up until the 1960s has remained intact, as a result of a type of agrarian activity and culture grounded in Mediterranean dry land conditions, with the intensive use of manual labour, mostly family-sized production units and a strong component of family self-consumption.

The previously-explained process of change also explains how nowadays a good part of the rich agricultural

• Smaller garden plots and their dividing walls have great agronomical interest, and their preservation

The needs giving meaning to the full set of heritage in the area, constituted as an agrarian society based on family farms and the intensive use of manual labour, have been transformed or have disappeared, while the new approach taking hold is adapted to the demands of these changing times. In this sense, the possible use of heritage features should be placed in the context of the diversity of functions required of agricultural areas, as an addition to more classic productive activities, which themselves are undergoing change. As for the different types of infrastructures and features of interest, a full range of specific functional possibilities can be indicated (see accompanying table).

Table 2

Number of water storage features and maximum volume of reserves as calculated in cubic metres, according to types; 2010 inventory. FEATURES BUILT IN 1950 AND AFTER

FEATURES BUILT BEFORE 1950 FEATURES

(m3) (m3) MINIMUM MAXIMUM

(m3) AVERAGE

TOTAL

FEATURES

(m3) (m3) MINIMUM MAXIMUM

(m3) AVERAGE

TOTAL

Pond

36

3

4887

484

17434

6

24

5600

2631

15788

Stone pit

20

0

8

1

28

2

1

5

3

5

Masonry reservoir

45

2

23

9

393

8

1

8

5

38

Cistern

5

4

18

11

55

4

2

16

9

36

Basin

6

2

56

21

128

1

1

1

1

1

Deposit

1

32

32

32

32

5

12

4624

1121

5604

Mill Ponds

4

0

420

105

420

TOTAL

117

18490

26

21472

SOURCE: elaborated by the author from the inventory of construction in the municipality. The cisterns found inside buildings in the municipal limits are not included. It could seem insignificant in the present that in 1950 all forms of water storage, excluding cisterns in the town itself and the wells themselves, came to a total capacity of under 20,000 m3, just a tenth of the total amount of water stored in just one of the large ponds made using modern construction techniques along the Segarra-Garrigues Canal. However, historical water reserve capacity ensured reserves of some 20 m3 per person per year in times of maximum population. This quantity is significantly lower than current water consumption averages, though it was large enough and adequately adapted to local needs in the period circa 1900 (see accompanying table).


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along with shared management of the aquifer. • Reservoirs, ponds and other features related to domestic consumption in the rural environment have lost their original purpose, making it necessary to seek out more recreational or touristic alternatives. To the degree that some kind of habitat or temporary occupation is sustained, this would make it more viable to give these infrastructures some sort of function. In any case, agricultural activities, hunting, horseback riding or other leisure activities should not lead to the creation of new hydric facilities, but rather should benefit from the use of existing ones whenever possible.

Sisters at the public washing basins at the end of the Vall Major, 1960s. Until 1965 the running water network was not connected to individual homes, so that at Torrebesses washing was done in public basins, while in certain cases it was also done in private basins. MUNICIPAL ARCHIVE OF TORREBESSES

should be viable from a productive perspective, particularly in areas that are not too steep and where mechanization would be feasible. A productive option should possibly be considered that would enhance their surplus value.

• Still today the wells have agricultural interest. However, even though there is no need for such a large quantity of them, their possible recuperation would be linked to the regeneration of the water cycle and the revival of the reserves below the river bed,

A mother and her daughter on their way to fetch water at the Clin Clan fountain, with jugs carried in the side baskets, called esgraells. MUNICIPAL ARCHIVE OF TORREBESSES

• Environmental functions or those favouring the landscape correspond to a great diversity of features, although they are especially interesting for those that have been historically used for drinking water for animals, or those standing out and clearly visible in the agrarian landscape. This would be the case with ponds, and with the irrigation canals and other complementary features at the valley floor. Due to changes in material culture over the past 50 years, historical water heritage features have generally fallen into disuse. This lack of use brings with it a lack of maintenance and gradual deterioration, affecting some facilities more than others. The purposes they were originally built for have lost interest, and, on the other hand, the materials and construction techniques are not well-adapted to new uses. Without functional recuperation able to reactivate existing heritage, as has previously been observed, the proposal would be to highlight the need to at least preserve those features of greatest interest or especially at risk of deterioration, or those already damaged or in poor condition. n


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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Ferret Pujol, J. (2002) Els Antics aprofitaments d’aigües subterrànies al delta del Llobregat, 1600-1900. El Prat : Comunitat d’Usuaris d’Aigües del Delta del Riu Llobregat.

Muñoz Muñoz, Juan Antonio (2008) “Construcciones y artilugios hidráulicos”. Dins Arquitectura Tradicional. Almeria: Instituto de Estudios Almerienses, p. 38-61.

Font, G.; Mateu, J.; Pujadas, S. (2002) Torderades i eixuts. Els usos tradicionals de l’aigua al Montseny. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura.

Pallaruelo, Severino (1984) Los molinos del Alto Aragón. Osca: Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, Diputación de Huesca.

González Tascón, I.; Velázquez, I. (2004) “Medis auxiliars de construcció en l’enginyeria hidràulica romana”. Dins Aquaromana. Técnica humana y fuerza divina. Barcelona: Fundació Agbar, p. 107-123. Iniesta, M.; Villaró, A.; Feixa, C. (1997) El temps dels rais a la ribera del Segre. Entre bosc i lo riu hi passava la vida. Tremp: Garsineu edicions. Jornades d’Estudi de la Cultura Fluvial PirineuMediterrània,1es. (1994) Tortosa. Amics de l’Ebre, Calaceit : Gràfiques del Matarranya, 1997, 373 p. Kirchner, H., Oliver, J., Vela, S. (2002) Aigua prohibida. Arqueologia hidràulica del feudalisme a la Cerdanya. El canal Reial de Puigcerdà. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Laureano, Pietro. (2005) Atlas del agua. Los conocimientos tradicionales para combatir la desertificación. Barcelona: Unesco, Laia. Llop Tous, J.; Roig I Queralt, F. (1991) Les mines d’aigua al Camp de Tarragona: La Canonja. La Canonja: Centre d’Estudis Canongins Ponç de Castellví. Martin, F.; Serra, R. (1991) Les construccions de pedra seca a la comarca de les Garrigues. Lleida: Pagès editors. Martin, F., Preixens, J. (2005) Les construccions de pedra seca. Lleida: Pagès editors.

Esquerda Ribes, M. (2009) “Aprofitament humà dels recursos hídrics de la Vall Major”. Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya, num. 34, p.106.

Martinez Garcia, Manel (2005) “Construccions rurals relacionades amb l’aprofitament de l’aigua”. Reboll, Butlletí del Centre d’Història Natural de la Conca de Barberà, núm. 8, p. 20-21.

Feliu Monfort, G. (1983) “Algunes ordenacions i plets per les aigües del Corb”. Grup de Recerques de les Terres de Ponent. Tàrrega, p. 48-104.

Martinez Garcia, Manel (2010) Arquitectura rural, un patrimoni cultural oblidat. L’exemple de la Conca de Barberà. Valls: Cossetània edicions.

Felix, J.; Ripoll, R. (2010) “Les barraques de pedra seca”. La pedra seca, evolució, arquitectura i restauració. Girona: Brau edicions, p. 55-109.

Miralles Garcia, F.; Montfort Tena, J.; Marin Royo, M. (2008) Els homens i les pedres. La pedra seca a Vilafranca: un paisatge humanitzat. Vilafranca: Publicacions de l’Ajuntament de Vilafranca.

Palomar, Salvador (2004) “Arquitectura popular i aprofitament de l’aigua a la conca del Siurana”. Dins 4rt curs d’arquitectura popular. Lleida: editorial Pagès, p. 77-92. Piquer I Jover, J.J. (1987) Apunts sobre aigües, peixeres i molins, extractats de les actes notarials de Vallbona (1157-1748). Tàrrega: Grup de Recerques de les Terres de Ponent. Prats Sobrepere, J.; Cervera, J.; Manent, A. (2008) Lèxic de meteorologia popular a les Garrigues. Juneda: El Fonoll. Queralt, Ramon (2008) Les Cabanes de volta de les Borges Blanques: paisatges, fets i gent. Valls: Cossetània. Reynés Trias, Antoni (1994) La construcció de pedra en sec a Mallorca. Mallorca: Consell Insular de Mallorca, Fodesma. Reynés Trias, A., Alomar, G., Ferrer, I., Grimalt, M., Rodríguez, R. (2002) La pedra en sec. Materials, eines i tècniques tradicionals a les illes mediterrànies. Mallorca: Consell Insular de Mallorca, Fodesma. Rubio, Joan (1914) Construccions de pedra en sec. Barcelona: Anuario de la Asociación de Arquitectos de Catalunya. Saez Planas, Marià (2004) “La pedra seca”. Quaderns de la Revista de Girona. Girona: Diputació de Girona. Serra Boldú, Valeri (1987) Folklore de la pagesia. Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.38. year 2012) under the title L’aigua a la Catalunya seca. El seu aprofitament històric i les perspectives de valoració actual. Estudi del cas del municipi de Torrebesses (Segrià) en el context de la Vall Major.


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Jaume Ayats Barberà

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Centre d’Art i Natura in Farrera; UNIVERSITAT AUTÒNOMA DE BARCELONA

Ayats Barberà is the director of the Music Museum of Barcelona and a researcher in ethnomusicology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has written various books, including Córrer la sardana (Run the Sardana, 2006), Les chants traditionnels des Pays Catalans (Traditional Songs of the Catalan Countries, 2008), Cantar a la fàbrica, cantar al coro (Sing in the Factory, Sing in the Choir, 2008) and Els Segadors. De cançó eròtica a himne nacional (Els Segadors): From Erotic Song to National Anthem, 2011)

Traditional Chants in Catalan Pyrenees

Social Construction of Pyrenean Villages In the closing decades of the 19th century and the opening decades of the 20th century, the Catholic Church made an effort to stamp out all music from the liturgy that it considered inappropriate for maintaining the “right attitudes” and for the interests of the Catholic faith in the contemporary world. Between years 2008 and 2010 we carried out a research in order to discover the tradition and their current validity of the polyphonic singings of religious look that its sang in the zone of the Catalan Pyrenees of Catalonia. From all this work a whole an sonorous, bibliographical and audiovisual materials have appeared of great diversity and quality, which encourages us to continuing working this subject in the future. En les darreres dècades del segle xix i en els inicis del xx, l’Església Catòlica féu un gran esforç per acabar amb tota la música de la litúrgia que considerava inadequada per mantenir una “actitud correcta” i per als interessos de la fe catòlica en el món contemporani. Entre anys 2008 i 2010 vam dur a terme un treball d’investigació per tal de descobrir la tradició i la validesa actual dels cants polifònics d’orientació religiosa en la zona dels Alts Pirineus catalans. De tot aquest treball n’ha sorgit un gran gruix de materials sonors, bibliogràfics i audiovisuals de gran diversitat i qualitat, que ens animen a continuar treballant aquest tema en el futur.

T

he study “Cants religiosos a l’Alt Pirineu” (IPECAnàlisi, 20082010) has revealed t h e p ro f o u n d implications of singing together during various religious rituals in mountain villages in Catalan Pyrenees until around the middle of the 20th century. Beyond the specific religious beliefs of each, and even further from

the official rituals of the Catholic Church, the liturgies performed in these villages and the manners and behaviour displayed during singing helped to make the social order visible and sensitive. Despite the possible differences in religious feeling, singing allowed people to individually experience the hierarchies and roles of social life in small villages (with populations of around 100 to 1,000 inhabitants).

Singers of Gerri de la Sal (Pallars Sobirà) before the lecterns of Col·legiata de Santa Maria, (08/2007). ANNA COSTAL

Keywords: Catalan Pyrenees, religious singings, popular song book Paraules clau: Pirineu català, cants religiosos, cançoner popular


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Singing revealed divisions of gender, age and origin, the skills and unique qualities of specific persons, money and power, the relations between individuals and the community and other roles that ordered society. All these relations and social constructions were demonstrated through monodic and polyphonic chants transmitted orally and rarely accompanied by instruments. These chants’ aesthetics and structures surprise “contemporary” audiences and often arouse interest in learning about their uncommon sonority and expression. In this paper, we propose a synthesis of the research conducted for more than three years, a summary of the main findings together with research publications that we have created so far and a preview of work we have planned for the future. Forgotten Chants: Subjects for Research Contemporary society has all but forgotten the religious chants that formed the basis of the liturgy in villages until the first half of the 20th century. They have become so neglected that most Catalans are just as likely to believe that these chants never existed in this country, especially the polyphonic ones. However, part of our social milieu is rediscovering interest in these chants from a perspective that views them as exotic, with captivating new formulations of the repertoire emerging, especially in Corsica and Sardinia (and sometimes even further away). And yet we are convinced in Catalonia that “we don’t have these kinds of traditions”. What is the cause of this total ignorance? We shall try to synthesise the response in the three events described below.

In the closing decades of the 19th century and the opening decades of the 20th century, the Catholic Church made an effort to stamp out all music from the liturgy that it considered

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inappropriate for maintaining the “right attitudes” and for the interests of the Catholic faith in the contemporary world. The main symbol of this was the motu propio Tra le sollecitudine of Pius X in 1903. Music considered inappropriate was gradually kept out, particularly when it resembled opera and dance music. But the new “correct” repertoires (which ranged from the restructuring of liturgical singing as proposed in Solesmes to the composers of a new model of “religious music”) also banished and replaced oral chants considered “rustic” and “of the old regime”, as well as the ways of singing them. This process took

differently than “popular songs”: they were generally in Latin (and not in Catalan as sought), they were considered of cult origin and some were polyphonic, when searching especially for rustic simplicity, and it was believed that everything sung in different voices had to originate with a technical musician. But these chants did not attract the attention of historical musicologists, who sought the scores and original works of specific authors situated in time and downplayed strictly oral music. As such, they were neither cult nor popular and remained outside all theoretical models in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Singing couplets for Saint Martin in the choir of the church of Sant Martí de Bescaran (Alt Urgell) with the accompaniment of an accordion (08/11/2009). ESTER GARCIA LLOP

place in the Catholic world especially between 1914 and 1945, according to the country and historical circumstances. Later, the liturgical renewal and abandonment of Latin according to the rules of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), with new repertoires and “updated” styles, ended up pushing aside what little repertoire remained active of the chants that interest us, with rare exceptions. For the collectors of popular and traditional chants, such as the extensive work of the Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya between 1921 and 1936, religious chants were conceived

In the post-Franco years, religious chants primarily in Latin also failed to capture collectors’ interest. After years of government-supported Catholicism and Latin, the positions split between those that fled from anything having to do with religion and those that worked out the alternative of a modern ritual in the Catalan language. While Latin was experienced in Corsica and Sardinia as an alternative to the Frenchification or Italianisation of religious life, which led to these chants being seen as part of their own identity, things took another path in Catalonia, where old religious chants were replaced by modern ones in Catalan.


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in Farrera, created by a research team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona that forms part of the SGR 2009/227 “Les músiques en les societats contemporànies” MUSC (a project rejected in the 2007 call, but approved in 2008). In addition to the research itself, the results anticipated an awakened interest in these chants in Pallars Sobirà that has had implications for summer music festivals and other initiatives that we cannot cover here due to limitations of space.

Rehearsing to record the chants: singers of the choir of the church of Enviny in Pallars Sobirà (10/11/2006). IRIS GAYETE

This leads us to understand that despite the high level of intensity of oral and material signs left by these chants for years, almost nobody is aware of them today. Only very rare examples were included in some recordings made in the last two decades (Crivillé and Vilar, 1991 and 2007; Ayats, Roviró and Roviró, 1994 and 1996; Torrent, 2001a and 2001b; La música religiosa de l’Andorra del 1800, 2000). It is also true that memories of them were gradually erased from many Catalan counties over the course of the 20th century and that examples were confined to specific areas, and mainly to the Pyrenees, due to old social circumstances and social history established in the last two or three centuries. Thanks to chance and the interest and insistence of Margarida Barbal, in 2006 we heard some home recordings made by the Barbal family of Enviny during family gatherings in the early 1980s whose liturgical chants evinced depth and human and musical interest with various examples of polyphony. Initial assessment research in Vall d’Àssua and in El Batlliu (sponsored by Sort City Council and the County Council of Pallars Sobirà in July 2006) showed us that the memory of these chants was

very much alive and aroused intense emotions among many of the older residents of Pallars Sobirà. It also showed that according to the village, social and musical memory was restricted to those over 70 years old. Thus, a broader study was proposed with the IPEC-Anàlisi project presented by the Centre d’Art i Natura

Religious Chants in Catalan Pyrenees The study was conducted in seven counties in the Pyrenees. From the starting point in Pallars Sobirà –the county were these chants have left their most intense mark to date– we expanded our research to Vall d’Aran, Ribagorça, Pallars Jussà, Andorra, Alt Urgell and a part of Cerdanya. Led by Jaume Ayats, the research team enjoyed the participation of Anna Costal, Iris Gayete, Amàlia Atmetlló, Ester Garcia Llop and Joaquim Rabaseda. Pere Casulleras also participated as

Singers from Llessui (Pallars Sobirà) with Jaume Ayats (12/11/2006). IRIS GAYETE


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the recording technician in a disinterested capacity. In total, more than 200 people were interviewed from more than 80 villages, yielding 150 hours of recorded information and chants. Though they were in no way easy to synthesise, the main results may be discussed as follows. Singing in Social Life Probably the most surprising aspect of the results was the great importance that religious chants had in expressing and experiencing social life in the village. An initial study in these aspects focusing only on the county of Pallars Sobirà was published in the book Cantadors del Pallars. Cants religiosos de tradició oral al Pirineu-Religious Chants of the Oral Tradition in the Pyrenees (Ayats, Costal and Gayete, 2010).

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chants, as well as the more “modern” ones in the Month of Mary. The details and subtleties of how this is organised, combined with the act of reading and using books –as well as pilgrimages to sanctuaries and the structuring of the territory based on devotion and spaces ordered by religious singing– immerse us in a concept of the territory, of the yearly life and of the society specifically and emotively expressed in the singing. Secular festi-

vals and the tavern –a place for men to sing together– may be understood as both reflecting and contrasting with religious chants. Unlike in other counties, it is surprising that religious singing is not managed by brotherhoods, but by this meeting of heads of households, who were also the representatives of the municipal structure under the old regime. Thus, polyphonic singing has a special splendour and power.

The first element that stands out is that only certain men of the village (generally adult heads of households) were singers: each had a specific seat in the church’s raised choir (and space exclusively for men), with privileges like having their own psalm that they had a right to intone (begin alone). Leaving aside the lower-level labourers, these men’s singing depicts and expresses a system of egalitarian households of which the social structure of the village is composed. This is demonstrated at significant times and in the control of the space and of the initiates’ language (Latin) when singing the core texts of the divine Word (mass and the divine offices, vespers and compline of the main holidays of the year). In the lower part of the church, women and children share the space and roles in a layout equivalent to the geography of the village and related to the representativeness of each household (the chapel they care for, a closer position to the altar, etc.). They join in chants that do not represent the divine Word, especially couplets and processional

Double choir of singers in the church of Bosost, in Vall d’Aran (03/2008). AMÀLIA AMETLLÓ


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Recording the Singing and Musical Performances Up in the choir, the singers “made the walls of the church tremble!” explains a woman from Vall d’Àssua excitedly. Indeed, the construction of a unique musical aesthetic fit with the social effects mentioned above: powerful singing, individualising each voice with ornamentation and timbre and hearing the effect of the harmonics and the density of the men’s voices (perceived individually and criticised by the women) were all musical characteristics that corresponded to social ones.

From this point of view, we have studied some events –especially the vespers and signing of the Magnificat– as rhetoric that builds emotion from all senses of the body during the village’s festive gathering in the church (see Ayats, Costal, Gayete and Rabaseda, 2011). Thus, sonorous and polyphonic elements gain significance in each person’s social and individual life. Furthermore, we have seen how in each step of the liturgy, depending on whether it was the divine Word or more peripheral rituals, the time reserved and rhythmic codes were distributed so that only by listening to the type of rhythmic articulation, a seasoned listener could tell what kind of ritual it was, as well as the degree of sacredness that had to be attributed to it (for more detail, see Gayete, 2012 and Ayats, 2012). A particular aspect of this may be seen in the musical structures of couplets (explored by Garcia and Llop, 2011). Finally, we must mention the link we found between the aesthetic intent of the singing and the acoustics in certain churches, where the shape of the nave, the location of the singers and the effect of the wooden platform and choir stalls helped to strengthen the sonority desired by shaking the walls

Congregation of Santa Pelaia de Perles, in Alt Urgell (23/05/2010). JAUME AYATS

and bodies of those participating in the ritual. Historical Information The information collected has also shown us how in each county and community, the historical transformation of this singing and its disappearance from liturgical use took place at different speeds and under various circumstances. This ranged from large

towns that already began to abandon them in the 1920s, and especially in the republican 1930s, to villages that finally gave them up when implementing the directives of the Second Vatican Council in the late 1960s. In some places, some of the most emblematic chants were still being sung decades later, aside from the singing of couplets, which were still active in some others.

Choir of the church of Unarre (Pallars Sobirà), with a lectern and choir stalls for the singers (30/09/2006). JAUME AYATS


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Material and Heritage Elements The findings also include the material objects that remained in the churches and sacristies from when the rituals were performed. First are the architectural elements, both the general architecture of the building (the distribution of space, access stairwells linking the choir to the bell tower, high platforms, high balconies in the nave, spaces in the walls for brotherhoods) and the more specific architecture of the choir, generally built from wood with large platforms and particularly choir stalls with the exact location of each singer. Second are the movable elements, such as the lecterns, railing lecterns, mobile choir benches and reclining chairs for the women of each family, as well as the benches of the labourers of the brotherhood. Finally are the large songbooks, smaller books from more recent times and typographic plates couplets. All this could be joined by crosses and processional symbols, pilgrimage banners and flags and various objects used inside the church, during processions and Holy Week.

In recent decades, these elements have been underappreciated and are sometimes systematically destroyed. In some cases, the alleged restoration of Romanesque walls –with an obsession for strictly mediaeval authenticity and a direct view of the rock– has devastated the choir where the oldest men in the village sang 50 years ago (in the same way as their forefathers had 400 years before). In some villages, this has kept some old men from wanting to return to church. In this regard, an appeal must be made to the heads of churches and to the architects and experts that do restoration work to be aware that the space and objects are the surroundings (and result) of centuries of continuous activity that they often fail to grasp. In our case, we must also insist on the impor-

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tance of the acoustic aspect, which is so easily altered in new “interventions”. The aforementioned book Cantadors del Pallars offers an introduction to these social and musical elements and includes a CD with a selection of recordings made by singers of the county and a DVD documentary by filmmaker Aleix Gallardet about some aspects of our fieldwork to get stories and chants from some informants.

Finally, we have also developed several international collaborative relationships that have allowed us to link our research to wider geographical areas and enriching scientific exchange. Alongside the research in the Pyrenees, we conducted specific fieldwork with the brotherhoods of the Corsican city of Calvi (through agreements with the Voce de U Commune and in cooperation with researcher Ignazio Macchiarella) that resulted in an article comparing the creation

Choir of singers in the church of Jou, in Pallars Sobirà (11/2006). ANNA COSTAL

Lectern of the choir of the church of Les Esglésies, in Pallars Jussà (08/2009). ESTER GARCIA LLOP


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of rhetoric of the senses in Calvi’s officium tenebrarum and the vespers in Pallars: “Polyphonies, Bodies and Rhetoric of the Senses: Latin Chants in Corsica and the Pyrenees” by Jaume Ayats, Anna Costal, Iris Gayete and Joaquim Rabaseda, published in the magazine Transposition in 2011. We have also established links and cooperation with the project FABRICA (ANR 2009-2012). Promoted by the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail and under the leadership of Phillipe Canguilhem, it studies both the historical and oral aspects of fauxbourdons in France. These activities have led us to participate in various congresses, where we have published various publications (Ayats and Martínez, 2011; Gayete, 2012; and Ayats, 2012), and in various university studies, including research

papers presented by Iris Gayete (2010), Amàlia Atmetlló (2010) and Ester Garcia i Llop (2011). A specific aspect of this research is currently the subject of Iris Gayete’s PhD thesis. Future Research However, the different possibilities in studying these chants could go many different directions and hold many surprises. This is why we have planned future research that is currently taking shape. The best defined lines of investigation so far include the study of temporal construction procedures for chants not governed by a pulse (a prominent theme in the work of Iris Gayete); analysis of the different logics of temporal construction and rhythm as markers of different ritual situations (a problem being studied by Jaume Ayats); the acoustic study of different churches in the Pyrenees

to establish a correlation with the aesthetics of singing, a problem being studied by acoustic engineer Enric Guaus and by Jaume Ayats (an initial treatment of the oratory of Calvi was already presented at the Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology held in Glasgow in August and September 2011); and specific research on couplets and the corresponding territorial and emotional implications (a continuation of Ester Garcia i Llop’s study, with the collaboration of an international specialist in the subject, Dominique de Courcelles). Finally, in the next few months we hope to publish a summary of the findings from all counties studied in the monographs of the collection “Subjects of Ethnology of Catalonia”. n

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Atmetlló, A. Cants religiosos de quaresma i setmana santa a Vilaller. Anàlisi social i musical. Treball de recerca del DEA en Musicologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2010 (inèdit). Director: Jaume Ayats. Ayats, J.; Roviró, I.; Roviró, X. Cançons i tonades tradicionals de la comarca d’Osona. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura, 1994 (Fonoteca de la Música Tradicional i Popular Catalana; sèrie 1, vol. 2.) De Rams a Pasqua. [CD] Vic: el Nou 9, 1996. Ayats, J.; Costal, A.; Gayete, I. Cantadors del Pallars. Cants religiosos de tradició oral al Pirineu — Religious Chants of the Oral Tradition in the Pyrenees. Barcelona: Rafael Dalmau editors, 2010 (inclou un CD amb enregistraments de camp i un DVD amb un documental d’Aleix Gallardet). Ayats, J.; Costal, A.; Gayete, I.; Rabaseda, J. «Polyphonies, Bodies and Rhetoric of senses: latin chants in Corsica and the Pyrenees». A: Transposition. Musique et sciences sociales [en línia]. 2011 (1). http://transposition-revue. org/spip.php?article29

Ayats, J. «The lyrical rhythm that orders the world: How the rhythmic built the ritual space models in the religious chants of the Pyrenees». A: Macchiarella, Ignazio (ed.) Proceedings of the First Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music. Udine, 2012 (en procés d’edició). Crivillé, J.; Vilar, R. Música de Tradició oral a Catalunya. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura, 1991 (Fonoteca de la Música Tradicional i Popular Catalana; sèrie 1, vol. 1). Tivissa. Cançons i tonades de la tradició oral. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura, 2007 (Fonoteca de la Música Tradicional i Popular Catalana; Sèrie 1, vol. 3). Garcia i Llop, F. X. Puix que sou dels cels Senyora i del nostre territori. El cant dels goigs i la construcció del territori a les valls d’Andorra. Treball de recerca del DEA en Musicologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2011 (inèdit). Director: Jaume Ayats.

Gayete, I. Els cants de les Vespres al Pallars Sobirà: un model de lògica temporal. Director: Jaume Ayats. Treball de recerca de Màster Oficial, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2010 (inèdit). «Time logic of the Vespers of the Pyrenees». A: Macchiarella, Ignazio (ed.) Proceedings of the First Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music. Udine: 2012 (en procés d’edició). La música religiosa de l’Andorra del 1800 [CD]. Andorra: Banc Agricol d’Andorra, Agricol 10302000, 2000. Torrent, V. Cants dels pelegrins de les Useres [CD]. València: Generalitat Valenciana, 2001 (Fonoteca de Materials). Cants de l’aurora [3 CD]. València: Generalitat Valenciana, 2001 (Fonoteca de Materials).

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.38. year 2012) under the title Cants tradicionals a l’Alt Pirineu. Construcció social dels pobles pirinencs.

Ayats, J.; Martínez, S. «Vespers in the Pyrenees: from terminology to reconstructing the aesthetic ideal of the song». A: Haidt, G.; Ahmedaja,

A. European Voices II: Multipart Singing in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. Viena: Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie, 2011 (en procés d’edició).


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Artur Serra Hurtado

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i2CAT Foundation BARCELONA_CATALONIA

He has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology by the University of Barcelona (1992). His interests focus on the construction of techno-anthropology as a new science of design, devoted to understanding and designing new cultural models emergent from knowledge society

Communities of Knowledge and Information Techno-anthropology Work as a New Science of Design In 1999 the Journal of Ethnology of Catalonia published a monograph on the Cultures in Cyberspace, headed by Dr. Buxó. In this issue, a number of anthropologists explain our visions on the cultures of cyberspace. Now, after a decade it seems that this generation of anthropologists have matured and want to open a new field of research and innovation called technoanthropology. La Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya va dedicar un dossier coordinat per M. Jesús Buxó l’any 1999 al Ciberespai. En aquell número, un conjunt d’antropòlegs vàrem explicar les nostres visions i els estudis sobre cultures del ciberespai. Després d’una dècada sembla que aquesta generació d’antropòlegs hem anat madurant i volem obrir un nou camp de recerca i innovació que anomenem tecnoantropologia.

Keywords: Techno-anthropology, computer scientists, cultural design, living lab, Citilab Paraules clau: Tecnoantropologia, informàtics, disseny cultural, “Living lab”, “Citilab”

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s an anthropologist that started out in the discipline by analysing the culture of computer scientists, techno-anthropology could be a new branch of what are known as the sciences of design (H. Simon), like computer science itself. While computer science is aimed at understanding possible new models for computers and their construction, techno-anthropology is dedicated to the design of possible new human communities and their construction in the form of experimental communities or communities of innovation. While the traditional work of anthropologists is based on the ethnography of existing communities, techno-anthropologists’ work includes these ethnographies within a broader design, construction and validation of new cultural models. At present, that means assisting processes of cultural change in communities of knowledge and innovation. Techno-anthropology is distinguished from the various fields of Internet and

The work of technoanthropologists includes assisting processes of cultural change in current communities of knowledge and innovation. CITILAB

cyberspace anthropology and sociology, etc., which simply apply the traditional ethnographic tools to the study and understanding of the different current digital communities (social networks, etc.) or the so-called impacts of new technologies on society. Just as computer scientists are not simply involved in the study of computers in existence, but also in designing new ones, technoanthropologists are not limited to being participating observers or conducting fieldwork and like all technologists, strive to design for the community. As computer science professor Juri Artmanis said: “We can say that in physical sciences we are primarily interested in the existing and in computer science (or the new species of the sciences of which there surely will be more). We are primarily concerned with that which is possible, with what can exist” (Traub, 1981: 354).


