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“Unbranding Barcelona”

Lecture by Marina Garcés
The philosopher Marina Garcés spoke at the CCCB about tourism in Barcelona.

[Original version in spanish | duration 01:44:40]

The Barcelona-born philosopher Marina Garcés, who teaches at the University of Zaragoza, gave a lecture titled “Desmarcar Barcelona” (Unbranding Barcelona) at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) as one of the activities associated with the “Shared Cities” exhibition showing the award-winning works from the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014. Garcés, who was presented by Miquel Flamarich, lecturer at the School of Tourism and Hotel Management (EUTDH) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, discussed the present-day tourist industry in Barcelona as one that is changing on the basis of “a projection of capitalist domination that demolishes every idea and every practice related with the city understood as a place for living in”. She describes the tourist industry, which is run on “colonialist” or “extractivist” lines, as jeopardising public space understood as “common ground or a set of areas of common ground” beyond the limits of the “the classical duality of public space versus private space”, which she believes has been “surpassed because collective existence is seen as a shared problem that runs through and inseparably affects both spheres”. Garcés set forth a series of principles for attempting to redress this phenomenon that “expropriates from citizens their times, their places and their decision-making capacity with regard to their own city”, while filling urban spaces with individuals who totally ignore their surroundings, “who move around and circulate in the world is such a way as to be unconcerned about its industries, its effects or the problems faced by everyone”.