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More than a club: FC Barcelona and Catalonia's road to independence

As Catalonia goes to the polls, Sid Lowe looks at one of the region's great cultural sporting icons and its role in Catalan identity...

 

Sports and cultural identity of a region are often intertwined. As Catalonia is poised to break from Spain, this video shows how the local teams (especially FC Barcelona) are at the center of political identity and part of the very fabric of the political movement that is pushing for independence.  For more, see this recent GITN.

 

Tags: sport, Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 12, 2013 12:54 PM

Sports and cultural identity of a region are often intertwined. As Catalonia is poised to break from Spain, this video shows how the local teams (especially FC Barcelona) are at the center of political identity and part of the very fabric of the political movement that is pushing for independence.  For more, see this recent Geography in the News article.


Tags: sport, Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 2014 9:10 PM

As a soccer fan and a fan of FC Barcelona, Whenever I watch FC Barcelona play against Real Madrid, the commentators always describe both clubs as a symbol of independence and the symbol of political identity. Both teams are embodiments of the struggle that Spain and Catalonia are going through.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 19, 3:01 PM

As a soccer fan (although of CR7 in La Liga), I know that Barca has the saying "Mes que un club" which means more than a club in the Catalan language.  FCB's colors, in fact, represent the colors of Barcelona, which is the major force in the region of Catalonia.  The club allows the ethnic people to express pride in their heritage, and allowed them in the Franco era, a freedom of expression that was not otherwise granted to them.  However, as the video discusses, FCB cannot be the main force for the region's independence, that will have to come from the people pressing the people to the Spanish Government.  However, FCB represents for the Catalans a pride in having their own unique culture, and being a unique people different than ethnic Spaniards.  Barca being more than a club is far different from the BPL team of Manchester United or the La Liga club of Real Madrid.  While these clubs may represent regions within the countries, they do not represent regions who are different than the status quo.  Followers of Man U are not very different than the Southern English (they are not their own people).  I think it is highly interesting how sports teams can mean so much to certain regions.

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Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London

Countries Participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Discover the number of countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Find out which countries are not participating in the Olympic Games and learn which non-countries are participating as well.

 

204 countries are participating in the Olympics?  There aren't even 204 countries in the world!  This article looks at the political geography of international recognition.   One interesting case not discussed in the article is that of Taiwan.  Taiwan is participating, but marched under a non-Taiwanese flag under the name Chinese Taipei because the IOC wanted the mainland Chinese to return to the games. Also, South Sudan, Kosovo and the Vatican are not participating (although pondering them competing, especially the Vatican, is something that deeply amuses me).  Another intriguing thought: how many of the participants were former British colonies?   For classroom resources based on the Olympics, see: http://www.scoop.it/t/history-and-social-studies-education/p/2254468864/london-the-olympics-and-geography


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Emily Larsson's comment, August 26, 2013 9:08 PM
I love the Olympics! Its amazing how almost all of the countries in the world can come together for an event and forget about the conflicts they have back at home.