Jasmina Tešanović: Made in Catalunya / Lou and Laurie


13 Responses to “Jasmina Tešanović: Made in Catalunya / Lou and Laurie”

  1. rss says:

    Barcelona is a contradictory city and the post tries to convey this impression, I guess.

    On one hand, it is a provincial city that portrays itself as a cosmopolitan one and lives on that fantasy, which sometimes helps the city to push itself ahead. This narrative is shared and managed by the local intelligentsia, the City Hall politicos and the old money families alike… whether they say they are on the left or the right side of the political spectrum. Strangely enough for someone with cosmopolitan aspirations, they use this fantasy to empower romantic nationalistic themes, which are used both as a justification for BCN achievements and as a result of them. One measure of the provincialisms of Barcelona is its insistence on comparing against…. Madrid, which is the closest biggest city in Spain.

    The Lou Reed – Laurie Anderson poetry gig, in my view, is the perfect instrument for the “The sleepy spoiled bourgeoisie of the new mainstream,” that rules this fantasy and imposes it on the rest of the barcelonians. It is welcome as a way to reinforce the connection of the city with cosmopolitan, (post?)modern narratives. What can be better than to connect with Berkeley or New York to get rid of any suspicion of provincialism? (You got the irony, I guess).

    On the other hand, BCN is a lively city full of creative people, marginal characters and multiple cultures that live on apart from that fantasy. Even Catalans that would like to have independence but without romantic justifications and that are fed up with the local powers worldwiew.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the balance changes in favor of these new actors.

    There is already some resistance to the mainstream Barcelonian discourse. As I said, the city is lively and alive!.

    For a taste of proposals and texts of very different quality and purposes, have a look at the “I hate Barcelona” book/pamphlet (in Spanish, is this cosmopolitan? http://www.myspace.com/odiobarcelona). Or better still, the book by anthropologist Manuel Delgado “La ciudad mentirosa. Fraude y miseria del modelo Barcelona” (“Liar City: fraud and misery of the Barcelona Model”), again, only in Spanish.

    My congratulations to the author of the post for capturing this subtle (or not so subtle) state of affairs!

  2. tomic says:

    This is really great, thanks for posting this. I’ve always loved Laurie Anderson, and Reed, and it’s wonderful when great artists continue to evolve and not get trapped in their pasts.

  3. Teresa Sue says:

    Xeni. Again. Thank you. (And thank you, John. I stupidly forgot to thank you earlier.)

    Xeni, you have really outdone yourself.

    I haven’t seen Laurie in YEARS and I miss her so much my heart hurts.

    Maybe she’ll “run into” me again once I return to NYC.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is not exact to say that Catalans are separatists. Of course they love their culture and language. And there is an independentist party, but voters prefer two other much bigger parties.

    Even more, Barcelona is the least independentist city of Catalonia, because it is not a provincian city but rather a multicultural, billingual, cosmopolitan, modern city.

  5. a66G7nvJ0W3 says:

    October 24, 2008
    Lou Reed onstage in Kosmopolis Barcelona
    Laurie Anderson in a UC Berkeley studio , Berkeley, California , via the internet
    works of Catalan poets Brossa, Espriu, Carner and Vinyoli
    45 minute live video performance
    produced by Cal Performances, University of California at Berkeley
    as experienced last year at the Made in Catalunya event in New York City
    presented by KOSMOPOLIS International Literature Fest

  6. musicman says:

    Re that top photo, as a friend once said to me about a similar structure in Newcastle, Australia, how did the council/planning committee overseeing it’s construction NOT think “It’s a huge cock”. Talk about phallo-worship. Maybe there were no women on said committee…

  7. Anonymous says:

    At first, I thought this first sentence said that Lou Reed and Louie Anderson had a poetry session. I would have paid to see that.

  8. 13strong says:

    The comment that states “The Catalans claim their own language, their own culture and they want to split away from the rest of the Spain” is somewhat misleading.

    Yes, there is popular support for separatism in Catalonia, but it’s hardly unanimous.

  9. mindysan33 says:

    As always, excellent work from Jasmina!

    Side note- we went to see Laurie Anderson on her tour and took our daughter. When Lou Reed came out, and the crowd went nuts, she leans over and ask “mommy, who’s that?” A few weeks later, she brings home a painting, and I ask who it is, she says “Laurie Anderson’s husband”. Kids rule.

  10. Marcel says:


    Yes, catholic beggers, as in, kneeling down in the middle of the street without any padding under your knees doing somekind of martyr routine holding up a sign in a obviously very uncomfortable and physically stressing manner describing all the anguish and bad luck life has bestowed on to you.
    Never got used to watching those while living in Spain. Never gave em a eurocent of my money either.

  11. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Catholic beggars?

  12. devophill says:

    Wait, there’s a Spanish gherkin??!?

  13. fg says:

    Hmm, there are some separatists in Barcelona, but they are a minority.

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