Archive | May, 2011

Good Morning Freedom! Spanish cinema after Franco at BFI Southbank

28 May

Almodovar at his best

The death of Spain’s fascist dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 gave rise to an alternative, adventurous and eclectic movement within Spanish culture, the movida. Next month BFI Southbank will host a season celebrating this brand of cinema with showings of Cria Cuervos (Raise Ravens, 1975) as well as Pedro Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1998),and the lesser known titles The Anchorite (El anacoreta, 1977) and Opera Prima (1980).

Franco’s death signalled the end of censorship, and the birth of a filmmaking generation unleashed from a climate of repression. Famous Spanish directors like Pedro Almodóvar and Iván Zululeta approached subjects that were previously beyond taboo: sex, drugs, homosexuality, politics and all with an innovative, free spirit that brought together filmmakers, professional and amateur actors, designers and musicians.

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No longer invisible: London’s Latin American community

24 May

A new report has revealed more about the Latin American community in London than ever before. The report, entitled No Longer Invisible, produced by Queen Mary College, London, revealed that the current Latin American population in London stands at 113,500. The community has grown fourfold since its total of 31,000 in 2001. Researchers interviewed 1,000 people in the capital who have roots to Latin American nations.

 

London’s Latin American population by country of birth (2008)

Top 4 countries of birth: (Click on graphic below for full breakdown)

Brazil: 41,380

Colombia: 15,271

Argentina: 5,224

Ecuador: 4,557

Latin American population in London by country of birth (2008)

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Soho’s Barrio Central celebrates first birthday

21 May

Every Friday and Saturday night’s a big night at Barrio Central, but last weekend surpassed the normal festivities when clubbers came out in droves to celebrate the Soho restaurant-club’s first birthday under a canopy of piñatas, balloons and multi-coloured fairy lights.

Read on for more photos from the night

Focused on the barrio/ neighbourhood theme, Barrio Central describe themselves as a place “where like minded individuals gather to sip cocktails, shoot tequila, eat pinchos and booty shake to ghetto beats”. Although they’re located slap bang in the middle of Soho, on Poland Street, Barrio Central aims to shrug off the “pretentiousness” you might find in other hangouts nearby. The club’s little brother, Barrio North,  has opened in Angel and delivers more of the Latino beats, cheap drinks, good food and friendly atmosphere. Continue reading

Nadie espera la revolución española: Nobody expects the Spanish Revolution

19 May

Jose Maria Montiel es licenciado en Administración y dirección de empresas y  graduado en Gestión Internacional de la Empresa. Actualmente reside y trabaja en los Emiratos Árabes Unidos.

El acontecimiento social conocido como “la primavera del 68”, fue un momento histórico que tuvo su origen en Francia y en el cual las clases oprimidas por un sistema capitalista injusto y desigual, se levantaron y protestaron masivamente en contra de la burguesía y del imperialismo. Aquel movimiento pacífico se extendió a otros países del mundo protagonizando una ola de protestas (especialmente por parte de la juventud) a nivel mundial.

La acampada en Puerta del Sol

Hoy en día, tras las revueltas en el mundo árabe – las cuales es necesario valorar en términos internacionales – parece ser que en España la población (hasta ahora dormida)  ha empezado a despertar y reaccionar.

Durante estos días y a la vista de las próximas elecciones municipales del 22 de Mayo, están teniendo lugar en muchas ciudades de España históricas concentraciones y manifestaciones de miles de personas que exigen un cambio del sistema. Quizá la más representativa concentración es la que está teniendo lugar en Madrid, en la céntrica puerta del Sol, de manera continuada, una acampada multitudinaria que se prevé se mantenga hasta el día de las elecciones, al más estilo Plaza Tahrir de El Cairo. Continue reading

The Lorca quake: what we never knew about Spain

13 May

The 5.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Lorca on Wednesday, killing nine victims, came as a shock to the Spanish community and beyond. The tremor was felt from its epicentre in Murcia, sourthern Spain, to as far away as Madrid. A small medieval town of 90,000 inhabitants, Lorca lies near the Tercia mountain range in a region of Spain that, it transpires, is relatively prone to earthquakes. For those of us who have visited Spain but were not around to witness the last significant quake, over fifty years ago, this might come as a shock.

Zapatero inspects rubble in Lorca

The Daily Telegraph’s Fiona Govan in Madrid wrote: “Spain is at moderate risk of earthquakes. On average every 200 years an earthquake of over six on the Richter scale occurs.” Continue reading

Latin Americans celebrate their golden years in London

5 May

Amada Silva, 69, is the founder and co-ordinator of the Latin American Golden Years Day Centre in Lambeth, south London. Having fled Pinochet’s Chile in 1976 before coming to the UK and eventually setting up the centre, Amada’s life story is fascinating.

Amada at the day centre

In Chile, she worked as an MP for the Communist Party, and her husband, Fernando Vergara, was a bodyguard for Salvador Allende’s opposition to Pinochet before Allende was assassinated in 1973; both were dangerous careers under Pinochet’s military dictatorship. But just how dangerous was proved to Amada one morning in 1976, when her family received a tip that the military was coming for them that afternoon. “We had been worried for some months that the military would come but I didn’t believe it at first. I kept saying ‘no, I will stay where my people are’ but then someone more senior approached me saying it was true, and we had no choice. We didn’t have time to get many of our belongings. We had to just jump in the car and go. It was a close get away; I saw the military arrive at the house. It was a horrible moment but we got out of it.Continue reading

We asked and you voted: Spain’s greatest export

3 May

A week ago we asked you what you thought was Spain’s greatest export, and the results are in! 53 people voted on our poll and after (Golden Globe and Academy Award winning) Penelope Cruz held the top spot for the first four days, one of the most traditional and stereotypical Spanish exports won: tapas. Click on the images below and take a look at the results…

Spain's greatest export as voted for by HispanicLondon readers Many Eyes

Spain's greatest export as voted for by HispanicLondon readers Many Eyes
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