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sciences, like what was at first called information processing and later became known as computer science. The transformation of scientists into techno-scientists or scientists of design is key to understanding the emergence of biotechnology, nanotechnology and different areas of computer-inspired research that form the foundations of knowledge in the digital age.

Unlike computer science, technoanthropology deals not so much with designing new computer architectures or possible new digital networks, but feasible new human communities that could also make new technological leaps forward as mechanisms for their development. Following the idea suggested by cognitive anthropologist Roy d’Andrade, who saw cultures as cultural programmes (Andrade, 1989), technoanthropology could be the science of design and of cultural programming. Andrade outlined the idea of cultural models as a basis for his view of human cognition. According to him, “The study of cultural cognition then is the study of cultural information and cultural programs that interact with the more general programs of intelligent systems” (1989: 825). His approach was based on the concept of the cultural model, which he defined as “a cognitive schema that is intersubjectively shared by a social group” (1989: 809). Techno-anthropology could be the science for designing potential new

cognitive schema and validating them through their experimental construction. A Brief History of the Sciences of Design The first Computer Science Department was founded at Stanford University in 1964, but the origin of this first science of design was much earlier. In fact, it seems that this type of science emerged from previous innovation. The Second World War forced the scientific community of the United States to turn to engineering and devote itself to designing a series of radically new artefacts never before dreamed up by any engineer, like atomic bombs, electronic computers and programming languages.

Years later, some leaders of this community that had returned to the academic world and maintained links with government research agencies proposed that the agencies develop their inventions further with research programmes. These research programmes are what gave rise to the new

Like computer science, these sciences were created from a synthesis of scientific and engineering knowledge (in the words of Allen Newell, “putting it all together”). Thus, from the beginning, computer science was created by electronic engineers, physicists and applied mathematicians. Individual social scientists also collaborated from the start, like Herbert Simon, who together with mathematicians like A. Newell invented Logic Theorist and artificial intelligence along with it in 1955. It is a little known fact that J. Licklider, the first director of the ARPANET Information Processing Office, was both a human factor psychologist and a computer scientist. It was he who came up with the concept of the Galactic Network, the 1960s-era precursor to the Internet, as a symbiotic man-computer system. Facebook and Twitter are more recent products of his legacy. The last 50 years have been the golden age of ICT research. This has marked the way that social scientists have collaborated with computer science: we have set out to design better and smarter computing systems. This research has flooded our society with an ocean of digital networks and devices of all kinds, and we are very proud of it. But having reached this point, we are starting to see clear limits to the research. The financial crisis that broke out on Wall Street in September 2007 has shown that even though the world is full of digital artefacts and the Internet has connected two billion people in little over 15 years, our systems


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of knowledge, values and customs are hardly any different than they were at the start of the Great Depression in 1929. It is clear that digital technology is a fundamental change with regard to industrial technologies, but by themselves they have not been able to change the cultural model of our societies, which is still the same as it was 100 or 200 years ago. In technological terms, we live in the world of the Internet, but in economic and social terms we still live in the world of M. Weber and his Protestant work ethic and capitalist spirit. The universal spread of these values, now under an emerging productive neo-Confucian China, not only remains unchanged, but is a display of its global success. Just as occurred in the West in the last two centuries, the expansion of these values is necessary for overcoming poverty, fighting hunger and extending the life expectancy of most of the world’s population in the 21st century, a goal that we can reach if we reconcile the desire for growth with sustainability. What is no longer so clear is whether the part of humankind that has already fulfilled this dream in the past should continue along the path that sentences us to certain (though comfortable and sweet) decadence. Therefore, we urgently need to explore new cultural models that enable us to open new paths of civilisation before it is too late. We may agree with Karl Popper that “today’s world is the best of all the worlds we have known”, but we do not agree that other societies better than our current one are impossible, while understanding that the term better is relative to each culture. Other worlds have been possible in the past and will be so in the future. We also hope that they may be better. With that hope in mind, this could serve as an initial working hypothesis for techno-anthropology.

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Cultural Designs: Living Labs One of the advantages of living in Europe is the early experience of processes that come to other countries that follow a European cultural model decades or centuries later. Europeans have moved from the centre to the periphery of modern society established since the 15th century. This historical decline has become evident since the Second World War, when the best European minds emigrated to the United States and helped that country to set up some of what would later come to be known as new technologies.

Alan Turing and John von Neumann were Europeans and are considered the fathers of computer science in the

THE DIGITAL WORLD IS A PRIME AGENT IN CHANGING LIFESTYLES, THOUGH IT STILL HAS TO FACE OTHER KINDS OF RESISTANCE United States. While the United States was putting the electronic computer to use, Europe was being rebuilt as a union of coal and steel (!). For decades, we strove to remain connected to modern society and its developments. Without abandoning this effort, we propose opening a new experimental programme of new cultural and social models: a programme that helps us to rethink values, reinvent cultural practices and become a continent of possibilities once again. At the end of the Middle Ages, Europe underwent a series of catastrophes (plague, war, etc.) that finally gave rise to the Renaissance. The solution lay not in holding on to the old feudal cultural model, but in adopting the construction of a new type of society and culture. Instead of yearning for what we no longer are, we could start to design what we might end up being. Thus, the intel-

lectual effort of techno-anthropology, originating in Europe but open to the world, could help to determine this possible future. One of the first values that must be reconsidered is the value of innovation. In today’s society, which is focused on economic values, the creation of wealth through work is the main goal to which all other human values are subordinated. Economists are increasingly beginning to admit that the creation of new knowledge in the form of R&D&I (research, development and innovation) is a component with rising importance for creating value. By going deeper into this line of argument, could we reach a turning point? In other words, do the means become the ends, and viceversa? Could we reach a point where the essential activity of society would be the generation of new knowledge and not work or entrepreneurial activity? So far, innovation has provided assistance to capital and work. But would we not have much more capital and jobs if innovation were the very heart of social and economic activity? This is what the first Protestants did: they changed their values. Instead of working to live, as was habitual in mediaeval societies, they claimed that it was better to live to work and to produce. Might we venture to think that instead of innovating for the business word, we should work to innovate? One study indicating this possible change in the scale of values within pioneering computer communities was conducted by techno-anthropologist Pau Contreras (2004) in his book Me llamo Kohfam, which clearly lays out hacker ethics and the key distinctions between them and Protestant ethics. Based on the production of new innovative knowledge, this code was already clear in the study of the community of computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) (Serra, 1992), but the difference here is that Contreras


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analyses an independent community of hackers that do not make a living professionally as researchers in an R&D&I system. A hacker may be any computer user simply described as such by his or her peers. Himannen (2002) had also written earlier how the logic of hackers differed from Protestant ethics. The problem lies in how to generalise this cultural pattern to the population at large. For the time being, hackers could be compared to the role played by reformist sects in the late Middle Ages prior to the Protestant Reforma-

THE CONTINUOUS CREATION OF KNOWLEDGE IN ITSELF BECOMES ONE OF THE FEATURES OF THE DIGITAL SOCIETY tion, when they were crushed by the combined action of the aristocracy and Rome. One step forward in the generalisation of this cultural model is found in what are called living labs. A result of awareness about European slowness and the crisis in its system of innovation, new types of social structures called living labs or open laboratories have recently been emerging that attempt to connect the official system of innovation to users’ and people’s demands. First created in 2006 by the Finnish government and research and innovation community, this new type of institution aims to open what has so far been a closed and elitist R&D&I system to everyone, and not just in terms of designing new technological services and products, but in the field of social innovation as well. One of the primary aims of these living labs is to open processes of learning and innovation. “You Can Learn to Innovate” is one of the mottos of the Second Summer School

planned for the summer of 2011 in Barcelona. Modern society is based on universal literacy. At one point during our economic development, industry required overcoming illiteracy and extending reading and writing skills to the entire population. As the system evolved, the educational requirements of this model deepened, which had been invented by the Greeks and called the trivium and quadrivium by the Romans. After the Second World War, the most advanced countries even generalised initial university education (bachelor’s degree) for all school-age youth. However, due to its very origin, the system suffers from a chronic lack of people trained in technology. In the past, liberal education looked down on mechanical work and modern society continues to do so. The humanist education boasted by prestigious American universities such as Harvard and the Ivy League club left out MIT and its engineers, deemed unworthy of joining the group of institutions that groomed senior government officials and financial leaders. This educational model still prevails in the world’s leading educational power. So far, the gap has been filled by importing young engineers from emerging countries, but as these countries develop, it is no longer seen as mended. This structural gap in modern educational systems is found primarily in Western countries, but also in the rest of the world: technology is being used, but people do not want to learn about it. “You Can Learn to Innovate” This educational gap also leads to a lack of employees to keep the R&D&I system running. People do not know how to innovate. We buy innovation, we use innovation, but we do not innovate. The R&D&I systems that arose in the wake of the Second World War, due to the imperative need for nations

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to invest in science and technology as a single unit, are new. If we compare them with other social systems, like the health system and educational system, we see that even though developed countries devote nearly 3% of their GDP to R&D, current systems for generating knowledge are the most recent part of our current systems and are still under development. If we analyse the part of R&D&I strictly devoted to ICTs in these systems, we see that it is only a small part of the entire science and technology system in the most advanced countries. And

LIVING LABS ARE ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR STIMULATING INNOVATION if we include investigation into new structures of the information society in ICT research, the amount drops to almost absurd levels. Let us return to the educational system. It is still believed that using computers and the Internet ensures that we have entered the digital age. In reality, educating people in these new technologies is a big unresolved problem in all countries. The very agreement between teachers and educators that ICTs are “a tool for education” also presents the greatest obstacle to understanding the problem. The Internet has gone from connecting a few million scientists and technologists to connecting billions of people. So what? Imagine that we already have seven or nine billion people connected through Facebook. So what? Connectivity alone does not create a better social order or more productivity. What does emerge as a new challenge is whether it is possible to boost the ability to innovate among people, young people, older people and communities. We are still far from understand-


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ing that one of the most important cultural changes may lie in producing innovation and research on new technologies in today’s laboratories and sending the results to schools, factories, parliamentary bodies and daily life, among other destinations. Perhaps the cultural change that we are beginning to glimpse is turning growing sectors of our social life into laboratories. And these are not just laboratories for making mechanical devices, but places for social, economic, cultural and other types of innovation. One of these laboratories could be schools themselves. Beyond the trivium and quadrivium, we could create an educational quintivium that does not only teach reading and writing or the four rules of arithmetic and calculation, but also problem-solving, the concept of the algorithm, networks programming languages, love for technology and the human, animal, artificial and design-related aspects of culture. Technology is still a neglected subject in school. Experts in education repeat insistently that it is just a tool. And? Natural language is also a tool. We will not advance until we understand that technology is the gateway to a new cultural model. In

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addition to learning how to remember and understand, we need to learn how to innovate. And to a certain extent, techno-anthropologists can propose and facilitate this cultural change. Some American schools are taking a step in the right direction by introducing computational thinking in lieu of traditional computer classes. This entails teaching all primary and secondary students basic computing concepts (algorithms, complexity, iteration, etc.). In this sense, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) in the United States has developed a curriculum for K-12 students (CSTA, 2005). Designing the i2CAT project We propose that the practice of technoanthropology could lead to cultural innovation, the design of new community artefacts that favour cultural change and validate the hypotheses of earlier work. Unfortunately, there are not many anthropologists interested in innovation. We have only found one anthropologist in the history of the discipline that has published a book on the subject. His name is Homer Barnett, and in 1953 he wrote Innovation, the basis of cultural change, which among other things relates his experi-

Changes of all kinds in our society nowq have one of their best tools in cultural innovation. CITILAB

ence as an applied anthropologist in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. My own techno-anthropological practice began with the study of the computer science community at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1990-93. Though it was still a classic ethnographic study of a community, in this case it was a community of university-level computer scientists at CMU, who recognised the value of design and innovation in their established cultural code. I understand that techno-anthropology includes ethnography, but this occurs within a broader programme of research aimed at designing and building new communities and/or organisations that embody the values of design and innovation that we propose. I began this design work upon my return from the United States, first at a public company, the Centre Divulgador de la Informàtica (CDI) led by Santiago Guillén, who was key in funding the research performed at CMU, and later at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). At the CDI, I designed a workshop in 1994 called Telematic Technology Transfer (TTT) that demonstrated that it was possible to use the Internet to encourage innovation and technology transfer to SMEs. The UPC later hired me to work on the European COMIC project as an ethnographer to analyse cooperative working practices in a network, which I did with the study of the I*EARN network. With the COMIC project, I saw that it was possible to have at least one anthropologist at a purely technological university. What I discovered was that the work to analyse innovative social practices like those developed at I*EARN was not enough. I wanted to experiment whether it was possible to generate new social structures for research and innovation. The first was the proposal to create the Internet application cen-


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tre CANET in 1997 and the second was the idea to create the first research programme on the Next Internet Generation in Catalonia in 1999, which brought together various academic research and business groups and members of government for the first time and gave rise to the creation of the i2CAT Foundation in 2003. In 2009, Esteve Almirall published the i2CAT Foundation’s first study as a living lab (Almirall, 2009). More recently, Jordi Colobrans began a techno-anthropological line of work at the i2CAT Foundation based on different clusters such as eHealth and the Media. Essentially, what first the project and now the i2CAT Foundation have proven is that new research communities may be designed within the Inter-

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net world and that techno-anthropology may help ICT engineers to find new lines of research and innovation,

research and an opening of the role of technologists and technology universities in their countries.

TECHNOANTHROPOLOGY CONTRIBUTES TO RESEARCH AND INNOVATIVE CREATION, LIKE THE CONCEPT OF THE CULTURAL INTERNET

It is obvious that cultural design can never be done alone, especially when possessing knowledge of human beings. Much of its success owes to design appearing and being appropriated by as many people as possible, even if this drowns out the conceptual work of those who began it. It is very important for cultural designers to understand that writing the score is one thing, but conducting the orchestra is another entirely. I advise future designers to truly keep this idea in mind and to limit their role to providing inspiration or composing scores and to leave conducting to other people, or else participate in it in a non-significant way.

such as the audiovisual or cultural Internet, which are better adapted to our social and economic surroundings, new models of cooperation with companies, institutions and people, a more international dimension to their

Cultural Design and the General Population: Citilab Europe is a continent of small and medium-sized cities and of citizens, if you compare them with the metropolises of the 21st century. From here emerged the chance to design a centre of innovation on a local scale that we finally called Citilab, in the city of Cornellà de Llobregat. The original proposal was submitted to City Council in 2002 and the centre opened in November 2007. The experiments invite us to try it on a small scale. Here we see Karl Popper fully vindicated with his piecemeal social engineering. This is what we can do in Europe today: new experiments. As we know, there are not so many Europeans, and even less are Catalans. What can we do in a world dominated by powers with billions of people? But let us not forget: being small, independent and living close to the sea is what enabled the rise of the democratic systems in Greece two thousand years ago. Homo habilis also must have been a small group compared to the other hominids at the time. Innovation normally begins in small groups. This must be due to the high degree of risk involved. Citilab is based on a previous civic network programme lasting several years. As an anthropologist as part of the UPC, I had a wide berth to begin a programme to promote Internet access among different groups of people in 1995: TV Nou Barris, with Miquel Sánchez at the fore, and the group TEB of the Raval. From here came Nou Barris Net and RavalNet. For years, I tried to set up coordination among the different civic networks

in Barcelona and formed BCNet, but my efforts ended in failure. One of the reasons was my inability to convince Barcelona City Council that they were not the city of Barcelona, but merely its government. And the civic networks were proof of this. I think this is what ended up convincing them not to support it, unlike the group of innovators of Tarragona that managed to create TINET. With the support of V. Badenes, director of CornellaNet, they organised the first world congress on civic networks in autumn of 2000. The aim was to learn about other experiences from around the world and see how everyone can connect to the Internet facilitating access and digital literacy. What they found was that these goals exhausted themselves and that a world where everyone is connected does not necessarily make for a society of innovation. So what could be the next step to take? Just as they had visualised a second Internet generation, might a next generation of the knowledge society not emerge? What could its objectives be? Simply being connected? Learning to send electronic messages or browsing the Internet? The next challenge could be building capacities for all to generate knowledge and innovation, turning the city into a lab, with the general public creating and participating in a lab. This theory of design gave rise to Citilab, the first civic laboratory, in 2002. Along the way, we discovered the emerging European living labs network, which argues for the initial idea that inspired us, and linked up with them.


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If anything has inspired me –and continues to inspire me– during the last few years as a techno-anthropologist, it was the idea of a project. While traditional anthropologists start and end their work with an ethnographic study, techno-anthropologists start and end their work with a cultural project or cultural design, which must include ethnographic analysis as well. While the former have enough work to do just to understand what the cultural patterns and institutions of a given community are and how they operate, the latter endeavour to design communities that very often do not yet exist, implement it and thereby verify whether or not the society potentially designed is possible. For me, the idea of a project is what structures all my work as a technoanthropologist. The concept has always fascinated me. Back when I studied at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Valencia in the 1970s, I used to wonder why science and humanities students had to finish with theses and papers while engineers were allowed to submit final projects and to design and invent things. That idea has followed me around my entire life. Why did we have to limit ourselves to analysis while architects and engineers designed and built? Until I discovered the work of Herbert Simon, I did not understand that social scientists could be scientists of design without becoming politicians. Max Weber’s distinction between the scientist and the politician had been overcome. But I still needed to find the right time, and it came in an offer from the UPC, when they hired me as a social scientist for Manel Medina and Leandro Navarro’s team at the Department of Computer Architecture in 1995. Could I demonstrate that a social

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scientist could design a new cultural programme and a new associative structure to carry it out? The first step in any cultural design project is to see the opportunity, the possibility of a new organisation for certain aims or purposes that give meaning to the ethnographic work. In the case of the i2CAT project, opportunity came with the emergence of a new research programme about the next Internet generation in the late 1990s. The very success of the Internet marked the beginning of muchneeded renovation that began at US research universities in the form of

THE DESIGN OF NEW COMMUNITIES IS ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT RESULTS SO FAR FROM ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH IN THE DIGITAL WORLD the Internet2 consortium, which had not yet come to Europe. After the new chapter of the Internet Society and a small discussion group that brought together many Internet pioneers in Catalonia were organised, a document entitled Internet and Catalonia: civil society and the next Internet generation was published on 5 May 1998, which among other initiatives raised creating a research and innovation programme on this subject in Catalonia. Ethnographic work in the region went on for a full year to identify social groups that could be interested in being part of the programme. Finally, a year later, the project was signed at the Palau de la Generalitat, but the i2CAT Foundation was not officially created until three years later. New communities usually start out with a project. In communities of

innovation, the project plays the same role that myths do in primitive societies and that declarations of natural rights do in modern ones. The founding documents in new communities are usually research and innovation proposals or projects. For the i2CAT project, it was an agreement that detailed what research and innovation projects were planned for development and the structure of participating institutions implementing it. But here we insist that the cultural programme is the basis for a new cultural model. As I saw when I was a participating observer at CMU, well before computer scientists started to write a single line of code, they had to write a computer programme and they had to write a proposal in which they told the federal agency about the new goals they wanted to achieve (innovative claims) and the human and financial resources they thought they would need to do so. Thus, they were performing a bit of cultural design. The Cultural Ring and Techno-anthropology in Catalonia As an anthropologist, I was responsible for printing out a dynamic for the i2CAT project closely connected to the situation in Catalonia. One of the most serious problems facing European and Catalan universities is their disconnect from the society and the economic fabric of the country. This has had the advantage of moving forward lines of research in universities more connected to what the European programme requires than to local needs. The disadvantage is that it places the social dynamic outside university research. Instead of just being a project about networks with European funding as was usually the case, from the start i2CAT tried to connect the UPC and all its ICT potential to other political, business and social entities of the country and to force a local line of funding. Thus, from the beginning it


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was organised into thematic clusters that corresponded to the major challenges facing the country: language and culture, linked to the launch of Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) and all it entailed; and the health and education sectors, where Catalonia has historically excelled and played a leading role in Spain. The commitment to an audiovisual and cultural Internet has partially been confirmed. From the launch of the Òpera Oberta project in December 2001 to acceptance of the Cultural Ring by the Catalan Ministry of Culture in 2010, cultural design efforts in the Catalan cultural community have been continuous (Font, 2010). One argument that has played in favour of this effort is that far from being opposed to technology, a technoanthropologist may be just as much or more of a technologist than engineers themselves. The entry of the world of art and culture in Internet projects promoted the creation of audiovisual technology and its use in digital networks. As a result, engineers saw that an opera used much more bandwidth than the databases of physics or molecular biol-

ogy that they had transmitted thus far. The technological requirements that artists could impose on technologists were much greater than those for scientists. Furthermore, the directors of the Liceu would discover that 19thcentury art could be combined with

new technologies in its most advanced expression. A new programme of collaboration between art, culture and the Internet was opened that a techno-anthropologist had helped to create. n

Tunisia: Popular Revolt and the Internet The popular uprising in Tunisia was et al., 1996). Tunisian representatives triggered by the death of a computer participated in it. After years of silence, scientist, Mohamed Bouazizi. Young it seems like a new era is beginning in people, who drove the revolt, used the country where the people and new social media (Facebook, Twitter) and technologies work hand-in-hand. video websites like YouTube. A new service called TuniLeaks was created to report corruption in the country. In 1996, one of the first projects that I organised at the UPC was the first meeting of Internet-users in the Mediterranean, called The Arab uprisings were coordinated through the Internet the InterMed and social media. GETTY IMAGES Network (Navarro

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Almirall, E. Understanding innovation as evolutionary co-creative process [en línia]. ESADE. Docto-ral Dissertation, 2009. http://www.tesisenxarxa.net/TDX-1124109-130209/index. html

Font, J. «L’Anella Cultural. Una xarxa d’equipaments culturals connectats en banda ampla». Revista Cultura: La Cultura en l’Era Digital, núm. 7, p. 154-164. Barcelona: Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació, 2010.

people.ac.upc.edu/artur/CMUdesignculture. htm

Barnet, H. Innovation, the basis of cultural change. New York: McGraw-Hill Company, 1953.

Himanen, P. [et al.]. La ética del hacker y el espíritu de la era de la información. Editorial Destino, 2002.

CESTA (2005). Final Report of the ACM K-12 Task Force Curriculum Committee [en línia]. http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/ACMK12CSModel.html

Navarro, L.; Rodríguez, G.; Serra. A. (1996) The InterMed Network: Changing Cultural Patterns with a Large-Scale Cooperative Internet Network in the Mediterranean http://www.isoc. org/inet96/proceedings/e7/e7_2.htm

Traub, J. F. «Quo Vadimus: Com-puter Science in a Decade». Communications of the ACM (juny 1981), vol. 24, núm. 6, p. 351-358. http:// portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=358677

Contreras, P. Me llamo Kohfam, identidad hacker: una aproximación antropológica. III Premio de Ensayo Eusebi Colomer de la Fundacion EPSoN. Barcelona: Editorial Gedisa, 2004.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.38. year 2012) under the title Comunitats de coneixement i informació. Tasques de la tecnoantropologia com a nova ciència del disseny

D’Andrade, R. G. «Cultural Cog-nition». A: M.I. Posner (ed.) Foundations of Cognitive Science, p. 795-830. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989.

Serra, A. Design Culture (Estudio etnográfico de los proyectos de investigación de la School of Computer Science de Carnegie Mellon University, un computer-intensive campus norteamericano). Tesi pre-sentada al Departament d’Antropo-logia Cultural i Història d’Amèrica i Àfrica. Universitat de Barcelona, 1992. http://

Simon, H. A. The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1970.


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Ferran Estrada i Bonell

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Professor of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and History of the Americas and Africa Universitat de Barcelona BARCELONA_CATALUNYA

A professor of Anthropology at the University of Barcelona with a PhD in Social Anthropology, Estrada i Bonet has worked on home and family, transhumance and cultural heritage in rural environments. He has conducted his research in Pla d’Urgell, Val d’Aran, and Alta Ribagorça counties and around Montseny.

Camila del Mármol Cartañá

Professor of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and History of the Americas and Africa Universitat de Barcelona BARCELONA_CATALUNYA

A professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona, Mármol Cartañá’s studies focus on heritage conversion processes and the social changes resulting from them. She is also interested in the implications of cultural policies in international bodies, and especially the concept of intangible heritage.

ICH Inventories Implementation of the UNESCO Convention1 In this article we analyze the unfolding of inventories and specific practices recommended in the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. We focus on how the variety of inventories in diverse countries is organized within specific juridical frames. We also pay attention to the different possibilities when drawing up inventories and their implications. We will also discuss how these rules have been turned into specific inventory projects and how the theoretical and methodological challenges in drawing up inventories are tackled. En aquest article, examinem com es concreta l’obligació de realitzar inventaris en lleis i pràctiques específiques en relació amb la Convenció per a la Salvaguarda del Patrimoni Cultural Immaterial. Volem conèixer els marcs jurídics i com integren els inventaris, comprendre’n les opcions adoptades i determinar-ne les repercussions. També volem analitzar com s’han traduït aquestes normes en projectes concrets d’inventari i com es fa front als reptes teòrics i metodològics que l’elaboració d’inventaris planteja. Keywords: intangible heritage, inventories,

UNESCO

Paraules clau: patrimoni immaterial,

inventaris, UNESCO

I

Introduction n 2003, UNESCO approved the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage after giving much thought to protecting folklore, traditional culture and ethnological heritage since the 1970s. This is the regulatory instrument that has had the greatest impact on the field of heritage in the last 10 years. First, it has helped to establish a new, wider and more complex concept of heritage by formulating a widely accepted legal definition of intangible heritage. Second, it has aroused interest in the intangible dimension of heritage in academic, political, economic and civil society circles. Finally, it has prompted many states to develop laws and policies to safeguard and evaluate these types of heritage.

The main aims of the Convention include safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH), ensuring respect for it and raising awareness about its importance (Art. 1). To achieve these goals, general measures are proposed that each state ought to undertake

through specific laws and policies (Art. 11). The creation of inventories stands out among the measures suggested and is considered the first step for safeguarding ICH (UNESCO, 2011a: 10, 2011b: 4). It has its own exclusive article (Art. 12) and is the most specific proposal for protection made. It is also the sole measure imposed on the states that have signed the Convention2 (UNESCO, 2011b: 4; Grenet, 2013: 17). In this article, we examine how the obligation to create inventories is specified in concrete laws and practices. We intend to look at the legal frameworks and how they integrate inventories, understand the options adopted and determine their repercussions. We also aim to analyse how these standards have been reflected in specific inventory projects and how the theoretical and methodological challenges linked to creating inventories are being dealt with. The purpose of this article is not to conduct an exhaustive study of all the standards and of all the inventories developed, but to aid thinking on measures to safeguard ICH based on a few cases.


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The Regulatory Framework for Safeguarding ICH Various lawyers and heritage specialists have underscored the complexity of establishing specific legal measures to safeguard ICH (Blake, 2001; IPCE, 2011; Martínez, 2011; Alegre, 2012; Lixinski, 2013). The problems come partially from the lack of concrete proposals in the Convention itself and in subsequent documents that firm it up: due to its general international regulatory nature, the Convention is limited to making generic suggestions that the states can develop later in a flexible manner, adapted to their political, social and cultural contexts3.

But the most important problems are related to two more substantial issues. The first is related to the difficulty of establishing specific legal measures stemming from the characteristics of intangible heritage and of the ambiguities of the concept, such as the scope and complexity of the field it covers; the unclear limits of the manifestations to which the laws must be applied; the diversity of the elements linked to each of these manifestations (social relations, practices, knowledge, values, spaces, objects, constructions); the constant transformation of the manifestations; the impossibility of extricating the elements from the context in which they are used and make sense; and, finally, the difficulties of clearly determining from a Western legal point of view who the authors and owners of this collective heritage are, meaning who has the right to control the ICH. The second issue is the Convention’s definition of ICH as a living, dynamic and ever-changing reality (UNESCO, 2003a, 2011a) and how that affects the purpose of regulations. Thus, while the goal of these tangible heritage laws is to conserve property from the past, the goal of the Convention is to safeguard living intangible heritage. Conservation seeks to maintain

heritage as it is found. Thus, conserving intangible heritage could mean fossilising it and causing it to lose its vitality (Querol, 2009: 81). However, safeguarding means “guaranteeing viability” (UNESCO, 2003a: Art. 2.3). To be viable, heritage should continue

TO BE VIABLE, INTANGIBLE HERITAGE MUST CONTINUE FORMING PART OF PEOPLE’S LIVES, HAVE MEANING FOR THEM AND BE PRACTICED AND LEARNED IN COMMUNITIES OVER SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS to form part of people’s lives, making sense to them, and it should be practiced and learned in communities and by successive generations (UNESCO, 2011a: 6-8, 2011b: 4). Transmission between generations here is essential. From this standpoint, communities and individuals that create, maintain and transmit heritage acquire a key role in safeguarding it (UNESCO, 2003a, 2011a: 7-8, 2012: Chap. III.1). As such, it is impossible to safeguard ICH without the involvement of bearer communities (Hottin, 2013: 16). In brief, measures to safeguard ICH may not be the same as those applied to protect tangible heritage and should be aimed at strengthening the conditions necessary for ICH to persist, evolve and get passed down to future generations (UNESCO, 2005b: 6, 2011b: 4). Safeguarding ICH necessarily involves preserving the social and cultural context in which it is created, maintained and transmitted (Blake, 2001; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 2004:

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53). However, legislating these issues is more difficult and politically more conflictive than doing the same for subjects that may be separated from people and their context. Despite these challenges, international states and bodies have created regulations on ICH since the mid20th century. However, they are legal instruments very different in nature and scope, ranging from international standards to local and regional laws and from recommendations about the cultural rights of peoples to intellectual property laws. We will take a closer look at these regulations below. Many international bodies have issued legal texts applicable to ICH, such as the United Nations, UNESCO, ILO, ICOM and WIPO, to name a few. Some of these documents are non-binding (soft law), like recommendations and declarations. Others are binding upon states that signed the conventions or agreements. In any case, the measures proposed are usually general in nature and the states have to translate them into specific laws later. There are also regulations created by states and regions. Examples include the Constitution of the Republic of Brazil (1988), the law on Catalan cultural heritage (1993), the law on biodiversity in Costa Rica (1998) and the law on the cultural heritage of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (2003). It is in this sphere where legislation is more specific and regulates use, establishes measures of protection and punishes non-compliance with the law and actions that endanger heritage. The regulations that apply to safeguarding ICH vary widely and relate to the instrumental use expected to be made of heritage and of the interests that come into play in protecting it (Lixinski, 2013). Generally speaking, we find three different types of legisla-


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tion: 1) regulations related to human rights; 2) legislation on intellectual property; and 3) laws on the cultural sphere. The first and final types correspond to a legal pathway promoted by UNESCO that addresses intangible cultural heritage as an expression of identity and cultural diversity that must be legally protected. Thus, it seeks to preserve some general rights. However, the second type, promoted by WIPO, is related to a concept of heritage as a financial resource and aims to protect the rights of its owners (Hottin, 2013: 13; Lixinski, 2013: 8). These three types of regulations correspond to two different visions of culture. The first type of laws corresponds to the idea that culture is intrinsic to human beings and stresses social and cultural processes linked to heritage. The second and third types of laws reflect a view of culture as something that exists separately from people and that may be segregated into different sectors or elements. Thus, safeguarding ICH calls for specific laws focused on protecting certain human creations, defending particular interests of a community from other people and groups. Human Rights-related Regulations Laws in defence of human rights, cultural rights and indigenous rights make up the first legal framework for safeguarding intangible heritage. The maximum expression of this guidance is the condition established by the Convention to only consider elements of intangible heritage that are compatible with human rights, mutual respect and sustainable development (UNESCO 2003: Art. 2.1), despite the difficulties of defining these three conditions accurately (Santamarina, 2013: 275).

