Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mundialistas in Madrid: the 2010 World Cup, Nationalism, and Immigration

"Spain's World Cup team hoists the trophy Sunday night in Johannesburg after the 1-0 win over the Netherlands."
Source: Matthew Futterman, "They Reign in Spain," Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2010.
This piece was written in the fall semester of 2010 about my summer experience as an intern working with the Centro Hispano-Paraguayo.  The first names of my office colleagues have been changed and their last names excluded to maintain their privacy.  With the exception of Image 2, I took all other images cited in the article; Image 2 was taken by a friend.  I appreciate your thoughts and comments regarding my work and hope that you find this post thought-provoking.

In an age of increasing globalization and the worldwide economic crisis, Spain is experiencing a new wave of immigration.  Nowhere is this experience as unique as it is in its capital, Madrid, a community whose municipal government has embarked on a campaign for integration of the new immigrant population.  Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, but also comprises a significant percentage of the Spanish population and accounts for a substantial percentage of the country’s gross domestic product.  Madrid houses 7 percent of the population, home to a higher percentage of the total national population than any other major European city.[i]  The city alone accounts for 11.9 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product.[ii]  These factors make Madrid and its policies especially important in evaluating the city’s new policies for integration of its new immigrant population, as such policies would have ramifications for the rest of the country.

While Madrid is the center of Spain, nearly twenty percent of its population is comprised of immigrants,[iii] and despite the municipal government’s efforts, there is still a divide between these different groups.  Such a divide can be seen in the results of a study recently conducted by Comunidad Madrid.  According to the January 2010 study, when respondents were asked if they agreed that the Madrid resident’s character helps with integration between Spaniards and foreigners, only 52.3% of the foreigners surveyed agreed with the statement, as opposed to the 78.8% of the Spaniards surveyed.[iv]

This past summer, Spain made history as it won the FIFA World Cup for the first time, and exacerbated this divide.  In a country that strives to maintain unity and promote integration while simultaneously allowing for degrees of autonomy in other regions (i.e. Catalunya and the Basque Region), the World Cup and the Spanish national team’s success became an opportunity for heightened expressions of Spanish nationalism. The Hispanic-Paraguayan Center (one of the many municipal centers jointly operated by Comunidad Madrid and a nongovernmental organization) even included a lengthy story about how the center wants to focus on creating an environment for “mundialistas,” or “people of the world,” in order to focus on the positive, unifying aspects of soccer. 

However, despite these efforts, the World Cup created an environment of heightened nationalism, in which public displays of nationalism became even more pronounced.  An examination of the 2010 World Cup as it was experienced by the public in Spain is crucial in order to better understand the ways in which this type of nationalism manifests itself.  The uses of public displays and gatherings in Madrid during the World Cup and their implications for the Spanish nation and Madrid’s campaign for integration can be understood through an in-depth analysis of primary sources, including multimedia images and personal accounts, and sources for delving deeper into the present immigration situation in Madrid and the events surrounding the World Cup.

Nationalism and Public Display
In order to understand how the World Cup as it was experienced in Madrid can provide insight into the problem of integration within the city, theories of nationalism and public display must be explored.  Benedict Anderson describes a nation as “an imagined political community…imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.”[v]  In addition to being imagined and limited, the nation either is or aspires to be sovereign and the community is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship, irrespective of actual equality that exists within the constructed nation.[vi]  As the nation is also limited, it constructs borders in order to define membership in its community.  Within this finite territorial area, the community is bonded together by a myth of common descent.[vii]  The nation, in striving for unity, necessarily constructs itself against an “other,” and “flags, anthems, geographical boundaries, commonality of language, political structures and the ideas of shared culture all contribute to a sense of belonging…[leading] to an identification with the nation which excludes the ‘other.’”[viii]  As part of this border construction, Anderson argues that nations strive for sovereignty and statehood.[ix]  However, when the borders between the modern state and the national community do not equate with one another, “the existence of latent or submerged nations within a state provides the potential for political conflict.”[x]

While there are many different realms in which this conflict can emerge and be negotiated, certain cultural agents produce hegemonic ways of seeing;[xi] “sport carries with it the most legible form of ‘cultural shorthand’ for understanding the operation of power in a given context.”[xii]  The interaction of various groups within sport allows for them to both challenge and reinforce national constructions both to and for one another.  Sports define the moral and political community and act as vehicles of identity, “providing people with a sense of difference and a way of classifying themselves and others.”[xiii]  In addition to revealing underlying social values, sport acts as a major mode for their expression and can be used to reflect on society.[xiv]  Sports teams and events also serve as a means for promoting “triumphalist national mythologies in a double way, extending the body to encompass the nation and compressing it to obscure the social divisions that threaten national unity.”[xv]  

