Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity – the pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

Barcelona is a fantastic city with plenty to offer every type of tourist, from palm-fringed beaches, to world-clas cuisine and a rich cultural heritage.It is little surprise, therefore, that the Catalan capital is as popular as it is. Last year alone, 9 million people stayed in the city’s hotels and a futrther 9 million

However, some would argue that there are too many tourists in Barcelona, so much so, that there have been recent protests against the rising tide.

I peronally love Barcelona and I understand that tourism drives a big part of the local economy. However, I can certainly comprehend the voices of locals who are tired of unsustainble, mainstream tourism, which is rife throughout the city. Here are some of my images of excessive tourism and its pitfalls in Barcelona.

To quote Banksy, “This is not a photo opportunity”

Visiting Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We Are Not Afraid!) – surviving a terror attack

Visiting Barcelona: Part Three:  La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Visiting Barcelona: Part Five: Throwback Time

 

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Visiting Barcelona: Part Four: Bcn in street art – Mobile photography from the Catalan capital

Barcelona’s street art, for me, is some of the best in Europe. The city’s Raval, Gòtic and Gràcia districts all contain plenty of powerful, sometimes obtrusive street art that reflects the tensions and strugges of the region.

Here are some of my photos of the Barcelona’s street art.

For more Barcelona posts, check out:

Visiting Barcelona: Part One: Architecture

Visiting Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We Are Not Afraid!) – surviving a terror attack

Visiting Barcelona: Part Three:  La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Visiting Barcleona: Part Five: Throwback Time

Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity: The pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

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Camera : Iphone 3

Locations: Parque Guell, Caixa Forum, Barri Raval, Barcelona

Visiting Barcelona Part Five: Throwback time

The next article in my Barcelona series is a throwback to my last trip to the city in 2015 with 2 of my best friends. Barcelona was the first city of our road trip (we went on to Valencia and Ibiza thereafter). Thank you to our Catalan friends, Ares, Aina and Claudia, for hosting us.

Here are my pictures from Barcelona, August 2015. They are all from a lovely afternoon atop Turó de la Rovira (aka Bunkers del Carmel) – quite possibly the best place to get a 360 view of Barcelona, and thankfully, not yet popular amongst tourist or locals.

For more Barcelona posts, check out:

Visiting Barcelona: Part One: Architecture

Visiting Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We Are Not Afraid!) – surviving a terror attack

Visiting Barcelona: Part Three:  La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Visiting Barcelona: Part Four: Bcn in street art – Mobile photography from the Catalan capital

Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity: The pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

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Visiting Barcelona: Part Three: La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia has to be the epitomy of a work that will never be complete. While some may irk at its tendency to be covered in tarpaulins from time to time owing to the constant work on it, one can argue that it is this feature that makes it such a memorable place.

Work first began on La Sagrada Familia in the late 1800s. Catalan architecht Antoni Gaudí took charge of the design of the church in 1883 and worked on it for the next 43 years,  until his death in 1926. He was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia. Many more architechts have since taken  charge of the building process, which is estimated to come to an end later this century.

Here are my pictures of La Sagrada famila- a place of introspection, grandeur and bewilderment.

For more Barcelona posts, check out:

Visiting Barcelona: Part One – Architechture

Visiting Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We are not afraid) – Surviving a terrorist attack

Visiting Barcelona: Part Four: Bcn in street art: Mobile photography from the Catalan capital

Visiting Barcleona: Part Five: Throwback Time

Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity: The pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

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Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We are not afraid) – Surviving a terrorist attack

While I was in Barcelona with my family, I was also unfortunately caught up in the van attack on Las Ramblas that left 15 people dead and wounded scores of innocent men, women and children. I will be covering this tragedy in separate post. My stance towards this episode is that I am humbled to be alive and grateful for the gift of life that we so often take for granted.

But I am also angry and baffled – how can any one possibly contemplate an attack on the innocent of this nature and justify it in any way, religious or otherwise? The people that did this (most of whom got themselves shot dead) have no place in any culture – African, Spanish, Catalan, European or other. They know no religion, Islamic or other, and their affiliation to darkness paints an unspectacular if not worrying trail of deriliction in today’s society.

Here are the some of my pictures of the day time stood still in Barcelona.

For more Barcelona posts, check out:

Visiting Barcelona: Part One – Architecture

Visiting Barcelona: Part Three: La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Visiting Barcelona: Part Four: Bcn in street art – Mobile photography from the Catalan capital

Visiting Barcelona: Part Five: Throwback time

Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity: The pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

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Visiting Barcelona: Part One – Architechture

Barcelona is always a city that inspires me. I’ve been to the Catalan capital several times now and endured everything from failed robberies in the Raval district to epic Monday nights out at Barcelona’s Apolo nightclub.

This time round, in the company of my family, my visit to Barcelona was a lot more sober. Yet, true to tradition, this city provided us with one remarkable twist of fate after another. Barcelona is also a city of contradictions – excessive tourism on the one hand and far-left protests against it on the other. Tourism in Barcelona is very much a double-edged sword – driving the local economy through massive annual earnings while eroding some of the city’s authenticity and heritage.

