Preparing for Barcelona fieldwork
East Midlands, England. Wintry chill in the air, 14 degrees celsius. Preparing for fieldwork in Barcelona whilst finishing a conference paper. Moving a nuclear family from one country to another is not easy; a lot to do both ends.
Will be studying social media and activism for a year. Not sure yet what aspects or groups to concentrate on; in time-honoured anthropological fashion will decide once I’m in ‘the field’. That said, two very different kinds of activism have caught my eye so far:
- pro-independence; more vocal and public after the recent mass demonstration in Barcelona following Spain’s Constitutional Court ruling in Madrid reducing Catalonia’s autonomy > see my delicious tag independence.
- pro-digital rights, aka the universal right to a free internet – an international strand of activism that appears to be flourishing in Barcelona > see my delicious tag free-culture.
[8 August 2010 update: an umbrella tag for both and related topics is activism.]
[14 Sep 2010 update: a third species of activism of interest is anti-corporate globalisation, e.g. Juris 2008; a fourth possible type is Catholic activism, as suggested by colleagues in Barcelona; yet a fifth one is local urban activism, not least in my place of work and residence, Poblenou]
One could be my main research focus, the other an ancillary interest. But we shall have to see how things unfold in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, looking forward to living and working in ‘the New Village’, El Poblenou, where my host institution, the OUC’s Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), is now based. According to Wikipedia:
During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, Poblenou was the epicenter of Catalan and Iberian industry, earning it its sobriquet of the Catalonian Manchester. Surrounding the extensive cluster of factories stood mostly working class residential areas. After a period of decay, the neighborhood has undergone a dramatic transformation. Many of the areas that have been developed—including the Vila Olímpica, the Diagonal Mar area, and the Fòrum area—arguably comprise their own neighborhoods. Completing its original, unfinished plan, The Avinguda Diagonal now stretches from Plaça de les Glòries to the sea. The massive 22@ plan sets to convert Poblenou into the city’s technological and innovation district, as well as to increase leisure and residential spaces.