However, sporting communities and the ways in which they assist in the construction of national identity do not stop at the local level.  International sporting competitions also act as a vehicle for the nation’s self-construction as well as a forum where inconsistencies within the national construction are challenged.  While the nature of the sporting nation is occasionally contained within the boundaries of the nation-state, the international sporting competition is crucial, as it acts as an “ideological and cultural force capable of both reinforcing and challenging the national status quo.”[xvi]  Global sporting groups “actively work as pedagogical sites to hegemonically re-inscribe and re-present…discourses on sport, culture, nation, and democracy.”[xvii]  

National construction and its challenges do not just occur within the stadium during a match.  Sporting teams have fans locally and worldwide, and their expressions of affiliation with the team also contribute to national identity construction.  This is especially pronounced in international competitions, such as the FIFA World Cup, where the actual matches take place in another country.  The manners through which the national teams’ supporters express their affiliation with their teams in their local communities become even more important.  Under these conditions, spatial relations, from the city’s center to the office space, matter and are crucial to deciphering what these expressions of nationalism say about the present status of integration in Madrid. 

For Jack Santino writing about spatial politics and conflict in Northern Ireland, “spatial relations combine to create visual statements that communicate larger, somewhat more complex social and political messages” where “assemblage involves the juxtaposition of elements that can be and often are displayed as discrete units in order to modify, strengthen, or otherwise develop a symbolic public statement.”[xviii]  The audience members in public displays play a crucial role, whereby the members are “transformed from that of passive viewers of a theatricalized event to active ritual participants.”[xix]  Within these public events, the nation is constantly being constructed, and “[parades and political rallies] are simultaneously rites of intensification of ethnic identity, the construction and maintenance of which always involve the construction of differential identity.”[xx]  Furthermore, the locations where displays occur and for whom, including the important distinction between restricted and unrestricted viewership and participation,[xxi] are also key determinants in construction of the nation.  All of these factors in construction of national identities are crucial when examining how the Spanish nation was constructed during the 2010 World Cup, as experienced in Madrid.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Source: Taken by Takhte-Sarah, July 2010, Madrid, Spain.
Madrid and Immigration
As previously stated, Madrid is comprised of 17.1 percent immigrants.  Of these immigrants, 14.6 percent are Ecuadorian, 11.6 percent are Romanian, 6.9 percent are Peruvian, and the rest are, in descending order, of Bolivian, Colombian, Chinese, Moroccan, Dominican, Paraguayan, Italian, Brazilian, and Bulgarian nationalities.[xxii]  While there are immigrant communities throughout Madrid, by far the largest concentrations of immigrants live in the southwestern area of the city.[xxiii]  Although Spain’s entire population faces tough economic conditions, Madrid’s municipal government recognizes that unemployment rates among immigrants (at 18.68 percent, according to the 2009 estimate) are nearly ten percent higher than for Spaniards.[xxiv]  In order to address the growing problems facing the new population, Madrid published a plan to be enacted from 2009 through 2012.  The plan outlines seven specific objectives[xxv] that are listed below:
  • To guarantee immigrants access to social services equal to that of the native population
  • To establish a reception system for new immigrants and those that find themselves in especially vulnerable situations, until they are in a position to access general public services.
  • To adapt social intervention to the new necessities incurred by the immigrant population in the city of Madrid incorporating the necessary intercultural skills.
  • To fight against the various manifestations of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance in all fields of social life, both public and private.
  • Promote citizen participation through strengthening and consolidating partnership of the Madrid Forum for Dialogue and Coexistence and the officers of Intercultural Dialogue and Coexistence within each district.
  • To encourage co-development policies with countries of immigrants’ origin.
  • To establish mechanisms for understanding the reality of immigration and its management, as well as to train professionals in the related fields.
As part of the city’s plan to integrate this growing immigrant population into the city, the city’s municipal government called Comunidad Madrid operates 17 different Centros de Participación e Integración de Inmigrantes (CEPIs; Centers of Participation and Integration of Immigrants).  These CEPIs are located in various neighborhoods throughout Madrid and the greater metropolitan area.  As described by Comunidad Madrid, the CEPIs are community centers for new immigrants and resources for various programs, including legal advice, job training, workshops, employment searches, as well as various cultural and sport activities.[xxvi]  Although the centers’ names include specific immigrant groups, anyone is welcome to use the services provided by the centers.  However, certain centers might provide additional, relevant services for the immigrant group in its name; for example, the Hispanic-Paraguayan Center has two staff members fluent in Castilian Spanish and Guarani, a native language of Paraguay.

