Clubbers on Catalan independence

Barcelona is in a state of severe political and civil unrest. So how do the locals feel in the midst of a battle for regional freedom?

Over the last week or so, Barcelona has been rocked by huge demonstrations – which turned into violent riots – as people protested against the trial, and conviction, of Catalan politicians for their roles in the 2017 independence bid. But over the weekend the city’s famed nightlife continued almost as if it was business as usual. The Face visited three Barcelona venues – Apolo, Razzmatazz, Sala Taro – to talk to club-goers about Spain’s worst political crisis in 40 years as they sought escapism to a soundtrack of blaring reggaeton, house, techno and pop anthems.

Sofía García Sarmiento

SOFÍA GARCÍA SARMIENTO

Occupation: Student
Age: 25
Born: Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Nitsa, Apolo.

Are you for or against independence?

I have many mixed feelings regarding independence. I come from a family that is not Catalan. I love the Spanish culture and I feel very linked to it, that’s why I feel in the middle. I like my country but every time I leave Catalonia I feel rejected in my own country for being Catalan and then I think fuck you”. I feel Spanish but I have a feeling of belonging much closer to Catalonia.

Do you share the same view as your parents?

We share the same point of view because we are a family of lefts”. I think that people who do not empathise with independence think that they have much more right-wing beliefs.

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement? 

It has been the main trigger for everyone to go outside. It is impressive how the media are manipulating the information making the rest of the country believe that we all want independence with these riots. People on the streets are complaining because they believe that our right to vote is being violated.

What will happen next? 

Today a friend and I wondered if the violence and police charges would continue if we wouldn’t have a patriarchal system. Imagine a world in which only women will rule. Would there be violence? How would we react? Most of all these protagonists are men in riots are fighting against policemen trained in aggression.

Everyone will forget about this and will apply law 155. The media is forgetting that we are fighting is for a sentence, we are not burning random garbage containers. The constitution will remain the same. Removing Franco’s corpse from the Valle de los Caídos already seems like a very important change.

What is your view on Brexit?

I don’t care about Brexit because I don’t belong to the United Kingdom.

Raymond Rojas

RAYMOND ROJAS

Occupation: Graphic Designer & DJ
Age: 27
Born: Gran Canaria
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Mojo Club was my favourite party in Gran Canaria, but it’s closed now. I always like to come to Razzmatazz in Barcelona.

Are you for or against independence? 

I support the Catalan independence because I think that every region should have that right. Spain’s policies have not been working as they should for a long time, especially when it comes to salary balance. There are jobs that are paid very disproportionately and instead people who work in health care, doing work as important as saving lives, have to leave the country to look for work. Nor am I in favour of the monarchy, because I do not want to have in my country [a] figure that I have not chosen. I understand that there are many ignorant people who are against it.

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement?

The media has sold a story [to make] the rest of the country positioned against this movement. It seems to me that the penalty that these politicians are imposing on them is excessive, especially if we compare it with other much more serious cases such as La Manada rape case. Everything that is happening makes no sense to me.

What will happen next? 

What I would like to happen is that we forget all of our ideologies and that nationalists and independentists could live together in peace. Although I think everything will get worse.

What is your view on Brexit?

I’m completely clueless about Brexit.

Gabriel Fernández Delgado AKA Yibril

GABRIEL FERNÁNDEZ DELGADO aka YIBRIL

Occupation: DJ & Producer
Age: 24
Born: I’m Spanish but my family has a mixture of races and nationalities.”
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Fuego [clubnight] at Razzmatazz.

Are you for or against independence? 

I am not in favour of independence because it is not my cause. I am not Catalan but I can understand the point of view of independence. It is not something I would fight for but these days it is becoming my own struggle and that of everyone. I support freedom of expression and the people’s power of choice.

Do you share the same view as your parents?

I have not talked to my parents about this issue. My father is a Muslim and lives in France, he is completely oblivious to all this. He somehow agrees with me regarding the revolution but does not support violence. Sometimes some violent acts are necessary to carry out a revolution.

