The result - a story and a Collage
When I first visited Barcelona a few years ago, I was astonished by its architecture and its historical heritage. I always liked architecture, in fact, I spent 3 years recycling the house where we lived in Uruguay together with my partner, we did everything ourselves, from the water pipes to raising walls and ceilings.
I knew that when I came to live in Barcelona I would choose a neighborhood with history. So it was that I disembarked in Born. At first, I walked through its narrow and lonely streets, its majestic cathedral, and its immense walls, I felt like I was transported back in time.
But little by little that magic was transformed into monotony, what once amazed me, now always seemed the same brownish walls. The buildings no longer spoke to me, I don't feel any particular smells, I don't hear voices, anything. That is how I began to realize that what was missing were the people, I am not saying the people filling bars and restaurants like some time ago or the crowded streets, I mean the people who live in those buildings that I once stopped to admire. Who are the people who live in el Born? Where do they come from? What do they do? Have they lived here for a long time or are they just passing through, like me?
I dedicated myself to touring the neighborhood in search of those identities, I was sure that the people who live or lived here should have left some mark, something that I could trace until I knew them. This is what I found (picture 1) but I also found this (picture 2). It seems that for some people, the historical heritage belongs to everyone but nobody at the same time and that El Born is a neighborhood in which it is forbidden to clash.
Picture 1 - Some of the expresions I found at the walls of El Born
Picture 2 - Photo of a sticker that had been removed by the Ayuntamiento
This collage seeks to imagine what the front of some buildings would be like if they could reflect their inhabitants. It is based on imaginary stories about them. In this case, Diego is a young comunication student, he works part time as a community manager and he is very fond of nature and plants. He lives alone and although he enjoy inviting friends to his home, he loves to travel and spending time with himself.
The process I really like to travel, I think that each trip is a personal experience, in particular, in addition to visiting tourist places, I am always attentive to observe details, people and sensations. One of the things I like a lot about Barcelona is the lifestyle, "neighborhood life" where you normally see the same groups of people in bars day after day, you can talk to the supermarket cashier or the bus driver. When we moved to Barcelona, our idea was little by little to interfere in that life, in Catalan culture. Today, with the coronavirus, social activities have been drastically reduced, so establishing relationships with local people becomes more complex. Trying to get to know the people in my neighborhood, finding those people was that I began to observe the details, the expressions of the people that belong to it and in some way give it the identity. Little by little I began to feel that any type of expression that altered the historical heritage was annoying and was prohibited. Will the people who live here feel that the neighborhood belongs to them or will they always have the feeling of being passing through in a foreign place? Will I ever be able to feel that the Born left a mark on me and I on it?
Little risearch before the observation Before going out, I looked for information about the neighborhood, trying to have demographic data or some clue that helps me focus my observations, I found little information and what I found did not coincide with what I have experienced on a day-to-day basis.
“NEIGHBORHOOD OF ARTISTS OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY ”- meet.barcelona.cat (Town Hall) Many new creators meet in the area located in emblematic spaces, which make new trends coexist with medieval remains and the memory of merchants and merchants. Converted into one of the most modern and cosmopolitan neighborhoods in Barcelona "
“THE ARGENTINES IN THE BORN - metropoliabierta Statistically, Argentines do not live in El Born, but the atmosphere and the premises of this neighborhood are unmistakable. From the famous pizzeria on the Rambla to the music at Café del Born, and each of the owners and waiters of the vast majority of the bars in this corner of Barcelona have an Argentine touch. The shops, the cumbia, the quartet and the fernet characterize the Born district in recent years, added to the Argentine accent that is heard on every corner. In Barcelona there are, according to Idescat, a total of 18,179 Argentines, although the official figures do not mean that they are correct. "
“CITY TRIP BARCELONA: 8X HIDDEN GEMS - Travel a Lut El Born is kind of a hippie neighborhood where it's all about relaxing. Boutique shops, vintage clothes and musicians: that's what it's all about. " I definitely do not feel that this is the neighborhood where I live, maybe now that the turism has decreased, it's time for the people who lives here to "own" El Born finally.
A few more photos of the tour