This past summer, I was placed as an intern in the Hispanic-Paraguayan Center.  The Paraguayan community is a significant immigrant community in Madrid, comprising approximately 4 percent of the city’s immigrant population.[xxvii]  This CEPI offers legal, employment, and social services, in addition to its staff and community volunteers teaching courses ranging from basic computer skills to job training for elderly care.  However, as with all other CEPIs, the Center is open to people of all backgrounds and many of its clients come from other South American countries, a few African countries, as well as Romania.  The CEPIs also offer multicultural events in hopes to promote positive interactions between the native Spanish and the immigrant communities throughout the city.  Being able to work and observe the way in which this center strived to achieve its goals of promoting integration was a great experience.  However, although all of its employees are committed to promoting and facilitating integration of Madrid’s immigrant community, the events of the FIFA 2010 World Cup highlighted the divides in Madrileño society. 
Oso y Madroño, A Symbol of Madrid
Source: Taken by Takhte-Sarah, June 2010, Madrid, Spain. 
Public Display during the World Cup: Within the Workplace
As the Spanish national team kept advancing in the World Cup, public displays became very apparent in within Centro Hispano-Paraguayo and resulted in telling interactions between its employees.  This CEPI employs nine workers, of whom two are Paraguayan and the rest are white Spaniards, although some have familial roots in other European countries.  All the employees range from 24 to their early forties, with the majority between their late twenties and mid-thirties.  Excluding the other Michigan State University student and myself, there are four women (although one woman’s contract expired in the middle of the summer) and five men employed in the office.  Two of its employees, the receptionist and labor services specialist, are Paraguayan and fluent in both Castilian Spanish and Guarani.  The language politics definitely feature into office dynamics and can be observed during the one and a half hour lunch period.  During this time, the two Paraguayan employees sit on one end of the table in the break room and carry on their own conversation, frequently speaking in Guarani to one another.  The other employees speak with one another in Spanish, but did not engage us as interns very often and the conversations appeared to be dominated by the male employees.

Despite the goals of the CEPIs to foster integration, within the workspace, the divides in this Comunidad Madrid policy were clearly visible during the World Cup.  Public national displays were prominent within the Centro Hispano-Paraguayo, and the first example can be seen in the young Paraguayan receptionist bringing in a Paraguayan national jersey to wear on the days Paraguay had matches.  Luz, one of the Paraguayan employees, also wore and displayed the jersey for two days prior to the Spain-Paraguay match.  Santino writes that where symbolic objects are placed is an important element in their impact.[xxviii]   The content of the artifact and its location “are both aesthetic and political considerations.  These spacial relations combine to create visual statements that communicate larger, somewhat more complex social and political messages.”[xxix]  As the receptionist, Luz is the first person seen and with whom the center’s clients interact.  Because all CEPIs in Comunidad Madrid are open to people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, it is especially important that the goals of the Madrid Plan are implemented from the beginning.  Additionally, the receptionist is the first person to interact with representatives from the municipal government, other organizations, teachers, and volunteers that might come to the center.

Luz bringing in a Paraguayan national team jersey and wearing it as she interacted with clients challenges the effectiveness of the municipal government’s success in integration.  By wearing this jersey, Luz sends a strong message of affiliation with the Paraguayan nation (even if she is part of the diasporic community not contained within the Paraguayan nation-state’s physical borders), not the Spanish nation.  In this instance, the World Cup national team affiliation is used as a means to challenge the majority Spanish community’s claims that Madrid is part of a united Spanish nation – and this challenge can be seen the minute a client walks into the center. 

However, Luz’s own affiliation with the Paraguayan national team during the World Cup tournament was not the only instance where national claims were made within the office.  After Luz wore and displayed her Paraguayan jersey to work for a couple matches, one of the young male Spanish employees, Juan, brought in his own symbol to be displayed in the back office area, where three employees work in an open office space and two more with glass-windowed offices facing the open area.  Although Juan, the community relations and event coordinator, has his own office in this area, he chose to bring in a large Spanish flag and hang it in his office window so that it faces outwards to the rest of the common office space.  The desks in this area that directly faces the flag in Juan's office belongs to Beto, the other Paraguayan employee in the office who is an employment specialist.  Beto works with immigrants, both those with and without legal permission to work, in order to schedule them for interviews for open positions.  He also runs informational workshops for both legal and illegal workers in order to offer them guidance about how to regularize their immigration status and advice for obtaining and maintaining employment.

