“We got to know El Raval as a complex area with parallel systems of events, communities, relations and space. Together they compose a dynamic play, where people take part as actors; protagonists; antagonists and extras, all influencing one and another. One person may be observing, the other selling, and a third in his own cocoon of music, a fourth drinking a beer on the terrace. All these people live together in a unique and dense part of central Barcelona. An area that still bears the yoke of history which has shaped the spaces and identity, but where everyday life and parallel stories happen in the same public and private spaces.
By choosing positions while observing people’s behaviour in space and taking on different perspectives, departing from information about the neighbourhood (crime, demography etc.), the impression of the events taking place changes drastically. From a friendly innocent part of the city with a diverse range of people, shops and small restaurants, to an area that seems to be ruled by drugs and prostitution and everyone seems to be suspicious players.
Where in this complex territory of streets, buildings and people lies reality? How can we find out more about the complex conflicts between different uses and needs in this area? How can we learn from the parallel systems that form El Raval? Can we learn through creating other conflicts?”
By Gaetan Lafenetre, Karin Lindwall, Maialen Lopez, Hinke Majoor, Lander Mentens and Niklas Salzmann