More women’s names in public space
06/03/2023 - 07:21 h
Balcells and other names of culture's women.
The name changes were approved by the street naming commission in recent months. In Barcelona, 8.3% of streets bear women’s names, compared to 35% named after men. In the last four years, the number of streets with women’s names has increased by 2.2%, with additions paying homage to the memory of pioneering and fighting women from various spheres and periods.
New women’s names used in ten districts
The unveiling of the plaques giving names to streets, squares and gardens starts on 4 March and will continue throughout the month:
-Ciutat Vella: the current Carrer del Comte de Santa Clara will become Carrer de Felícia Fuster i Viladecans, poet, translator and visual artist. In addition, a blue plaque will be installed at Carrer de l’Om, 10, paying tribute to Amàlia Alegre, organiser of the strike against the rise in coal prices in 1918.
-L’Eixample: two inner quadrangles will pay tribute to women. One is the Jardins de les Treballadores de la Numax, the current interior of the block where the former Niça cinema stood, the other is the Jardins Cristina Fernández Pereira, names after the concierge who suffered Francoist repression and was shot by firing squad at the Camp de la Bota.
-Sants-Montjuïc: Poble-sec will have a plaque devoted to the teacher, historian and activist Valerie Powles, while the yarn workers at the former Vapor Vell factory will give their name to another square, recognising the working-class past of Sants.
-Les Corts: the garden next to the Monument to the Les Corts Women’s Prison will be called the Jardins de Carme Claramunt i Barot, the first woman to be shot be firing squad under the Francoist regime at Camp de la Bota, on 18 April 1939.
-Sarrià – Sant Gervasi: the walkway at the Pantà de Vallvidrera is to become the Pas de Rosa Barba Casanovas, doctor in architecture, landscape artist and professor at the Urban Planning department of the Catalan School of Architecture.
-Gràcia: a pioneer and role-model in women’s sport in the city and Catalonia will give her name to the existing passage between Carretera del Carmel and Av. Pompeu Fabra: Josefina Torrens Illas, outstanding swimmer with the CN Barcelona and one of the founders of the Women’s Sports Club, the first women-only sports club in Catalonia. In addition, two plaques will pay homage to Pepita Pardell Terrades, entertainer, artist, illustrator and painter, and Emèrita Arbonès, a republican textile worker and member of Associació de Dones del 36.
-Horta-Guinardó: the seventh district adds women’s names to two squares. One is Plaça de Ramona Fossas i Puig, a Guinardó resident recognised for her contribution to teaching, the other is Plaça de Rosa Galobardes i Alsina, a social activist strongly linked with Guinardó.
-Nou Barris: the neighbourhood of Verdun is dedicating a square to Luisa Alba Cereceda, social worker and street educator and one of the main activists with the Fundació Pare Manel.
-Sant Andreu: the republican and pro-Catalan activist Francesca Vergés will give her name to a square in in inner quadrangle of a block in Sant Andreu de Palomar.
-Sant Martí: as many as seven spaces in this district will remember important women. The philosopher and feminist activist Gretel Ammann and the anarch-trade unionist and feminist Lola Iturbe Arizcuren will give their names to two new streets. Margarita Brender i Rubira, Catalonia’s first woman architect, will give her name to some gardens, while a square in front of the Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez will be named after Carmen Balcells, who represented major writers such as the very same García Márquez. Two other squares will bear the names of the scientist Rosalind Franklin and the opera singer Lolita Torrentó i Prim. Finally, an information panel will be unveiled in memory of the “tancada dones del Patronat” a women’s struggle which represented a turning point in the negotiation to improve the conditions for the worst affected housing.