While this guidance corresponds primarily to international standards4, we also find it in state laws. Thus, since

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the 1990s, many countries in Latin America have recognised indigenous peoples and their rights in their constitutions, which also contemplate the multicultural and multilingual nature of the state. This means that laws and policies must be established that recognise cultural diversity and give support to respecting, maintaining and transmitting specific cultures (Urrutia, 2012: 62; Lixinski, 2013).

SAFEGUARDING ICH REQUIRES PRESERVING THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT IN WHICH IT IS CREATED, MAINTAINED AND PASSED ON This kind of regulatory framework is related to two aspects. The first is a comprehensive and indivisible conception of culture defined as a lifestyle that includes both tangible and intangible aspects (knowledge, values, ideas, symbols, practices, language, etc.). From this perspective, each group has the right to maintain and develop its own culture, meaning to maintain its own cultural identity (Blake, 2001: 5), hence the emphasis on cultural rights and cultural identity in the definition of ICH. Moreover, the right to cultural identity is also a fundamental right for all people and is related to other basic rights like the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion, equality and the right to private and family life, among others (Lixinski, 2013). Second, this kind of regulation emerges from the definition of cultural diversity as a universal value. Cultural diversity is essential to the survival of humankind5. From this standpoint, loss and damage to ICH are not only treated as harmful to the individuals and communities that see their cultural iden-

tity affected, but to the human race in general, which loses cultural diversity. The use of international standards on human rights to safeguard intangible heritage clearly demonstrates the political dimension of heritage and the conflict among international bodies, states and communities to control it, as highlighted by some authors (Smith, 2006; Lixinski, 2013). The way that intangible heritage relates to universal values means that safeguarding it could come before the interests of the states or bearer communities. However, the possibility of using cultural identity politically pushes states to control intangible heritage as an instrument for dominating minorities. Nevertheless, both positions contradict the role that the Convention grants to communities in defining and safeguarding heritage. This emphasis on community may give power to local groups and minorities that use heritage to advance their own interests (Lixinski, 2013). Therefore, some states, like France, have shown little interest in the Convention, due to disagreement over the role granted to states in controlling ICH: first, it rejects the interference of international bodies in the heritage-based dynamics of the state; second, it does not agree with the predominant role that the Convention gives to bearer communities at the expense of the state (Hottin, 2013: 11). Legislation on Intellectual Property The use of intellectual property laws is another strategy used to safeguard ICH. It was the first option raised to protect folklore and traditional knowledge in the discussions begun by UNESCO and WIPO in the 1970s and has continued to be an alternative adopted by international organisations (UN, WIPO, FAO, WHO) and some states.6

These types of regulations were especially used by Latin American, Asian and African countries from the 1960s


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to the 1990s (Ruiz, 2006). In contrast, in most Western countries, except those with an indigenous population, like the United States, Canada and Australia, traditional and popular culture has been left out of legislation on intellectual property (Blake, 2001: 29).

THE POSSIBILITY OF USING CULTURAL IDENTITY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES INSPIRES STATES TO CONTROL INTANGIBLE HERITAGE AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR DOMINATING MINORITIES The argument to justify these laws defends the rights of local or indigenous populations to traditional knowledge and practices related to health, using the environment, the variety of native plants and expressions of folklore, among others (Blake, 2001; Kiene, 2006; Ruiz, 2006). This point of view considers that there are certain expressions of intangible heritage that must always be under the control of the bearer communities and must never be transferred to the public domain or to third parties (Gauthier, 2012: 2). Legislation on intellectual property, which includes copyright (and moral rights), registered trademarks, designations of origin and industrial designs, is a strong form of protection: it defines who has the right to use and manage certain elements of intangible heritage, how that is done and to what end. As a result, it also establishes penalties for appropriating and improperly using this heritage. But standards of this kind have some drawbacks that limit their application

for safeguarding ICH (Blake, 2001; Garrote, 2009; Lixinski, 2013). 1) Their scope is limited and cannot be applied to intangible heritage in the broad sense: the elements that must be protected have to meet some requirements (delimitation, stability, property) with which many manifestations of ICH do not comply. Furthermore, they are aimed at protecting the products of heritage, but not the processes of creation or even their social and cultural context. 2) They tend to fossilise intangible heritage, which is seen as a defined product that exists outside of social relations, and to separate it from the context in which it is produced and used and that gives it meaning. 3) They turn ICH into merchandise and are geared mainly to deal with the problems of using it commercially. As a result, they protect heritage outside of its context of creation, but do not mediate any means to do so within that context. 4) Finally, they establish a monopoly over some elements that are appropriate in their context in very different ways, which implies privatising them. Specific Legislation in the Field of Culture Since the 1970s, and especially during the 1980s, UNESCO promoted a series of debates on safeguarding folklore or traditional and popular culture as cultural heritage. Faced with the option of preparing a legal instrument that unites intellectual property with cultural orientation, the idea was imposed that a specific cultural orientation proposal would safeguard ICH better than regulations taking into account economic rights linked to the exploitation and use of intangible heritage (Blake, 2001: 92). The discussions led to the drafting of various documents throughout the 1980s and 1990s and culminated with the approval of a recommendation for safeguarding traditional and popular culture issued by UNESCO

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in 1989 and, later, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of 2003.7 Since the mid-20th century, legislation in many states and regions has gradually included intangible manifestations in laws on cultural heritage or else has created specific standards for it. This is the case in many Latin American countries that have adapted their legislation to this new concept of heritage and to the need to safeguard it since the 1990s, and especially since the Convention was approved (Urrutia, 2012: 63). In addition, legislation in the central government and autonomous regional governments of Spain on cultural heritage created since 1985 also deals with intangible heritage, although it relates it to ethnological heritage defined in terms of traditional and popular culture (Querol, 2009; IPCE, 2011; MartĂ­nez, 2011; Alegre, 2012). But whether or not it is specifically about ICH, legislation on cultural heritage does not rule out the dangers of commodification and of subordination to political and financial interests. All too often, heritage policies depend on

DESPITE THE CONVENTION’S EMPHASIS THAT ICH IS LIVING HERITAGE IN CONSTANT TRANSFORMATION, THE WAY THAT INTANGIBLE HERITAGE IS DEALT WITH IN LAWS ORIENTS IT TOWARDS THE PAST tourism, which influences how ICH is understood, recorded and showcased (Urrutia, 2012: 64). Likewise, the uses of intangible heritage in conflicts between states and between states and minorities are well known.


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Cultural regulations present another problem. The way that heritage is treated in law guides it to the past: it is associated with tradition, but one prior to processes of globalisation, with elements that are in danger of vanishing. The Convention contributes to this orientation, despite the insistence that ICH is living heritage in constant transformation, with considerations for the urgency and effects of globalisation. Finally, the existence of specific laws on heritage may encourage the disparagement of manifestations of intangible heritage to which they apply. Some elements of intangible heritage like language, beliefs, knowledge of the environment, food production and health information and practices are governed by regulations on intellectual property, language, education, health, urban development, religion and the environment. Cultural legislation is insufficient for covering these elements and strong laws are needed that govern use, recognise rights and responsibilities, mete out punishment and are not limited to making recommendations and promoting study and inventories. Thus, a significant difference is established between these elements and the manifestations situated around heritage laws, giving them a larger financial, political and social profile. In contrast, manifestations of intangible culture to which heritage regulations apply take a lower position. Therefore, heritage laws may have effects opposed to safeguarding. Likewise, the cultural identity that is built or strengthened from ICH may also be considered second-rate compared to national identity coming from citizenship in a state. The identity that comes with sharing intangible cultural heritage should not question national state identity. Assessments of particular

Transhumance was declared property of intangible cultural interest of Aragon in 2011. Transhumant herd in Lloveto de Cardet, near Tolba (Ribagorça, Osca). F. ESTRADA, J. R. IGLESIAS, E. NADAL

cultures that the Convention stimulates must only be made to the extent that they form part of a whole and reveal facets of a unity that transcends diversity (Hottin 2012: 99). Measures to Safeguard ICH and Inventories in Legislation The measures regulated by the different types of legislation applicable to safeguarding ICH have very diverse levels of detail and different orientations. In general, they may be grouped into the following proposals: a) Create inventories, catalogues, databases, atlases, record books, etc. b) Recognise and declare certain elements of intangible heritage to be property of cultural interest, applying a higher level of protection to them. c) Study manifestations of intangible heritage scientifically. d) Document and open files on heritage in textual and audiovisual material supports and create archives to conserve and disseminate it.

e) Promote actions to recognise the value of intangible heritage, such as creating representative lists of ICH. f) Promote actions to manage, promote the use of and pass on heritage elements to following generations. g) Punish actions that come down against the heritage, manifestations and cultural rights of bearer populations. According to the penal or administrative nature of said actions, punishment is covered in the same specific laws or in more general regulations like the penal code, for example. These measures respond to different lines of reasoning, ranging from the idea that there is only one kind of heritage, so proposals to protect it must always be the same, to the idea that the characteristics of intangible heritage are so particular that specific provisions must be employed to safeguard it. In total, we can identify five different arguments.


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The first line of reasoning applies the same type of measure to all forms of heritage, whether tangible or intangible. This approach could result in a holistic view of heritage, which aims to overcome the tangible/intangible dichotomy. However, this does not apply in most cases, since the proposed measures have only been designed for tangible heritage without taking into account the particular features of ICH. The second argument establishes specific measures to safeguard ICH that are especially aimed at protecting bearer groups and strengthening the conditions necessary for it to persist, evolve and get passed down. However, these types of measures are the least common. The third approach consists of adapting the measures defined for tangible heritage to the characteristics of ICH. This is the case, for example, when creating ICH inventories. But regardless of the effort made to adjust the measures, their application remains problematic because intangible heritage is viewed from the perspective of tangible cultural property (MartĂ­nez, 2011: 139). The manifestations of ICH are perceived and dealt with as objects, as finished products that have value in themselves, as limited realities that can be identified, inventoried, protected and disseminated. Significantly in this respect, the concepts intangible property, intangible cultural property and intangible ethnological property have appeared in some laws8, derived from the concept of cultural property used to refer to tangible heritage in the World Heritage Convention (1972). However, UNESCO abandoned the concept of property to refer to the specific manifestations of ICH during the 1990s9 (Smeets, 2012), and this is reflected in some derived laws.10 A fourth option is to gear protective measures to ICH-related tangible

elements, because conserving them allegedly implies the same for the intangible elements associated with them. In this regard, we find proposals to protect the intangible dimension of tangible property or landscape protection laws that affect both tangible and intangible elements linked to a territory. However, this approach attributes accessory value to the intangible dimension of tangible property, which is considered useful as long as it enhances appreciation of what is see as most important: tangible property (Lixinski, 2013: 20). There are also measures to protect tangible property linked to intangible practices, as proposed in the Convention. In some cases, this springs from the idea that intangible manifestations may only be safeguarded by conserving their tangible components.11

CULTURAL IDENTITY THAT IS BUILT OR STRENGTHENED BASED ON ICH MAY ALSO BE CONSIDERED AS SECOND RANK, COMPARED WITH NATIONAL IDENTITY BASED ON CITIZENSHIP IN A STATE The fifth and final way to safeguard intangible heritage is to record it in textual or audiovisual format and create archives to store the resulting documents and files. These measures assume that safeguarding intangible elements is only possible by conserving tangible property, whether involving objects associated with the practices or documentary support (Bortolotto, 2013: 29). This approach proceeds as if safeguarding natural history required keeping an herbarium and taxidermy collections.

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Most of these approaches move away from the idea of ICH as a process, as a dynamic and living manifestation that acquires value and meaning in context and relationships. As a result, many of the conservation measures pursued end up having the opposite effect: while they do take note of intangible manifestations of culture, those very elements become fossilised and divorced from the context and relationships that give them meaning (Kono, 2009; MartĂ­nez, 2011: 139). Inventories are the key tool of the Convention. They are the first step in planning other specific protective measures and are also considered a tool for raising public awareness about ICH and its importance (UNESCO, 2011b: 4). This is why the Convention guides safeguarding action towards the creation of ICH inventories. As we have seen, it is the only specific measure prescribed to the states that have signed the Convention. However, it is also a process that never ends: because ICH is a living and changing reality, inventories of it may never be considered exhaustive and must be updated regularly (UNESCO, 2003a: Art. 12.1). The inventories, which consist of catalogues, books, atlases and other forms of documentation, also play a prominent role in many international, national, regional and local regulations. While ratification of the Convention by different countries has helped to promote laws on ICH or to adapt existing laws, it was not until the final quarter of the 20th century that specific and general regulated approaches to inventory included intangible elements. But drawing up an inventory means approaching ICH from the perspective of tangible heritage. Identifying elements and recording them in documents, books and inventories is a practice found in most regulations


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related to tangible, archaeological and monumental heritage. This standpoint means conceiving intangible heritage as property, as things that can be identified, delimited, defined and classified in a clear and objective way. It means separating heritage as a product of social processes of creation, use and appreciation. Taking an ICH Inventory, from Regulation to Practice: Examples from around the World While the Convention stresses the importance of creating ICH inventories (Art. 12), it does not clearly specify what an inventory is or how one is to be conducted. What must be inventoried, how and for what purpose?

In later documents, UNESCO provides some details of what these inventories should be like, comparing them to inventories of tangible cultural heritage and especially of artistic and architectural objects. Thus, it is stated that “… just as monuments and works of art are identified and collected, intangible cultural heritage may also be

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compiled and documented. In fact, the first step that a state should take to safeguard this kind of heritage is to identify, document or inventory the expressions and manifestations likely to be considered intangible cultural heritage” (UNESCO, 2011a: 10). In addition, “ … inventories may later be used as a basis for crafting measures to safeguard the manifestations or expressions of intangible cultural heritage included or described therein. Communities should participate in identifying and defining intangible cultural heritage, since they are the ones that decide which uses form part of their cultural heritage” (UNESCO, 2011a: 10). The creation of inventories has proliferated in recent years, probably because it was one of the first actions recommended in the Convention, as well as an element that at first glance seems more concrete and easier to achieve. The analysis of different ICH inventories in various countries around the world allows us to see recurring questions and doubts arise that are reflected in the creation of the inventories. The

Image of a Garifuna dance. This Afro-Caribbean culture is currently spread across the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In 2001, UNESCO declared the Garifuna language, music and dance a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. 2009. RICK GOLDMAN. WIKIPEDIA COMMONS (CC BY-SA 2.0)

variety of inventory formats presents us with problematic terrain where contradictions are solved differently in every case and give rise to a varied and even opposed landscape. We have analysed a total of 22 finished ICH inventories and 30 more that are under development in different countries around the world. With such a variety of formats, contradictions arise quickly. One possible way to create ICH inventories is to regroup or reorganise various past projects to record and classify cultural elements. Very often, this consists of research accumulated over the course of many years by public and private ethnological or local history associations or institutes that end up becoming organised systematically in the context of new guidelines in the Convention. Likewise, intangible heritage-related actions prior to UNESCO, like the programme of the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (1998), are used by some countries as a foundation for cataloguing ICH. One example of this is France, where two inventories were planned in 2007. The first was a project to create an inventory of inventories, which grouped and ordered a pre-existing series of inventories and databases on intangible culture in France. The second project, begun in 2008, consisted of creating a repertoire of living cultural practices with the support of the communities involved according to one of the emphases in the Convention (Hottin, 2012; Grenet, 2013). In many cases, these inventories identify intangible heritage as equivalent to traditional popular culture, without taking contemporary practices of the various cultural groups into account. At the same time, they fail to realise that the practices cannot be preserved or conserved by themselves if they do


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not serve a social use or readapt to new realities. Many of the projects that we studied are not a direct product of the guidelines set out in the Convention, but are the continuation and reuse of inventories, lists and databases created in different countries since the 1980s that were focused on the idea of identifying national folklore. This is the case of the Catalogue of Traditional Dances of the Nicaraguan Pacific, the inventory of folklore of Seychelles, the Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Bulgarian inventory, among others. A common aspect we find in the inventories analysed is the lack of specificity in the criteria used to define the elements of ICH. In most cases, there is not even explicit guidance about which elements are considered intangible heritage and which are not, nor are the contradictions inherent in the concept discussed. In fact, subsequent documents published by UNESCO on the creation of inventories (UNESCO 2011b: 10) recognise that states are not required to adapt to the definition of intangible heritage that appears in the Convention, though it does encourage them to do so. The inventories that we analysed do not usually mention the criteria used by the Convention to define ICH, nor do they take the time to discuss the ambiguities present in it. However, some exceptions do exist. The intangible heritage inventory created jointly by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the Folklore Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Bulgaria defines the following main criteria for adding elements to the list: authenticity, representativeness, artistic value, vitality and rootedness in tradition. Many of these concepts are difficult to define, meaning that they may cause problems when drawing up inventories. Many inventory projects that we analysed display different solutions

regarding the complexity of defining elements of ICH, as well as the political implications that come up in classificatory practices. The Intangible Cultural

ONE OF THE MAIN CHALLENGES IS HOW TO RESOLVE THE PARADOX THAT ARISES WHEN CREATING AN INVENTORY, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY STATIC, COMPOSED OF LIVING, NATURALLY DYNAMIC ELEMENTS Heritage in Scotland is presented as an inventory of living heritage, or the practices and customs of the land, without entering into further details. This inventory takes the form of a wiki, meaning a website of content that may be edited by different users. This overcomes the problem of collecting information on a limited number of fixed categories, adapting the idea of an inventory to the possibilities offered by the format, always under production

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by definition. In other cases, we see that one criterion for selecting ICH elements has been the risk or danger of their imminent disappearance and threats to their survival. Examples of this include the Data Bank on Traditional/Folk Performing Arts in Asia and the Pacific, as well as the inventories created in Brazil and Colombia. Another subject that must be stressed is that of the territorial scope of the inventories. While some states develop inventories that cover all their national territory, like Mexico and China, others decide to create different inventories based on their administrative divisions, like Belgium and Colombia, or draw up specific inventories for the various communities or ethnic groups in the country. A shared interest in trying to overcome the dangers of reification implicit in practices to define heritage may be observed. This is an attempt to respond to the Convention’s emphasis on the living nature of ICH. Thus, one of the main challenges it raises is how to resolve the paradox that appears when adding living, naturally dynamic ele-

Interior of a tomb decorated to celebrate the Day of the Dead in the pantheon of Iguala de la Independencia, Guerrero, in Mexico. 2010. WIKIPEDIA COMMONS (CC BY-SA 3.0)


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ments to an inventory that is essentially static. The inventories of tradition bearers, such as those of the Répertoire Suisse du Patrimoine Culturel Immatériel and the Inventaire des Ressources Ethnologiques du Patrimoine Immatériel (IREPI) from Quebec, Canada, are answers to these questions. The idea of living heritage highlighted in the Convention has put the spotlight on inventories focused on tradition bearers, where data is collected on people and groups considered representative of ancestral knowledge, different artistic specificities and other activities considered traditional. This model can be used to create inventories that specify the existence of merchants and craftspeople boosting the economic development of a region. In these cases, attention must be paid to processes of institutional interference in artisanal and local production practices. Defining artisanal knowledge and practices often involves normalising these phenomena, which is expressed by institutionalising the practices and takes plasticity and autonomy away from the subjects.

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Another recurring problem arises when trying to accommodate the ICH categories defined in the Convention, though UNESCO raises the possibility of using other classifications (UNESCO, 2011b: 10-11). The breadth and vagueness of these categories makes inventory creation a daunting task,

TO AVOID THE DANGER OF REIFYING ELEMENTS AND THE LIMITATIONS IMPLICIT IN CREATING INVENTORIES, MANY PROJECTS SEEK TO GUARANTEE THE DEVELOPMENT OF ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH since it is not possible to establish the precise limits where the classifications end. This is why few ICH inventories created so far have aimed to be exhaustive. Conversely, some inventories focus on a specific category and define

Wayang Kulit puppet theatre from the islands of Indonesia. Declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003. Photo circa 1890. KITLV. WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

new subcategories based on the region studied, or organise the entire inventory into precise categories that do not always coincide with those defined in the Convention. This is the case of the Atlas of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Buenos Aires, which is limited to the sphere of festivals, celebrations and rituals. Other such cases include the Catalogue of Traditional Dances of the Nicaraguan Pacific and the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cambodia, which focuses on the performing arts and elements of oral cultural heritage. Thus, we could underscore the flexibility of the categories in use in different inventories and the need to not apply them to the social world as a definitive taxonomic system. The definition of the categories in the Convention is based on an etic classification abstracted from the ethnocentric ideas of the UNESCO editors and advisors. Its use in emic contexts presents a contradiction and limits the scope and local understanding of the inventories. This is why many inventories are restricted to selecting a general topic or various ones considered as belonging to intangible heritage and use it to establish a series of categories to accommodate and order the elements selected in their territories. As such, many inventories focus on specific areas and do not aspire to be exhaustive. Even though the Convention implies that inventories must be exhaustive and include the entire ICH, later documents recognise the difficulties inherent in such a task (UNESCO, 2011b): how can something intangible be inventoried comprehensively? Therefore, we can say that in most cases, creating an inventory entails abandoning the criterion of exhaustiveness and focusing on seeking out the representativeness of the elements selected, as illustrated by the ICH inventory of Mexico, which explicitly asserts the


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impossibility of drawing up an exhaustive inventory due to the breadth of the Mexican cultural sphere. However, this option raises other problems: how can the representativeness of the elements be determined? This may involve

MOST INVENTORY ACTIONS SEEK OUT FORMULAS AND SOLUTIONS TO AVOID THE LIMITATIONS INHERENT TO THE CONVENTION: HOW CAN WE INVENTORY WHAT IS INTANGIBLE? IT WOULD BE LIKE TRYING TO COUNT THE GRAINS OF SAND IN THE OCEAN… establishing criteria of legitimacy and hierarchy that hoist certain elements above others as more representative (see Hafstein, 2009). One way to apply these ideas is to develop emic criteria of representativeness, based on exhaustive ethnographic analyses that take into account the political implications of any ICH-related project and the need to maintain a critical standpoint that considers tools of reflective analysis. Other inventories, like the aforementioned Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage, raise the possibility of creating an inventory based on demonstrations of ICH elements without aspiring to any criteria of representativeness and exhaustiveness. However, it is impossible to ignore the political dimension of any inventoryrelated action. Many of the projects analysed focus on the political importance of ICH as a tool for studying and managing territorial cultural diversity. Thus, the projects normally include newly

created manifestations as well as elements from immigrant communities, in order to integrate the different cultural expressions and give them visibility, as a first step towards social integration (this is the case of Scotland, Mexico and Buenos Aires). In this regard, ICH is recognised as a tool for political and social action and attempts are made to guide its use towards a specific purpose. Another interesting example is the Intangible Heritage Inventory of Cambodia. Regarding the criteria used to select the elements forming part of the inventory, it emphasises that no inventory can be exhaustive, but inventories may be representative. In relation to this concept, it asserts the importance of taking into account the political elements that may hinder the determination of criteria of representativeness, thereby highlighting the need to avoid exclusion and invisibility when creating inventories. The way to avoid this is to reflect the polyphony of voices in a nation state when creating the inventories. Methodologically speaking, and to avoid the danger of reifying elements and the limitations implicit in creating inventories, may projects seek to guarantee the development of ethnographic research aimed at capturing the process-related elements of the practices, uses, representations, expressions, knowledge and techniques selected. Thus, both the conceptual complexities and the processes of production that gave rise to the elements considered ICH are reflected. This would involve recording the manifestations as under development, and not as finished products. In this way, many projects tend to have a diachronic view of heritage that includes a historical and process-related analysis and an emphasis on the presentation of the social and cultural contexts that inspired the elements selected. This is the case

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of Mexico’s inventory, which aims to bring together all the representative expressions and manifestations of the cultural groups of the country based on the premise that heritage forms part of conceptual systems, meaning that it is not possible to restrict it to activities of classification and taxonomy and thereby implicitly rejecting the very definition of an inventory. Viewed from this perspective, some inventories enjoy the support of specialised researchers and ethnographers, who refuse to classify cultural expressions into preconceived patterns (López Morales, 2008: 6). Thus, the use of ethnographic methodologies to create inventories enables information to be collected in emic terms, which guarantees the representativeness of the elements chosen in the sphere of communities. Other projects along the same lines include the series of experiences that began to

CREATING AN INVENTORY IS EASIER, LESS CONFLICTIVE AND HAS LESS CONSEQUENCES THAN ESTABLISHING MEASURES THAT ENABLE SOCIAL ACTORS TO PURSUE THEIR LIFESTYLES AND SOCIAL ORGANISATION FREELY AND INDEPENDENTLY be organised in 2010 in some African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Swaziland and Zambia) in order to develop methodologies to inventory intangible heritage upon a community’s initiative. However, these activities may encounter problems widely discussed in disciplines like anthropology by raising questions such as: who legitimately represents the


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communities?; and who forms part of them and who doesn’t? The concept of intangible heritage is the legacy of a long Western tradition (Smith, 2006) and, as such, this concept will not always translate easily into all cultural contexts, which often makes it harder to interpret. The inventories take different formats regarding results. While various inventories are kept as websites, like in Scotland, there are also many examples of books and catalogues that may or may not be viewed online. There is also great variety regarding the volume of the information collected. While some inventories consist of extremely complex datasheets with historical and eth-

THE POLYSEMIC NATURE OF ALL HERITAGE, AND ESPECIALLY OF ICH ELEMENTS, IS LIMITED WHEN FORCED TO ADAPT TO AN INVENTORY FORMAT nographic information and elaborate descriptions, there are also examples where the datasheets are limited to a few lines of information and a little rudimentary data. In conclusion, we can say that one of the features of creating inventories is the task of translating and summarising a complex social reality into normalised models of classification. The use of classification methods developed first in international spheres (UNESCO) and applied by states domestically implies reducing different social worlds and bringing uniformity to them in an institutionalised format that enables action later. This is why most actions in this regard attempt to find formulas and solutions to escape these limitations inherent in the Convention: how can we inventory what is intangible? It

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would be like trying to count the grains of sand in the ocean…

but could even do it harm by fossilising cultural elements.

Conclusions: the Problems and Limits of ICH Inventories A study of regulations on safeguarding ICH before and after the UNESCO Convention of 2003 has revealed texts very different in type and scope, related to the institutions that promoted them and the heritage uses for which they were designed. The focus of many of the regulations and safeguarding measures proposed has hardly changed with regard to legislation related to tangible heritage, despite the requirement of the particular characteristics of the ICH to change the objectives of laws from protection to safeguarding, as well as the measures to achieve that. Most measures focus on tangible heritage.

To our understanding, the creation of intangible heritage inventories raises fundamental methodological problems. First, the very concept of an inventory tends to assume that intangible heritage is quantifiable, which is contradicted by its intangible nature. By definition, an inventory is a classification of all the elements in a certain category, normally a count or listing. The concept is usually applied to finite and quantifiable elements that may be categorised; it is harder for us to imag-

The emphasis on creating inventories in legislation is related to the requirement and priority given to safeguarding in the Convention. It is also related to the difficulties in defining and implementing specific legal measures due to the characteristics of the ICH, which favour choosing the measure that is clearest and easiest to achieve. Creating an inventory is easier, less conflictive and has less consequences establishing measures that enable social actors to pursue their lifestyles and social organisation freely and independently. In debates between the specialists that drafted the UNESCO Convention, there were two positions on the possibilities for creating an Inventory of Intangible Heritage (Kurin, 2004a). One stance defended the need to create complete ICH inventories, as is done for monuments and archaeological dig sites. The other position took a critical approach to this work as vast and endless, based on discredited methodologies that viewed culture as if it were formed of atomistic elements. It was thought that inventories would not only fail to stimulate cultural vitality,

AN INVENTORY CANNOT BE A MERE LIST OF ELEMENTS WITH A BRIEF DESCRIPTION, BUT MUST INCLUDE KEY ASPECTS LIKE THE SOCIOECONOMIC, CULTURAL AND TEMPORAL CONTEXT WHERE THE HERITAGE IS LIVED AND HAS MEANING ine using it for intangible elements. Goody (1977) stresses the theoretical and methodological implications of lists and tables by projecting onto reality a series of limitations associated to the need to define precise categories that may take the form of an inventory. The schematic kind of thinking proper to inventories encourages ordering elements and gives rise to hierarchies, while also favouring precise limits between categories (Goody, 1977: 81). The polysemic nature of all heritage, and especially of ICH elements, is therefore limited when forced to adapt to an inventory format. How can it be clearly stipulated whether Wayang puppet theatre falls within the category of performing arts or of social


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rituals and festive events? How can it be determined if popular refrains about climatology should be categorised as oral traditions and expressions, or as knowledge and usage related to nature and the universe? In this regard, once again we encounter the frequent problem of assimilating intangible heritage inventories with tangible heritage inventories (especially archaeological, artistic and architectural ones), viewing them as a collection of items of cultural property. Until what point may cultural elements be isolated and inventoried which, unlike tangible elements, undergo constant transformation? Where is the limit to the inventory? What are its criteria? As Kurin states (2004b), the main difference between dealing tangible and intangible elements lies in the fact that the objects of the latter are social practice, and not a record, an element

that can be inventoried, a written transcription or a photograph. This is why inventorying these elements is no easy matter and presents many methodological challenges. These challenges are not only methodological, but also political. The practices that must be inventoried belong to the same community, and not to a museum or scientific institution. This is why intangible cultural practices only have meaning if the same community practices them. Neither museums nor political or cultural institutions can resort to an idealised or romanticised idealisation of culture (Kurin, 2004b). They may investigate it, but they cannot conserve it. Considering living cultural practices as heritage may have strategic and even political interest, but it implies a contradiction unless the very concept of heritage is viewed from a totally different standpoint.