In analyzing the ways in which public displays make claims about national identity, restricted and unrestricted viewership or participation is crucial.  These types of viewership highlight the importance of where displays occur and for whom as essential determinants in the construction of the nation.  Although the flag and its display in the office were restricted in the sense that this part of the center was generally reserved for employees and clients that had appointments with either Beto or one of the attorneys, it was also unrestricted in that the area was surrounded by windows such that any passerby would have been able to see Juan's flag and that often, Beto, the attorney, and the other employees met with walk-in clients.  The fact that the flag display was meant to be so public and directly faced the only other Paraguayan who worked in the center was an especially powerful reaction to Luz’s jersey.  Juan’s gesture becomes even more significant when considering that Beto constantly brings clients back into that part of the office for employment consultations and that these clients are all immigrants, the overwhelming majority from Latin American countries.  The placement of this flag within the office given the special relations of the office result in an important visual message about the dominance of the Spanish national narrative in a place that is supposed to be promoting a much more cosmopolitan vision for integration of its minorities.  The flag and its wide acceptance within the office undermines the very claim that the Comunidad Madrid center is open to people of any background with equal access, regardless of the group(s) in which it specializes.

An interesting side-note to Juan’s flag display occurs the day after the final match and awards ceremony in South Africa.  While all of the employees were discussing the final match and the awards ceremony, Juan had become fixated with a person who tossed another country’s flag into the air behind the Spanish national team as they were receiving their medals on stage, as seen in Image 1.  
Image 1.  Spanish National Team World Cup Ceremony, South Africa, July 11, 2010
02:00 into video; man quickly holding up an Algerian flag behind the Spanish national team.
He kept referring to the incident as a conspiracy and wanted to know which country this flag represented and why it was shown.  After some browsing, the group came to the consensus that it was the Algerian flag.  Juan then began referring to the incident as the “Algerian Flag Conspiracy.”  Since Juan always enjoys playing office pranks and telling jokes, I quickly drew and colored an Algerian flag on a small index card and taped it facing outward in the corner of his office window with his Spanish flag occupying the rest of the space when he was on a smoking break.  However, once he returned from his break and went back to his office, he did not find the joke as amusing as the rest of the employees and again started talking about the “Algerian conspiracy.” 

His seriousness regarding any type of attention away from the Spanish flag and its national team further demonstrates the importance of these public displays and also suggests how Juan perceived the Spanish nation and threats to it.  On such a historic moment for the Spanish national team, Juan used the office and the Spanish flag’s particular display within it as a means by which to promote Spanish national identity and its power relations.  Although seemingly innocuous, such displays further serve to highlight the disparities between Comunidad Madrid’s message of integration through its CEPIs; this challenge becomes even more significant when considering that these contested symbols are being used by and targeted towards the social relations coordinator and employment specialist and his clients respectively. 

Public Display during the World Cup: Santiago Bernabéu
Located within the northern part of Madrid is the Chamartín district, home of the Real Madrid Football Club stadium.  This district is known as the financial district of Madrid and is where the government buildings comprising the Nuevos Ministerios (New Ministries) complex.  Of Madrid’s 21 districts, Chamartín’s population is comprised of 11.9 percent immigrants, one of the lowest percentages in the entire city.[xxx]  The Santiago Bernabéu stadium and its connection to the world’s richest club team for five consecutive years (Wilson) is a testament to the wealth, prestige, and symbolic importance of this district to the city of Madrid.  During this past summer, the area in front of the stadium was used as a public space to gather and watch the Spanish national team play in all of its games except the final match with the Netherlands, as seen in Image 2.  Hyundai hosted the games’ viewing at the Real Madrid stadium and called the area the Hyundai Fan Park.  The area outside of the stadium was packed and fenced off from the street, with police officers monitoring the entrance through the fences into the viewing area. 
Image 2.  Santiago Bernabéu Hyundai Fan Park, June 2010
West side of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, facing North, on Pasello de la Castellana.
Picture taken by Shanna, June 2010.  Madrid, Spain.
The assemblage of Spanish fans at Santiago Bernabéu stadium is important for promotion of a Spanish nation, as assemblage allows for “the juxtaposition of elements that can be and often are displayed as discrete units in order to modify, strengthen, or otherwise develop a symbolic public statement.”[xxxi]  Viewers and World Cup fans wore jerseys, flags, scarves, and face painting with Spain’s colors to the match.  Their specific choice of dress and congregation in this area become acts of self-identification with the Spanish national team and delineates this public place as a place for the supporters of the Spanish nation.  Noise and other displays would also be used to identify this area as connected to the Spanish nation, as fans would set off fireworks and firecrackers in the south part of the lot, just outside the fences, as seen in Image 3.  Instead of being merely passive observers, these audience members gathering in this public place for the Spanish national team’s matches transforms them into active ritual participants.[xxxii]