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement? 

The sentence has affected very negatively so we are suffering these situations these days. You can feel it in the energy of the city, including today, [when I am] DJing in this party.

What will happen next?

I do not believe that Catalonia will achieve independence in this way.

What is your view on Brexit? 

I am not very informed. I have a general idea of what the media wanted to tell us. I would say that Brexit is a case similar to that of Catalonia with the difference they have not had the possibility to vote legally.

Vilma Porux aka Antonio López Sobrino

VILMA PORUX aka ANTONIO LÓPEZ SOBRINO

Occupation: Pattern Teacher at University
Age: 29
Born: Granollers, Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Pop Air, Barcelona.

Are you for or against independence? 

I am against independence.

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement? 

I think it has affected a lot. But I also didn’t expect less after this sentence. Exactly what has to happen is happening. A part of me would like all this to be much worse.

What will happen next?

I finally think everything will be the same as before or even worse with respect to Catalonia and the Catalans. What I really would like to happen is that there was an important change in Spain and its policies in general.

What is your view on Brexit?

I think I’m a little uninformed, although I consider Brexit to be something completely respectable and understandable. I can empathise with them both with the Catalans and with the English.

Georgina Asunción Guasch

GEORGINA ASUNCIÓN GUASCH

Occupation: Graphic Designer & co-founder of Maricas
Age: 25
Born: Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Maricas.

Are you for or against independence?

I support it, but I think that the first step is to let us vote legally to decide whether or not we achieve independence. In case we get it, I would like to be able to do economic justice and create our own laws.

What will happen next?

Surely politicians will have to comply with their sentences and the right will end up gaining power.

Joanna Massana

JOANNA MASSANA

Occupation: Programmer & student
Age: 22
Born: Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Apolo & Razzmatazz.

Are you for or against independence? 

I am in favour because I believe that the Spanish Constitution is completely outdated and creating a new country with new laws would help Catalonia’s growth a lot.

Do you share the same view as your parents?

My father is more radical but my mother is neutral.

Can you see why someone else might be for or against? 

I can understand it perfectly. In fact, my partner is against it and that is not a problem between us. 

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement?

It has been like kicking democracy in the face.

Is independence a key issue in your life?

No. Whatever it happens it won’t affect my happiness.

What is your view on Brexit? 

I have no opinion. If the United Kingdom wants to leave the European Union, it is free to do so. On the other hand I feel a little sorry because if I wanted to study in England in the future I won’t have the same facilities as I did before.

Nicaurys Cordero Pérez

NICAURYS CORDERO PÉREZ

Occupation: Visual Merchandising & Student
Age: 26
Born: Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Apolo.

Are you for or against independence? 

I am neither for nor against.

Do you share the same view as your parents?

No, my parents are against independence.

What will happen next?

I think that if an agreement is not reached, all this will get worse. We have to make noise to be taken into account.

What is your view on Brexit? 

I think the UK is messing it up a lot.

Andrés Mellinas Leva

ANDRÉS MELLINAS LEVA 

Occupation: Cinema Producer
Age: 31
Born: Barcelona
Lives: Barcelona

Favourite club?

Cocktail D’amore, Berlin.

Are you for or against independence? 

This answer is very difficult to give at this point. I am not in favour of independence. I think that Catalonia should not be rescinded from Spain but that our country needs a change of constitutional model. I think that the independence of Catalonia claims that although I do not want this separation.

How do you think the sentencing of the nine separatist leaders will affect the movement? 

The sentence is totally unfair and exaggerated. It has helped us to question basic problems of our political system, not only the self-determination of the regions but also that it has questioned the entire system.

Is independence a key issue in your life? 

It is on a social level.

What will happen next?

If we do not find political solutions at the national level, violence will continue to increase.

What is your view on Brexit?

I think they played with people’s feelings to win or lose votes. I don’t think it’s fair that 51% can decide on the remaining 49%. Such an important decision cannot be decided with only a 1% difference. They themselves are living the consequences within their country.


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