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It is also important to highlight the problems arising from the social use of ICH inventories. How are inventories useful and how can they give back to the community? This masks a central question: are inventories the most appropriate method for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage? From our point of view, an inventory cannot be a mere list of elements with a brief description, but must include key aspects for learning about and understanding the elements of a culture: the socioeconomic, cultural and temporal context where the heritage is lived and has meaning, and the people that produce, use, transform and pass on elements of ICH and recognise it as their heritage. None of this can be learned from simple datasheets, but must be gathered from ethnographic fieldwork. n

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políticos y normativos en América Latina. Lima: UICN. Santamarina Campos, B. (2013) «Los mapas geopolíticos de la UNESCO: Entre la distinción y la diferencia están las asimetrías. El éxito (exótico) del patrimonio inmaterial». Revista de Antropología Social, 22, p. 263-286. Smeets, R. (2012) La notion d’«élément» dans la rédaction de la Convention 2003 et de ses Directives opérationnelles. París: UNESCO. Mecanoscrit. Smith, L. (2006) Uses of Heritage. Nova York: Routledge. UNESCO (2003a) Convenció per a la Salvaguarda del Patrimoni Cultural Immaterial. París: UNESCO. UNESCO (2003b) Estudio preliminar de los aspectos técnicos y jurídicos relacionados con la conveniencia de elaborar un instrumento normativo sobre la diversidad cultural. París: UNESCO. Mecanoscrit.

UNESCO (2005a) Convención sobre la Protección y Promoción de la Diversidad de las Expresiones Culturales. París: UNESCO. UNESCO (2005b) Réunion d’experts sur les inventaires du patrimoine culturel immatériel. París: UNESCO. UNESCO (2011a) Infokit. ¿Qué es el Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial? París: UNESCO. UNESCO (2011b) Infokit. Identificar y realizar el Inventario del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial. París: UNESCO. UNESCO (2012) Directrices Operativas para la aplicación de la Convención para la Salvaguardia del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial. París: UNESCO. Urrutia, J. (2012) «Bilan de la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immatériel en Amérique latine». A: Gauthier, A. (dir.). Les mesures de soutien au patrimoine immatériel. Quebec: Conseil Québécois du Patrimoine Vivant, p. 61-66.

NOTES 1 This work was completed as part of the research project “Patrimonialización y redefinición de la ruralidad. Nuevos usos del patrimonio local” (CSO2011-29413), funded by the Ministry of Education and Science and the FEDER programme. 2 See Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Convention. 3 Except for the creation of inventories, the measures proposed in the Convention to safeguard it are generic: “identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission … and the revitalization of this heritage” (Art. 2.3). Further on, it indicates that states will do “everything possible” to adopt policies to enhance the role of ICH in society, create bodies charged with safeguarding it, encourage the study of it and research methodologies related to it and adopt legal, technical, administrative and financial measures to facilitate its management and transmission, guarantee access to it, respect customary uses of it and create documentation institutions for it (Art. 13). It also includes the creation of two lists (Art. 16 and 17) and a fund (Articles 25 to 28) aimed at raising awareness about heritage and funding safeguarding initiatives.

6 Among these regulations, we find some specific ones on the subject, such as the Universal Convention on Copyright (1952-1971) and the Bern Convention (1967), as well as others that address other issues but include provisions on the ownership of traditional knowledge and folklore from the standpoint of intellectual property: the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and UNESCO’s Recommendation on Safeguarding Traditional and Popular Culture (1989). For example, countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru recognise the indigenous populations’ ownership of knowledge in their laws on biodiversity (Ruiz, 2006). 7 Other ICH-related UNESCO instruments include the Mexico City Declaration on Cultural Policies (1982), the Living Human Treasures programme (1993, the Red Book of Endangered Languages (1993), the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity programme (1997), the Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) and the Istanbul Declaration on Intangible Heritage (2002). Other documents are also worthy of attention, such as the Shanghai Charter (2002) and the Seoul Declaration (2004) of the ICOM.

8 Both before and after the Convention, many cultural heritage laws in the autonomous communities of Spain have spoken of ethnographic property or intangible ethnographic property to refer to aspects of intangible heritage. These same terms are also frequently used in the National Plan to Safeguard ICH (IPCE, 2011). 9 Since the Convention, the generic term used has been intangible cultural heritage. Elements has been the neutral specific term, although ICH manifestations, expressions, aspects and practices are also used (Smeets, 2012: 15-16). 10 For example, Article 2 of the Decree of 2009 that regulates the aspects of the General Culture Law of Colombia (2008) states that: “the different types of intangible cultural heritage mentioned above are understood under the term ‘manifestations’ for the purposes of this decree” (Ministry of Culture of Colombia, 2010: 171). 11 As occurs with the update of the Italian Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code (2008), which declares that the elements included in the ICH Convention may only be subject to the provisions of the code when they lead to material evidence (Bortolotto, 2013: 28-29).

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title Inventaris de PCI. L’aplicació de la Convenció de la UNESCO

4 Regulations of this kind promoted by international bodies include the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); the ILO Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (1989); the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1996); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).

5 Article 1 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity of 2001 defines cultural diversity as heritage common to humanity and “as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”. Similar ideas appear in the introduction of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO, 2005a).


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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries nature was reappraised. It was a time when conservationist ideas took shape and nature became an element representing balance, rationality and morality compared with the cluttered, dense and depraved city. These were the years when, for example, nature became important in education, the first hiking centers were founded, garden city projects were devised and urban parks emerged in big cities. There is no doubt that all these movements would have an impact on new urban development projects and a significant influence on the new designs for workers’ settlements which were being set up on a mass scale along Catalonia’s rivers, especially the Ter and the Llobregat. In “Gardens of Industrialization” we have examined 15 gardens, observing nearly a thousand examples and more than a hundred different species. This volume and density prove the existence of a rich vegetation heritage while also showing how the advent of factories on the banks of the Ter involved not only a physical occupation of the land but also its symbolic occupation.

A la fi del segle xix i començament del xx es produeix una revaloració de la natura. És el moment en què adquireixen forma les idees conservacionistes i la natura es converteix en un element que representa equilibri, racionalitat i moralitat enfront de la ciutat, desordenada, densa i depravada. Són els anys en què, per exemple, la natura esdevé important en l’educació, es constitueixen els primers centres excursionistes, s’imaginen les ciutats jardí i apareixen projectes de parcs urbans per a les grans metròpolis. No hi ha dubte que tots aquests moviments es deixaren notar en els nous projectes urbanitzadors i tingueren una notable influència en els nous projectes de colònies industrials, que s’estaven instal·lant de manera «massiva» a la vora dels rius catalans, especialment el Ter i el Llobregat. Amb el treball «Els jardins de la industrialització» s’han analitzat una quinzena de jardins, en els quals s’han observat prop d’un miler d’exemplars i més d’un centenar d’espècies vegetals diferents. Un volum i una densitat que proven l’existència d’un ric patrimoni vegetal, al mateix temps que constaten com l’arribada d’industrials a la vora del Ter no només va implicar una ocupació física del territori, sinó també la seva ocupació simbòlica.

Pere Casas Trabal

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He has a degree from the University of Barcelona and a Master’s degree in Management of Local Cultural Heritage. He works as a heritage expert at the Museu del Ter in Manlleu, Catalonia, where amongst other activities he has participated in and coordinated research projects related to industrial and intangible heritage in the Ter Valley.

Jordi Grané Casellas

Museu del Ter

He has a degree in Modern and Contemporary History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and a Master in Management of Local Cultural Heritage. He works as a heritage expert at the Museu del Ter in Manlleu, Catalonia, where he carries out educational and research projects related to industrial and intangible heritage in the Ter Valley.

The Gardens of Industrialization: an Example of Symbolic Colonization of the Territory “ ... far away, bordering the rivers, industrial facilities stick out like poisonous darts thrown on the landscape by the city ... “ Rubió i Tudurí, 1926 Some Colors of Industrial Heritage: from Gray to Green

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or some years the elements that make up Catalonia’s industrial heritage have been studied, recovered and reassessed. Much of the Museu del Ter’s work revolves around this theme, and we have made many efforts to highlight this heritage. The museum takes a broad perspective in confronting this challenge, trying to bring together as many of the elements

making up this heritage as possible, and the subject of gardens is a good example. For several years we have been studying the turbines, explaining the drive shafts and describing the working conditions at the Ter factories. We have assessed the importance of the rivers and canals, and ultimately many aspects pertaining Keywords: industrial heritage, natural

heritage, gardens, social transformation Paraules clau: patrimoni industrial, patrimoni

natural, jardins, transformació social


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The owners’ tower, and the garden that circled it, at the Can Riva factory (Les Masies de Voltregà). The Oliveras de la Riva family, in charge of the factory for many years, spent long periods of time there. The current state of the gardens is not the same. NATIONAL ARCHIVE OF CATALONIA

to the industrialization begun in the 18th century have been worked on and continue to be worked on. This industrial world, full of smoke, obligations, hierarchies and so on, has often been described as gray, but at the Museu del Ter we are convinced that it is fitting to introduce some color into this grayness, and some of the research conducted1 points in this direction. There is no doubt that the arrival of factories to the Ter’s banks brought a series of changes that transformed life in the Ter basin at its root. It went from a predominantly rural society to an urban one in which industry played a significant role. This is because industrialization is more than just technical changes and increased production. Among many other changes it led to a concentration of work, a new labor discipline and the transformation of society as a whole: from ways of life to cultural expressions and from mentalities to new forms of social organization.

Amid this climate, worth noting is the emergence of centers for recreation and culture, cafés, theaters and all kinds of associations, among which the Cors de Clavé is a highlight. Far from appearing as a contradiction or an opposite reality, this associative movement must be understood as another reality of this world. It would be erroneous to imagine only a gray and dark Manlleu from strikes, lockouts and the tensions experienced over these decades. At the same time, with the same key figures and the same city, a large-scale associative movement emerged and made Manlleu a very dynamic society. A good example is the fact that in 1909 Manlleu already had the highest number of institutions in the diocese (more than cities like Manresa and Vic); it had the greatest number of social and political institutions and was less influenced by the church. A global perspective enables us to see how industrialization led to the

emergence of a new society. This industrial consolidation was accompanied by the arrival of newcomers. The number of factories grew while the physical appearance of the city was transformed; the massive presence of workers meant the appearance of many groups and organizations; the textile industry and controversies between workers and manufacturers came to the Ter basin at the same time as the train, the hospital and public lighting. In short, it was a more open and dynamic society –a society with more colors. “The Gardens of Industrialization: an Example of Symbolic Colonization of the Territory”2 aims to dye this gray we have called into question green. The research is based on exhaustive fieldwork, a thorough inventory that enables us to lay the foundations for speaking about this symbolic occupation of the territory. Before going into the research, however, it is appropriate to give some background.


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A current photograph and one from the mid-20th century of a deer found in the gardens of the La Farga de Bebiè industrial colony (Montesquiu). The sculpture is surrounded by a boxwood hedge. MUSEU DEL TER, 2011. FAMÍLIA BABLER COLLECTION

The Gardens of Industrialization: Background The late 19th –and early 20th centuries –were a time of reassessing nature. Conservationist ideas took shape over this period. There was a reaction against man’s power to destroy and despoil. It was necessary to protect the most important landscapes. It is in this context that we must place the beginning of Spanish national park policy, with the creation of the Ordesa National Park in 1916. The creation of the body of foresters in the 19th –century is fairly representative. This body did not limit its obligations to economic exploitation of the forest; rather, over the years it took up defense and conservation of the forest of its own accord. Propaganda work ultimately led to the environment of the late 19th and early 20th century with the creation of the Spanish Arbor Day, educational in nature and aimed at people without the scientific training of foresters (Casals Costa, 1988).

This was also the period in which cities did away with their walls and added other land needing to be organized and integrated into the old street plan to the spaces they had occupied for centuries. Trees and gardens played

an important role in many of these city expansion projects. The ultimate goal of these projects is found in a very specific quote from Cerdà: according to him, it was necessary to “urbanize the countryside and ruralize the city.” The garden city projects that appeared across Europe at the hand of developers like British urban planner Ebenezer Howard, the founder of garden cities Letchworth and Welwyn (Choay, 1983), can be understood in this context. The case of Madrid with developer Arturo Soria demonstrates the positive valuation nature would acquire as an ideal component of the urban landscape among some sectors of Madrid society. Barcelona created its parks and gardens service in 1917 with Rubió i Tudurí as director (Casals Costa, 1992). Nature became an element representing balance, rationality and morality versus the messy, dense and depraved city. Nature was elevated for ecological reasons, like the defense of the forest undertaken by foresters for climatic reasons and the maintenance of natural equilibrium; reasons of patriotic exaltation, since the mountain repre-

sents the national spirit that has stood the test of time and is the place where the essence of the country remains uncorrupted, making efforts to conserve nature and recover land lost to deforestation a patriotic issue; and hygienist reasons, given that nature is identified with a space opposite the city, removed from its vices and problems. We stressed above that during the period of growth and expansion of Europe’s main cities the need to include nature in a number of ways was taken into account: the most radical was the garden city projects. These positive characteristics of nature make it a very useful tool in the hands of regenerationist schools of thought. Nature became an important element of education. It was a way to remove children from the vices of the city and educate them in love for the homeland, order and morality. Hiking centers undertook the task of bringing nature closer to urban populations and promoting familiarity with the country’s nature. For hiking promoters, spreading this activity among young people was suited to removing them from outside influences, i.e. educating them in the school of patriotic mountaineering. Arbor Day, which was introduced


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by forester Rafael Puig i Valls in 1898, is essentially a pedagogical tool that seeks to teach children to love trees and nature. Another example is the urban parks created in North America in the second half of the 19th century. They sought to introduce nature in the great urban masses so it would play a moralizing and redemptive role. As such, the design and size of these parks had to resemble authentic natural environments as much as possible. The element that turned parks into generators of public well-being was the presence of the natural environment. The first large urban park in North America was New York’s Central Park, on which construction work began in 1856. After Central Park was created, many North American cities decided to create their own large parks as well. The park movement was the name given to the movement promoting the creation of parks in North American cities. Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park and the first landscape architect, was the main exponent of this movement (García Hermosilla, 1994). All of these movements influenced the new urbanization projects and also had a significant impact on the

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new projects for industrial colonies on the Ter and land development by the industrialists. A Tour of the Gardens of Industrialization: the Research The interest in working on the industrial gardens of the Ter is based on two observations made by the Museu del Ter. On one hand is the surprising number of gardens and urban landscape planning of different types linked to this historical process affecting the Ter basin beginning in the first third of the 19th century. This is the case with the gardens and other urban landscape planning of the territory tied to the process of industrialization taking place around the use of water power from the river with the building of factories and colonies that transformed the economic, social and cultural structure of the territory and with it also the landscape. These gardens and allées and the urban landscaping of the colonies have great historical significance that has been neither studied nor recognized. On the other hand, the widespread unfamiliarity with the reality of this heritage in our territorial context has resulted in the danger of many of these gardens disappearing for good. Or, to put it in a positive light, there is an opportunity to make this heritage

Current map of one of the gardens at the Ymbern colony (also known as El Pelut) in Orís. This is one of the most noteworthy “industrial” gardens of the Middle Ter basin. DRAWN IN-HOUSE. MUSEU DEL TER

Sketch of El Pelut (Orís) with a list of species planted. Although the design of the gardens is not shown, the main layout can be traced. MUSEU DEL TER

known and consider recovering some of these landscape interventions. We must not forget that gardens are one of the least recognized types of cultural heritage. The fact that they are living organisms and require continuous maintenance and that the passage of time inevitably affects or transforms them or leads them to disappear more easily than built heritage should not downplay their cultural value and the importance of their being known. The fragility of the garden reality is an invisibilization factor for the historical, artistic and urban importance of gardens and the urban landscape interventions of the territory (Capel, 2003). The research has therefore been designed with one main goal: rebuilding and describing the urban landscaping interventions associated with the factories and colonies of the Ter River in the Osona region with the ultimate aim of drawing attention to them as an indispensable part of an important cultural landscape. Of late, the industrial heritage of factories, colonies, water infrastructure, manufacturing centers and so on is being revalued by the administration and owners,


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Current map of the Torre de L’Amo garden at the Rusiñol colony in Manlleu. Santiago Rusiñol and his brother Albert, heirs of a dynasty of Manlleu textile industrialists, built this tower and garden when they inherited the property circa 1880. DRAWN IN-HOUSE. MUSEU DEL TER

and there is starting to be social recognition of their historical, cultural, urban planning and landscape value. But the industrial landscape of the Ter is marked as much by its groves and gardens as by its canals, factories and colonies. In fact, they all form part of the same whole and the same history, which would be incomplete without paying the necessary attention to these elements. Methodologically, we have focused on compiling the different sources that we felt could contribute relevant information to the subject matter to be studied. With regards to the literature, in part we focused on publications of a generic nature that dealt with this industrial subject matter or the topic of nature. This compiling allowed us to obtain a good conceptual framework, though not a very indepth one regarding gardens. To get more individualized information we worked with different monographs relating to the colonies and factories of the Middle Ter. These texts contributed to deeper knowledge of each of the properties, but as we imagined, the subject of the gardens was nearly non-existent.

Another source of information was what we gleaned from different archives and libraries. We consulted the municipal archives of Manlleu, Roda de Ter, Les Masies de Roda, Sant Hipòlit de Voltregà, Les Masies de Voltregà and Torelló. We also consulted general archives like the Historical Archives of Osona, the Historical Archives of the City of Barcelona and the National Archive of Catalonia. The information obtained was limited, but in some cases we found very valuable documents like a map from the early 20th century –with the landscaping of the gardens of the Ymbern (El Pelut) colony in Orís. Simultaneously, we worked on scouring the newspaper library for articles discussing the gardens in local newspapers and magazines. But certainly one of the most important tasks undertaken was an elaborate and exhaustive plant inventory. The different colonies and factories located on the banks of the Ter in the Osona region were visited one by one. This was a total of 15 properties between the towns of Montesquiu, Sant Quirze de Besora, Orís, Sant Vicenç de Torelló, Torelló, Les Masies de Voltregà, Manl-

leu, Gurb, Roda de Ter and Les Masies de Roda. We followed a single methodology and applied it to each of the properties, structuring all of them in the same way: the site’s geographical location, a brief historical contextualization of the property accompanied by photographs and historical maps (from the compilation of documents explained above), and an analysis of each of the gardens that are part of the different establishments. This analysis consists of a formal description of the garden, an inventory of the different plant species identified and the most outstanding inert elements that shape the gardens, and the current layout of each garden. The analysis was accompanied by one of the most important parts of the research: the memory of those who experienced this reality. Oral history has been very present in the analysis of each of the gardens, and in this respect we should highlight the considerable number of interviews that were conducted. We sought to present an attractive and heterogeneous range of key figures, so we used a wide variety


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of interviewees: gardeners, residents, factory managers, colony owners, workers and so on. These individuals completed the more formal analysis and made it possible to “humanize” these spaces. Conclusions: an Inventory, a Dictionary and Some Reflections The different inventories made allowed us to obtain a list of species that made up the gardens of industrialization, among other things. We ascertained what the volume of specimens was and discovered the variety of species that

In addition to plant species, we also observed different types of landscape interventions and urban landscape planning of high historic and cultural interest, among which we can highlight the following:

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1) Public gardens: here the paradigmatic example is the gardens of the Ymbern (El Pelut) colony. This colony was founded by the cotton industrialist and politician Eduard Calvet, a Barcelona resident whose family was from the Maresme. The Calvets did not build their residence in the colony, but despite this and probably motivated by his social orientation, Eduard Calvet designed large gardens open to all colony residents. From the perspective of landscape quality, they are likely the most important gardens of the sphere we are studying. The research

Current photograph of the El Pelut gardens (Orís). In addition to its botanical interest, some inert elements like the fountain and gazebo are noteworthy. MUSEU DEL TER, 2011

shaped this rich botanical heritage. In total there were over a thousand specimens and over a hundred different species. This fact led us to create a botanical dictionary with the most common species of the Ter. The range of species includes the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), linden trees, white mulberry trees, loquats, evergreen oaks and other oaks, among many others.

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ists on the Ter (created in 1895 by the Coats company, which would become the well-known Fabra i Coats company). Because of the importance of the colony’s gardens, at some times the company had five gardeners on staff. 4) Other interventions: there are other very significant urban landscape planning interventions, but we can highlight, for example, the so-called allées, lines of trees running along either side of a path or road. Among many others, here we can highlight the interesting cypress allée at the Coromina colony and the cedar

The gardens of Cau Faluga have recently been restored paying as much respect as possible to the original project. MUSEU DEL TER, 2010

will also need to include a work on the municipal gardens of the towns and cities of the banks of the Ter such as Manlleu and Torelló. 2) The private gardens of the manufacturers’ homes: there are a number of these, most of them transformed or all but lost as the homes were abandoned. However, one high-quality example has been preserved from the Coromina colony, the former property of the family of Noucentist architect Josep M. Pericas. The magnificent terraced classicist garden of this architect’s home has been preserved. 3) The urban landscaping of the colonies: noteworthy here is Borgonyà, a colony from Scottish industrial-

allée bordering the canal towpath of the Borgonyà factory. In short, this serves as more evidence that the setting up of factories on the Ter’s banks to harness the power of the river did not merely involve physical development of the territory with productive aims (factories, dams, canals, etc) but also symbolic development (which we could call civilization under the terms provided by Noucentisme) which is largely reflected in the examples of urban landscape planning that can be found all along the river and that are connected with cultural trends that revalued nature and turned it into an urban planning tool from the 19th century on in Europe and America. n


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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alayo, J. C. (2002) Cent elements del patrimoni industrial a Catalunya. Barcelona: Lunwerg. Albareda, J. (1981) La industrialització a la Plana de Vic. Vic: Patronat d’Estudis Osonencs. Benevolo, L. (1994) Orígenes del urbanismo moderno. Madrid: Celeste Ediciones.

Díaz, J. (2006) «Jardins modernistes, el pas d’un segle». A: El temps: La quarta dimensió. Llibre de Ponències. 12è congrés de l’APEVC. Barcelona: Associació de Professionals dels Espais Verds de Catalunya.

Bonet Correa, A. (1991) «Paisaje urbano, ciudad lineal y masonería». Ciudad y Territorio, núm. 89, (Madrid).

Díaz, J. (2006) «Els jardins modernistes de Barcelona i alguns dels motius pels quals no els podem gaudir a la ciutat». Biblio 3W. Revista Bibliográfica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales (Serie documental de Geo Crítica), vol. XI, núm. 661, juliol.

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Dorel-Ferré, G. (1992) Les colònies industrials a Catalunya: el cas de la colònia Sedó. Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat - Ajuntament d’Esparreguera.

Bosch i Espelta, J. (1984) Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí: la creación del moderno paisajismo mediterráneo. Tesi doctoral.

Fariello, F. (2004) La arquitectura de los jardines : de la antigüedad al siglo XX. Barcelona: Agapea.

Cabana i Vancells, F. (1993) Fàbriques i empresaris: els protagonistes de la revolució industrial a Catalunya. 2, Cotoners. Barcelona: Enciclopèdia Catalana.

Forestier, J. C. N. (1985) Jardines: cuaderno de dibujos y planos. Barcelona: Stylos.

Capel, H. (2005) La morfología de las ciudades. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. Capel, H. (2003) La cosmópolis y la ciudad. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. Cartañà, J. (2005) Agronomía e ingenieros agrónomos en la España del siglo xix. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. Casals Costa, V (1988) «Defensa y ordenación del bosque en Espanya: Ciencia, Naturaleza y Sociedad en la obra de los ingenieros de montes durante el siglo xix». Geocrítica, núm. 73 (Universitat de Barcelona). Casals Costa, V. (1992) «Es tierra perdida la que se destina a la edificación. Nicolás María Rubio y la dirección de parques y arbolado del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona». Ciudad y Territorio, núm. 94 (Madrid. Casals Costa, V. (1996) Los ingenieros de montes en la España contemporánea (18481936). Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. Choay, F. (1983) El urbanismo. Utopías y Realidades. Barcelona: Editorial Lumen. Clua i Mercadal, J. (1995) Legislació i assentaments fabrils: les colònies industrials a Catalunya. Barcelona: Publicacions Universitat de Barcelona.

García Hermosilla, C. (1998) «Los parques urbanos de Barcelona y Montréal durante el siglo xix». A: Capel, H.; Linteau, P. A. Barcelona-Montréal. Desarrollo urbano comparado. Barcelona: Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona. García Hermosilla, C. (1994) «Parques urbanos e ideario conservacionista durante el siglo xix. El caso del parque de Mont Royal en Montréal». A: Gómez Amelia, D. L’érable. Apuntes de civilización y cultura canadiense. Càceres: Centro de Estudios Canadienses. Lahuerta, J J. (1980) Rubió i Tudurí, jardinero de otra naturaleza. Carrer de la Ciuttat: revista d’arquitectura. Barcelona: Edic. Del Cotal, núm. 11. Le Dantec, J. P. (2003) Jardins et paysages: une anthologie. París: Éditions de la Villette. Luengo, M. (2006) «La complejidad del proceso de restauración en el jardín histórico». El Temps, la quarta dimensió.Vila-seca.

Ribas i Pera, M.; Vidal i Pla, M.; Povo, M. (fotografies) (1991) Jardins de Catalunya. Barcelona: Edicions 62. Roger, A. (2000) Breu tractat del paisatge. Barcelona: Edicions La Campana. Rubió Boada, M. (1983) Bibliografia de Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí. Barcelona - Menorca: La Caixa. Rubió y Tudurí, N. M. (1981) Del paraíso al jardín latino. Barcelona: Tusquets Editores. Rubió y Tudurí, N. M. (2001) Jardins. Barcelona: Pòrtic. Rubió y Tudurí, N. M. (1999) Diàlegs sobre arquitectura. Barcelona: Quaderns Crema. Serra, R. (2000) Colònies tèxtils de Catalunya. Manresa: Fundació Caixa Manresa - Angle Editorial. Tarragó, S. (1987) «Les colònies industrials catalanes: un exemple modèlic d’implantació industrial, urbanística i arquitectònica». Espais, núm. 5 (Barcelona), maig-juny. Terradas, I. (1982) «Las colonias industriales en Cataluña». 1ª Jornadas sobre la protección y revalorización del patrimonio industrial. Bilbao: Gobierno Vasco, p. 417-420.

NOTES 1 To give some examples, the museum has worked on workers’ choirs in the Middle Ter and women’s work at the spinning mills on the Ter. The results of these and other investigations are part of the permanent exhibition Industrial Society located in the Museu del Ter. 2 Research conducted by the Museu del Ter from 2009 to 2012 within the framework of the research programs of the Ethnological Heritage Inventory of Catalonia.

Maeza, G. (2000) Metodología y práctica de la biogeografía. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal. Muntadas i Casanova, M. (1997) Colònies industrials del Ripollès: estudi arquitectònic i constructiu. Girona: Diputació de Girona - Col. legi d’Aparelladors i Arquitectes Tècnics de Girona - Universitat de Girona, Departament d’Arquitectura i Enginyeria de la Construcció. Pascual, P. (1990) Agricultura i industrialització a la Catalunya del segle xix: formació i deses-

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title Els jardins de la industrialització. Un exemple de colonització simbòlica del territori.

Clua i Mercadal, J. (1991) «Morfologia urbana de les colònies industrials a Catalunya». A: Actes del Primer Congrés Català de Geografia. Barcelona: Societat Catalana de Geografia.

Forestier, J. C. N. (1921) Des Jardins d’autrefois aux jardins d’aujourd’hui. Barcelona: Societat Cívica la Ciutat Jardí.

tructuració d’un sistema econòmic. Barcelona: Crítica.


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Xavier Roigé Ventura

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Department of Cultural Anthropology UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA

He is Professor of Social Anthropology and Museum Studies, University of Barcelona. He directs the Master in World Heritage and Development Strategies. He has carried out research on ethnological museums, museums of memory and on heritage processes. He heads up various research projects in the field of tangible and intangible heritage.

Joan Bestard Camps

Department of Cultural Anthropology UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA

He is professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. He is director of the research group of Anthropology of kinship and heritage. He has done research about the changes in kinship and family.

New Families, New Identities: A Study on the Transformation of the Family in Barcelona This research is about the process of constructing new family identities in the urban area of Barcelona, within the IPEC’s research program. The study has analyzed, from an ethnographic perspective, the rapid social and legislative changes in society and how they have led to new family models. The research mainly studied the context of how new identities had been created and how they redefined the roles, positions and functions of each member of the family. Es tracta d’una recerca sobre els processos de construcció de noves identitats familiars a l’àrea urbana de Barcelona dins del programa de recerca de l’IPEC. El treball ha analitzat, des d’una perspectiva etnogràfica, els ràpids canvis socials i legislatius en la societat i com han donat lloc a nous models de família. La recerca ha incidit, sobretot, en la perspectiva de com s’han creat les noves identitats i com s’han anat redefinint els rols, posicions i funcions de cadascun dels membres de la família.

Keywords: new families, marriage, divorce, parentality, family identities Paraules clau: noves famílies, matrimoni, divorci, parentalitat, identitats familiars

An Ethnographic Study on New Family Identities ith the title of this article, a group of researchers from the Institute of Childhood and the Urban World (CIIMU) and the Department of Anthropology of the Universitat de Barcelona conducted a study on the processes of building new family identities in the Barcelona metropolitan area within the IPEC research program, led by the authors of this text. The study analyzed the rapid social and legislative changes in society and how they have given way to new family models from an ethnographic perspective. The main focus of the research was perspective on how the new identities were created and how the roles, positions and functions of each family member have been redefined.