Barcelona is a city of contradictions – excessive tourism on the one hand and far-left protests against it on the other. Tourism in Barcelona is very much a double-edged sword – driving the local economy through massive annual earnings while eroding some of the city’s authenticity and heritage.

Similarly, in the midst of a decent city beach (La Barceloneta) that pulls many from far and wide, spectacular architechture and historic areas such as Barri Gòtic and Barri Gràcia, you will also find El Raval – a grimey quarter of town that is does has its charms but is defintely not the safest place to walk around in, particularly for women.

Over the coming blogposts, I will try to depict some of Barcelona’s conflicting facades through my imagery – covering  some of the well-known tourisy sites you may well have heard of, while also taking a look at some of the pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism.

While I was in Barcelona with my family, I was also unfortunately caught up in the van attack on Las Ramblas that left 15 people dead and wounded scores of innocent men, women and children. I will be covering this tragedy in separate post. My stance towards this episode is that I am humbled to be alive and grateful for the gift of life that we so often take for granted. But I am also angry and baffled – how can any one possibly contemplate an attack on the innocent of this nature and justify it in any way, religious or otherwise? The people that did this (most of whom got themselves shot dead) have no place in any culture – African, Spanish, Catalan, European or other. They know no religion and their affiliation to darkness paints an unspectacular if not worrying trail of

But I am also angry and baffled – how can any one possibly contemplate an attack on the innocent of this nature and justify it in any way, religious or otherwise? The people that did this (most of whom got themselves shot dead) have no place in any culture – African, Spanish, Catalan, European or other. They know no religion, Islamic or other and their affiliation to darkness paints an unspectacular if not worrying trail of deriliction in today’s society.

For now – here are the some of my pictures of Barcelona’s iconic architechture.

For more Barcelona posts, check out:

Visiting Barcelona: Part Two: No Tenim Por (We Are Not Afraid!) – surviving a terror attack

Visiting Barcelona: Part Three:  La Sagrada Famila- the quintessential never-ending work

Visiting Barcelona: Part Four: Bcn in street art: Mobile photography from the Catalan capital

 

Visiting Barcleona: Part Five: Throwback Time

Visiting Barcelona: Part Six: This is not a photo opportunity: The pitfalls of excessive mainstream tourism in the Catalan capital

Casa Milà

Provença, 261-265, 08008 (Off Passeig de Gràcia)

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Casa Batlló

Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007

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Park Güell

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The Cityscape – as seen from Park Güell

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Sónar festival ready for Copenhagen debut

Original article written for The Local Denmark, available here.

Skærmbillede 2015-03-16 kl. 18.47.32

Barcelona’s renowned Sónar festival has thrilled millions over the years since its inception in 1994. Billed as an international festival of advanced music and new media art, the brand has grown to become synonymous with Spain’s second city, showcasing acts as diverse as experimentalist Four Tet to more well-known musicians such as electronic deity Richie Hawtin.
Sónar veers towards the avant-garde and the experimental, as the varied palette of international musicians it hosts reflects. The Sónar brand has also held events in cities such as London, New York and Buenos Aires, exporting its philosophies to various unique venues in these locations.
The latest installment on a growing portfolio of international Sónar venues is none other than Sónar Copenhagen, which will take place at DR’s hallowed concert house this weekend. A two-day ticket pass will set you back a cool 850kroner whilst one day tickets go for 475 DKK.
The Local will be on hand to cover the first installment of the event, which features over 30 different artists on three state-of-the art scenes. Here are our picks for who to see:
Trentemøller: This is a no brainer as Andreas Trentemøller is probably the best Danish DJ alive. As a live act, he has played in venues as diverse as Roskilde Festival’s expansive and revered Orange Stage to small house parties in his Vesterbro neighbourhood.
Djuna Barnes: The founder of Vesterbro’s epic Jolene bar and a woman with so much passion for music and life, Maria Gerhardt is also a writer and activist. Her music is heavily autobiographical and anchored in a plethora of influences.
Jon Hopkins: Jon Hopkins rocketed to popularity with his 2013 album Immunity, one of the seminal works of this generation of electronic music. Hopkins’ sound veers towards the more progressive echelons of the spectrum; a luring lull of centrifugal genius at the outer confines of space.
Metronomy: Now somewhat an erstwhile fixture in electronic circles, Britain’s Metronomy are at the crossroads of good indie and quirky electronica that’s heavy on the instrumentation (they are a class live act).
Âme: Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann are a pair of the more seasoned acts on the billing this weekend. Together, they constitute some of the old guard of electronic music and are known for having re-interpreted countless pieces of music from house and techno over the years.
Kvame Liv: An upcoming musician in the Lana Del Rey meets Santigold mould, Kwame Liv’s EP Lost The Girl is a passport to what is undoubtedly a destiny riddled with fortune for this aspiring talent.
Sekuoia: Another upcoming local talent, Patrick Alexander Bech Madsen’s music is a blend of the ethereal and the evanescent; dream-weaving in technicolour that’ll leave you spellbound with its smatterings of ambient, dubstep and other textured influences.