Stories and cities

El visor d'una càmera de fotografia digital.  © Goroka. Ajuntament de Barcelona.

Major cities are always accompanied by a story that promotes them in the world. These stories can be generated by institutional bodies (and in this case are usually driven by political propaganda) or can emerge from the city’s culture and gain official status thanks to popular acceptance. However, unanimous consensus that identifies us with a story is achieved when it enjoys institutional support and is endorsed by citizens at the same time. This concurrence is what creates a winning story, which affords identity and is a driving force for change. The Olympic story would be a great example thereof.

When a certain story succeeds, we run the risk of it becoming a unique and uniform story. And around every successful story there must be space for the weeds of dissidence to grow, the non-conformity of counter-culture. Because it is the non-conformists who can bring forth ideas that over time can regenerate or replace obsolete hegemonic stories.

In this culture corner debate, we analyse why the audiovisual crisis does not facilitate the creation of new images and stories related to the city of Barcelona and Catalonia. At the same time, we ask ourselves, on the basis of Julià Guillamon’s latest book, why the counter-culture of the 1970s was washed away by the Olympic Games and why creators are still caught up in a certain helplessness today.

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