W

The family has been undergoing profound changes in recent decades. As the place where people’s individual

and social identities are built, this institution is at the heart of society, and it has been affected by the economic and political changes over these years. The structure of households has changed as a result of declining birth rates, the growth in the elderly population due to increased longevity and the reality of living with fewer people. At the same time these changes are taking place, family relationships, especially intergenerational family relationships, have been strengthened as an essential network of affective relationships and relationships of support and solidarity: the different generations cohabitate more than ever, and it is not at all strange for parents, children and grandchildren to live together. But more important than these changes are the cultural changes the family is undergoing, and this is what this project is about. Within the span of a few years, we have seen the spread of family models that just a decade or two ago were considered unworkable or even contrary to the idea of family. We thus observe a proliferation of couples who reject marriage and establish common-law


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partnerships; we are witnessing a rise in divorce and consequently many children live with their separated parents or stepfathers, stepmothers and stepsiblings; we are seeing the recognition of homosexual marriages, and these couples are legally allowed to have children together; we are looking at how adoptions from abroad and conceiving through fertility treatments have become more widespread; and we are looking at the formation of new models of motherhood and fatherhood in single-parent families. The objective of this research is to study the cultural aspects of all of these new family models. How are these new family patterns constructed? What kinship terminology is used to describe them? How do different families experience and perceive different aspects of family life? What are the differences in day-to-day organization, intergenerational relationships, relationships with children and so on for these families? The objective of this research, then, has been to analyze the cultural aspects of these new families (solitary groups, cohabitating couples, recomposed families, single-parent households, homosexual couples, etc.) Thus the research is based on the perspective of knowledge of the new ways of living in Catalan society, understanding these lifestyles as ways of creating new elements of ethnological heritage. Methodology The research followed qualitative methodology, primarily based on indepth interviews conducted in Barcelona and the surrounding area. As essential features we sought to discover the sociocultural aspects involved in the formation of these family groups, such as: • Kinship terminology used to refer to different family relationships and the way these relations are conceptualized using these terms (in the case

of spouses of separated parents, for instance). • Economic organization of the family group. Integration of economy in wider kinship networks. Family economic exchanges. • Distribution of roles among different members of the family group. Comparison of how these roles are assigned in new family realities and traditional marriage models. • Ideas surrounding kinship relations of consanguinity, affinity and residence. Analysis of how different family members perceive these relationships. • Contact between relatives, supportive roles and mutual aid in new family realities. • Life cycles, mobility and residential proximity among relatives. Social and habitation practices. • Residential mobility and family networks. • The impact of these aspects on family organization, housing needs and family policies. A major source for the research was 73 interviews that were conducted. Interviewees were chosen based on the differentiation criteria of different family types. The interviews were aimed more at analyzing different family types than studying a representative sample of families. This made it possible to go beyond objective data to describe the complexity of family relationships and forms of residence in detail. We sought to collect qualitative information about forms of residence and kinship relations for each form of residence to be studied in order to understand what makes up family relationships, how they function and what the underlying cultural models are. All of the interviews were recorded and transcribed and later analyzed using the NVivo qualitative data analysis software. The interviews were based on a questionnaire designed for the research.

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It was used more as a guide for topics to discuss than as a list of closed questions to facilitate planning and developing the interviews. Accordingly, the inclusion, ordering and way of formulating the questions depended in each case on the researcher’s criteria based on the conditions of the interview and the characteristics of the interviewee as well as on the information available beforehand or from responses given in other sections. Given the nature of the subject being studied, ethical aspects were key and scrupulously taken into account. All interviews were conducted with guarantees of anonymity and confidentiality, so assumed names have been used with all quotes and no details that would allow the person interviewed to be identified are provided. In the same vein, the transcriptions also leave out any details that would make identification possible. To learn about the legal aspects of divorce and different agreements in connection with economic aspects, custody and so on, 105 sentences of divorce cases were analyzed, providing supplementary information to the interviews. The information was collected on cards containing the qualitative information pertaining to specific divorce cases and the legal discourses used. We did not try to make a quantitative analysis of the sentences but to cull the information that could be called ethnographic. Lastly, news regarding new families (legal aspects, specific cases, claims, public debates and so on) was systematically mined from a number of newspapers. This compiled information enabled us to have a knowledge base of the different subjects our work is involved with to contrast the information gleaned from the interviews and have a complementary perspective.


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The Why of Changing Families When we presented this research to an audience of family researchers at a conference held at the University of Münster in January 2012, the question most frequently asked was why Spain, a Mediterranean country with a Catholic tradition, had adopted such liberal laws concerning the family in different areas like divorce, homosexual marriage, assisted reproduction and adoptions. From the European perspective, it is still surprising that we have become one of the most advanced countries in terms of family law and that the family has changed so quickly. What happened? What caused these rapid social and legislative changes? More recomposed families, more commonlaw partnerships, more same-sex marriages and families, a large number of international adoptions and a dramatic increase in children born from assisted reproduction have changed the family landscape. New values and symbols have changed family relationships.

Responding to and explaining these issues is not simple. We begin with an ethnographic vignette in an assisted reproduction clinic in Barcelona as Giulia Zanini presented it in her doctoral thesis on transnational reproduction (Zanini, 2012). An Italian couple who traveled to Barcelona to have an IVF treatment using donor gametes felt aggrieved and unhappy at having to go to another country to receive a treatment they believe should be offered in Italy. “It pains us to think of our country,” they said. They found “the idea that you have to travel abroad to do something normal” very distressing. They feel unhappy with their country because although it seems so similar to Spain culturally, one country has very restrictive laws on assisted reproduction while the other has very liberal legislation. Being so similar, they do not understand why there are different regulations for donating gametes. “What is even more troubling,” said

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the woman, “is having to go to a similar country. We have the Vatican, yes, but this is also a country with a Catholic tradition, a Mediterranean country, and here they can do it. Why can’t we do the same? It is very disagreeable.” In a way, our research aims to answer the Italian couple’s questions. The family has gone from an institutionalized family held to be the foundation of social structure to a type of family created by networks of intimate relationships between people. Individual relationships and the intimate relationships that make them up are the context where the diversity and plurality of families takes place. The rapid changes experienced by the contemporary family have motivated a number of studies indicating the existence of significant variations in the composition of residential groups and domestic organization. Most of the changes to contemporary families are expressed and measured in demographic indexes that often have a dramatic character such that the “surprises for the demographer” (Roussel, 1989) are what in large part guide study of the modern family. These changes are often interpreted from the perspective of the crisis of the family, and at the same time they are presented as an expression of profound changes in traditional notions of the family. But as has been noted by a number of authors (Stacey, 1992; Cadoret, 2002; Heuveline and Timberlake, 2004; Thompson and Amato, 1999; Bestard, 2012), it is important to analyze the changes to the modern family not only from the perspective of changes in marital relationships but also in terms of parent-child relationships. There are new contexts in kinship relationships that give meaning to the changes to the modern family. We understand that our emphasis on kinship relationships, departing from the analytical perspective of social anthropology, has

unique characteristics in comparison to the more usual quantitative studies on residence. Three factors with distinct historical origins have influenced this trend in family relationships. The new family models have been shaped by some features of modern society. First is the freedom of individual choice in forming a couple. We have moved from family interests to individual sentiment. Marriage choices do not follow the logic of family interests but the individualist logic of feelings. The sentimentalization of matrimonial choice has triumphed in all layers of society. Elective affinities are primarily subjective and based on feelings. This principle of individual freedom has changed the duration of marriage. The right to form a family has become universal and pluralized. Pair relationships are disassociated from parental relationships and recomposed families are part of the experience of many children who do not necessarily keep the same kinship relationships (parents, siblings and so on) throughout the course of their family life. Thus kinship relationships are not determined by ties of consanguinity and it is instead the daily relationship within a recomposed family that creates family ties. Second is the principle of gender equality. Feminist movements highlighted that it was no longer possible to form a family following traditional gender roles, i.e. with the woman devoted to caring for the family and the man devoted to work. This type of relationship ceased to be seen as a private matter and was framed within public political debates. New types of parental relationships not determined by the former roles of men and women had to be invented. Third is the centrality of the child in the formation of family relationships. It


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seems contradictory to speak of children as the center of family relationships when the birth rate has fallen sharply and is among the lowest in Europe. It could be said that we are having fewer children and waiting for the right time to have them but investing more in them emotionally. The desire to have children has become individualized and does not follow the parameters of a classic family cycle, an imperative of family structure. The desire for offspring is no longer a natural desire as was the case in the traditional family, where it was something given by the characteristics of the marital relationship itself. The desire for a child had been more of a necessity, whereas in the modern family constellation it is a subjective desire arising from choice, an individualized desire that no longer follows the parameters of a classic family cycle. Single-parent families, single mothers by choice, recomposed families and same-sex families have changed the relationship with having children. Indivisible biological parentage is no longer seen as the only possibility and the functions of mothers and fathers have been replaced by the notion of pluri-parentality. The prevalence of feelings over interest and the intensification of gender equality has been changing and diversifying the landscape of the modern family. Main Research Findings It is difficult to summarize the findings of the research on the different subjects analyzed in a few pages. We will therefore discuss three main issues covered in the three main chapters of the research report. 1) Divorce and family recomposition. After analyzing the various legal changes that have affected the evolution of divorce, the research focused on family recomposition. Following a divorce, a variety of different family figures are produced. In this context, how do the mother and father fig-

ures change after the divorce? And what influence do other figures of the extended family (stepparents, stepgrandparents and so on) have on the redefinition of parenthood? This chapter presents an ethnographic view of different processes of divorced parents and examines how they translate into different conceptions of parenthood. There are three issues that seem important. Firstly, the process of building a father-child relationship in the absence of a shared residence with the mother means that the idea of the father as a complementary figure to the mother is replaced by a father figure who is often in competition with the mother figure. Secondly, there is the fact that the figure of the father is usually accompanied by other figures that are not considered the parents (stepfather, stepmother) but who are present in the child’s life and represent some competition. Thirdly, we must also consider the relationship with grandparents, who also play a key role in redefining fatherhood (Roigé, 2012). The concept of fatherhood as a complementary aspect to motherhood is replaced by a paternal figure who is often presented as competing with the mother figure, although there is rarely absolute equality between the mother and father (Martial, 1997: 30). To understand how the figure of the divorced father has been redefined, we must keep in mind that there are many circumstances that relate to the parents’ situation: residential distance, conflictive relationships between former spouses and economic resources (Solsona et al., 2007; Jociles and Villaamil, 2008). And lastly, it is also necessary to analyze the influence of intergenerational relationships in the divorce process. Grandparents often provide indispensable assistance, so their role in redefining fatherhood after divorce is critical.

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2) Families with same-sex parents. This chapter is about how same-sex parenthood is constructed. Prior to the major legal reforms allowing homosexual marriage that have mainly taken place since 2005, it was very difficult to form a family with samesex parents, and it was impossible for these families to have the same rights as families with heterosexual parents. With these reforms, it is possible for same-sex couples to be “parents like the others” (Cadoret, 2002). These families share the social changes arising from the plurality of intimate relationships. In the different cases studied, the research has shown that mothering in a female same-sex family is a shared experience wherein the women assume the same responsibility in caring for and raising children, with domestic roles and functions that are agreed upon and not marked by hierarchical gender patterns but by ability, interests and circumstances. There is no specific role that is defined by established cultural assumptions. New forms of affiliations and alliance have to be built. The symbols of nature like blood, genes and pregnancy and childbirth are not enough to create a relationship of parentage. And like in other new families, family identities have to be reinvented. 3) Assisted reproduction and new reproductive models. The demographic result of the changes to the moral foundations of the family is low fertility and later childbearing with no connection to marriage; these are the most important aspects of the second demographic transition of Barcelona and its metropolitan area. But if one of the keys to changing families is the separation of sexuality and procreation, assisted reproduction is a good case for study. Through interviews the research analyzed how assisted reproduction builds new discourses and identities in procreation, how assisted reproduction somehow cre-


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ates different models of what having a child represents and enables access to mother- and fatherhood not just for people who biologically or genetically are unable to reproduce but for social situations in which the possibility of reproducing was not previously imagined. Single women, lesbian couples who exchange eggs, homosexual fathers who use surrogate mothers in countries where this practice is permitted, women past reproductive age –numerous situations and cases call into question our concepts of reproduction and what mother– and fatherhood mean. Medicalized reproduction also makes us question the ethical and moral limits that can be permitted or disallowed in a society or legislation. Final Observations The research mainly emphasized four areas that to our understanding form the foundations of family diversity: redefinition of family values; reinvention of family identities; generational roles in shaping family diversity; and the interrelation between legal, economic, demographic and family changes.

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There are new kinship values based on family diversity that specify that there is no unambiguous relationship between procreation, marriage and filiation. The decoupling of biological and social kinship may establish a symbolic order that gives meaning to the plurality of family types we see in our society. In this sense the family is being reinvented culturally, and in the absence of cultural norms about behavior, the restructuring of the family must create new identities –it must even solve practical issues regarding roles in situations where relationships are not clear and invent terms to define these relationships. These new relationships affect not only marital relationships but also intergenerational relationships, contrary to what is often thought. We could even say that the relationships between generations are strengthened vis-à-vis weakened conjugal relationships. But not everything boils down to ideological and cultural changes. The redefinition of families is the result of ideological and legislative changes but also of strategies to adapt to new economic situations.

hand, the increase in divorce, cohabitation and second marriages leads to the appearance of new family realities that call traditional patterns into question and suggest other ways of understanding the family (similarly to the changes taking place in neighboring countries). On the other hand, we find that some of the characteristics of the Mediterranean family system are highly stable, like the persistence of strong relationships between relatives. The two processes are not contradictory nor do they need to be explained in terms of modernity or tradition. They have to do with the cultural perceptions that underlie our family system, the weakness of public policies to support families and social and economic factors that have an impact on the modern family. n

The evolution of family structures in Spain reveals a dual process. On one

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bestard, J. (2012) «Nuevas formas de família». A: Barcelona Metròpolis, 2012, p. 2-5. Cadoret, A. (2002) Des parents comme les autres. Homosexualité et parenté, París: Odile Jacob. Heuveline, P.; Timberlake, J. M. (2004) «The Role of Cohabitation in Family Formation», Journal of Marriage and Family, 66: 1214-1230. Jociles, M. I.; Villaamil, F. (2008) «Estrategias para evitar y obstacularizar la paterni-dad/maternidad de los padrastros/madrastras en las familias reconstituidas». Revista Mexicana de Ciencia Política, 204, p. 121-135.

Thompson, R. A.; Amato, P. R. (ed.) (1999) The Postdivorce Family. Children, Parenting and Society. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Roussel, L. (1989) La famille incertaine. París: Odile Jacob.

Zanini, G. (2008) «Regulating assisted procreation: the Italian case», Quaderns-e, 12/b. http://www.raco.cat/index.php/QuadernseICA/ article/view/124415/172395.

Solsona, M.; Ferrer, L.; Simó, C.; MacInnes, J. (2007) «Trayectorias familiares después del divorcio. Una revisión de las contribuciones recientes desde la demografía». Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica, 49, p. 217-234. Stacey, J. (1992) «Backward toward the Postmodern Family». A: Thorne, B.; Yalom, M. (ed.): Rethinking the Family. Some Feminist Questions. Boston University Press, p. 91-118.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title Noves famílies, noves identitats. Una recerca sobre transformacions de la família a Barcelona.

Martial, A. (1997) S’apparenter. Ethnologie des liens de familles recomposées. París: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.

Roigé, X. (2012) «Redefinint la conjugalitat i la parentalitat». Barcelona Metròpolis, 2012, p. 13-20.


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This paper describes the findings and main issues addressed by the “Social Struggle and Collective Memory in Low Price Housing in Barcelona” research and analysis project commissioned in 2009 by the Associació de Veïns Avis del Barri de Bon Pastor and carried out by an interdisciplinary team of historians, anthropologists and architects linked to the Catalan Institute of Anthropology which also included people living in the low price housing. The gradual demolition of most of these neighborhoods on the outskirts of Barcelona shows the rollout of cultural dynamics that build a “city image” which is incompatible with some of its population sectors. In this context, anthropological research has to face great challenges but can also do some important work: documenting social transformations that have been linked to the modification of urban space and the role in this process of the selective reconfiguration of historical memory, especially that memory of struggle and resistance which is almost inseparable from the identity of these neighborhoods S’exposen aquí els resultats i les principals temàtiques abordades pel projecte de recerca-anàlisi «Lluita social i memòria col·lectiva a les cases barates de Barcelona» encarregat el 2009 a l’Associació de Veïns Avis del Barri en Defensa dels Inquilins de Bon Pastor i realitzat per un equip interdisciplinari d’historiadors, antropòlegs i arquitectes vinculats a l’Institut Català d’Antropologia, i integrat també per habitants de les cases barates. La demolició progressiva de la major part d’aquests barris dels marges de Barcelona permet d’observar el desplegament de dinàmiques culturals que construeixen una imatge de ciutat incompatible amb alguns dels seus sectors de població. En aquest context, la recerca antropològica ha d’enfrontar-se amb grans desafiaments, però pot realitzar una tasca important: documentar les transformacions socials que han estat vinculades a la modificació de l’espai urbà, i el paper que té en aquest procés la reconfiguració selectiva de la memòria històrica, en particular d’aquella memòria de lluita i resistència gairebé consubstancial a la identitat d’aquests barris.

Stefano Portelli

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Grup de Treball Perifèries Urbanes, Catalan Institute of Anthropology

Portelli is a cultural anthropologist and founder of the Urban Peripheries group of the Catalan Institute of Anthropology. After a number of fieldwork studies on the impact of developmental processes and urban transformation on peripheral neighbourhoods in Nicaragua, Catalonia and Italy, he is now part of the Department of Urban Planning Engineering (DICEA) at the Sapienza University of Roma. He has worked in Sicily, Morocco, Kenya, Cambodia and Nepal, while his most important research was carried out from 2004 to 2012 in the “cases barates” (cheap houses) area in the Bon Pastor neighbourhood of Barcelona.

The Horizontal City Social Struggle and Collective Memory on the Fringes of Barcelona

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he “Social Struggle and Collective Memory in Low Price Housing in Barcelona” study that we conducted from 2009 to 2011 within the framework of the Ethnological Heritage Inventory of Catalonia (IPEC) is the product of an unusual, intergenerational and intercultural collaboration that emerged from one of the city’s least known and most stigmatized neighborhoods –Bon Pastor, in the district of Sant Andreu– between a group of residents affected by a largescale demolition plan and a number of social researchers interested in in-depth study of the impact of urban transformations on the most disadvantaged sectors of the population. Historically, the four districts of Casas Baratas (lowcost social housing –literally, “cheap houses”) in Barcelona –built by the

city under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship on the occasion of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition– had not been subject to any systematic research like the studies of other suburbs of Barcelona. With the exception of the very recent Rastros de rostros en un prado rojo (y negro) (Traces of Faces in a Red (and Black) Meadow) by Pere López Sánchez (2013), literary and journalistic descriptions of the four housing estates have reproduced a series of negative stereotypes that could be considered functional with respect to demolition of the Casas Baratas. Some examples would be the description of the Casas Baratas as obscure pockets of misery and violence in The City of Marvels (Mendoza, 1986: 372373) and the difficulties Francesc Candel faced following publication of his works (1957, 1964) upon returning to “his” neighborhood (the Eduard Aunós affordable housing estate in

Keywords: urban anthropology, history of Barcelona, neighborhoods, urban renewal, social disarticulation, political anthropology, historical memory, engaged anthropology, urban studies, worker homes, Barcelona, Sant Andreu, Bon Pastor, Can Peguera, Eduard Aunós Paraules clau: antropologia urbana, història de Barcelona, barris, transformació urbana, desarticulació social, antropologia política, memòria històrica, Barcelona, Sant Andreu, Bon Pastor, cases barates, Can Peguera, Eduard Aunós


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Zona Franca), and they lead us to understand to what extent a “negative myth” in the sense identified by anthropologist Gary McDonough in the Raval neighborhood (1987) pervaded the whole narrative of the four districts. Undoubtedly, however, the affordable housing estates were much more than this myth. Their specific urban shape and their peculiar history allowed a popular culture distinct from that of the rest of the city to be maintained there. As was highlighted even by David Harvey (2002), Barcelona’s recent evolution involved the disappearance of a large part of the areas that provided the city with its symbolic capital: the working class neighborhoods where the collective identity of the city’s working classes was forged was systematically attacked by large urban transformation projects –from the historic center to El Poblenou to L’Hospitalet to the banks of the Besòs River. As Jaume Franquesa emphasized

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in one of the pioneering studies on the impact of a demolition in a Spanish city, there is always a “legitimizing narrative” corresponding to the “city project” that institutions plan for a given area that facilitates its execution (2010 [2005]: 60). The attempt to demolish the Casas Baratas was variously pursued by the municipal authorities (who held land ownership) during the Franco dictatorship, and it was prevented by firm opposition from the first neighborhood associations, which were often still clandestine (Fabre and Huertas Clavería, 1975: 87, 99-100). It was in the democratic era that the first two housing estates, Baró de Viver and Eduard Aunós, were demolished, within the framework of the “new developmentalism” that gained force around the 1992 Summer Olympics (McNeill, 1999). The demolition of Bon Pastor, approved in 2002 and begun in 2007, represents the final episode in this series of destructive projects using a legitimizing narrative based largely on the negative myth that

The Casas Baratas of Bon Pastor from above. CAROLA PAGANI, 2004

had been endemically applied to these territories. This demolition was also, however, the only one in this long history that social researchers had the chance to observe in detail. From our study of the Bon Pastor Casas Baratas in 2004, we observed how the discourse that justified the project to demolish the entire neighborhood –euphemistically defined as the Redevelopment Plan– involved a symbolic attack on the identity and self-representation of the inhabitants of this low-cost housing. The district was presented as an obsolete and deprived area in the press and municipal communication; the discourse on the isolation of Bon Pastor, variously repeated, dominated all public representation. There was no consideration for the area’s local culture and characteristic lifestyle, nor was any study of the human impact conducted prior to ordering the demolition of an area with nearly a century of history. As was noted by Horacio Capel,


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A group of residents of the Casas Baratas sitting on the street. CAROLA PAGANI, 2004

“the use of the qualifier “obsolete” is excessive; it is used to make unjustified decisions” (Capel, 2004). The new leftist turn in the demolition discourse further deepened the stigma endemically attributed to the Bon Pastor area (Wacquant, 2007): it was through this realization that our relationship with the Associació de Veïns Avis del Barri en Defensa dels Inquilins de Bon Pastor (Association of Elderly Residents in Defense of the Inhabitants of Bon Pastor) began. This association, formed in 2003 through a split from the Associació de Veïns de Bon Pastor (Association of Bon Pastor Residents) as a result of the approval of the project to demolish the Casas Baratas, took a critical stance against urban planning, but it needed to discover to what extent such opposition was founded amongst the housing’s residents. A door-to-door survey was conducted in the summer of 2004 among the first residences in the neighborhood to be affected, those making up the so-called first phase of demolition. As a group, we came from a series of urban anthropology and oral history studies on the social impact of urban transformations, especially in the districts of La Mina and El Poble-

nou, with a team that would soon become the Grup de Treball Perifèries Urbanes (Working Group on Urban Peripheries) within the Institut Català d’Antropologia, but nowhere else had we found a group of residents who expressly requested a research project that would serve them as an instrument of struggle. A dubious referendum, non-binding and supported by the same neighborhood association that was negotiating the demolition with the city council, was publicized as a guarantee of local participation in the urban planning decision: 54% of voters had said yes to the municipal project, although many did not even know what they had voted for, as the association of elderly residents observed. Our survey turned the results of the referendum upside down (PVCE, 2004). Not only did we record 40 opinions explicitly against the demolition and only 11 decidedly in favor out of 100 interviews, but among the fifty-odd remaining interviews we observed a variability and complexity of stances that was impossible to reduce to a yes or a no. The district unfolded before us in all of its contradictions: the discourse of progress and articulations of the

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negative myth had penetrated deep into the population, which in turn resisted accepting many of the implications of the city’s planning. In particular, however, what emerged from these initial interviews was history. The neighborhood’s past –marked by the migration of many of the families from the south of Spain, by authorities’ systematic disregard for the land and its inhabitants, by social struggle and the 1930s project to emancipate Barcelona’s proletariat politically and socially, by anti-Franco militia, by bombings, by exile and the reprisals suffered during the Franco dictatorship (see Gallardo Romero, 2000)– continued to influence the identities and consciousness of Bon Pastor residents, and still more with the demolition of the Casas Baratas taking shape on the horizon. Nowhere else in the city were we able to get so in touch with this interrelation between popular culture, inhabited space and collective memory: the demolition was stirring up many significant aspects of Barcelona’s historical identity in a manner similar to what Manuel Vázquez Montalbán had demonstrated with respect to the Raval during the Olympics. “The new Barcelona is all about forgetting,” as Donald McNeill wrote (1999: 52). A few years passed between this initial study and the start of the first research contract with the IPEC. In 2006, the same 100 families that we had interviewed two years earlier began to relocate to new buildings constructed on a site nearby, with some excited and others anxious. In 2007, a handful of these families decided to resist the order of eviction and demand economic compensation for the move, which they perceived not as a chance to escape isolation but as an irreplaceable loss of their living space and places of memory imposed by city planning that was vertical, just as the new apartment buildings were vertical in comparison with their Casas Baratas. The


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Association of Elderly Residents supported the struggle of these dissidents, but they could do nothing when on 19 October a large-scale police operation evicted them from their homes, the rent for which they were still paying, with a violent charge that wounded ten. The following year, relocated to new apartments, some members of these families began to meet with us, and our research soon began to take shape. While it had not been possible to resist the physical force employed by the Guàrdia Urbana (municipal police), it was possible to attempt to act on the cultural level, developing a discourse that challenged the stereotypes used to depict Bon Pastor in a language of exclusion and which served as an excuse for urban and social planning that was deeply unpopular. We returned to interview the inhabitants of the Casas Baratas in 2009, this time delving deeper into the history and life paths of neighborhood families, beginning with the dis-

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sidents and moving on to all sectors of local residents, proceeding in circles. A traditionally closed neighborhood, reserved with “outsiders” and mistrustful of institutions, opened up to our view just from the support we had given to some residents in trouble when fighting the evictions. We would clearly never again be able to maintain the role of objective and impartial observers, a role we probably did not even have when we first came into contact with Bon Pastor. In a space where, physically, everyone is observed and ranked as soon as they set foot on the first street, it is impossible to pretend you are different than you are. From the beginning this placed our research in line with what is globally being defined as engaged anthropology: a style of research that does not purport to simulate impartiality –which for some time has been considered impossible– but instead makes explicit the stance one takes and the role one has in

contributing to strengthening relations on the ground. As the North American anthropologist Michael Herzfeld explained in regard to his research in the Pom Mahakan district of Bangkok, in the face of criticism directed at him by the authorities with respect to what they deemed excessive involvement in defense of the neighborhood’s residents against the evictions, he responded that this engagement was precisely what enabled him to understand aspects of community life that he did not have access to without siding firmly with those affected (Herzfeld, 2010: 261). It was indeed our proximity to a number of local residents that allowed us to see into some aspects of the inhabitants’ cultural intimacy (Herzfeld, 1997) and use them to refute the prejudices of the negative myth. This partnership, which grew out of the conflict, served to reduce the distance that had historically separated the neighborhoods of Casas Baratas from the places where discourse about the city is produced.

Members of the Association of Elderly Residents in Defense of the Inhabitants of Bon Pastor hang a banner against the City Council. CAROLA PAGANI, 2004


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The team that managed the entirety of the research from the moment the project was drafted was thus made up by social researchers from the Institut Català d’Antropologia like Stefano Portelli, Ulrike Viccaro and Núria Sánchez Armengol and inhabitants of the Casas Baratas such as Sandra Capdevila, evicted by the Guàrdia Urbana in 2007; some members of the Association of Elderly Residents continued the research from the outset (like Ramon Fenoy, Luis Nuevo, Aurora Sardaña, Josep Capdevila, José María Manzano and Moisés Garre), despite having some mistrust of and insecurity about sudden interest from

ries between “us” and “them” became blurred from the moment some of us went to live in the neighborhood for a year, observing up close and even suffering in our own skin some aspects of the social impact of the urban transformation.

through which alliances or ruptures can be transmitted, according to the occasion: it can just as easily work as a link as it can serve to convey resentment and reciprocal hatred. This is why we were interested in collective forms of managing coexistence and conflict.

This experience in collaborative ethnography (Lassiter, 2005) in an area with an ongoing conflict was difficult to manage: the sector of the population that collaborated in planning the demolition naturally saw us as bothersome intruders and even political enemies, and many refused to be interviewed. We felt that this was a risk we

From its founding the Bon Pastor area was “semi-autonomous” with respect to the municipal authorities: first as a “dump” where the city threw undesirable sectors of the population, unconcerned with their fate; later as an area of purely working-class resistance, impenetrable to institutional control; and still later as an area that had been pacified politically but where a widespread a-legality concealed a silent political dissidence. Throughout their history, then, the inhabitants of the Casas Baratas had to develop autonomous forms of conflict management that avoided giving authorities an excuse to enter the neighborhood and collect information on an area opaque to their surveillance. Even today, traces of this horizontal self-management of coexistence can be observed in the dayto-day of the inhabitants of the Casas Baratas, which on one hand convey the memory of a history of political autonomy and on the other are supported in the horizontal urban shape of the neighborhood. Many elements of life in the Casas Baratas can be considered forms of managing local coexistence and at the same time instruments for preventing the explosion of conflicts. Some elements would be the frequent corrillos (small groups of people talking) in the narrow streets between the houses, which stave off many fights among neighbors; the constant gossip, which, while on the one hand it pushes towards conformity, on the other it prevents antisocial behaviors; and the tight-knit networks of relatives, neighbors and friends that allow for the passage of information also in moments of tension and between the opposing sides of a fight. The apotheosis of these

A woman from Bon Pastor showing the kitchen of her casa barata awaiting demolition. CAROLA PAGANI, 2004

an institution, the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, which up to that point they had seen only as complicit in the demolition of their neighborhood. The collaboration was not easy: the languages were different and the political implications were often difficult to manage. Every aspect of the research, from the selection of interviewees to the collection of documents to the conclusions drawn and even the writing of the final monograph was negotiated between local residents and researchers: the bounda-

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had to run in order to be able to gain an internal position in the area being researched, and it did not stop us from making a progressive approach to the sectors of the population in favor of the demolition: by 2010 we had almost fully emancipated ourselves from all circles of relations of the Association of Elderly Residents, and we interviewed many people with radically different stances. We thus came to understand how popular culture, far from being a uniform set of shared traits and behaviors, is instead a language


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ethnotechniques, as we defined them, is the night of Sant Joan, which celebrates collective appropriation of public space, the street, as a critical place for negotiating coexistence. Around the fire, eating, drinking and dancing together, the residents of each street collectively overcome tensions, periodically starting to live together from scratch again. With the recent ban on the fire festival and the beginning of the demolition of the Casas Baratas, these ethnotechniques were in decline. The conflict over the redevelopment plan, which divided residents between in favor and opposed, could not be settled through these collective forms of management, and from the outset both sides parted company, not only

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and social, was our key to understanding the complexity of the stakes of the conflict generated by the “redevelopment” of Bon Pastor: urban transformations have a profound impact on managing coexistence, which in turn is a product of the particular history and allows for the daily updating of this collective heritage. The residents of the Casas Baratas were losing many of their unifying elements, and a transformation in social organization corresponded to the geographic substitution of the inhabited space. The objective correlative relationship that ties the spatial modification to the change in relations among residents is the aspect of this history that fascinated us most and the one we found most important in the sphere of anthropology.

