My thoughts about the weekend in Catalonia: a necessary mess?

I write this article mostly to express myself, something that I do easier when I write words that I know that other people will read. And after some days and weeks of input, of reading and listening to news and opinions, I feel it is time for some output too. Besides that, I’ve received several questions from friends here in Sweden on the last days, questions like what do you think about the weekend’s events in Catalonia?

So, here’s what I think:

Last weekend’s referendum was a mess. It was a mess from the beginning, when the government in Catalonia, with a small majority in the regional parliament, decided to organize a referendum without reaching an agreement with the Spanish government. Formally speaking such a referendum is illegal within the context of the Spanish laws. To make it legal it would be needed an agreement with the Spanish government, and some legal experts even say that in fact it would be needed a change in the Spanish constitution to approve such a law. So, these two options were the legal options: a small agreement with the government or a bigger agreement to change the constitution. None of the agreements were reached. But that’s not strange. The party that is governing Spain right now, Partido Popular, and the party that helps them to be in the power, Ciudadanos, both explicitly say, once and again and again, that they will never support the cause of a referendum in Catalonia. Why not? They say firmly that a part of Spain cannot decide for itself. In their discourses, you can identify an “eternal” idea of Spain and everything that is against that idea is not viable. And well, let’s be honest, in the discourses of some of the promoters of the chaotic referendum you can identify an “eternal” idea of Catalonia which is as inconsistent as the previous one.

Both sides had shown very unsympathetic sides in the last weeks. The “eternal-Catalans” had been accusing people of being renegades and anti-Catalan only because they’ve expressed that this non-consensual-referendum would be a mess, an unnecessary mess. Especially hard for me was to read about the accusations to Juan Marse, an open-minded and sensible writer that I appreciate very much, or Juan Manuel Serrat, an iconic songwriter that has been singing for freedom and understanding between peoples his whole life. The “eternal-Spanish” had been less lousy but in the last days they have offered an explosion of very disrespectful attitudes, the harder one that I’ve seen in the media was a demonstration in central Madrid where the people started singing one of the fascist hymns from the (long) years of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. And even more scary was to see how they were screaming to the Spanish Police: “go for them! go for them!”

Go for them!? The “them” in that “go for them” were people just like them, but people that just happen to live in Barcelona instead for Madrid. And I’m quite sure that a big percent of the eternal-Spanish would be eternal-Catalans in case they had been born in Catalonia.

My view before this weekend it was that this referendum would be a mess, an illegal mess, and that, because of that, if I was living in Catalonia, I would not vote. But now, three days later I’ve changed my mind. Yes, it was a mess, an illegal mess, but maybe a necessary mess? I mean, more than 70% of the people in Catalonia wants a referendum to decide if they want to stay in Spain or not, and it has been like that for years. I think that such a referendum should have been held at least for 15 years ago, and not only in Catalonia but also in other territories that ask for it, but the agreement with the Spanish government had never been possible. And with the attitude of Partido Popular and Ciudadanos it is completely impossible, even if they lose the government they will say that a constitutional change is needed and then, immediately, they will say that they will never approve such a constitutional change. With such a no-no-no rhetoric it is not so strange that more and more people in Catalonia take the option of civil disobedience.   So this is what I think now: if I was living in Catalonia I would have voted in the messy referendum, not because I consider it as a valid referendum, but because it can be the only way to set things in motion. By the way, in the referendums, both in the messy and in the serious ones, I would vote “stay in Spain”, a Spain with hopefully less and less protagonism of the eternal-Spanish and eternal-Catalans.

I close this article with Joan Manel Serrat singing “For freedom”, a poem by Miguel Hernandez

 

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Europe, DiEM, Kant and activism without hurry

Yesterday we had a small DiEM meeting in Lund. We were two people: Olof, who had attended other DiEM meetings in Lund during the last months, and me, who had attended several DiEM meetings in Madrid last autumn.