Image 3.  Fireworks at Santiago Bernabéu
Southwest corner of Santiago Bernabeu stadium, on Pasello de la Castellana.
Picture taken by Takhte-Sarah, July 3, 2010.  Madrid, Spain.

Although the name of the viewing area became the Hyundai Fan Park when sponsoring the public viewing of World Cup games, the gigantic Santiago Bernabéu stadium towered in the background, making it impossible to dissociate the location of the World Cup games’ viewing from the Real Madrid club and its history and the implications for Spanish nationalism.  The city of Madrid, as the country’s capital, already emphasizes the power of the Spanish state.  While Real Madrid has a long, fascinating history as a club team, it has also been historically affiliated with the state, especially under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, from 1939 until 1975.  Historically, the Real Madrid club promoted the “notion of a single, centralized Spanish nation,”[xxxiii] and it was used by Franco and his regime as a tool for promoting Spanish nationalism.[xxxiv]  During his rule, many military figures and generals were in prominent positions of power in the soccer authorities and in most clubs.[xxxv]  Real Madrid even earned itself the nickname of “the team of the regime.”[xxxvi]  Although Franco’s regime ended with his death in 1975, Real Madrid’s connection as an agent of the state, representing the capital and its centralist policies,[xxxvii] has not diminished. 

The use of the Real Madrid stadium in the Chamartín district, a district with relatively few immigrants, plays a powerful role in reinforcing the dominance of the Spanish nation.  This space connects the viewers and World Cup fans not only to the city of Madrid, but to the national government and its policies.  The choice of placing the Hyundai Fan Park at the Real Madrid stadium over the other major Madrid football club’s stadium (the Atletico Madrid club does not have the same history as Real Madrid and is seen as a type of populist rival to Real Madrid’s dominance) sends a further message that reinforces the narrative of the Spanish nation-state.  The viewers, through their attire and manners of celebrating, engage in a ritualization of public space that reinforces a differential national identity placing the Spanish nation-state as superior to all other nation-states.  Given the role of assemblage at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, it is not surprising that the crowd in attendance, from my observation, appeared to be majority white Spanish fans as opposed to fans of other nationalities or affiliations.  Even when gathering to watch and enjoy World Cup matches, the municipal government’s goals of immigration have obviously not materialized and the associations between the matches viewed at Santiago Bernabéu and the Spanish national identity do not allow for widespread inclusion of the city’s large immigrant population. 