A family from Carrer Tàrrega at a house that was demolished in 2010.

they had been deprived of their bearings and were without the plan which acted as a confirmation of their native lore, the Indians soon lost any feeling for tradition; it was as if their social and religious systems (we shall see that one cannot be dissociated from the other) were too complex to exist without the pattern which was embodied in the plan of the village and of which their awareness was constantly being refreshed by their everyday activities” (Lévi-Strauss, 1955: 204). Another French anthropologist, Robert Jaulin, identified the modification of traditional space as one of the elements that had a decisive influence on the “ethnocide” of the Motilon people: “An unusual variation in habitat not only brings about a material discomfort but also deeply disturbs human relationships, family intimacy, some moral qualities, social balance, the organization of responsibilities and an order and nobility that had called our attention” (Jaulin, 1970: 65). The demolition of the Casas Baratas, while not ethnocide, undoubtedly represents an attack on popular culture in Barcelona, on the autonomy of certain disadvantaged sectors of the population, on the human diversity that still exists between urban boundaries. In part it recalls the “cultural genocide” of the periphery of Rome described by Pasolini, the process that determined the homologation of behaviors and adaptation to standards defined from above in the 1960s and 1970s.

CAROLA PAGANI, 2004

insulting each other publically as “had always been done,” but filing legal complaints in court or with the police: they thus adhered to a vertical form of managing coexistence, mediated by institutions, which penetrated the area in parallel to the construction of the apartment blocks –that is, the verticalization of the inhabited space. This dialectic between horizontality and verticality, simultaneously urban

Many anthropologists of the colonial era showed how the modification of space was used by missionaries in their attempts to colonize the natives. LéviStrauss wrote in Tristes Tropiques that “the Salesian missionaries in the Rio de Garças region were quick to realize that the surest way to convert the Bororo was to make them abandon their [circular] village in favour of one with the houses set out in parallel rows. Once

As Manuel Vázquez Montalbán wrote during the Olympic period for the introduction to the English edition of his book Barcelonas: “Those English travelers who have already visited or intend to visit Barcelona should be aware that not one but several cities are contained within its municipal boundaries, and that nearly all of them have been radically changed under the impact of the Olympics” (Vázquez Montalbán, 1992: 3). Only now, 20


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years later, are we beginning to work on the specific dynamics with which this impact modified the least known and peripheral Barcelonas. Through the experience of this research, we came to understand how difficult it could be for us to get closer to a space historically marked by difference and otherness in relation to a city and its official discourse and at the same time maintain the necessary distance to understand and describe it. Greek architect Stavros Stavrides, an expert on the commons, has written on this type of approach: “In order to approach otherness in an act of mutual awareness, one needs to carefully dwell on the threshold. In this transitory territory that belongs to neither of the neighbouring parts, one understands that it is necessary to feel the distance so as to be able to erect the bridge. Hostility arises from the preservation and increase of this distance while assimilation results from

the obliteration of distance. Encounter is realized by keeping the necessary distance while crossing it at the same time” (Stavrides, 2011: 18). Reticent about institutional control, hidden by the distance imposed from the center, the Casas Baratas, like other districts of Barcelona, were the threshold spaces where a population with very different migratory routes and histories found common ground for negotiation and rapprochement, building a horizontal sociality that remained largely unchanged until well into the new millennium. All of this research and the future book where the results will be presented –which, logically, will be called The Horizontal City– should be understood as a tribute to the Barcelona that 80 years ago was able to proudly transform concentrationary spaces, designed to move undesirable workers away from

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the center, into veritable garden cities where differences and conflicts were self-managed; the same city that has again today emerged from its ashes in the empty plots of land and vacant lots turned into kitchen gardens, in the occupied squares where popular assemblies are held, in the abandoned buildings transformed into centers disseminating popular culture. The Casas Baratas represent this capacity for resistance, self-organization and spontaneous mediation of conflict that will continue to resurface in Barcelona despite repression and mass demolitions. Returning to Stavrides (2011: 18), this is the wisdom hidden in the threshold experience: “the awareness that otherness can only be approached by opening the borders of identity, forming –so to speak– intermediary zones of doubt, ambivalence, hybridity, zones of negotiable values.” n

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Candel, F. (1957) Donde la ciudad cambia su nombre. Barcelona: J. Janés.

Jaulin, R. (1970) La paix blanche: introduction à l’ethnocide. París: Seuil.

Candel, F. (2008 [1964]) Els altres catalans. Barcelona: Edicions 62.

Lassiter, L. E. (2005) The Chicago guide to collaborative ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Capel, H. (2004) «No pot ser que funcionem amb el PGM del franquisme». Entrevista de Marc Andreu. La veu del Carrer, setembreoctubre, p. 26. Delgado, M. (2007) «Vidas baratas». El País, 13 de febrer. Fabre, J.; Huertas Clavería, J. M. (1975) Tots els barris de Barcelona, vol. 5. Barcelona: Edicions 62. Franquesa, J. (2010 [2005]) Sa Calatrava mon amour: etnografia d’un barri atrapat en la geografia del capital. Palma: Documenta Balear. Harvey, D. (2002) «The Art of Rent. Globalisation, Monopoly and the Commodification of Culture». Socialist Register, núm. 38. Herzfeld, M. (1997) Cultural Intimacy: the Social Poetics of the Nation-State. Routledge.

López Sánchez, P. (2013) Rastros de rostros en un prado rojo (y negro): las casas baratas de Can Tunis en la revolución social de los años treinta. Barcelona: Virus. McDonogh, G. W. (1987) «The Geography of Evil: Barcelona’s Barrio Chino». Anthropological Quarterly, 60, octubre, p. 174-185.

Vázquez Montalbán, M. (2011) Barcelonas. Barcelona: Empúries. Viccaro, U. (2007) Storia di borgata Gordiani. Dal fascismo agli anni del ‘boom’. Milà: Franco Angeli. Wacquant, L. (2007) «Territorial Stigmatization in the Age of Advanced Marginality». Thesis Eleven, vol. 91 núm. 1, novembre, p. 66-77.

McNeill, D. (1999) Urban Change and the European Left: Tales from the New Barcelona. Routledge. Mendoza, E. (2000 [1986]) La ciudad de los prodigios. Barcelona: Edicions 62. PVCE (Plataforma Veïnal contra l’Especulació) (2004) «Resultados de la encuesta vecinal en las “casas baratas” de Bon Pastor». http://periferiesurbanes.org/wp-content/ uploads/2010/08/2004-EncuestaVecinal.pdf [consulta: 14.06.2012].

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title La ciutat horitzontal. Lluita social i memòria col·lectiva als marges de Barcelona.

Herzfeld, M. (2010) «Engagement, Gentrification and the Neoliberal Hijacking of History». Current Anthropology, núm. 51, supl. 2, octubre, p. 259-267.

Lévi-Strauss, C. (1992 [1955]) Tristos tròpics. Barcelona: Anagrama.

Stavrides, S. (2011) Towards the city of thresholds. Trento: Professionaldreamers. http:// professionaldreamers.net/_prowp/wp-content/ uploads/978-88-904295-3-8.pdf [consulta: 11.11.2012].


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Llorenç Prats

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Professor of the BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Master in Cultural Heritage Management Universitat de Barcelona BARCELONA_CATALONIA

Professor of Ethnological Heritage and Museology in the BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, and Professor and Coordinator of research projects and studies at the Master in Cultural and Museological Heritage Management, Universitat de Barcelona. Prof. Prats has worked in the field of heritage since the late 1980s, and has been President of the Catalan Association of Ethnological Heritage and a member of the Catalan Council of Museums. He has written numerous papers on the subject, as well as co-authoring book volumes. He is the author of Antropología y Patrimonio (Anthropology and Heritage) (Barcelona: Ariel, 1997).

The Magmatic Character of Ethnological Heritage

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his brief, general reflection is not the most adequate setting to enter into detailed theoretical debate regarding the concept of heritage and the role of ethnological heritage. Nor is it the moment to seek out precedents and historical connections. Rather, the goal here is to try to comprehend the current and future meaning of what has come down to us as ethnological, ethnographic, folkloric and demo-anthropological heritage, undoubtedly the result of disciplinary and political history, of the need for academic legitimation for heritage referents of all kinds, along with the ongoing concretion of discourses related to identity, which are quite often bound to expectations in local development. From all this may be derived the diverse collection of activations (of interventions, of valueadding actions –however they might be termed) of heritage referents in this field as seen in conventional museums, ecomuseums, economuseums, information centres and cultural

parks, along with other exhibition typologies that have already been invented or will be in the future. This does not mean that we do not have to speak of the concept of heritage in itself. Quite the contrary: it has to be dealt with, and in depth. The concept of heritage is used with polysemic abandon, often collapsing into confusion; this is so even in academic contexts. For this reason it has to be taken up by means of a wide-ranging, serious and profound debate, something no one seems to be particularly interested in doing. Polysemic use of the term is taken to be just fine, since everyone is thus able to understand heritage as they wish and utilize the added value that comes with it in any of their uses. In taking a step beyond this assertion and necessary renunciation, we might be able in the present day to better approach the social use of heritage, and of ethnological heritage along with, thus laying out an idea of its future. This would be done on the basis of a series of premises which, as I

Keywords: ethnological heritage, heritage activation, discourses, expology, heritage legitimation, politi­cal interests, commercial interests Paraules clau: patrimoni etnològic, activacions patrimonials, discursos, expologia, legitima­ció patrimonial, interessos polítics, interessos comercials

This article briefly discusses the social use of heritage, and by extension ethnological heritage, in the present day, further outlining ideas concerning its future. Among other themes, it points to how exhibition discourses are increasingly dominant in relation to heritage reference points, and how heritage-related activities tend to have an increasingly closer relationship to tourism and leisure in general, pointing to the strategic interest this gives rise to for political authorities. It also indicates how ethnological heritage has gradually moved beyond rural contexts to meet a growing demand from communities of all kinds for acceptance of their specific realities. En aquest article es pretén reflexionar sumàriament sobre l’ús social del patrimoni, i, per extensió, del patrimoni etnològic, en l’actualitat i esbossar alguna idea respecte al seu futur. Entre altres coses, s’hi constata com els discursos expositius són cada cop més preponderants sobre els referents patrimonials, com les activacions patrimonials tendeixen a mantenir una relació cada vegada més estreta amb les activitats turístiques i lúdiques en general, i l’interès estratègic que tot plegat desvetlla en els poders polítics. També es dóna fe de com el patrimoni etnològic ha anat transcendint gradualment el món rural per atendre una demanda creixent de reivindicació de les especificitats pròpies per part de comunitats de tota índole.


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understand them, can be shared across the board. Let us then look at these premises and later move on to their development: a) Heritage is a social construction. b) Exhibition discourses, in any of their forms, have become increasingly preponderant over heritage referents, which are often relegated or totally done away with (except for specific examples, above all, of artistic heritage). c) Heritage is closely related to the construction of identity. d) Heritage tends to have a close relationship to tourism and leisure activities in general that are materialized in line with more or less objectifiable parameters. e) Political power (and economic power as well, though for different reasons) has a strategic interest in heritage, due to the previously indicated premises. So as to uphold the idea that heritage is a social construction, it would be enough to recall that as we understand it, heritage has not always existed nor has been found everywhere. In contrast, it is a type of reality that emerged with the industrial revolution, with bourgeois revolutions and nationalisms, first in Europe and then spreading out all over the world as these historical phenomena were however unequally implanted, and as contemporary colonialism spread as well. Yet apart from this historical reason, and from a conceptual point of view, whether understood as a generic inheritance come down from our ancestors or as a manifestation of cultural externality in the everyday world of the present, heritage at some time or another experiences a process of intentional selection. If we understand it as the manifestation of a cultural externality (reality set beyond what can be culturally domesticated, time beyond time, space beyond space, the human condition beyond the human condition)

the initial pool of things that can be converted into heritage and sacralised is defined by the concept itself, though there may be casuistic vacillations in marginal cases. In this case, the intervention takes place in the moment heritage is activated so as to generate the discourse, by means of a simple though effective mechanics based on selection, ordering and interpretation. In contrast, if we understand heritage as the generic legacy of those that have come before us, as the overall body of cultural manifestations all through time and all over the planet, as something that cannot be fully grasped, selection has to take place first of all from this said body so as to determine what will be considered heritage, on the basis of changing criteria and interests. This is what is normally called value enhancement. This enhancement of value is often confused with activation because quite habitually one follows the other. That is, when the value is enhanced of heritage that has until now been ignored, such as with certain memories, this is obviously done to activate it. In fact, then, the process occurs in the opposite direction: the interest in activating certain memories (or other questions) leads us to enhance their value as heritage. In any case, activation always takes place in the form of discourses and follows the same previously mentioned mechanics of selection, ordering and interpretation, which is in effect the grammar of exhibition language in any and all its forms. On the basis of this previous point we may conclude that discourses are and have always been the veritable driving force of heritage. Heritage is used in the context of a discourse to uphold certain ideas, certain theses, however rudimentary or sophisticated, however open and interpretable, though theses nonetheless. In the beginning, in the era of the romantic construction of nations, discourses were simple (though very clear): “we are the

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greatest”, “we are who we have always been”, or “we are like this and anyone who is not like this is not one of us”. Everywhere we look we find politicians who return nostalgically to these discourses and seek to reproduce them in more or less camouflaged ways. These discourses were made apparent above all in museums and with monuments, and later appeared accompanying in natural settings. In the 1960s and 1970s (with the 1972 meeting in Santiago de Chile often used as a reference point), the classic formulation of heritage discourses fell into crisis definitively. Nation states had more than fully consolidated themselves, amongst other reasons with the two world wars and the geopolitical and economic distribution of the world into three large blocs: the capitalist world; the socialist or communist world; and a contrasted third world, which basically had in common its generic poverty and marginalization. Those nations that had ended up without a state missed the boat and social interests (an even economic and political interests) moved in another direction altogether. Oddly enough, the collapse of the Soviet Bloc has led to the rebirth in many territories of the need for foundational discourses meant to symbolically ground their independence, yet while this tendency is wide-reaching and significant, it still constitutes a limited case. In similar fashion it happens that in Catalonia, with the nationalist independence movement (and unlike with nonnationalist independence movement that has grown significantly in recent times), there is a need for objectifiable symbolic referents. As a consequence, the same process occurs with what we may call Spanish neo-nationalism, which has spread into ideological strata in ways that have never been seen before. Basically two things emerged from what would be called a cultural revo-


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lution in museums and other types of heritage activation: a shift towards social reality; and adaptation to the interests of the society of consumption and the spectacle, and more specifically to tourist interests. On the one hand, heritage institutions began to turn the plurality of discourses into their habitual way of working; on the other hand they entered into the market to attract tourists and domestic visitors. They renewed their appearance, diversified what they had to offer (since society required this of them, no doubt, but also with the idea of consolidating consumer loyalty), improved access and services, and turned merchandising and hospitality into profitable complements that have continued to grow and diversify up to the present day. For the first time ever, furthermore, they began to advertise their exhibitions and other similar activities in the same way as other shows are advertised. It was at this time as well that heritage institutions began to diversify: museums themselves took on new forms, as it became common to speak of ecomuseums, economuseums, museums of society, museums of civilization; there also emerged information

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centres, routes and cultural parks, amongst others. Exhibitions were no longer held exclusively in museums but became increasingly common in all kinds of cultural centres. With all these changes, heritage was no longer brought to the fore with the idea of upholding a discourse of national pride and cohesion, but rather would be used –more or less partially– as a reliquary whose purpose was to legitimize one or another discourse, a great diversity of discourses. The evolution of forms and the diversity of discourses have brought us to a point where heritage discourses and exhibitions can be produced, in a broader sense, without heritage. Exhibition language, to term it this way, has become a new form of cultural communication, a new art, that can be applied a little to heritage, a lot to heritage, or not to heritage at all. We are witness to a new phenomenon, what Hainard calls expology, with more and more presence, independence, naturalness and acceptation in our society. It even has its own profession, its own tendencies and its own star system, with Hainard himself leading the way.

Culture Forum. Alternative exhibition on urban planning in the La Mina neighbourhood of Barcelona, in the lobby of the main exhibition on world cities. LLORENÇ PRATS, 2004.

It is true, however, that this new art does not renounce the legitimacy conferred by the concept of heritage. For this reason, if there is no recognized heritage, it proclaims that what it does is enhance the value of emerging heritage or defend the heritage character of unknown elements, present in exhibition activities, and even on the extreme end of such activities. That heritage is closely tied to the construction of identity is not a novelty. In fact, it was born to contribute to the foundation and grounding of identities. The novelty, in any case, is that this association has spread out into all spheres. We are living in convulsive times, and this is so in terms of identity as well. A number of phenomena have given rise to the need for ratification, for total re-situation: globalization, with its corresponding reaction where local specificities are reaffirmed; internal and external migratory movements; the segmentation of society into self-referential groups, largely products of the market; the overlapping of local, sub-local, county, regional-national, national-state, supranational and supra-state identities; and phenomena like international terrorism, crisis and marginalization. Heritage, even if it is intangible or simply involves a bunch of rocks, a festive expression or an ancient craft, has become an essential instrument in this process. In such an ever-widening context it would be difficult to come across some place that did not claim or carry out some sort of activation of some part of its heritage, or that did not reinterpret some collection brought together at some time in the past by some local erudite, influenced by the example of large museums and excavations. We could say that heritage (and expology as well) is contributing in drawing up a much more complex and multidimensional map of present-day reality as lived out by its very agents, a map in necessary evolution.


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The activation of heritage is also very often seen in terms of resources for the development or sustainability of a local economy. This happens especially in the search for tourists, both for those staying for more or less longer periods or those coming for a day (that is, those that come from nearby to spend the day, or some shorter period of time, and then return home). Much has been said about this, though with a lack of rigour, since there are many interests involved that veil its reality. In fact, the relationship between costs (execution and maintenance) and benefits (ticketing, merchandising, indirect benefits to the town in question in the form of lodging, restaurant sector and shopping) tends to lead to rather unprofitable results in relation to the cost of heritage activation. Normally heritage institutions are profitable in only three cases: when dealing with activations of extraordinary interest, able to attract visitors from wherever to wherever (there are very few such cases); when the heritage activation is found in a tourist area that already has a guaranteed clientele based on other assets (sun and beach, or snow, for example), casually taking advantage of their stay in a given moment to visit the heritage institution; and, finally, when the heritage institution is found in a large enough city to ensure a potential public nearby. Beyond these three cases, it is very difficult for a heritage institution to produce a profitable operation, and even in cases where it is possible the factor of concurrency and competition has to be taken into consideration. Concurrent opportunities are positive, especially in less-thanoptimal rural or peripheral areas, that is, in areas that would be otherwise unviable. Yet in potentially viable cases, competition could reduce the number of visitors to one or another location. If a tourist is on the beach and takes two or three days for cultural visits, what will he or she decide to see from amongst the many cultural possibilities

available more or less nearby? If a tourist spends a weekend in any city with a strong heritage component, what will he or she choose from amongst the many icons and cultural attractions available? In these situations certain heritage activations will always end up on the short end of the stick. There are correcting factors for the economic viability of heritage, such as the aforementioned concurrence of availability or the factor of scale: from a small activation not a lot can be expected, though if the cost and expectations are minimized, it is easier to ensure it can be maintained. That heritage activations, in general terms, might be maintained by means of their own resources would not be a negligible factor, since, in the end, heritage lives off the public coffers and thus competes with other optional objectives which are also of public interest (such as cultural objectives). This should never be lost sight of. Nor should we forget that it is possible to work with heritage while keeping the values of identity in mind, for example, without this having to imply economic expectations. This means working with low-cost activations, as is often done in other areas of culture when not up against large commercial productions or those focussed on prestige. The specific characteristics of ethnological heritage might enable it to lay out more or less new paths to be followed in this way. The intervention of public powers complicates all of this. I refer to public powers because for economic powers heritage is of interest in creating brand image, as well as in projecting a wellminded image in the service of society; it is, in sum, a marketing strategy that has been proven to be highly successful. Political power, be it local, national or from any level, has the mission of providing leadership for society, but it cannot substitute it. This is where a point of conflict with heritage arises,

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since heritage has two characteristics that make it highly appealing for political power: it helps sustain ideological discourses with an efficacy that cannot be surpassed by any other habitual medium; and it allows political power to leave its mark on history. The temptation is for governments and those governing to create their own museums, to do their own territorial heritage planning, to leave reflected in stone, if possible, their own vision of the country. These types of procedures go way back, even though in the past they were not thinking so much of heritage as of unabashed ostentation (nowadays we are more subtle). There is also the temptation to inscribe oneself in history with the help of monuments and monumentality, whether in ancient Egypt or modern France, in Barcelona or in the most out-ofthe-way corner of Catalonia or any other place. Great pharaohs make for great pyramids; minor pharaohs, little pyramids –even though, if there is nothing more to be culled from them, little pyramids could end up being a festival, a fair, a declaration of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, anything that might be handed down for posterity. This is where a heated conflict arises (sometimes erupting, sometimes not) regarding the ownership of heritage. Who does heritage belong to? Leaving aside respect for private property and while upholding strict controls, I take it that everyone will agree that heritage belongs to the people, to society in general. It is true that we live in imperfect democracies (those of us who are lucky enough to do so) where people delegate vast powers to their governors, yet perhaps we have made some people overly accustomed to wielding it and others overly used to not controlling it. Politicians are in charge of what they are in charge of, which, in the capitalist system we live in, is not at all as much as we often think or the politicians themselves would have us believe. Yet there are


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spheres, such as certain areas of culture, where politicians and those governing have a broad field of action (just as there are areas of culture that are totally or almost entirely controlled by the market). One of the areas those governing still control in its majority is heritage, and when they have a wide range of action they are required to seek out societal consensus and not solely their own personal or ideological political gains. This form of abuse is especially flagrant in the local arena, where proximity and scale require societal participation, though this role is rarely given or respected, even when it comes to initiatives of heritage preservation or activation. Unfortunately, it continues to be true that without power there is no heritage, in the sense that if political power does not take on a certain project or leaves it undone, it will never come about. This is in spite of the fact that citizens have a growing role in this regard when it comes to calling for action, at least on a local level. All of these tendencies we have seen up to now refer as well to the present and future of ethnological heritage, since ethnological heritage participates in all traits here brought to the fore. Let us look at them briefly so as to furthermore see the specific characteristics they might have in a number of areas. We might say that ethnological heritage is the heritage of the poor and marginal, of subaltern classes and peoples (being primitive, exotic, other, first nations, or however they have been identified in any given moment), as well as, in line with this logic, the heritage of definitively underground realities, those that are the least noble and the most common in public and private life. We are referring to a heritage, to a certain degree, of what is rejected, a heritage that even today many would consider to be overly undignified to allow into a museum not strictly pertaining to the area in question.

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The result has been that the social construction of heritage has often ignored this aspect of it. When attention has been paid to it, it has either been to provide evidence of states that have been surpassed by evolution, of ways of life that were swept aside by the unstoppable and unarguable march of civilization, or (especially and above all) when dealing with one’s own underclass, presenting it as the unconscious depository of national essences in heritage discourses used in the construction of national identity. This has been and still is the case in all places where it has been necessary to construct a national identity. For this reason, ethnological heritage is still most frequently seen in terms of its rural forms, as it is in places far from the city where the confluence between the past and nature can be seen. For a long period of time, the basis of what was understood as ethnological heritage was set out by folklore experts (and for a much longer period than most would be willing to admit). Let us recall that specialist in folklore gathered the knowledge of the people, which they considered could be found most genuinely uncontaminated in rural areas. In fact, the most widely held definition of ethnological heritage was set out by Isaac Chiva and adopted by the French Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique, spreading out from there. It insisted on this idea of the Volksgeist, of the spirit of the people: “The ethnological heritage of a people is made up of the specific modes of material existence and social organization of the groups composing it, their knowledge and their representations of the world, and in a general sense, of the features that ground the identity of each social group and differentiate it from others.” (La Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique, 1993, Ministère de Culture et de la Francophonie.) This central notion, then, of “features that ground the identity of each social group and differentiate it from others”,

Museu de la Mineria (Mining Museum), Cercs. Advertising language used on a poster promoting a museum section/ activity. LLORENÇ PRATS, 2011

leads us to the idea of static, monolithic identities. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Identities are changing in time and are structurally complex and permeable. Even if one wishes to understand identity as a strategic space of encounter and affirmation, this would not eliminate its historical and evolutionary character; it would not fix the referents forever, and in this case there is no way it can be confused with cultural legacy, which is a much wider and more diverse concept (as well as being equally ungraspable). Ethnological heritage is much more than the systematic reflection of society; rather, it is used habitually for the representation of discourses fundamentally linked to identity, though to highly diverse identities that are not necessarily national and may not even have roots in a given territory. Ethnological heritage can be used as a way to speak of a people, no doubt, but also of cultural diversity, violence, gender, food, faith, leisure, and so on. Identities and discourses (whether related to identity or not), and expology, are more notoriously


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important in this heritage field than in classic spheres of heritage such as art and archaeology, since ethnological heritage and the objects making it up do not have value in and of themselves, unlike what does occur with artistic and archaeological objects; for this reason it is more easily moulded. Ethnological heritage even includes a great many manifestations and kinds of heritage that are intangible, making its magmatic character even clearer, from which any structure might be designed. Undoubtedly, it is possible to speak of the aesthetic value of a given form of exotic, ethnological heritage. This is a tendency that has been visible for years, above all in the market, though more recently it has come to the foreground, especially with the insistent and highly arguable choice of the Musée du Quai Branly in this regard. Yet if this is so, in any case, perhaps we are not speaking in truth of ethnological heritage: a transformation has been undergone, turning it into artistic heritage.

ing it the ideal form of local heritage, both on the level of identity and for its political and economic effects. As a consequence ethnological heritage has gradually transcended the rural world, though without abandoning it. Neighbourhoods and cities of all sizes and condition also claim their own specificities, their material and immaterial legacies, and in this way not only urban memory but also craft traditions, sites, festivals and habits have come to be included, once activated, in the pool of ethnological heritage, which is no longer solely conceivable as an immense collection of farming tools and sundry equipment. Indus-

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trial heritage (I leave aside artistic heritage) is the most reticent of all to go down this path, likely enamoured by the grandiosity of its factories and machinery, though I do feel it will be a matter of time (and benefits) before reason has its way and these two ways of seeing things are merged together, allowing such structures to be completely reinstated into the society that gave rise to them. The diversification of ethnological heritage facilitates activations, in the same way that activations give way to diversification. This opens the way to unheard-of possibilities, mentioned

It now seems that Barcelona would seek to imitate this operation on a more modest level with the so-called Museu de les Cultures del Món (Museum of the Cultures of the World), an as-yet unrealized project that would deprive the still being renovated Ethnological Museum of Barcelona of its comparative dimension and thus of its raison d’être, converting it into a fossil, as a kind of flask containing the essences of what is Catalan. Meanwhile the Museum of the Cultures of the World would become a showcase for the chefd’oeuvres des arts premiers, perfect for a high-end boutique on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia. Two crackpot ideas in one: we will never learn. It is this very magmatic character of ethnological heritage that makes it possible to utilize it in an almost infinite diversity of social discourses. It also means it can be found everywhere, in a tangible or intangible state, thus mak-

Museu Etnològic de Barcelona (Ethnological Museum of Barcelona). Exotic heritage fully wrapped and ready to be sent into storage or to another destination. LLORENÇ PRATS, 2012.


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previously only in passing, to create synergies. The capacity of attraction of a given territory, if it is able to coordinate and add diversified heritage activations, is considerable (even if being more or less dependent on other factors, such as location, truth be said). In this sense, perspectives can indeed be opened up, if not in local development then at least in local economic benefit from heritage. This logic, in any case, all too often comes up against the interests of political ambition and of rivalry between nearby towns. This does not mean that ethnological heritage, like memory or other emerging heritages spheres has renounced its sacralised character, its identity as a reliquary of cultural externality. Two social constructions that would be hard to explain if it were not for these symbolic effects, tradition and popular wisdom (this latter often made manifest in what is called popular culture or popular-traditional culture), refer objects, places and ethnological manifestations to a real or imaginary past. They also refer it to a kind of collective

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genius, which though already ruled out by Milà i Fontanals in rejecting the idea of anonymous, collective authorship, is useful in sustaining the metonymic relationship between what is meant to be presented as heritage and the cultural context that legitimizes it as such. Thus ethnological heritage comes to us as a world of possibilities open to all kinds of interests (all kinds: both legitimate and spurious). We could say that ethnological heritage approaches in practice the definition of intangible heritage proposed by UNESCO: “The ‘intangible cultural heritage’ means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills –as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith– that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.” (Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris, October 17, 2003.) This is as far as we come, leaving aside ulterior motives, so as to not stray from the literality of the facts. This is what we

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aguilar, E. (coord.) (1999) Patrimonio etnológico. Nuevas perspectivas de estudio. Granada: Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico - Comares.. Anico, M.; Peralta, E. (coord.) (2008) Heritage and Identity. Engagement and Demission in the Contemporary World, Londres i Nova York: Routledge. Hernández, E.; Quintero, V. (coord.) (2003) Antropología y patrimonio. Investigación, documentación y difusión. Granada: Junta de Andalucía (Cuadernos Técnicos del Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico). Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. (1998) Destination Culture: tourism, museums and heritage. Berkeley: University of California Press. Mairesse, F. (2002) Le musée, temple spectaculaire. Lió: Presses Universitaires de Lyon.

The main question pending is social participation, in the sense of social agency in the entire process of heritage management. To get to that point it would be much more recommendable to encourage small or moderate initiatives closer to home and synergy between them, rather than recurring to large infrastructures that can never do nothing but obey political interests. For we must not forget that a specialized anthropological perspective in this field should be present and should have a role in any heritage process, above all when done on a large scale. n NOTES

Prats, L. (1997) Antropología y patrimonio. Barcelona: Ariel. Prats, L.; Iniesta, M. (coord.) (1993) El patrimonio etnológico (vol. 6 de VI Congreso de Antropología). Tenerife: Federación de Asociaciones de Antropología del Esdtado Español. Quintero, V. (2009) Los sentidos del patrimonio. Alianza y conflictos en la construcción del patrimonio etnológico andaluz. Sevilla: Fundación Blas Infante.