We first talked about the fact that we were two people in the meeting, and how is has been more or less like that in the previous meetings, maybe a little bit more than two people but no more than five. DiEM is a new political movement and it is not so well known in Europe in general, but in particular, in Sweden is much less known than in average. If you check DiEM webpage you can see that in Germany there are approximately 30 local groups, 20 in Italy or 7 in the Netherlands. In Sweden, there is a local group on the making – in Stockholm –  and that’s all. Why? Well, that’s one of the questions that we asked ourselves yesterday.

Then we were talking about politics and about future meetings. We talked about of connecting DiEM meetings with different events: public talks, documentary films, debates,… events not organized by DiEM but anyway related to topics that could be of interest for DiEM. Both in Lund and Malmö, and in other places in Skåne, lots of organizations and institutions are arranging plenty of activities that need participants. Well, let’s participate in those activities and let’s do it together with other people interested in DiEM. I will publish more information about this soon.

But back to yesterday’s meeting. A good thing of meeting someone who is interested in the same organization that you are, is that you’ll probably find that you have other things in common. Yesterday, for example, we discovered that we both enjoy reading Kant. I named for Olof a book that I’ve just borrowed from the library and it happened that he had read it last summer: Toward Perpetual Peace, by Kant. Not the no 1 in the bestsellers list right now but a book that I want to read, among other things, for a better understanding of Europe and of DiEM.

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So, we talked about Kant and about Europe and one of the insights that I had while I was biking home afterward was how my feelings towards activism has changed through the years. For ten years ago I had probably felt very disappointed with the fact that we only were two people at the meeting. I would have been in the hurry of creating a local group, of organizing this and that event, and I would have felt the urge that we needed to be more people to do all those things. But now I feel more like: wait a minute, why such a hurry, let’s enjoy the two-people meetings, and if it happens that in the next meeting I’m the only participant let’s enjoy that too.

More info about DiEM here.

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Perspectiva Europea

Ir a España. Ir a Suecia. Volver a Suecia, volver a España. Ir y volver. ¿Vas o vuelves? Pues no lo se, ni voy ni vuelvo. Estoy. Estoy en los dos sitios. ¿No se puede estar en los dos sitios? ¿Y si digo que estoy en Europa?  

Estoy en Suecia desde Enero. De nuevo en Suecia después de un año y medio en España. Y no es lo mismo vivir en España desde que uno tiene uso de razón a regresar después de diez años fuera, como tampoco es lo mismo venir a Suecia por primera vez que volver aquí después de un año y medio. Por ejemplo, cada vez me resulta más innecesario comenzar una frase diciendo “pues en España”, “pues en Suecia”…. Aún así a veces me sigue saliendo, ocurre casi sin darme cuenta. Y cada vez que me sorprendo a mi mismo haciéndolo me enfado un poco conmigo mismo.

Una de las cosas que estoy haciendo en Suecia desde Enero es trabajar en un instituto, dando clases de matemáticas a alumnos que tienen entre 16 y 18 años. Me imagino como sería hacerlo en un instituto en España y supongo que no muy diferente, las integrales  y los logaritmos son los mismos aquí y allí, y los adolescentes muy parecidos. Si me pongo a buscar diferencias también las podría encontrar entre el norte de Suecia y el sur de Suecia, entre el campo y la ciudad, o entre barrios distintos en una misma ciudad. Incluso entre adolescentes de los años 90 del siglo pasado (el adolescente que fui) y los adolescentes de 2017, que eligen entre escucharme a mi explicando las derivadas de las funciones trigonométricas o ver un video de youtube de otro profesor en explicando lo mismo.

Sentir como propios dos países europeos diferentes provoca que se me cambie el sistema de coordenadas en la cabeza, un cambio de escala, y la escala necesaria para incluir a España y a Suecia en un mismo conjunto es la escala europea, un conjunto en el que entran automáticamente muchos otros países y también el proyecto común de la Unión Europea. Por supuesto que no es necesario haber vivido en dos países europeos para pensar a escala europea, pero lo que para otros es una elección para mi es casi una necesidad, una solución a esa pregunta tan dificil de responder: ¿pero a ver, entonces dónde vives?