Public Display during the World Cup: Plazas de Colón and Cibeles and the Autonomous Regions
For the final match of the 2010 World Cup between Spain and the Netherlands, the area at Santiago Bernabéu was deemed to be insufficient for the number of viewers expected.  The Hyundai Fan Park was moved from the Real Madrid stadium to the center of the city, with one big screen at Plaza de Colón (Christopher Columbus Plaza) and another at Plaza de Cibeles.  The entire area between the two major plazas in Madrid was closed to traffic and an estimated 250,000 people were in attendance.[xxxviii]  The location of the final match in the city known for its plazas and fountains is especially significant in analyzing national identity construction through the World Cup.  The Columbus Plaza is a monument to the conquests of Latin America financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella; a gathering at this location serves to glorify this conquest and its role in defining the Spanish nation.  The Plaza de Cibeles is the rallying point for Real Madrid.  The fact that this plaza was also used as a viewing point for the final match reinforces the dominant narrative of the Spanish state and its national team’s construction of borders at the expense of the other.  
Image 4.  Rushing the Fountain at Plaza de Colón
Crowds broke down the gated barriers and rushed into the fountain at Plaza de Colón upon the Spanish national team scoring the winning goal.
Picture taken by Takhte-Sarah, July 11, 2010.  Madrid, Spain.
However central these two plazas are to the city, the crowds were contained until the winning goal was scored against the Netherlands.  Upon the Spanish national team’s dramatic win, the crowds set off fireworks and firecrackers, poured out into the streets, rushed into all of the fountains in the city (Image 4), and young men with flags began using them to role-play bullfighting with oncoming traffic (Image 5).  Bullfighting is another symbol associated with the Spanish national identity and Barcelona received harsh criticism this past summer for legislation banning bullfighting in Catalunya set to take effect in 2012 because it was deemed to be a Catalunian nationalist move to further isolate the region from and contest the narrative of the Spanish state.[xxxix]  Although the participants watching the final match in the plaza gathered there voluntarily, once they began celebrating through the rest of the streets and jumping in front of cars, the participants began drawing involuntary participants into the celebrations of the Spanish national victory.  The assertive nature of these celebrations across the city reinforces the supremacy of the Spanish national community and its engagement of involuntary participants becomes a tool to promote this narrative to a large audience, whether or not this audience wants to participate in such identity constructions.
Image 5.  Torrero and Car at Glorieta de Bilbao
Man role-playing a bullfight with an oncoming car in the streets of Glorieta de Bilbao.
Picture taken by Takhte-Sarah, July 11, 2010.  Madrid, Spain.
Although many of these displays of Spanish national identity and affiliation with the state were peaceful, there were other responses in other communities within Spain.  Both the Basque Region and Catalunya constantly strive for greater autonomy from the Spanish government and view their cultures as distinct from the greater Castilian-Spanish identity.  Each of these regions also uses the Basque and Catalán languages respectively.  During July 7 through 14 of every year, the Basque city of Pamplona celebrates San Fermín, better known in the United States as “the Running of the Bulls.”  On the first day of this festival, July 7, 2010, a young man was stabbed in the Basque city for wearing the Spanish national team’s jersey.[xl]  The day before the final World Cup match, there was a large Catalán demonstration in Catalunya in support of greater regional autonomy.[xli]  Additionally, 21 people were arrested in Barcelona on July 11, the night of the Spanish national team’s victory, for setting fires and breaking windows leaving 74 people injured.[xlii]  While the community in Madrid publicly appeared far more supportive of the Spanish national team and the identity it represents, communities with longstanding grievances presently bound within the state borders used the events as a means to attempt to challenge Spanish hegemony.  In addition to the tensions with immigrants who might feel excluded and otherized by members of the Spanish nation, those groups already bounded within Spain unsuccessfully attempted to subvert the Spanish nation-state’s power, thus highlighting the challenges that a campaign of integration faces both within the context of the Madrid community and the rest of the country at large.

Implications of Heightened Nationalism for Madrid’s Project of Integration
Given the public displays of nationalism during the World Cup, as seen in the CEPI and the streets of Madrid, there are very significant implications for Comunidad Madrid’s project of integration.  The goals of the CEPIs work include providing legal advice to help immigrants obtain legal residence and permission to work as well as employment opportunities in Spain’s troubled economy, regardless of immigration status.  These endeavors can only be truly successful in integrating the immigrant population if the immigrants are accepted as members of the Spanish nation instead of remaining outsiders.  However, the hypernationalistic displays during the World Cup serve to highlight the disparity between the surveyed Spaniards who believe that Madrid is integrated and welcoming to immigrants and the reality.  Clearly, legalization of residence and working statuses are not enough to allow the immigrant community to be included within the borders of the Spanish nation. 

The jersey at the front desk is a signal to the clients coming to the center that there is a division within the CEPI and that since she does not or cannot identify with the Spanish nation, Luz chooses to represent ties to the Paraguayan national community, in spite of the center’s published “mundialista” philosophy.  Juan’s uncontested flag sends a strong message about the superiority of the Spanish nation, both to the Paraguayan employee who faces the flag on a daily basis, but also to all of the incoming clients to the center from all different backgrounds.  The role of space in assemblage at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium and plazas Colón and Cibeles indicate the lack of integration within the city.  Clearly, the “mundialista” attitude is promoted, but not effectively implemented by the staff of the Centro Hispano-Paraguayo or the general public.

