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

 

Valerie Morse: Key And NZ Police At G20: What A Contribution

While 200 New Zealand police officers are helping to repress protests outside of the G20 in Brisbane this week, John Key has been inside pushing the interests of giant multinational corporations to fast track the World Trade Organization (WTO) ... More>>

ALSO:

Gabriela Coutiño: Ayotzinapa Caravan Meets With EZLN In Oventic

In their visit to Zapatista Territory, parents of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa Guerrero, agreed with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), to articulate a national grassroots movement that would question forced disappearances ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Talk Of A Third Intifada: Where To From Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. More>>

ALSO:

David Swanson: Who Says Ferguson Can't End Well

Just as a police officer in a heightened state of panic surrounded by the comfort of impunity will shoot an innocent person, the Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency preemptively, thus justifying violence in response to something ... More>>

Melanie Duval-Smith: Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

So, you are not allowed to feed the homeless on the streets of Florida. Last week, a 90 year old man and two Christian ministers were arrested for doing just that. I can hear the cries of the right wingers from here. “Not in our back yard”, ... More>>

John Chuckman: What We Truly Learned From the Great War and the Absurdity of Remembrance Day

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding ... More>>

Redress Information: A European Call To Suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement

More than 300 political parties, trade unions and campaign groups have called on the European Union to suspend its “association agreement” with Israel. The agreement, which came into force in 2000, facilitates largely unrestricted trade with Israel ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Age Of TV Jokers: Arab Media On The Brink

As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news