Barcelona: Tourism and Its Discontents
Photograph of graffiti in Barcelona, taken by Anna Casas Aguilar.
Anna Casas Aguilar, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies, UBC
Coach House, Green College, UBC and livestreamed
Tuesday, October 4, 5-6:30pm with reception to followin the series
Green College Special Lecture
During the past thirty years, Barcelona has increasingly become a city of tourists. By 2019, the 1.6 million inhabitants of the city hosted 12 million visitors. Tourism has come to represent around 15% of the city’s GDP, and before the COVID pandemic it brought up to $22 million to the city daily. Indeed, before 2020, tourism had become an intimate and inextricable element of Barcelona’s urban landscape. In this talk, Anna Casas Aguilar will explore how several artistic projects—from novels, photography books, publicity, documentary films, sculpture and graffiti—have presented and contested tourism in the Catalan capital in recent years. She will conclude by exploring the potential consequences of these numerous anti-tourist artistic projects for the city.
Tea and coffee will be available in the Piano Lounge at 4:30 pm.
Anna Casas Aguilar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies at UBC. She is the author of Bilingual Legacies: Father Figures in Self-Writings from Barcelona (University of Toronto Press, 2022). She has published on material culture, objects and the body in the Spanish-speaking world in peer-reviewed venues such as Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies and Romance Quarterly. She currently serves as secretary of the North American Catalan Society. This presentation is part of her new research project entitled “Regionalisms and the Evolution of Tourism in Spain (1960-2020).”
Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.
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