More names of significant women in public spacesThe municipal index of street names is being updated to include the names of six pioneering women from the spheres of literature, teaching and medicine. Ana Maria Matute, Margarita Rivière, Concepció Aleixandre, Anna Domènech, Elisa Moragas and Dolors Batlle all now have streets or squares named after them in Barcelona. At present, only 7.7% of public spaces in Barcelona are named after women.
The change continues the feminisation of Barcelona’s street names, where priority has traditionally been given to the names of privileged men linked to the church, the monarchy, the armed forces or the aristocracy, overlooking the role of popular or female figures who also form part of the city’s collective memory.
Six women, six stories
The squares named after Anna Domènech Campoy and Concepció Aleixandre are newly created spaces, while the rest (three streets and a square) already existed and will have their names changed:
- Ana María Matute Ausejo (Barcelona, 1925 – 2014): The name of one of the most personal voices of 20th century Spanish literature, winner of awards such as the Premio Miguel de Cervantes and the Premio Nacional de les Letras Españolas. Her name will replace the street named after Ramiro de Maeztu in the districts of Horta-Guinardó and Gràcia.
- Margarita Rivière Martí (Barcelona, 1944 – 2015): The name of the journalist and essayist will be used for Plaça de les Cristalleries Planell, in Les Corts. Among other things, she was the director of the delegation of the Agencia EFE in Catalonia and collaborated with newspapers such as La Vanguàrdia and El País. The Premi Margarita Rivière was created in 2015 by the Associació de Dones Periodistes de Catalunya for journalistic rigour with a gender perspective.
- Concepció Aleixandre Ballester (València, 1862 – 1952): Pioneering gynaecologist who devoted her life to medicine, feminism and teaching, and who tried to promote knowledge on hygiene, particularly for women. Her name will be used for the new square to be created at the junction between the streets of Villarroel and Rosselló, in L’Eixample.
- Anna Domènech Campoy (Barcelona, 1951 – 2013): The space between the Escola Can Fabra, the Centre d’Interpretació dels Tres Tombs and the Ateneu L’Harmonia, within the Fabra i Coats site, will be named Plaça d’Anna Domènech Campoy. This educator directed nursery schools in Sant Andreu de Palomar for over 30 years and stood up for public education. The decision to give her name to this space was taken through a participatory process in the redevelopment of the Fabra i Coats site.
- Elisa Moragas i Badia (Barcelona, 1927 – 2006): The name of this teacher will replace the name of the Reis Catòlics as a street name in the district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. The location was chosen as the Escola Nabí stands here. The school was founded by Moragas and was the inspiration for her Freinet education project, based on the life and activity of infants, freedom of expression and communication and strict importance placed on infants being happy at school. The change is the result of a participatory initiative driven by a campaign for a street named after Elisa Moragas.
- Dolors Batlle i Sunyer (Agullana, 1892 – Barcelona 1982): Considered one of the teachers at the forefront of the renovation of Catalonia’s education system before the war. The street in the district of Sants-Montjuïc named after Enric Bargés will be changed to bear this teacher’s name. Batlle taught at various schools and was chosen to jointly lead the highly prestigious Grup Escolar Lluís Vives de Sants as the head of the girls’ section. During the war she stood in as the head of the whole organisation owing to political activity of Pere Blasi. She was penalised for this and ousted by the new Francoist regime after 1939.