Vivo en Europa y quiero hablar en el norte de lo que ocurre en el sur y en el sur de lo que ocurre en el norte, quiero por ejemplo traducir artículos que se publican en un país y pasan completamente inadvertidos en otros, ensanchar la mirada….y pensar, tener tiempo para construir pensamientos largos y para reflexionar en voz alta sobre los temas más diversos: ¿como son los sistemas de salud europeos? ¿cómo se accede a los empleos públicos?, ¿por qué no somos capaces de acoger a más refugiados?, ¿por qué siguen muriendo personas al intentar cruzar el mediterráneo? ¿cómo son los sistemas educativos europeos?, ¿cómo funcionan los medios de comunicación públicos en los diferentes países?, ¿por qué no hay una red europea de ferrocarriles?

Lo de pensar a escala europea digo que para mi es casi una necesidad, pero no solo lo es para mi, cada vez queda más claro que para la propia Europa también lo es. Es inexplicable que en nuestras sociedades se estén volviendo a reactivar los nacionalismos que tanto dolor y destrucción han causado en el pasado. Inexplicable y también imperdonable. Asi que ya va siendo hora de que demos varios pasos adelante y que nos organizemos mejor y para eso hacen falta muchas personas pensando a escala europea; muchas perspectivas europeas. Yo desde aquí voy a empezar a dar forma a la mía.

Una manera de participar en la construcción de Europa, de una Europa consciente de sí misma, con el corazón grande y con visiones de futuro, es contactar con el movimiento DiEM25 en el lugar donde uno vive. Yo lo hice el pasado otoño en Madrid: cada dos domingos fui a la reunión del grupo local de DiEM25 y empecé a formular y a entender la escala de los cambios que necesitamos hacer y el trabajo que tenemos por delante. Ahora acabo de terminar de leer el primer documento de la Agenda de DiEM25 para Europa y no tardaré en ponerme en contacto con el grupo de DiEM25 del sur de Suecia. Mientras tanto me mantengo al tanto de lo que ocurre en Madrid y en otras partes de Europa. A destacar en los proóximos dias:

Madrid, 20 Mayo, 11.30.  Charla-debate organizada por DiEM25 Madrid el 20 de Mayo: ¿Hacia dónde va Europa: reconstrucción o desintegración?

Berlin, 25 Mayo, 20.00. Asamblea general de DiEM25 en Berlin

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La hora del café

La cuarta canción del disco Made in Jokkmokk es una canción en sueco: Klockan är kaffe, que se puede traducir como “La hora del café”, aunque mas bien sería como decir “son las café” en lugar de “son las cinco”.

Esta es la traducción de la letra al castellano:

La hora del café

Estas ahí sentado con tu traje
Se te ve bien, da gusto verte,
y todos los demás también están sentados, cada uno en su universo.
Empezáis a hablar y alguien pregunta
que quién es ese que acaba de pasar.
Hay tantas caras nuevas que es fácil perderse.
Y ya va siendo hora de volver,
y de encender otra vez el ordenador,
pero el tiempo se estira un poquito mas, es la hora del café.

Estas ahí sentado mirando a todos los lados
no sabes quién esa niña que llama a la puerta
Ayer fue un niño, muy simpático
quién también te visitó a las dos de la tarde
Y esto ocurre cada día
de un tiempo a esta parte.
Vienen del ayuntamiento,
del servicio de cuidados
te traen la compra y limpian tu casa.
Pero eres tú quien les invita a galletas
porque es la hora del café

En Madrid, en la facultad,
había un sótano
donde nos escondíamos los inviernos
y a veces incluso el año entero
Para escribir poemas y cuentos
Mientras estudiábamos matemáticas y física.
Y de repente empezó la segunda guerra de Irak
Teníamos tantas cosas por delante…
Así lo sentíamos y además era verdad.
Cuando recuerdo aquellos días
siempre es la hora del café

La tormenta nos despierta.
La oscuridad ruge, el viento sopla fuerte.
Nos metemos debajo del edredón
y hacemos el amor toda la noche.
Me levanto y abro la ventana,
entra la lluvia, entra el viento.
”Huele a otoño en toda la habitación”,
me dices.
Y sales corriendo.
Sales corriendo hasta la puerta
y coges el periódico antes que yo,
como siempre antes que yo
Y suenan los relojes de toda la ciudad
Es la hora del café

Klockan är kaffe.jpg

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Concierto en Madrid: las canciones de mi nueva novela

La aventura de escribir una novela.¡La aventura de intentar publicarla!