Although Comunidad Madrid might be genuinely committed to the integration of its substantial and growing immigrant population, the Spanish population’s strong nationalism as seen through its public displays does not create an environment in which other nationalities are appreciated or included as part of the Spanish nation.  Even groups which the state considers part of the Spanish nation-state, such as the Basque and the Catalunians, struggled with these public displays in the northern regions of the country.  Real integration is the “mundialista” worldview, that people share the world and enjoying it together.[xliii]  Not only would immigrants be fairly included in economic opportunities and able to live and work legally in Spain, but also that their own cultures and nationalities are appreciated within the Spanish nation.  Promotion of the “mundialista” attitude in all arenas, not just legalization of immigration status, is real integration and as the events of the World Cup as experienced in Madrid indicate, the community still has many obstacles to overcome.  In the words of Florencio Dominguez, a journalist for the Basque news agency Vasco Press, “Nationalism will not change. The territorial realities, the problems of national identity will not vanish with a sports victory.”[xliv]

Source: Google Images.

[i] “Madrid Economy 2009.”  June 2009.  Observatorio Económico2 November 2010.  At 7. .
[ii] Id. at 10.
[iii] “Población Extranjera en la Ciudad de Madrid: Padrón Municipal de Habitantes, 1 de Julio de 2010 (Datos provisionales),” 1 July 2010.  Madrid. 17 September 2010.  At 2.[iv] “Barómetro de Inmigración 2009.” 27 January 2010.  Comunidad Madrid. At 27.[v] Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. Revised Edition.  London: Verso, 1991.  At 6.
[vi] Id. at 7.
[vii] Crolley, Liz, and Vic Duke.  Football, Nationality and the State.  Essex, United Kingdom: Longman, 1996.  At 4.
[viii] Cronin, Mike, and David Mayall.  Sporting Nationalisms: Identity, Ethnicity, Immigration and Assimilation. Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass & Co., 1998.  At 2.
[ix] Anderson, supra note 5, at 7.
[x] Crolley, supra note 7, at 5.
[xi] Giardina, Michael D., ed.  Sporting Pedagogies: Performing Culture and Identity in the Global Arena.  New York: Peter Lang, 2005.  At 7.
[xii] Id. at 4.
[xiii] MacClancy, Jeremy, ed.  Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity.  Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1996.  At 2.
[xiv] Id. at 4.
[xv] Lawrence, Geoffrey, Jim McKay, Toby Miller, and David Rowe.  Globalization and Sport: Playing the World.  London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2001.  At 31.
[xvi] Id. at 43.
[xvii] Giardina, supra note 11, at 7.
[xviii] Santino, Jack. Signs of War and Peace. New York: Palgrave, 2001.  At 50-51.
[xix] Id. at 28.
[xx] Id. at 22.
[xxi] Id. at 30.
[xxii] Población Extranjera, supra note 3, at 7.
[xxiii] Id. at 8.
[xxiv] “II Plan Madrid de Convivencia Social e Intercultural,” Madrid, 2009.  16 October 2010.  .  At 20.
[xxv] Id. at 39-40.
[xxvi] “CEPI.” 2010. Madrid, 17 October 2010.  .
[xxvii] Población Extranjera, supra note 3, at 7.[xxviii] Santino, supra note 18, at 50.
[xxix] Id.[xxx] Población Extranjera, supra note 3, at 2.
[xxxi] Santino, supra note 18, at 50-51.
[xxxii] Id. at 28.
[xxxiii] Crolley, supra note 7, at 6.
[xxxiv] Id. at 33.
[xxxv] Id. at 32.
[xxxvi] Id. at 35.
[xxxvii] Id. at 36.
[xxxviii] Peters, Katharina.  “Spain Celebrates First-Ever World Cup Title.”  12 July 2010.  Spiegel Online International.  2 November 2010.  .
[xxxix] “(N)Ole! Spanish Region Says Adios to Bullfighting.”  28 July 2010.  National Public Radio.  2 November 2010.  .
[xl] “Spain ‘United, Thanks to its Champions.’”  12 July 2010.  IOL Sport.  2 November 2010.  .
[xli] Id.[xlii] Id.[xliii] “Boletín Centro Hispano-Paraguayo.”  July 2010.  Centro Hispano-Paraguayo; Comunidad Madrid.  At 8.
[xliv] Spain ‘United, Thanks to its Champions, supra note 40.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Segovia Otra Vez and Final Days in Madrid

