When culture brings out color in politics
Spanish culture has always been one of the best standards for our country abroad, and only those who live abroad can feel happy and proud when we see our artists recognized outside our borders.
It is not new that many of our artists for centuries have been key in various fields, leading artistic movements and leaving works recognizable by citizens around the world.
When I arrived in the UK in 1998, I realized that Salvador Dali, Federico García Lorca and Pablo Picasso were really very well-known and popular personalities in my new home and not only were they famous in our country.
At the time, we also had access to the new films of our best directors in theaters in any big city. Julio Medem, Alejandro Amenabar and Pedro Almodóvar were three examples of directors who brought us closer to our culture, and cinemas were filled with citizens of all origins who traveled to our country for two hours to see how we lived, how we interacted and how we could try to learn more about our culture.
In recent years, music lovers have been able to enjoy concerts by many Spanish bands that travel to the UK to show us their new works, and bands like Linda Guilala, Guadalupe Plata, Hinds or Belako bring their concerts to British venues.
Concerts are held in London in large venues with more commercial bands and from Celtas Cortos to Los Planetas, or soon Carolina Durante, they have managed to spice up the lives of their many immigrant fans.
Culture is one of those areas where we can get excited and in some cases we can leave concerts or movies with the satisfaction that comes from seeing our artists leave our country’s flag up.
When the works they do for us, apart from making us enjoy, educate about the history and ways of our country’s existence and can explain in part, the reasons why our country is what it is, the feeling of joy and gratitude is greater.
In the UK, Spanish high school students have to see and read the various works of Spanish writers and directors in order to be examined in various aspects related to Spanish history, traditions and culture.
Among the films that students can choose from, Return and Pan’s Labyrinth and 8 Basque titles, for example La casa de Bernarda Alba, Como agua para chocolate or Bicycles for the summer, enter the list of books to read and analyze for exams a year before university .
For the children of immigrants in the UK, these “coercive jobs” are often a window into understanding the many regional differences, persistent political disagreements, or the way of being and understanding things we sometimes have.
The lack of resources from our government for our children abroad makes them even more disconnected from our culture, our traditions, and their roots. Implementation of ALCE (Spanish language and culture classes) is missing in many big cities, a shot in the foot to reverse immigration and our children can return to our country, as bilingual, educated people who can easily be drawn to a country that has made it ideal for vacations … but For this they will have to keep restoring labor rights, increasing wages, and becoming more like the great European economies.
This week I was finally able to get a little closer to watching Pedro Almodóvar’s new movie, and without trying to analyze the movie, it seemed to me to be a very eloquent and direct way to show a dark side of our country, which some continue to suffocate and hide.
The room was full despite being on the billboard for 3 weeks and not hearing Spanish among the audience, which was surely for many a way to get acquainted with an unknown side, but after the law of historical memory, which opened up the possibility of finding us disappeared in many of our trenches, It has been stopped by some regions and political leaders.
These trenches would have been full of corpses had so many immigrants not escaped in time.
At the Manchester Consulate, where there had already been a couple of events with some seasoned immigrants, I was able to speak with some citizens who had escaped the dictatorship without being able to say goodbye to their girlfriends and families and arrived in a country whose language and culture they did not know, isolated and cut off from all they knew.
Spaniards who sometimes called Spain to talk to the family, sometimes after months of not being able to speak Spanish, words didn’t come out in their mother tongue and their families were worried about their mental state after some of these conversations.
Sometimes art puts on the table issues that our politicians don’t want to solve.
Parallel Mothers, achieves the goal of provoking consciences and our leaders may not want to include it in the curricula of Spanish students in the UK … A country in 2022 without solving some historical problems, nearly 5 decades after the supposed end of dictatorship, leaves much to be desired and makes One wonders if one can really speak of a complete democracy when one looks in another way at certain actions such as the executions and killings that have taken place.
Art brings us closer to our roots and can help explain our history.
Correcting mistakes or recognizing our exile is key to moving forward and we must ensure that the law of democratic memory does not contain the errors made by the law of historical memory and leave this dark cycle in our history stable and satisfactorily resolved. …but we want to continue to have the movies, books, and songs that remind us of the mistakes in another 30 years.
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