1 The reflections set out in this paper are indebted to the groundwork set out on the characterization of present-day cultural heritage, instrumentally inscribed in research project CSO200803315, “Nuevo turismo y desarrollo territorial sostenible. Análisis y evaluación de la intensificación y extensión espacial del turismo en la Cataluña Interior” (“New Tourism and Sustainable Territorial Development: analysis and evaluation of the intensification and spatial spread of tourism in Interior Catalonia”), financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

Rivière, G. H.; et al. (1993) La museología. Madrid: Akal. Santana, A., Prats, L. (coord.). (2005) El encuentro del turismo con el patrimonio cultural: concepciones teóricas y modelos de aplicación. X Congreso de Antropología. Sevilla: Fundación El Monte.

Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title El caràcter magmàtic del patrimoni etnològic.

Monet, N.;,Roigé, X. (coord.) (2007) «El museus etnològics: nous desafiaments, noves perspectives» (dossier). Mnemòsine, núm. 4.

have: the magma of heritage; the predominance and growing independence of expology; and a great diversity of interests. From here on we are obliged to think of ethnological heritage not as an ontological entity but rather a body of resources to design strategies relative to cultural and identity-related reflection, exchange and mutual knowledge, communication through visitors wherever they may come from, and economic sustainability and social reproduction.


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Laurajane Smith

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Centre of Critical Heritage and Museum Studies, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Australian National University. CAMBERRA_AUSTRALIA

Professor of heritage and museum studies, director of the Centre of Critical Heritage and Museum Studies, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, at the Australian National University, Canberra. She is working on a long-term research project concerned with identifying the memory and identity work visitors undertake while visiting heritage sites and museums. She is editor of the International Journal of Heritage Studies and co-general editor of Routlege’s Key Issues in Cultural Heritage Series.

Intangible Heritage: A challenge to the authorised heritage discourse? The Unesco Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has significantly raised international and community awareness of the legitimacy of the concept of intangible heritage. Although, in raising this awareness, the Convention has not yet provided a framework that privileges the community/sub-national orientation of intangible heritage. This paper argues that definitions and ideas of heritage developed by national and international agencies such as UNESCO and ICOMOS need challenging and reconsidering. The dichotomy between tangible and intangible heritage needs re-thinking, and indeed, I posit all heritage is intangible. La Convenció de la UNESCO per a la Salvaguarda del Patrimoni Cultural Immaterial ha fet augmentar de manera considerable la consciència internacional i comunitària de la legitimitat del concepte de patrimoni immaterial. Així i tot, a l’hora de fer augmentar aquesta consciència, la Convenció encara no ha proporcionat un marc que prioritzi l’orientació comunitària-subnacional del patrimoni immaterial. Aquest document planteja que les definicions i les idees de patrimoni desenvolupades per les agències nacionals i internacionals, com la UNESCO i l’ICOMOS, necessiten nous reptes i consideracions. La dicotomia entre el patrimoni tangible i l’intangible s’ha de repensar i, certament, jo suggereixo que tot el patrimoni és immaterial.

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hrough its development and implementation of a range of Conventions and other treaties, UNESCO, since the late 1950s, has provided the dominant intellectual and policy framework for international understandings and debates about the nature and value of heritage. The World Heritage Convention, 1972, in particular has not simply influenced management practices; it has defined the ways in which heritage as a cultural phenomenon has been understood. This understanding was potentially challenged by the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003 (hereafter, ICHC). Indeed, Chérif Khaznadar (2012: 18), President, La Maison des Cultures du Monde, likened the advent of this Convention to the opening of ‘Pandora’s Box’, its implementation he suggested preKeywords: Intangible Heritage, cultural

heritage, UNESCO

Paraules clau: patrimoni immaterial, UNESCO, patrimoni cultural

sented significant challenges to established international understandings of heritage embedded in the World Heritage Convention. The tenth anniversary of the adoption of the ICHC has marked assessments of the impact of the convention, in terms of not only its achievements in safeguarding intangible heritage, but also its intellectual impact on heritage debates (see for example, IRCI, 2012, 2013). One of the key issues emerging in this assessment is the problem presented by the way the ICHC has addressed the issue of ‘community’ (Khaznadar, 2012; IRCI, 2013). The issue of ‘community’ had been a central focus in the development and drafting of the Convention and the various debates around it (Blake, 2009). However, the Convention is facing increasing criticism over its inability to deal meaningfully with concepts of community, and this criticism reveals a range of limitations with the framing and implementation of the Convention. Rather than opening Pandora’s Box, the development of the ICHC has tended to add yet another category to established international understandings of heritage (natural and cultural), and has yet to fundamentally redefine


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the conceptual frameworks within which heritage is understood. Indeed, the drafting of the Convention was significantly constrained by the dominance of the European Authorized Heritage Discourse (AHD) within UNESCO, and its implementation has become restricted by the subsequent requirement written into the Convention to operate through state parties, rather than directly with communities and other sub-national groups. In 2004, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett warned that the development of an Intangible Heritage List based on state sponsored nominations had the potential to create a list that was: ‘a list of that which is not indigenous, not minority, and not non-Western, though no less intangible’ (2004: 57). This prediction, I argue, may well have been realised. In developing this argument, the paper

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re-asserts my point that ‘all heritage is intangible’ (Smith, 2006: 3, 2011a) and argues that this, rather than UNESCO ratified definitions of heritage as natural/cultural and/or intangible/ tangible, is a more useful point from which to think about the phenomenon that is defined as ‘heritage’. Pandora’s Box? The opening of Pandora’s Box (or jar), so the tale goes, saw the release of a range of evils on humanity, and, as such, is a curious metaphor for Khaznadar to have use in assessing the impact of the Convention. Perhaps the metaphor is illustrative of the uncertainty that the Convention has caused in some arenas. While the Convention was adopted unopposed in 2003, there was nonetheless some trepidation expressed about the

nature and utility of the Convention, particularly in the context of Western heritage scholarship and practice. For some, this concern focused on what were perceived as the inherent and highly political nature of intangible heritage and its potential impact on human rights (Logan, 2007); others were concerned that such a Convention would lead to the fossilization of dynamic cultural practices (for example, van Zanten, 2004), while others found the very concept simply difficult to grasp or understand (see Kurin, 2004; Hafstein, 2009; Smith and Waterton, 2009a for a critique of this). This unease centred on the challenges the Convention posed to dominant conceptualisations of heritage at work within UNESCO, ICOMOS and other international agencies.

Celebració del Nowruz, que cada 21 de març assenyala l’inici de l’any nou dins una gran zona geogràfica repartida entre els països d’Azerbaidjan, la Índia, Iran, Kirguizistan, Pakistan, Turquia i Uzbekistan. L’any 2009 el Nowruz fou inclòs a la Llista Representativa del Patrimoni Cultural Immaterial de la Humanitat de la Convenció 2003 de la UNESCO. Abril de 2011. JIM.HENDERSON. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (CC0 1.0).


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As I have argued elsewhere (2006, 2011b), the conceptualisation of heritage and the practices and policies that flowed from that conce´ptualisation were, and continue to be, framed by the authorised heritage discourse (AHD). This professional discourse emerged from nineteenth century debates in western European architectural and archaeological scholarship about the need to protect material culture that scholars deemed to be of innate and inheritable value (Smith, 2006). The AHD defines heritage as material, non-renewable and fragile.

WHAT IS OFTEN AT STAKE FOR SUBNATIONAL INTERESTS IN ANY HERITAGE CONSULTATION PROCESS WILL FOCUS ON MORE THAN WHETHER OR NOT AN INSTANCE OF HERITAGE IS SAFEGUARDED, BUT MAY ALSO INCLUDE CONCERNS ABOUT CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR RECOGNITION OF IDENTITY CLAIMS (SMITH AND WATERTON, 2009B:77F) It privileges aesthetically pleasing material objects, sites, places and/or landscapes. Their fragility requires that current generations must care for, protect and venerate these things so that they may be inherited by future generations. Within this framework heritage is something that is ‘found’, it has an innate value, the authenticity of which that will ‘speak’ to a common and shared sense of human

identity. This understanding of heritage became entangled with discourses of nationhood, citizenship and nationalism. Within the AHD heritage is primarily understood as being of value to and intimately linked to national identities or collectives. Heritage needs to be protected, as the AHD intones, as something that will not only ‘speak to’ present and future generations and ensure their understanding of their ‘place’ in the world, but will define those generations as citizens of particular national collectives. However, it falls to those experts who are concerned with the material world, such as archaeologists, architects and art historians amongst others, to reveal and protect the ‘authenticity’, value and meaning of this fragile material heritage. Within the AHD, these experts are defined as the custodians of the human past, whose professional duty it is to not only safeguard but to also provide stewardship for the way the value of heritage is communicated to and understood by non-expert communities. The AHD underwrote the development of the World Heritage Convention (Smith, 2006). Consequently, UNESCO and many of its practices came under sustained criticism for its Eurocentric understanding of heritage, but also for providing a forum within which nation states may assert their historical and cultural legitimacy and international worth, a process which inevitably favoured western Europe (for example, Byrne, 1991; Lowenthal, 1996; Meskell 2002; Munjeri, 2004 amongst others). This criticism came not only from scholars, but also from Indigenous communities and countries whose perception of heritage tended to be excluded by the AHD generally, and the World Heritage Convention in particular, indeed UNESCO faced intense lobbying from a number of

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countries to address this omission (Aikawa-Faure, 2009). The ICHC, it was hoped, offered a remedy to this exclusion, and aimed to champion a wider and more inclusive understanding of heritage. The advent of the ICHC has indeed marked a significant shift in debates over the nature and meaning of heritage in both academia and professional practice. In drawing attention to intangible heritage, the Convention not only added a new category to material cultural and natural heritage, it potentially offered a challenge to the AHD, not simply by drawing attention to the variety of ways in which intangible heritage could be expressed, but also by aiming to privilege the heritage of communities and other sub-national groups. In doing so, the Convention drew attention to the possibility that sub-national heritage (either intangible or material) had legitimacy within an international arena. Scholars and practitioners have been working to reconsider and assess the impact the idea of intangible heritage has had on general heritage practices (see for example Silverman and Ruggles, 2009; Skounti and Tebbaa, 2011; IRCI, 2012) and museum practices (Kreps, 2009; Alivizatou, 2012), and the concept has also been used to reassess ideas of natural heritage (Dorfman, 2012). Certainly the ICHC has had a significant intellectual impact in widening the debate about the nature and meaning of heritage, but to what extent the AHD has been challenged and to what extent the aims of community inclusion have been met is as yet uncertain. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s (2004) prediction that the Convention would simply produce another list may seem harsh, given the debate that has been sparked. However, the implementation of the ICHC, and the issues this has highlighted, are revealing and suggest that she may be right.


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Just Another list? In reviewing the impact of the Convention, the issue of community has been a key concern (ICRI, 2012, 2013). Lucus Lixinski’s (2011) recent assessment is particularly telling. In analysing the content and listing processes of the Convention, Lixinski points out that the Convention’s reliance on State Parties to nominate and assess items for the list results in both the marginalisation of community interests and ensures the appropriation of community heritage as a state or national asset (see also ICRI, 2013). As he argues, the requirement for national governments to oversee the nomination and listing process has meant that in many cases an often problematic and cursory process of consultation with communities has been entered into. While the convention may be designed to promote the development of national measures for the safeguarding of intangible heritage, it is also ‘incapable of offering remedies for misappropriation by third parties,

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particularly when the third party is the state’ (Lixinski, 2011: 94). As Lixinski argues, China’s successful inscribing of the Tibetan Opera in the Representa-

WHILE THE CONVENTION WAS ADOPTED UNOPPOSED IN 2003, THERE WAS NONETHELESS SOME TREPIDATION EXPRESSED ABOUT THE NATURE AND UTILITY OF THE CONVENTION, PARTICULARLY IN THE CONTEXT OF WESTERN HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP AND PRACTICE tive list can be seen on one hand as a positive outreach and inclusive initiative. On the other hand, it can also be

seen as an attempt by central government to control cultural manifestations and ‘subordinating its political caveats to tourism, promotion, and other economic interests, as well as to a larger national Chinese identity, ultimately diminishing the political strength of the Tibetan cultural and all political claims of Tibetans’ (2011: 96). As Lenzerini (2011: 118) observes, the ephemeral nature of intangible heritage makes it easily appropriated ‘by the stereotyped cultural models prevailing at any given time’. In effect, the ICHC, much like the World Heritage Convention, becomes an arena through which nation’s may parade and assert ‘their’ heritage. Moreover, expertise has becoming increasingly employed by states to ratify and reassure state parties about the ‘authenticity’ and legitimacy of community heritage. This recreates and perpetuates, as Lixinski notes, the prominent role of heritage professionals over that of heritage bearers set out under the AHD (2011: 96). In short, the promotion of heritage bearers and

Actors de l’Òpera Tibetana, espectacle teatral i musical que l’any 2009 va ser inclosa a la Llista Representativa del Patrimoni Cultural Immaterial de la Humanitat de la Convenció 2003 de la UNESCO. circa 1932. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.


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their communities that was aimed for by the development of the Convention appears to have been increasingly marginalised by national priorities. Moreover, it reaffirms that heritage is not only ‘naturally’ the responsibility of national agencies, but is also reinforces the AHD’s assertion that heritage is representative of ‘the nation’. Lixinski (2011) calls for a reconsideration of the operational guidelines for greater community involvement and re-framing and strengthening of the obligations of state parties to engage in more effective and meaningful consultation with communities. This was a call echoed by many of the chapters in the IRCI (2013) report, which stressed that the role of expertise should focus on ensuring that State Parties undertook effective and fully informed consultation with communities and heritage bearers to be affected by proposed listings. However, any increase in the role of experts at the international level should concurrently see, as Lixinski (2011) argues, an increase in the participation of sub-national interests and representatives in not only the processes of the convention, but also in the development of policy and guidelines and inscription criteria. While Lixinski (2011) has identified some of the operational problems with the Convention, there are four conceptual issues, linked to the AHD, that have also worked to impede the development and implementation of this Convention, and that stand in the way of increasing community parity in participation. In addition, these issues have limited the wider conceptual impact of this Convention. These issues stem from the way UNESCO and wider heritage practices and debates address issues of consultation, community, politics and the economic valuation of either material or intangible heritage. I will look at each of these in turn.

Consultation One of the significant issues faced by the implementation of the ICHC centres on the idea of ‘consultation’. What is meant by consultation is often not clearly defined. However, a significant body of literature now exists that has explored the relationships between communities and heritage professionals, particularly around the vexing concept of ‘consultation’. A frequent observation that emerges within this literature is the degree to which the discourse of ‘consultation’ is often identified by community and other subnational interests as simply a cynical exercise of ‘box ticking’ (see Lagerkvist, 2006; Tlili, 2008; Drake, 2009; Smith and Waterton, 2009b; Waterton and Watson, 2010). Consultation without negotiation becomes simply an exercise

IN ANALYSING THE CONTENT AND LISTING PROCESSES OF THE CONVENTION, LIXINSKI POINTS OUT THAT THE CONVENTION’S RELIANCE ON STATE PARTIES TO NOMINATE AND ASSESS ITEMS FOR THE LIST RESULTS IN BOTH THE MARGINALISATION OF COMMUNITY INTERESTS AND ENSURES THE APPROPRIATION OF COMMUNITY HERITAGE AS A STATE OR NATIONAL ASSET (SEE ALSO ICRI, 2013) in canvassing opinion. The importance of dialogue and the ability to negotiate are key issues in any heritage consultation process (Lagerkvist, 2006; Smith and Fouseki, 2011). What is often

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at stake for sub-national interests in any heritage consultation process will focus on more than whether or not an instance of heritage is safeguarded, but may also include concerns about cultural sovereignty and acknowledgement or recognition of identity claims (Smith and Waterton, 2009b:77f ). The degree to which consultation often fails is the primacy of place given to expertise within the AHD; this makes it hard for expertise to engage with consultation practices that incorporate a sense of negotiation. Ideas of community The idea of community is also not clearly defined in the Convention as various commentators have noted (Blake, 2009; Khaznadar, 2012). However, there is nonetheless an unacknowledged and problematic definition at play in the Convention. Commonly used words, such as ‘community’, can take on ‘common sense’ definitions. Community, at least within European and larger Western contexts, has, as Zygmunt Bauman (2001) notes, taken on a warm, feel good sentiment. ‘Community’ is often mobilised as a catch phrase within cultural and other forms of public policy as it promotes a sense of doing ‘good works’. As ‘community’, as Bauman observes, feels good, whatever the term may actually mean, it feels good to be in a community, to have a community or to be working with a community:

Community is a ‘warm’ place, a cosy and comfortable place. It is like a roof under which we shelter in heavy rain, like a fireplace at which we warm our hands on a frosty day. Out there, in the street, all sorts of dangers lie in ambush…In here, in the community, we can relax – we are safe… (2001: 1-2). To what extent can we regard the ICHC as UNESCO’s ‘good works’? This question may seem overly sceptical, but nonetheless it raises a serious issue: how


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seriously and to what extent can the ICHC influence wider UNESCO and other international understandings and heritage practices? The universalising importance of the World Heritage list is effectively insulated from any sense that the ICHC represents outreach to non-Western conceptualizations of heritage because it is perceived and handled as a ‘special’ project. The advent of the idea of intangible heritage has not challenged assumptions about the legitimacy or inherent universal relevance of the World Heritage List, as intangible heritage has been treated as another concept to be tacked on to existing definitions. There is a sense that it is treated as something ‘special’ to certain non-western groups, rather than as something more universally applicable. Research with non-expert communities is starting to reveal that public or community understanding of the concept of ‘heritage’ in Western contexts does not necessarily share the core definitions offered by the professional AHD, and often incorporates understandings of heritage that finds synergy with the concept of ‘intangible heritage’ (see Smith, 2006; Robertson, 2012; chapters in Smith et al., 2011). The degree to which engagement with community or sub-national groups in the ICHC is compromised by issues of, or at least rhetorical claims to, state sovereignty is in part an international administrative problem, but also a problem of commitment to the idea of heritage as non-material and as a legitimate non-national project. The issue of politics Complicating the above issues further is the way in the question of politics and power is dealt with within the AHD. Within this dominant discourse, heritage professionals are defined as objective actors in the management process, and ‘politics’ is something communities have but professionals do not. Indeed, there is a tendency to relegate and thus dismiss political

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issues tied to questions over the disposition and management of either material or intangible heritage as simply ‘identity politics’. The idea that the cultural phenomenon that is heritage is inherently political should be understood, after all conflicts over heritage abound. However, an understanding of these conflicts, and the dissonant nature of heritage, continually fail to

have the same meaning to all cultures or peoples. The discourse of universal value championed by UNESCO is a rhetorical device designed to give legitimacy to World Heritage listing. However, what it also does is mask the political nature of heritage – if something is of universal value, there cannot be dissonance, there cannot be conflict and thus it is not political.

THE ADVENT OF THE IDEA OF INTANGIBLE HERITAGE HAS NOT CHALLENGED ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE LEGITIMACY OR INHERENT UNIVERSAL RELEVANCE OF THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST, AS INTANGIBLE HERITAGE HAS BEEN TREATED AS ANOTHER CONCEPT TO BE TACKED ON TO EXISTING DEFINITIONS

To understand the political nature of heritage it is useful to consider the politics of recognition. There is considerable debate in political philosophy over the conceptualisation of the ‘politics of recognition’. For some this recognition centres of a desire or emotional need for recognition (Taylor, 1992; Honneth, 2005 [1995]). However, recognition as defined by Nancy Fraser (2000, 2001) and Iris Young (2000), is conceived as addressing more than a human need, and is understood to be explicitly linked to negotiations over social justice issues. Indeed, the recognition or misrecognition of identity claims by marginalised or disenfranchised groups and communities is understood as having direct consequences for that group’s inclusion or exclusion in policy negotiations over the distribution of resources. Appeals to heritage and the past, or in Sharon Macdonald’s’ (2013) terms, making the past present through heritage, lend historical and cultural legitimacy to claims to difference and particular claims to identity. Within the politics of recognition claims to identity cannot be dismissed as identity politics as the aim is not to simply cultivate mutual identification (Young, 2010: 107). Rather, identity claims that seek recognition seek legitimisation not only of identity, but also of the special claims to redress the experiences and material consequences of injustices that being a member of a particular identity group may have entailed. This does not mean that all claims for recognition of identity claims need necessarily be listened

be addressed in the way that heritage is defined, valued and managed. During and following the drafting of the ICHC there was considerable debate by academics and practitioners about the so-called inherently political nature of intangible heritage, and that such heritage had immediate implications for human rights issues (see commentary in Aikawa-Faure, 2009; Logan, 2007). What was interesting about this debate was that it was carried on in such a way that strongly implied that in some way tangible heritage did not suffer from these political issues. But of course, all heritage is dissonant (Smith, 2006: 82; see also Graham et al., 2000) and it is so because no heritage site, place or intangible event can be universally or uniformly valued or perceived to


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to or addressed. As Fraser contends, not every claim to recognition should necessarily be legitimised, and those requiring recognition must show, firstly, that majority cultural norms deny justice and, secondly, that any remedies to injustice do not themselves deny equality to group or nongroup members (2001: 35). The important point for understanding the political nature of heritage is that firstly, the politics of recognition allows for the observation that different community groups, with different histories, needs, aspirations and identities, make claims for recognition in both symbolic and material forms, and that these claims for recognition will have material consequences for equity and justice. Secondly, heritage in both material and intangible forms has become taken up as a specific resource in the negotiations of recognition and identity claims; it is a political resource. UNESCO is a project of legitimization, an authorizing institution that provides recognition and authority to certain expressions of culture and heritage. As such, UNESCO is daily engaged in political acts of recognising and/or misrecognising claims to identity and cultural diversity. Heritage, entangled as it is in the contemporary politics of diversity and recognition, is a concept or a discourse that has acquired the power to represent and legitimise senses of place and belonging, all of which are embroiled in conflicts within the politics of recognition. However, rather than engage with these issues, heritage practices and the Conventions and other treaties that frame those practices work to de-politicise management practices. In focusing heritage practices on the management of the material or intangible heritage element, the wider political context within which the heritage item or event may sit becomes obscured or deemed irrelevant. However, ‘herit-

age’, whether intangible or material, cannot be ‘protected’ or safeguarded unless it is used, and made meaningful, in the context of contemporary needs and aspirations of the communities to whom it is significant. Heritage management, as I have argued elsewhere (Smith, 2004), becomes a process of de-politicising recognition claims as the focus of concern becomes issues of safeguarding the ‘authenticity’ of a heritage item or event. Heritage management is a process in which not only cultural change is ‘managed’ through the way items, events and ideas of heritage are controlled, but it is also a process fundamentally concerned with ‘managing’ and regulating cultural conflicts. The European AHD itself can be viewed as a project in maintaining, and indeed recognising and legitimising, a particular understanding of human history and the role of particular regions within that history. Economic values The forth issue that helps to impede the conceptual impact of the idea of intangible heritage is that of the concept of the economic value of heritage. Tourism is often reviled in the UNESCO listing processes – it is seen as something that, through commodification, will inevitably debase the purity of intangible or tangible heritage (Ashworth, 2009). State parties are criticised for listing as a cynical aim to raise tourist revenue. The idea of the tourist is dominated by the image of shallow and gullible seekers of entertainment, banal, loud, naïve and, most damning of all, uncultured (Graburn and Barthel-Bouchier, 2001:149). This perception appears to drive expert reactions to tourism, which while often economically driven, nonetheless also poses a complex cultural and political engagement with heritage. The AHD defines ‘tourism’ associated with heritage as a ‘problem’ to be solved, a threat to the sustainability and authenticity

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of all forms of heritage or as a threat to the physical fabric of tangible heritage. This issue links back to the way the AHD tends to frame the relationship between expertise and other users of heritage. The idea of the expert as steward, facilitates the way other users interact with either intangible or tangible heritage, and other users need to be managed so that they do not alter the values of heritage that have been defined by the expert. The relationship tends to be conceived by the AHD and associated heritage practices as a one-

THROUGH ITS DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A RANGE OF CONVENTIONS AND OTHER TREATIES, UNESCO, SINCE THE LATE 1950S, HAS PROVIDED THE DOMINANT INTELLECTUAL AND POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDINGS AND DEBATES ABOUT THE NATURE AND VALUE OF HERITAGE way linear flow of communication and information rather than as a dialogic interaction one over a shared interest. The point to stress here is that visiting heritage sites and intangible cultural practices is an integral part of the heritage moment, which also serves a political and cultural purpose for both visitors and those visited. Tourism cannot be simply dismissed as something that ‘happens’ to world heritage sites or expressions of intangible heritage once they appear on an international list, but rather heritage tourism is an integral process of heritage making (Smith et al., 2012). Indeed, the cultural as well


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Cartell que anuncia que l’any 2003 la UNESCO va declarar el treball artesanal de la fusta del poble Zafimaniry (Madagascar) Obra Mestra del Patrimoni Oral i Immaterial de la Humanitat. Novembre de 2007. AQUINTERO82. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

as economic ‘work’ that tourism does is not well understood, but the various ways in which non-expert groups use and engage with heritage is key to understanding why heritage matters. The concept of intangible heritage opens up interesting and new ways to consider how tourists and other visitors interact and engage with cultural heritage, however, the sense to which the AHD defines and regards visitors to heritage sites and events continues to impede this possibility. All heritage is intangible Given the limitations imposed by the AHD outlined above, it becomes necessary to move away from the binary divide between tangible and intangible heritage (and for that matter cultural/ natural heritage) to consider more

useful ways of understanding heritage. Various commentators have argued that heritage may be more usefully understood as a ‘verb’ (Harvey, 2001). Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1998) has explored heritage as a form of cultural production, Dicks (2000) makes the point that it is a form of communication and Macdonald (2013) explores the processes of negotiation that occur with the interplay between memory and heritage. The idea that heritage is an active process underlies these analyses, and is crucial for broadening understanding of the heritage phenomena, moving it away from a concern with technical issues of management in order to understand the cultural and political contexts and consequences that phenomena may have. The definition of heritage as a thing, place or single event

works to focus concern on safeguarding particular visions and memories about the past; if heritage is simply a ‘thing’ it can not only be ‘found’, it can be defined, measured, catalogued, and thus its meanings are more easily controlled and confined. The idea of heritage, however, as a cultural processes, rather than a ‘thing’ or an ‘intangible event’, allows an opening up of the critical gaze and facilitates an examination of the consequences of defining or making certain things heritage. Heritage is not the thing, site or place, rather all heritage is intangible, as it is the processes of meaning making that occur as heritage places or events are identified, defined, managed, exhibited and visited or watched (Smith, 2006). Heritage can be usefully under-


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stood as a subjective political negotiation of identity, place and memory, that is it is a ‘moment’ or a process of re/ constructing and negotiating cultural and social values and meanings. It is a process, or indeed a performance, in which we identify the values, memories and cultural and social meanings that help us make sense of the present, our identities and sense of physical and social place. Heritage is a process of negotiating historical and cultural meanings and values that occur around the decisions we make to preserve, or not, certain physical places or objects or intangible events and the way these are then managed, exhibited or performed. They also occur in the way visitors engage or disengage with these things and events. Places and intangible events of heritage are given value by the act of naming them heritage and by the processes of heritage negotiations, performances and re/creations that occur at them. ‘Heritage’ is thus a discourse involved in the legitimatization and governance of historical and cultural narratives, and the work that these narratives do in maintaining or negotiating societal values and the hierarchies that these underpin. Consequently, the AHD is itself a process of heritage making and of regulating and governing the political and cultural meaning of the past, and the role that the past then plays in defining certain social problems or issues. The AHD is just one, albeit the dominant, heritage discourse, but the heritage that it makes is the continual affirmation of consensus and elite historical narratives. In doing so, it also regulates and controls the legitimacy given to non-authorized expressions of heritage and a hierarchy of heritage appreciation that, as yet, privileges material and ‘world’ heritage over intangible and sub-national expressions. However, the AHD is not the only discourse or framework for understanding heritage, and indeed challenges to the

AHD occur continually through the ways in which sub-national and community groups use and define heritage. Research that focuses on understanding expressions of heritage that sit outside of, or in opposition to the AHD, and/or western conceptualisations is expanding (see for instance; Ashworth et al., 2007; Smith et al., 2011; Winter and Daly, 2011; Howard, 2012; Robertson, 2012). What is also emerging, however, is research revealing the ways in which community or other interests and groups are working not only to express their own understandings of heritage, but how that is itself being safeguarded and protected in ways that do not reference amenity societies, national or international expert organisations. As several researchers have begun to document, online forums such as YouTube, Flickr and other social media sites are providing platforms for individuals and groups to assert, document and showcase their heritage (Pietrobruno, 2009, 2013; Freeman, 2010; Giaccardi, 2012). In particular, Pietrobruno (2013) documents how YouTube has allowed a number of different expressions and readings of the intangible heritage of the Mevlevi Sema (or whirling dervish) to be expressed and displayed, revealing gender issues not identified in the official documentation and listing by UNESCO in 2005. The ability of users to develop, control and continually update the content of web sites finds not only synergy with the changeable and ephemeral nature of the concept of intangible heritage, but also provides communities and individual heritage bearers with greater control over how this heritage is represented and sustained. Conclusion The Convention has significantly raised international and community awareness of the legitimacy of the concept of intangible heritage. Although, in raising this awareness, the Con-

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vention has not yet provided a framework that privileges the community/ sub-national orientation of intangible heritage. This is perhaps because UNESCO, and international heritage practice more generally, draws too much on established cannons within the AHD that heritage is ‘naturally’ reflective of national identity (Smith, 2006). The Convention’s support of community heritage needs re-evaluation, as the expertise driven AHD does not appear to have been sufficiently challenged or modified. Indeed, the paper has argued that definitions and ideas of heritage developed by national and international agencies such as UNESCO and ICOMOS need challenging and reconsidering. The dichotomy between tangible and intangible heritage needs re-thinking, and indeed, I posit all heritage is intangible. n

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Aikawa-Faure, N. (2009) «From the Proclamation of Masterpieces to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Immaterial Heritage». A SMITH, L.; Akagawa, N. (eds) Immaterial Heritage, 1344. Londres: Routledge. Alivizatou, M. (2012) Immaterial Heritage and the Museum. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press. Ashworth, G.J. (2009) «Do tourists destroy the heritage hey have come to experience?» Tourism Recreation Research 34(1): 79–83. Ashworth, G.J.; Graham, B.; Tunbridge, J.E. (2007) Pluralising Pasts. Londres: Pluto. Bauman, Z. (2001) Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World. Polity Press. Blake, J. (2009) Convenció de la UNESCO del 2003 sobre el patrimoni cultural immaterial. Implicacions del compromís comunitari


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Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. (1998) Destination Culture. University of California Press. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. (2004) «Immaterial heritage as metacultural production». Museum International, 56(1-2): 52-64. Kreps, C. (2009) «Indigenous curation, museums, and immaterial cultural heritage». In SMITH, L.; Akagawa, N. (eds) Immaterial Heritage, 193-208. Londres: Routledge. Kurin, R. (2004) «Safeguarding immaterial cultural heritage in the 2003 UNESCO Convention: A critical appraisal». Museum International, 56 (1-2): 66-76. Lagerkvist, C. (2006) «Empowerment and anger: learning to share ownership of the museum». Museum and Society, 4(2): 52-68. Lenzerini, F. (2011) «Immaterial cultural heritage: The living culture of peoples». The European Journal of International Law, 22(1): 101-120. Lixinski, L. (2011) «Selecting heritage: the interplay of art, politics and identity». The European Journal of International Law, 22(1): 81-100.

