City between a Striped Flag and a Bisected Banner: Contested Imagination of Barcelona between Catalan Nationalism and Anarcho-Syndicalism in Twentieth Century Spain
Volume 47 Issue 1
Seonghek Kang - Penn State UniversityRecommended Citation:
Kang, Seonghek (2022) “City between a Striped Flag and a Bisected Banner: Contested Imagination of Barcelona between Catalan Nationalism and Anarcho-Syndicalism in Twentieth Century Spain,” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies: Vol. 46 : Iss. 1 , Article 3.PDF
This paper analyzes the history of bilateral relations between Catalan nationalist and anarcho-syndicalist movements in Barcelona from the Revolution of 1868 to the Spanish Civil War. Drawing from historical literature, party pamphlets, periodicals, and memoirs, the paper primarily explores the idea of conceptual frontier as the method through which both the Catalan nationalists and the anarcho-syndicalists constructed a collective civic identity wholly alternative to national Spain associated with backwardness and political oppressiveness. For the Catalan nationalists, the source of imagining Barcelona as the capital of national Catalonia distinct from Spain was the history, especially the medieval past of the thalassocratic Crown of Aragon. As for the anarcho-syndicalists, they imagined Barcelona as the heart and frontier of a whole new world not only unassociated with, but opposing all nationalisms based on the proletarian social experience and its distinct cosmography of the working-class barrios. Highlighting points of collision and common influences such as religion, cosmopolitan urban culture, international exposure, the paper concludes with the total rupture of Barcelona’s political landscape with the Francoist victory in the Spanish Civil War, reflecting upon the wider legacy of the bilateral relationship between the two movements that most importantly shaped Barcelona’s 20th century.