Se titula Sesenta metros cuadrados y se desarolla principálmente en dos lugares: Jokkmokk, un pueblo al norte de Suecia, frontera con Noruega; y Sobradillo, un pueblo al oeste de España, frontera con Portugal. La novela cuenta con una colección de canciones que nacen dentro de la ficción, canciones en castellano, en inglés y en sueco que dan forma a un album llamado Made in Jokkmokk.

El sábado 3 de Diciembre presentaré este proyecto en Madrid con un concierto/acto en el Tercio Viejo de Sarmiento ( Calle Tintoreros 4, Metro Sol/La Latina). Empezaremos a las 21.30 con un programa variado que incluirá:

– Canciones de la novela.
– Lectura del primer capítulo de la novela.
– Lectura de poemas y de otros textos que me han acompañado en el proceso de escritura.

En mitad de la actuación habrá una pausa para charlar y pedir bebida y comida a los camareros.

¿Te apuntas?

La novela está inédita y estoy buscando editorial así que bienvenidas todas las idéas de editoriales/editores con quien me pueda poner en contacto.

presentacion_madeinjokkmokk

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Gállok and the Iron Throne of Wall Street

Gállok and the Iron Throne of Wall Street is the third song from my collection Made in Jokkmokk, written and recorded in the municipality of Jokkmokk, somewhere between Randijaur and Vajkijaur, in the country of Sweden and the land of Sápmi. And very close to Gállok too!

Do you want to hear the story of the protests in Gállok? I recommend you to see the short documentary The Gállok Rebellion:

“The summer 2013 a new area of occupied Sápmi were under attack from the mining industry, if it were not for some brave resisters the test blasting outside Jokkmokk would have gone by without commotion. The Saami people would have once again been exploited and future generations of beings would have been poisoned without even a debate. Now something happened. This is the story told by the resisters in Gállok. These views are not often televised. This is not an attempt to make an “objective” film, as if that was possible. This is why we revolt and why you should join the struggle!”

Gállok and the Iron Throne of Wall Street

Music and Lyrics, Miguel Ganzo (2016); Guitar and Voice, Miguel Ganzo

In the forest of Gállok
On the north of the north
Where the bears and the reindeers
Have their paths and their homes
A big business for profit
A big monster of greed
Wants to take all the iron
From the hearth of the land (of the land)

And the people of Sápmi
With their roots in this soil
Colonized for centuries
They have something to say:
Go away from Gállok,
Go away from here
We protect our nature,
Which is your nature as well (yes it is)

Far away from Gállok
All around the world
Thousands miles are gambling
With human rights and nature laws
But to solve that problem
Is easier said than done
We must change our way of life
Don’t give up
Slow it down (slow it down)

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La resistencia pintoresca

¿Que necesidad había de ponerle unas pistolas en las manos a Mariano Rajoy, Susana Diaz y Felipe Gonzalez?

delegacion-gobierno-manifestacion-coordinadora-rajoy_ediima20161027_0507_5

Pongámonos en una situación que podía haber pasado perfectamente, que el PSOE se hubiese inclinado hacia el otro lado y que ahora tuviesemos una investidura de Pedro Sanchez apoyado por Unidos Podemos, ERC y otros partidos del parlamento.

¿Que opinaríamos de que se hubiese organizado una manifestación frente al congreso con el lema, que se yo, ”Ante el golpe de los rupturistas, democracia”, y en cuyo cartel apareciesen Pedro Sanchez, Pablo Iglesias , Alberto Garzon y Joan Tardá con unas pistolas en la mano?