Graburn, N.; Barthel-Bouchier, D. (2001) «Relocating the tourist». International Sociology, 16: 147–58.

Logan, W. (2007) «Closing Pandora’s Box: Human rights conundrums in cultural heritage protection». In Silverman, H.; Ruggles, D.F. (eds) Cultural Heritage and Human Rights, 33-52. Nova York: Springer.

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Harvey, D.C. (2001) «Heritage pasts and heritage presents: Temporality, meaning and the scope of heritage studies». International Journal of Heritage Studies, 7(4): 319-338. Honneth, A. (2005 [1995]) The Struggle for Recognition. Cambridge: Polity Press HOWARD, K. (ed.) (2012) Music as Immaterial Cultural Heritage. Farnham: Ashgate. IRCI (2012) The first ICH-Researchers forum: The implementation of UNESCO’s 2003 Convection. Osaka: IRCI. IRCE (2013) IRCI Meeting on ICH – Evaluating the inscription criteria for the two lists of UNESCO’s Immaterial Cultural Heritage Convention. Osaka: IRCI. Khaznadar, C. (2012) «Ten Years After – Pandora’s Box». In The first ICH-Researchers forum: The implementation of UNESCO’s 2003 Convection, 18-20. Osaka: IRCI

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Smith, L. (2011a) All heritage is immaterial: Critical Heritage Studies and museums. Amsterdam: Reinwardt Academy. Smith, L. (2011b) «El ‘espejo patrimonial’. ¿Ilusión narcisista o reflexiones múltiples?» Antípoda 12: 39-63 Smith, L.; Fouseki, K. (2011) «The role of museums as ‘places of social justice’: community consultation and the 1807 Bicentenary». A Smith, L.; Cubitt, G.; Wilson, R.; Fouseki, K. (eds) Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums, 97-115. Nova York: Routledge. Smith, L.; Shackel, P.A.; Campbell, G. (eds) (2011) Heritage, Labour and the Working Class. Londres: Routledge. Smith, L.; Waterton, E. (2009a) «‘The envy of the world?’: Immaterial heritage in England». A SMITH, L.; Akagawa, N. (eds) Immaterial Heritage, 289-302. Londres: Routledge. Smith, L.; Waterton, E. (2009b) Heritage, Communities and Archaeology. Londres: Duckworth Smith, L.; Waterton, E.; Watson, S. (eds) (2012) The Cultural Moment of Tourism. Londres: Routledge. Taylor, C. (1992) «The politics of recognition». In Gutmann, A. (ed.) Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, 25-73. Princeton University Press. Tlili, A. (2008) «Behind the policy mantra of the inclusive museum: receptions of social exclusion and inclusion in museums and science centres». Cultural Sociology, 2(1): 123-147. van Zanten, W. (2004) «Constructing new terminology for immaterial cultural heritage». Museum International, 56(1 and 2): 36-44.

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Article originally published in Catalan in Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya (no.39. year 2014) under the title Patrimoni immaterial: un repte per al discurs de patrimoni autoritzat?


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M. Carme Jiménez Fernández

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Director of Institut Ramon Muntaner _CATALONIA

She has degrees in Bachelor of Arts from the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and master in History for the Institute Universitari d’Història Jaume Vicens Vives (IUHJVV ). Between years 1996 and 2003 she was linked to the Archaeology Laboratory from the UPF, and between the 2000 and 2003 she was coordinator of the Ancient Middle East Doctorate of the IUHJVV. She was also a researcher in the Museum of Badalona. Since 2003 she is the director of the Institute Ramon Muntaner. Nowadays she is member of the editorial board of the publication “Folders of Local History”, member of the Council of Culture of the UPF and member of the Council of Popular Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Local and regional research centres: a community-based research network 1

Introduction

T

he Catalan linguistic area2 is characterised by a strong and active associative network system that influences different aspects of our social and cultural life and with a strong presence in the community. The basis of Catalan culture is organised into very different types of associations, but they all have something in common: the will of a group of people to work, in an altruistic and inclusive way, towards some common goals that redound to the benefit of the whole society. It is within this associative context where local and regional research centres are found. They are mainly private nonprofit organisations which work on cultural research and diffusion. This is a very heterogeneous group, both for their organizational management and for the type of studies and research fields they work in. Most of these centres are directly linked to a specific geographical area but, in the last few years, there has been the proliferation of centres that are linked to a specific research field. A high percentage of these centres work

thanks to their members’ implication and voluntary work and just a few work as professional organizations. The profile of their associate members, board members, and researchers is heterogeneous, too. We can find people of all ages (from 25 to 70) and educational backgrounds (in the last few years, mainly people holding a university degree or studying graduate or postgraduate courses at university) but they all share an interest in the local world. Together with universites, museums and archives, research centres make a major contribution to the study of history, language, heritage, literature, ethnology ... from the community itself, in an interdisciplinary and transverse way, with rigour, within the local and regional context. They study, evaluate, and promote local heritage. Their production reaches a diverse audience and their activity also contributes to generating a feeling of identity and belonging. This is a well-structured cultural and research network with an intense activity. It has been calculated that this network consists of around four hundred centres that, only in Calatonia, have about forty-five thousand members.

Local and regional research centres within the Catalan linguistic area form a rich associative network system with a strong attachment to the local community. The research, cultural diffusion, and the study, valuation, and vindication of the region’s heritage are among their main goals. One of their reseach fields has to do with the ethnological heritage of the area. Els centres de recerca locals i regionals de l’àrea lingüística catalana formen una rica xarxa associativa amb un fort vincle amb les comunitats locals. La recerca, la difusió cultural, i l’estudi, la posada en valor i la reivindicació del patrimoni d’aquest àmbit territorial figuren entre els seus principals objectius. Un dels seus camps de recerca té a veure amb el patrimoni etnològic de la zona.

Keywords: research, research centres, local culture, regional culture, cultural heritage Paraules clau: recerca, cultura local, cultura regional, centres d’estudi, patrimoni cultural


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This phenomenon is without much parallel in other European countries. Origin and development of the centres3 Back to the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, local research, which had a strong development and local presence, was undertaken by different kinds of professionals –doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, ...–, and just occasionally by social science professionals. There were also groups that played an important role in local research at that time. One of the most relevant ones was that taking scientific explorations although other groups like those of ecclesiastics, folklorists, musicians, and geographers were also significant.

The figure of the local expert appeared in the mid-19th century as somebody somehow connected to the country’s cultural life and to general historical and local research that gradually became more and more relevant. Quite often though, because of its novelty, the valorization of our historical and architectural heritage is unacknowledged within its own local community. It is in the period covering from postwar to transition4 when there is an eclosion of research centres. The figure of the local expert no longer makes sense since they do not have to work on their own, they now can join these associations. But it is in the period towards democracy when the number of centres grows exponentially and it has been like this ever since. If we have a look at those years, there is a landmark: the creation of the Assemblees Intercomarcals d’Estudiosos (Interregional Research Conventions). Forty-four of them were held. They started in 1950 in the town of Martorell and the last one was in 2001 in Sant Vicent de Castellet. These conventions have become a reference both for local researchers and for research

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centres themselves. We can now say that these conventions were a powerful stimulus to local research and helped foster the contact among researchers, in a very incipient attempt of creation of the network of research centres.5 During Franco’s dictatorship there is, on the one hand, the founding of centres that later on, in the eighties, set an example because of their structure and goals and, on the other hand, there are organizations promoted by the public administration with the aim of controlling and denationalising catalan culture. Some of the latter institutions have undergone substantial reforms in democracy and others have disappeared. In the last years of dictatorship there is a new process of foundation of new centres, which leads, in the eighties, to the appearance of numerous organizations that are legally registered and democratilly managed. These organizations also show a growing interest in coordinating among themselves and combining their efforts. In 1991 the 1st Congrés de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Catalana (Congress of Catalan Language Research Centres) was held. One of the main conclusions reached in that congress was the need

to create a Federation of Catalan Language Centres. What was the driving force behind the founding of this Federation of Centres? Knowing there are a hundred centres in Catalonia, with younger members, with an increading number of university-degree holders, and a conceptual and methodological renewal. There were differences among all the centres, both at structural and territorial level, but the inclusive idea of a common culture necessary to carry out the project prevailed. During the congress, a meeting was held where it was decided to set up an interim committee in charge of the eventual creation of the Coordinadora de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Catalana (Coordinating Committee of Catalan Language Research Centres, CCEPC in Catalan), which finally took place in the town of Vic in 1992. The CCEPC6 is a federal entity based in the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (Institute of Catalan Studies) thanks to an agreement that brings together one hundred and twenty-five research centres all over the Catalan linguistic area. Its main functions are the coordination and support of the member organizations. With its activities it has fostered

5th CCEPC Congress: Landscape, territory, and society. Maó 2005. IRMU ARCHIVE


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reseach, with different congresses, the promotion of all the projects and tasks done by the centres through different publications like the journal Frontissa, the coordination of diffusion research projects from a vast number of organizations and regions by means of exhibitions. An example of these is the first joint itinerant exhibition: Lluís Companys and his time. The CCEPC is an example of how, with scare resources but concentrated efforts, work can be done rigorously and competently and how collaborative work contributes to a greater visibility of the different existing realities. The fact that its members are quite a heterogeneous group is of great benefit but it has also been a drawback at times when it was necessary to find interlocutors or resources. Being finally coordinated was a decisive factor to be offered the opportunity, by the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya), of creating a foundation that would support research centres and institutions. That is how in 2003 the Institut Ramon Muntaner was founded. It is a private foundation of the Centres i Instituts d’Estudis dels Territoris de Parla Catalana (Catalan Language Research Centres) (IRMU)7 based in Móra la Nova (Ribera d’Ebre). IRMU is a foundation participated by the Catalan government and the CCEPC equally. The Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Department of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia), through the Direcció General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals (Directorate General for Popular Culture, Cultural Action and Associativism), provides support to research centres thanks to the implication and resources offered to Institut Ramon Muntaner clearly encouraging any project carried out by this institution and recognising their importance to the Catalan culture. The results achieved along these years are a

consequence of the good understanding and cooperation between public administration and civil society. The Institut Ramon Muntaner is at the service of research centres and its main goals are: • Support and disseminate the research and cultural projects carried out by the local and regional research centres in the Catalan linguistic area by means of: --Projects that can benefit all research centres, e.g. the creation of a web portal, the digitalization of their bibliographical material, the organization of the annual RECERCAT meeting, or the promotion of debates. --Grants for research, activities, publications and infrastructures: In its eleven years of existence, IRMU has issued 9 calls for research projects; 13 for activites, and 10 for publications. Almost 200 research and/or cultural projects, over 400 activities and more than 500 publications have been granted. --Logistic support for projects and activities. • Another main goal is to promote linked projects. The Institut Ramon Muntaner aims to encourage communication and cooperation among research centres. Sharing experiences, activities, and studies enriches and greatly helps any individual work done by each and every centre and it also helps give them visibility in the scientific and academic world and in society. The Institut Ramon Muntaner is in contact and collaborates with many institutions and organizations, both to generate useful tools for research centres and to coordinate and facilitate the participation of these centres in bigger projects. At present, the Institut Ramon Muntaner web portal, www.irmu.cat, offers

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information about 302 research centres in the Catalan linguistic area. The activity of research centres8

The activity of research centres can be summarised in the following sections: 1) Research, application, and return to society Research projects. Often the internal organization of the centres promotes interdisciplinary teams. --For example, there is a study, currently in progress, on the subject of ethnopoetics in the Penedès area by the Institut d’Estudis Penedesencs (Institute of Studies in the Penedès) that integrates researchers from different backgrounds. Research promotion with local and regional grants and awards. --At present, 33 grants and awards are given annually, 9 of which are research awards for secondary schools. Around 90,000€ are earmarked for this. It must be said that very often getting an award means having the research project published, which very clearly helps promotion. Research transfer with different publications (monographs, scientific and cultural journals), and their digitalization and inclusion in reference repositories like RACO (Open Access Catalan Journals)9 to make them widely available. --Research centres are second only to Universitat de Barcelona in providing data for the RACO repository so that their research can be made public and internationalised (RACO is linked with EUROPEANA and OAISTER, currently part of OCLC). By the end of 2013 there were 49 journals, amounting to 1,398 issues and 16,816 full articles. The number of visits to consult these journals in 2013 amounted to 730,103.


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Localization of research centres. The map shows only 300 centres and 216 towns hosting a research centre. There are two centres that are not shown: Centre d’Estudis Socials d’Osona (Osona’s Social Research Centre), which is closed but still a member to make its publication Vicgrafies available, and the Associació Germano-Catalana (German-Catalan Association), which is based in Germany. Source: Institut Ramon Muntaner using a map of the Catalan Countries (Països Catalans). COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL MAP, COURTESY OF THE INSTITUT CARTOGRÀFIC DE CATALUNYA (CARTOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE OF CATALONIA)


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There are currently ten journals pending incorporation. Examples of some journals on the RACO web: TERME, edited by the Centre d’Estudis Històrics de Terrassa (Terrassa Centre for Historical Studies). www.raco.cat/index. php/terme Aguaits, edited by the Institut d’Estudis Comarcals de la Marina Alta (Marina Alta Regional Research Institute). www.raco. cat/index.php/Aguaits Eivissa, edited by the Institut d’Estudis Eivissencs (Eivissa Research Institute). www.raco. cat/index.php/Eivissa Dovella, edited by the Centre d’Estudis del Bages (Bages Research Institute). www.raco. cat/index.php/Dovella We are now working on a project that aims to allow research centres to be part of the repository in the Departament de Cultura (Department of Culture), Calaix10, where all their research can be stored. --Another ongoing project aims to distribute all the publications by the different research centres through Nus de Llibres and offer them for sale on its web page www.bestiari. net and the book shops part of the Bestiari Group. Exhibitions to make the research done by the centres public. Most of these exhibitions are itinerant. The data related to the exhibitions presented in 2013 are:

Educational material is produced so that it can reach a wider audience. --A considerable effort is being made in order to transfer research results to the field of education. Many of these projects include the production and distribution of this material to schools and education centres. An exciting project that is being currently carried out is “The profession triangle” promoted by La Galera, Mas de Barberans, and La Sénia town councils, located in the south area of Catalonia, and the Centre d’Interpretació de la Terrissa de la Galera (La Galera Pottery Interpretation Centre), the Associació Cultural lo “Lliscó” (Lliscó Cultural Association), and the Centre d’Estudis Seniencs (La Sénia Research Centre). The aim of this project is to promote some artisan crafts so that their continuity can be ensured: woodworking, wickerwork, and pottery. In this kind of projects, it is important to underline the importance of web 2.0 resources since they have a fundamental role in spreading knowledge and attract wider audiences. Debates are promoted in congresses, conferences, and seminars and they are often connected with the academic world: --Annually research centres schedule about a hundred congresses and conferences with the aim of dealing

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with diverse study fields from a local perspective. --A recent example addressed to all the centres and with a deep involvement from the academic world is the 9th CCEPC Congress, entitled “After the Nova Planta decrees: changes and continuity in the Catalan language territories”, which studies the consequences of the Spanish succession war in the catalan speaking area during XVIIIth century, that took place in Cervera on 21st and 22nd February 2014. 2) Heritage revitalisation and management Research centres revitalise, assess, and sometimes manage heritage. Revitalisation of heritage equipment and elements. --Research centres have enormous potential within this field since their management of heritage elements offers the visitor a high-quality service. Research centres can ensure the safe-keeping of cultural heritage. This should allow having more heritage elements open to the public and placing more importance on them so that they can be better exploited both at an educational and touristic level. --There exist some research centres that manage cultural equipment and heritage elements, for example the Patronat d’Estudis Osonencs (Research

Total number of exhibitions presented or arranged by 189 exhibitions research centres in 2013 Own production 155 exhibitions exhibitions External exhibitions 34 exhibitions Centres that organized exhibitions

60 centres

Activity held at the Roman temple of Vic, managed by the Patronat d’Estudis Osonencs (Research Foundation of Osona). IRMU ARCHIVES


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Foundation of Osona) is in charge of the Roman Temple of Vic or the Amics del Castell de Gelida (Association Amics of Gelida Castle) is in charge of the cultural promotion of the castle. Promotion of the safe-keeping of heritage --Research centres raise awareness of the importance of the safe-keeping of heritage. Tour design --Research centres design tours in order to get to know our local heritage and any research related to it. An example of these tours is the series of tours designed by Grups de Recerca de Barcelona (Barcelona Research Groups) in commemoration of the centenary of the Tragic Week (1909-2009). This project led to the publication of a book and the presentation of an exhibition. The tours can now be found at http:// www.irmu.org/projects/patrimonialItineraries and some educational resources were created so that they

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can be used when there are schools visiting. This collaboration of Grups de Recerca de Barcelona (Barcelona Research Groups) has consolidated and new tours of the Spanish Civil War and of the tercentenary of the War of Succession in 2013-2014 have been designed. Participation in the European Heritage Days --The close link established by the centres between heritage and its promotion makes them an essential contributor to the European Heritage Days. Moreover, the members of the different organizations are the main audience in these events. In the previous editions about fifty different activities were proposed. Creation of working groups for heritage study, assessment, and protection. --Many centres have specific sections for any issues related to heritage. These sections organise exhibitions, debates, tours, and publish their research.

Management of archives --Many research centres are in charge of archives and it is important that they are catalogued, digitalised, and available to researchers. The collaboration between research centres and local archives is also very important. 3) Online work The following are some examples of this collaborative work: --The web portal www.irmu.cat is a reference tool for local and regional research and cultural activity. It brings information of 302 organizations and it is constantly growing. --Regional meetings of research centres (there are 14 annual meetings with an average of 25 institutions each). --Recercat, congress on local culture and research in the Catalan linguistic area, in which about 120 institutions take part. In 2014 it was held in Centre Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona. In 2015 it will be held in Vilafranca del Penedès. --Collective exhibitions like “The rural world in the Catalan linguistic

Tour in the districts of Clot-Camp de l’Arpa in Barcelona. SOURCE: TALLER D’HISTÒRIA DEL CLOT-CAMP DE L’ARPA (HISTORY WORKSHOP OF CLOT-CAMP DE L’ARPA)


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area”. It is a joint project led by three instituions: the Coordinadora de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Catalana (Coordinating Committe of Catalan Language Research Centres), the Institut Ramon Muntaner, and the Fundació del Món Rural (Foundation of the Rural World). The project consists of different parts: An image database available at Memòria Digital de Catalunya (The Digital Memory of Catalonia). This repository has become a useful tool for researchers and on some occasions we have been asked to manage image rights so that some pictures can be published. A travelling exhibition of which two copies have been made. A catalogue. Images from 180 different repositories were collected, both from institutions and individuals. The exhibition will tour over sixty towns and villages, most of them in Catalonia. One of the copies is still on tour in 2014. It has been a complement to other activities like fairs or local festivals,

but it has also stimulated an intense cultural activity with conferences, round-table discussions, guided tours and congresses. The total cost of the project was around 50,000€. Taking into account the number of venues and all the activities it has brought with it, we can conclude it has proven to be highly profitable. Another example of online work is the compilation of the Inventari del Patrimoni Festiu de Catalunya (Festival Heritage Inventory of Catalonia). The project has been completed in a year and a half and around 10,500 files have been collected. 4) Communication --The number of participants in social networks and the number of digital journals is constantly increasing. --Agreements with different means of communication to promote the research carried out by research centres. For example: doing reviews of the different publications generated by research centres in the Culture Supplement of the newspaper Punt Avui.

Opening of the 10th edition of Recercat, which took place in 2014

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--Edition of Plecs d’Història Local,11 supplement of L’Avenç In 2007 the Institut Ramon Muntaner and the Coordinadora de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Catalana (Coordinating Committe of Catalan Language Research Centres) took over the direction of Plecs. In July 2013 Plecs reached the milestone of 150 issues and a special edition was published on the role of the journal in the local history of the Catalan linguistic area. Plecs d’Història Local is still a source of reference for Catalan historiography. 5) Cultural, social, and economic revitalisation --With all their activity, research centres contribute, directly and indirectly, to local economic development (new jobs, revitalisation of local cultural industries, etc). This is exemplified by the data obtained from the publications subsidised by IRMU in 2013 (data gathered from the 47 publications of that year): The total amount spent for all the publications is 38,450€.


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The total expenses necessary to cover journal edition (layout, design, binding, printing, and correcting) amounts to 198,720€. The funds have been distributed among different kinds of periodical publications: scientific (58.4%), general interest (5%), and monographs (36.6%). Like in the preceding editions, over 85% of the funds go directly to local and/or regional printing companies, graphic design agencies, and proofreaders. The rest of needs are covered preferably within the province. Most research centres (81.6%) are based in Catalonia and they cover almost the whole country. Followed far behind, we can find the research centres in the Valencian Country (13.3%), France, Aragon, and Andorra all get 1.66%. --The Recercat Card has been created in order to have an identification tool for those connected with research centres, promote cultural

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industries, and offer advantages to the members of research centres in compensation for their implication. Research centres and ethnological research One of the many research fields research centres are involved in is that of ethnological heritage. Although it is true that research centres have always focused on ways of life, traditions, everyday life, etc. and have contributed to their preservation and promotion, it is not until the end of the 20th century that research in that field becomes systematised and some methodological guidelines are established.

The incorporation of the Institut Ramon Muntaner in 2005 into the Observatori del Patrimoni Etnològic i Immaterial de Catalunya (Observatory for Intangible and Ethnological Heritage of Catalonia), point of reference of ethnological research in Catalonia, which is responsible to the Direcció General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals (Directorate General for Popular Culture,

Cultural Action, and Associativism) of the Department of Culture, has helped to make the information gathered or generated by research centres public. This has contributed to the multiplication of data sources in the Catalan linguistic area and consequently the number of analysis and documentation projects has also increased. Moreover, the last grant calls by the Institut Ramon Muntaner have focused on ethnological research in order to foster this field of study in the Catalan linguistic area. When it comes to grants for projects, we try to encourage working groups with members of different institutions and regions in order to promote comparative studies. The results achieved in the research done by research centres both in the context of the calls by the Department of Culture and by the Institut Ramon Muntaner are deposited in the Inventari del Patrimoni Etnològic de Catalunya (Observatory for Ethnological Heritage of Catalonia) and can be consulted. Research on ethnology uses and combines different data gathering meth-

Exhibition “The rural world in the Catalan linguistic area” in Santes Creus Monastery. CCEPC ARCHIVES


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Centre de desenvolupament rural. Museu de la Pauma (Centre of rural development. Museum of La Pauma) in Mas de Barberans. Santi Martorell. SOURCE: MUSEU DE LA PAUMA (MUSEUM OF LA PAUMA)

ods. Among the methods used by the researchers of our centres, field work and databases of oral and documentary sources are two of the main ones.

Nonasp), the Associació Cultural del Montserrat (Cultural Association of Montserrat) or the Grup de Recerca de Cervelló (Cervelló Research Group).

It must be noted that a large number of institutions keep and manage documentary collections and ethnological assets. Very often, these collections are built up by each centre as a way of documenting and keeping ethnological information but an important part is the legacy from local people. The inventory and cataloguing of this data has sometimes been the base of some research, on some other occasions, it has been the initial step in creating collections and archives that can eventually lead to the creation of museums or ethnological interpretation centres. Some examples of institutions that keep their own collection are the Centre d’Estudis de Sant Cebrià (Sant Cebrià Research Centre), the Amics de Nonasp (Association of Amics de

Gathering oral data is one of the main tools for research centres and many of their interdisciplinary studies are based on it. Local research intimately involves research centres and oral history. Research centres can easily access first-hand accounts, which place a high value on their research. The privilege of being part of the community often makes them a meeting point for those interested in studying oral history or everyday life since research centres can put them in contact with possible informants and their studies are available to other researchers. The importance of oral history was patently obvious in the 3rd CCEPC Congress, which took place in 2001 and was entitled “Oral Sources. Research in the Catalan Linguistic Area”. The

papers presented at that congress were compiled and edited in 2003 and in 2008 the Direcció General de la Memòria Democràtica (Directorate General for Democratic Memory) and the Diputació of Tarragona asked the Coordinadora de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Cataana (Coordinating Committe of Catalan Language Research Centres) to publish “Tools for studies on oral memory”. The book became a reality thanks to the contribution of many researchers from different centres and it is now a reference book on oral memory since it establishes basic methodological guidelines. The major research topics are: • The social imaginary: myths, festivities, and religiosity. --the gathering and study of examples of the social imaginary in the community like goigs (religious poetic compositions), songs, say-


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ings, nicknames, tales, myths, legends, festive elements, etc. • Lifestyle and work --From the initial description of ways of working and rural sociability (which later on included urban sociability), widely covered topics in the 1980s and 1990s, we have now moved on to the analysis of the evolution and research of old trades and occupations and traditional artisan methods that disappeared with industrialisation. Industrialisation processes and workers’ social conditions have also been studied by research centres. • Popular architecture and traditional industrial heritage --Popular architecture and dry stone constructions have been studied and catalogued by research centres. There are publications, seminars, exhibitions, guided tours ... on the topic, which have contributed to the knowledge, assessment, and rehabilitation of this heritage. Research centres have also helped promote our traditional industrial heritage and make people aware of its importance.

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There are some outstanding research studies that have been carried out in the last years: “Els últims hereus. Història Oral dels propietaris rurals gironins, 1930-2000” (“The last hereus. Oral history of rural owners in Girona, 1930-2000”), on oral history, written by Enric Saguer from the l’Associació d’Història Rural (Association of Rural History) within the programme of the Inventari del Patrimoni Etnològic de la Direcció General de la Cultura Popular (Observatory for Ethnological Heritage of the Directorate General for Popular Culture), edited in 200512. “Casa meva no és un problema particular. Satisfacció residencial, limitacions i estratègies des de les vivències” (“Home is not a private problem. Satisfaction with residence, limitations and strategies from one’s own experience”), by Esther Hachuel, Nolasc Riba, Carles Riba, and José Luis Atienza from the Centre d’Estudis Comarcals del Baix Llobregat (Baix Llobregat research centre), edited in 201013. “L’inventari de campanars i campanes dels municipis de la comarca de les Garrigues” (“Inventory of bell towers and bells in the county of Les Garrigues”) by Centre d’Estudis de les Garrigues (Les Gar-

rigues research centre) and the Centre d’Estudis Locals del Vilosell (the local research centre of El Vilosell).

4 By postwar we mean the period that goes from after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) until 1975. The transition goes approximately from 1975 to 1982.

8 The data in this section are taken from the weekly agenda, the analysis of the annual grant calls, and the RACO web portal.

Conclusion Research centres are part of the cultural heritage of Catalonia at the service of historical, heritage, ethnological, and social research. Their activity is geographically spread but vast and it is the base of many studies on local or regional issues. Without their production and their archives and collections, a huge part of Catalan historical memory and ethnology would be lost.

As stated, in the last few years a considerable effort has been made to make our reseach available to the largest possible audience and to encourage collaboration with other research institutions like universities, archives or museums. But our challenges for the future are many: increase the number of collaborations, improve joint projects, raise the visibility and access to our research, increase the use of web 2.0 tools and encourage their use as reseach and educational platforms. n

NOTES 1 The members of the Institut Ramon Muntaner (Mercè Roca, Núria Sauch, Pineda Vaquer, Carles Barrull and Elena Espuny) have participated in this article summarizing the data in it. 2 The Catalan speaking territories are currently in four different European states: Spain, France, Italy, and Andorra and within these states, in different regions. Catalonia, the border of Aragon, the Valencian Country, and the Balearic Islands in Spain; the counties in Northern Catalonia: Capcir, Vallespir, Conflent, and Rosselló, in Fance; and the town of Alghero in Sardinia, Italy. In Andorra, Catalan is the official language. 3 Part of the information in this section is taken from: N. Figueras i Capdevila, M. Carme Jiménez Fernández and J. Santesmases i Ollé (2008), Memòria del Primer Congrés d’Associacionisme Cultural Català, Ens de Comunicació Associativa, pp. 194-196.

5 In 2010 the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya (Cartographic Institute of Catalonia), the Coordinadora de Centres d’Estudis de Parla Catalana (the Coordinating Committee of Catalan Language Research Centres), and the Institut Ramon Muntaner organized the 1st Josep M. Domènech i Fargas Research Award in order to promote research projects on topics related to local and regional research centres. The topic selected for the 1st edition is “Les assemblees intercomarcals d’estudiosos” (“Interregional research conventions”). This is an ongoing project. 6 For further information: www.ccepc.org 7 For further information: www.irmu.cat

9 For further information: www.raco.cat 10 For further information: www.calaix.gencat.cat 11 The full text will shortly be available on www. raco.cat 12 SAGUER, Enric [coord.] (2005). Els últims hereus: Història oral dels propietaris rurals gironins, 1930-2000. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura (Temes d’etnologia de Catalunya; 10). 466 p. 13 HACHUEL FERNÁNDEZ, Esther [et al.] (2010). Casa meva no és un problema particular: Satisfacció residencial, limitacions i estratègies des de les vivències. Sant Feliu de Llobregat: Edicions del Llobregat (Estudis; 3). 120 p.


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Anthropology and ethnological heritage: a current look from Catalonia / Núm 40. Juny 2015 / Més informació de la REC: http://cultura.gencat....

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