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Barcelona's Vocation of ModernityRise and Decline of an Urban Image$
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Joan Ramon Resina

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758321

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758321.001.0001

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From the Olympic Torch to the Universal Forum of Cultures

From the Olympic Torch to the Universal Forum of Cultures

The After-Image of Barcelona's Modernity

(p.199) Chapter Seven From the Olympic Torch to the Universal Forum of Cultures
Barcelona's Vocation of Modernity
Stanford University Press

Between the beginning of the twentieth century and the Civil War, Barcelona was still a Catalan city bound to its hinterland by familial ties and by the steady flow of people, foodstuffs, and manufactured goods that sustained its growth through a porous relation with the territory. Today, Barcelona is no longer connected to Catalonia through the motorway and the weekend residence, rather than kinship, history, or language. Rituals of self-display are held occasionally as a way of expediting urban renewal, such as the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929, the Olympic games of 1936 and 1992, a Catholic “Eucharistic” Congress in 1952, and the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004. All of these events had a long-term impact on the city's physical configuration and public image. Catalanism, a broad, transversal movement, grew in importance throughout the first half of the twentieth century. In the 1980s, modernity became the ideology of a providentialist state in which spectacle took over politics.

Keywords:   Barcelona, public image, rituals, Catalonia, Olympic games, Catalanism, modernity, spectacle, politics, urban renewal

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