After spending a couple more days in Madrid, we decided to take a day-trip to Segovia, a nearby city, on August 11, 2010. Segovia is well-known for its Roman aqueduct as well as its cathedral. However, my favorite place in Segovia is the Monastery of Parrel, on the northeastern edge of the city. We visited all of the places that I visited on June 5, 2010, as described in my previous post. The second trip to Segovia went as well as the first, except that we were able to find our way around the city more easily this second time. The change in climate was clearly visible from June to mid-August. When my friends and I first visited Segovia in early June, the entire area was green and flowers were blooming. On the second trip, everything had turned brown and dried up.
We had two more days left in Madrid and spent them wandering around the city and returning to favorite locations, including a few restaurants on Calle Trujillos nearby Sol. We took a trip out to Casa del Campo, former royal hunting grounds now turned into a huge park. There is a nice lake in the park with a fountain in the middle. Just like Retiro Park, there are small rowboats available for rent, and we rented one to take around the lake. There are also nice trails around the park and we hiked around as well. On Friday, August 13, 2010, we flew out of Madrid and returned home. I can’t wait to go back.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Busing to Barçelona

August 8 - 10, 2010
In addition to seeing Madrid and Toldeo, we wanted to see more parts of Spain. On Saturday night, we took a midnight bus to Barçelona. After the eight hour ride, we made it to Barçelona. Our hostal, Hostal Mont-Thabor, was located on Calle de las Ramblas, a main street running through the city. The hostal was small, but nice and affordable – we were easily able to rent a private room with our own bathroom. After dropping our belongings off at the hostal, we hiked up to the 1992 Barçelona Olympic Stadium. We were able to get into the stadium for free because one of the side entrances happened to be open. After walking around the stadium and the surrounding park, we took the Teleférico (cable cars) towards what we thought was the waterfront, but instead were taken to a different part of the mountain to Castle Montjuïc. We were able to climb around the walls of the castle and get an amazing view of the city from the walls. The castle gardens were also very pretty.
We returned to the hostal in order to check in and ate lunch at a pita restaurant on Las Ramblas. We then took the Barçelona metro to Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. The church is still under construction and is set to be finished in 2027. The cathedral is completely unlike any other cathedral that I had seen yet in Spain. Gaudi likes to incorporate nature and mosaics in his work, and these themes are reflected in Sagrada Familia as well. Some of the spires have tomatoes or other fruits on the tops, and the columns inside the cathedral look like trees in a forest. Gaudi also maximizes natural light, and inside the cathedral, the light appears as though it is filtered through the treetops. Although the cathedral is still under construction, there is an elevator that takes visitors all the way up one of the towers and then there are balconies along the spiral staircase back down.
Gaudi also designed a park in Barçelona named Park Guell. Gaudi’s house is located within the park and has been converted into a museum that also includes some of the furniture he designed as well. The park has a lot of interesting structures and is located in an elevated part of the city, so there were also very nice viewpoints. One of the most famous statues in the park is a fountain shaped like a lizard and made from colorful mosaic tiles. After walking through the park, we visited the Arc de Triomf and another park across the street. This park has a really nice fountain with incredible statues, as well as a nearby statue of a wooly mammoth. On our way back through the city at night, we found a very good Tex-Mex restaurant that had amazing buñelos.
On Monday, August 9, we visited another Gaudi house, Casa Batlló. Casa Batlló was definitely another highlight of this weekend trip and its architecture was incredible. Like Gaudi’s other works, the house incorporates as much natural light as possible and draws on natural themes, in this case water, fish, and reptiles. There was also impressive stainglass and tile work throughout the unique house. Some examples include the lightening of the blue tile and expansion of the windows as one moves down the lightwell in order to best filter the natural light coming through the main skylight and the lightly painted wall patterns made to look like scales.

We took a break from visiting landmarks and walked from our hostal to the beach for the afternoon. The beach was very nice, and like every other beach I had visited, had its own share of people walking around with coolers yelling, “Agua! Coca-Cola! Fanta! Cerveca!” After relaxing at the beach, we visited the Barçelona aquarium. The aquarium was smaller than expected, but had some pretty neat shark tanks as well as several stingrays. For dinner, we decided to try going to an area different than Las Ramblas and wandered into an Indian district. We had a delicious, cheap dinner at Bombay Spicy Indian Restaurant.

The next morning, we hopped back onto the bus to Madrid. It was nice to see a different part of Spain and to visit one of the major cities in the Cataluyna region. While the names of places and streets were in Catalan, communicating with people in Castillian Spanish was not a problem. Barçelona and its Gaudi architecture was a fun and beautiful city, but it was nice to return to Madrid.

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