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Shameful Censorship in Valencia

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With its biggest popular celebration going on, Valencia should be in the news for its positive aspects. But, nope. The main story in the city for the past week has been the censorship of a few photos from an exhibit looking back on 2009.

The MuVIM’s exhibition, Fragments of a Year, brings together iconic photographs of Valencia from 2009. Politics, sports, entertainment, culture and fiestas, anything that’s made news in the Valencian Community is fair game. Or so we thought!

In blunders politics. Apparently unsatisfied with the stranglehold on power they already enjoy in Valencia, a couple functionaries in the PP have decided it’s their right to hide anything which might portray their comrades in a negative light. In a clumsy move, a public museum was forced to remove images that are politically uncomfortable to the ruling party.

As a result, the director of the MuVIM has resigned. Voices across the political spectrum, including Valencia’s mayor Rita Barberá and the national direction of the PP, are united in condemnation of the censorship. And, of course, more attention than ever is being paid to these pictures. Instead of just being a small part of a retrospective, they’ve become the main attraction. As is always the case, the practitioners of censorship are revealed as stupid and short-sighted.

And we’ll do our part to assist. Without further ado, ladies & gentlemen, the 10 censored images. The stars of the show.


(Photo: Carles Francesc) Camps and mayor Rita Barberá celebrating an electoral victory

(Photo: Vicent Bosch) Scandal-embroiled Ricardo Costa and Francisco Camps button their jackets

(Photo: Miguel Lorenzo) President Camps meets with the archbishop of Valencia, who doesn’t appear all that interested in his sudden piousness

(Photo: José Cuéllar) Two different kinds of power meet; former CV President Victor Campos sits down for a chat with El Bigotes… what could they be talking about?

(Photo: Santiago Carregui) Jorge Alarte of the PSOE meets with Obama’s guru Ravi Singh; perhaps censored because it shows the opposition meeting with a popular emissary? We can only speculate.

(Photo: Miguel Lorenzo) Ricardo Costa, sad after being ousted from power; he remains the only high-ranking casualty of the Gürtel investigations, and has since been given a new job

(Photo: Carles Francesc) Camps leaving the courtroom, where he appeared in connection with the Gürtel corruption investigations

(Photo: Mikel Ponce) Former Prime Minister Aznar (PP) receives an honor; Why might an image as innocent as this be censored? Because he’s smirking a bit? The image seems to cast him in a positive light.

(Photo: Miguel Ángel Montesinos) Zapatero in Valencia during European elections; I have no idea why this was censored

(Photo: Benito Pajares) Camps getting in a car, and receiving a pat on the head from Rita, during the Gürtel tribunals
March 10, 2010 at 9:19 am Comments (4)

Valencian Vocab: Parany

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Parany is a curious word I’ve been seeing a lot of in the Valencian press lately, usually appearing alongside words like “protest”, “anger”, and “controversy”. And “killing”. Naturally, I was curious.

Parany is a form of hunting song birds, described here by thepetitionsite.org:


accioecologista-agro.org
The Parany trapping technique involves the planting and cultivation of high stands of trees (mostly enclosed on private property), interlaced with poles to which sticks impregnated with glue or lime are attached. The migrant song birds are attracted to the tree groups as ideal night roosts. To ensure a high catch illegal electronic lures are also employed. The plumage of the birds settling on the sticks becomes glued together and the birds fall helpless to the ground. There they are collected by the trapper who kills them – often by crushing the bird’s skull between thumb and fingers.

Keep in mind, this information comes from a site dedicated to banning the practice, and might not be the most objective summary. The last sentence is particularly manipulative. Who wouldn’t be against crushing birdy skulls by hand?!

The Valencian government recently legalized parany, to the elation of “hunters” throughout the Comunidad. But their joy was short-lived, as the national government stepped in and banned it again, three months later.

We don’t know enough about parany to weigh in either way. Honestly, skull-crushing seems like a painless way to die, but if it’s endangering entire species, it should probably be stopped. Leave a comment and let us know your opinions on this controversial topic!

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February 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm Comments (3)

Adios to Sorolla’s Visions of Spain

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After an incredible 2 year stay in Spain, Visions of Spain, the collection of paintings by Valencia’s Joaquin Sorolla, is headed back to its home in New York City. By any measure, the tour was immensely successful — more than two million visited the exhibition on tour in Spain’s biggest cities, including Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona and Valencia.

I went twice.

Sorolla painted these gigantic canvases in the 1910’s with the purpose of introducing his country to the United States. The commission came from the Hispanic Society of America, the seat of which is in New York.

If you’re in NYC, please don’t pass up the chance to visit the society’s headquarters, off Broadway & 155th, and see the paintings. The vibrant, idealized scenes may not be literal depictions of Spanish life, but they convey the right sense. It’s re-opening in May, 2010.

Great Hotel for Fallas

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February 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm Comments (0)

America’s Cup – Live on the Internet

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You’ll be forgiven for not already having booked your holiday home or hotel reservation, for the 33rd edition of the America’s Cup, to be held on February 8-12. As of today, the very staging of the event is still up in the air.

americas-cup-2010

“Your sails were made in the US! Not Switzerland!” Seriously, that’s the gist of the current reason for postponing the most important event in sailing.

But should the race actually occur, you’ll be able to watch it live and for free on the official site, americascup.com. For the first time ever, the race will be broadcast live, in its entirety, on the web.

We saw Alinghi’s boat in the harbor recently, and it is truly massive. Word is that Oracle’s is even more insane. So, even though the race features just the two teams, the scale of their boats and the boiling animosity between them almost guarantees excitement.

Explore Valencia’s Harbour

January 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm Comments (0)

Valencia Out of the King’s Cup

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After a 1-3 loss to Deportivo La Coruña at the Mestalla, Valencia had a difficult task in front of them on the away leg, and were not able to step up.


Zigic is… big (Pic: EFE)

Things started good last night, with an early 2-0 advantage for the good guys… Monster Serbian Zigic netted both. But in the 2nd half Los Ché were completely listless. It was like a different team playing, and soon enough Depor evened the score and pretty much put it out of reach. Suck.

Oh well… at least VCF is (currently) doing well in the league. Champions League bound!

Flamenco Dinner in Valencia


January 14, 2010 at 11:00 am Comments (0)

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