We’ll Fight Them in the Museums

Good to see the anti-system brigade venting their anger on the twin pillars of social injustice by burning wheelie-bins and firing paint bombs at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) on Thursday evening.

I’m no fan of the MACBA myself, as it goes. It’s an angular and featureless white block which reflects light and heat onto an unshaded concrete square. And on the few occasions I’ve ventured inside I’ve usually exited pretty quickly, as my tolerance for people who’ve got nothing to do with the fitted-kitchen trade yet blab on about ‘installations’ is fairly low. But contemporary art museums are supposed to be pretentious, and I’ve never considered attacking one, so my philistine tendencies are really by the by here. What’s at issue is why the squatter-crusty crowd think lobbing paint at a museum is in any way going to change the world. Do they think that global resources are being unfairly dished out by a group of undernourished fortysomethings in berets and long coats? Or are they just a bunch of nob-ends who get off on a bit of confrontation?

A few years back the anti-system crew ran up Passeig de Gràcia and tipped books from Barcelona Book Fair stalls onto the floor before jumping in the fountain at the top end of the street. Ahem, strange how this has never caught on with the Sin Tierra movement in South America. Or don’t these Southern-Hemisphere wannabes realise that booksellers are part of a sinister world elite and that wallowing about in fountains is the only way to bring the international system to its knees?

Strangely enough, when there’s the chance to get involved in a peaceful process with clearly-laid-out aims, there’s not a dreadlock or a B.O.-stained vest in sight. Every Sunday there’s a gathering to protest against the lack of affordable housing for young people – a cause which you’d expect your average squatter to take a bit of interest in – at Plaça Catalunya, yet you won’t find the anti-system mob down there. And they were similarly uninvolved in the anti-Forum movement a couple of years ago.  

Nuff said.

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~ by Daniel on October 8, 2006.

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