Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Jeremy Rose: Barcelona’s Christmas Crapper Canned

Barcelona’s Christmas Crapper Canned


Story & Images By Jeremy Rose
Barcelona


Caganers (literally shitters) on sale outside the Sagrada Familia

The traditional Caganer – a figurine of a man taking a shit – that has been gracing nativity scenes in Catalonia since at least the 16th century has been omitted from Barcelona’s official Christmas display this year because it was felt not to be in keeping with the city’s attempts to clean itself up.

The city council – or Ajuntament – is expected to pass a controversial bylaw, on December 23, which clamps down on everything from pissing in the street and skateboarding to busking and “aggressive begging.”

The local English language newspaper – Catalonia Today – has warned the bylaw could turn Barcelona into the “Singapore of Europe” and a group of academics has compared the bylaw to a Franco era law “against socially dangerous people” which allowed the police to lock up prostitutes, the homeless, gays and anyone else they deemed to be socially dangerous.

Whether the armless man who rattles a tin in his mouth outside El Corte Ingles - the city’s flashest department store - will qualify as an “aggressive beggar” is yet to be seen.

However, the municipal police, perhaps in anticipation of the bylaw’s introduction, have already moved to prevent a character known as the “Maradona of the Ramblas” from delighting the crowds with his football acrobatics.

And the police seem to have effectively rid the city in recent weeks of the hundreds of illegal streets sellers who used to sell everything from pirated CDs and fake designer sunglasses to African and South American trinkets on the main tourist thoroughfares.


Police having a word with a street performer and his dog

Despite its absence from the official nativity scene Caganers are everywhere. Nativity scenes in shop windows invariably include the figure squatting just outside the manger and Christmas stalls surrounding the Sagrada Familia and the city’s cathedral are overflowing with them.


George Bush Caganer

Most the figurines are the traditional Catalan cloth-capped figure squatting over a caca (shit) but inevitably perhaps there’s also a squatting George W Bush clutching a globe in his hands and in a creative combining of Catalan traditions a castell – or human tower – with the anchorman taking a dump.


Catalan traditions combined: Caganers take on the anchorman role in traditional human towers

And in a 21st Century update of the Caganer tradition, a Catalan television channel has animated a piss-take of King Kong that includes flying Caganers shitting on a giant ape clinging to the city’s landmark telecommunications tower.


A variety of Caganers remains on sale

*************

Jeremy Rose is a Wellington journalist currently based in Barcelona
varsovia103@yahoo.co.uk

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Lest We Forget - Scoop As A Digital Archive

Scoop performs a sadly overlooked and tragically undernourished, but nevertheless extraordinarily vital function. Over the past 17 years, it has evolved into a unique digital archive conserving millions of items of truly national significance. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Latest Allegations Against Helen Clark

According to former PM and UNDP leader current Helen Clark, the allegations leveled at her this week in a Foreign Policy magazine article by the prize-winning UN journalist Colum Lynch have been ‘totally fabricated’. Hmmm. That would be very, very surprising. More>>

Letter From The Editor: The State Of Scoop

Gordon Campbell: The PledgeMe campaign currently being run by the Scoop Foundation does provide a useful opportunity to update you on what gets done with your money. Further down the track, other documents will set out what we plan to do, resources permitting. For now, lets stick with the practical nuts and bolts. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of The Far Right (And Battle Bots)

In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach [pictued] warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a welfare bureaucracy that systematically denies assistance to those in most need. More>>

Julienne Molineaux: Stuff-Me - The Newspaper Gobble-Up

In New Zealand, concentration of newspaper ownership via mergers and acquisitions has a long pre-digital history. The trends of declining readership and fragmented audiences began before digital content, and mergers and acquisitions proceeded apace, enabled by weak legislative protections. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Foundation Membership Drive:

The Scoop Foundation: The best chance to create an independent guardian for public interest journalism in NZ

The Scoop Foundation is seeking public support to safeguard the future of public interest journalism in New Zealand. To ensure public access to comprehensive, free, timely news is maintained during this dark hour for journalism. And to provide every voice in NZ the opportunity to be heard in the national debate. More>>
PLEDGE NOW: Journalism: A New Model - The 2016 Scoop Foundation Membership Drive

Scoop Foundation Timeline:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news