Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | 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

 

Ian Powell: Rescuing Simpson From Simpson

(Originally published at The Democracy Project ) Will the health reforms proposed for the Labour Government make the system better or worse? Health commentator Ian Powell (formerly the Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical ... More>>

Missions To Mars: Mapping, Probing And Plundering The Red Planet

In the first month of 2020, Forbes was all excitement about fresh opportunities for plunder and conquest. Titled “2020: The Year We Will Conquer Mars”, the contribution by astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter was less interested in the physics than the conquest. ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Coup Leader Grabs Absolute Power At Dawn

BANGKOK, Thailand -- By seizing power, Myanmar's new coup leader Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has protected his murky financial investments and the military's domination, but some of his incoming international ... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>

The Conversation: How To Cut Emissions From Transport: Ban Fossil Fuel Cars, Electrify Transport And Get People Walking And Cycling

By Robert McLachlan Professor in Applied Mathematics, Massey University The Climate Change Commission’s draft advice on how to decarbonise New Zealand’s economy is refreshing, particularly as it calls on the government to start phasing out fossil ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog