Barcelona, City of Margins
Published: February 2022© 2022
288 Pages, 6.40 x 9.10 x 1.10 in, 35 b&w illustrations
Barcelona, City of Margins studies the creation of a space of dissent in the 1950s and 1960s that became the pillar of the protest movements during the final years of the Franco dictatorship and the transition to democracy. This space of dissent took shape in the margins of what is considered the official space of the city of Barcelona, revealing the interconnection of urbanism, literature, and photography in the formation of the political, social, and cultural movements to come in the 1970s.
Olga Sendra Ferrer draws from theoretical readings on built environments, neighbourhoods, housing projects and developments, and everyday life within Spanish urban spaces. Literature and photography demonstrate the political value of cultural production and forms of cultural representation that occur from peripheral zones – those pushed aside by exclusionary politics, fascist forms of control, surveillance, and homogenization.
In search of the origins of the protest movements and counter culture that would come in the final years of the Franco regime, Barcelona, City of Margins asserts the value of urban movement and cultural practice as a challenge to the spatial and urbanistic regime of Francoism.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Coming into Presence: Margin and Dissent in the Barcelona of Francoism
1. A Change of Pace: The Spatial Dimensions of the Franco Dictatorship
2. Breaking the Silence: The Cultural Mobilization of Francisco Candel
3. The Quiet Revolution of Photography: The Barcelona of Joan Colom
4. A Female City: Colita and the Conceptualization of Barcelona
Conclusion: The Elusive Landscape
"Barcelona, City of Margins looks at the radically innovative art forms of 1950s and 1960s Barcelona – the writing of Francisco Candel and the photography of Joan Colom and Colita in particular – that noisily interrupted the attempts of the Franco regime to impose a harmonious, static structure of absolute space. Olga Sendra Ferrer has written a startlingly powerful book of urban cultural criticism that lays the groundwork for us to get beyond our oftentimes limited appreciation of dissident art in the decades after the Civil War."Susan Larson, Qualia Professor of Spanish, Texas Tech University
"Through careful analyses of the photographic, narrative, and even poetic margins of dictatorial Barcelona, Olga Sendra Ferrer revels in the subtle murmurs echoing from a river of dissent. This book is a wonderful and panoramic chronicle of the clashes between urbanistic planning and urban everyday life that unfolded from the 1950s through the 1970s."Benjamin Fraser, Professor of Iberian and Latin American Studies, University of Arizona
"A superb piece of scholarship that balances theory, close visual reading, and cultural analysis, Barcelona, City of Margins makes an important and original contribution to the growing literature on one of the world’s most influential cities."Bob Davidson, Professor of Spanish and Catalan Studies, University of Toronto
"Olga Sendra Ferrer's eagerly awaited book serves to understand Barcelona's urban history: it shows how democracy is about reading centres from the margins using culture as a map."Germán Labrador Méndez, Professor of Iberian Studies, Princeton University