A veces me da la impresión de vivir en otro planeta y de no entender nada de como razonan muchas personas con posiciones ideologicas parecidas a la mia. Entiendo y subscribo lo que escribe Unidad Popular en su página de Facebook: ”Se trata de oponerse a 4 años mas de Rajoy, a 4 años mas de leyes mordaza, a 4 años mas de LOMCE, a 4 años mas de precarización laboral, a 4 años mas de muertos en las salas de espera, a 4 años mas de asesinatos de pacientes con hepatitis C, a 4 años mas de privatización de las universidades publica, a 4 años mas de saqueo de las pensiones, a 4 años mas de presas políticas, a 4 años mas de impunidad ante la corrupción, a 4 años mas de aforados, a 4 años mas de leyes contra las mujeres, a 4 años mas de medidas contra las personas migrantes, a 4 años mas de vendernos a los bancos…”

Vale. Pero no entiendo que sentido tiene secundar y asistir a una manifestación con ese cartel. No solo es que me parezca de mal gusto sino que pienso que es una estrategia política que nos lleva de vuelta al rincón de la resistencia pintoresca.

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From Kabul to Jokkmokk

From Kabul to Jokkmokk is the second song from my collection Made in Jokkmokk, written and recorded in the municipality of Jokkmokk, somewhere between Randijaur and Vajkijaur, in the country of Sweden and the land of Sápmi.

Very special thanks to all the people from Afghanistan I’ve talked with in Jokkmokk and in “Asylstafetten 2016 – för en human flyktingpolitik”. Well, and not only from Afghanistan: to all the people which their only way to come in to the European Union means lots of suffering and fear and to put their lives at risk.

Music and Lyrics, Miguel Ganzo (2016); Guitar and Voice, Miguel Ganzo

You and your family had been traveling for years
But you are not sure yet, if you can stay here
You’ve been welcomed by the neighbors, at least by most of them
But the decisions on your future are taken far away from here.

The first time you saw the sea, it was in a boat in the night
You were twenty folks, it had places for nine
Non of you in your family had ever learned to swim
Those five hours felt like an eternity.

We play basket on Sundays
And some Wednesdays as well
We both play the guitar
We both play the guitar
And sometimes you play songs
That you wrote on the road
On the road to this land
On the road, still the road.

Your old brother, he was killed at war
That you were the next one, it was written in your door
Here the authorities are telling you, that you must prove that fact
You’re sorry you didn’t bring the door with you, you left in such a rush.

What you really want is to be back at home
But there’s no home anymore, its’ completely gone
But you say, time can be a blessing, for a wounded soul
Here in the hearth of Sápmi, may you find a home.

 

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Vidsel Test Range

Vidsel Test Range is the first song from the collection Made in Jokkmokk, written and recorded in the municipality of Jokkmokk, somewhere between Randijaur and Vajkijaur, in the country of Sweden and the land of Sapmi.

Vidsel Test Range is also a military zone operated by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, a part of the Swedish Ministry of Defence. As they write in their webpage: “Vidsel Test Range aims to provide defence organizations and industry with a better and more complete testing experience than they can achieve anywhere else in Europe”. Also according to their webpage (on the 19th of September 2016) the following area is not populated:

vst

But that’s just according to their webpage.

Vidsel Test Range (Miguel Ganzo, 2016)

Here you test your aircrafts
Here you throw your missiles and your bombs
Of course we have all that you asked for
Cos we are pleased if you are pleased.

Here is joyful to play with war
Here we all believe in peace
This is the country of neutrality
And that means what it means.

Here we have no population
Only natives of the north
We are owned by the Swedish State
What else do we need to say?

Here we invest for your safety
Here we feed the G.D.P.
Here we are aware of danger
It’s too late to be naive.

Here is joyful to play with war
Here we all believe in peace
This is the country of neutrality
And that means what it means.

Here we have no population
Only natives of the north
We are owned by the Swedish State
What else do we need to say?

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Made in Jokkmokk

Made in Jokkmokk is a collection of songs written and recorded in the municipality of Jokkmokk, somewhere between Randijaur and Vajkijaur, in the country of Sweden and the land of Sapmi.

Today I publish the first of the songs: Vidsel Test RangeCome back here next week to listen to the second song: From Kabul to Jokkmokk

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