With the vote yesterday by the Catalonia Regional Assembly in favor of a resolution to split from Spain I was reminded of this photograph that I took more than a decade ago in Barcelona. This screen-printed sign was posted above the stairs going down to the Metro at the appropriately named Plaça de Catalunya. I found it fitting that a moth was perched on top of the "A" waiting to take flight.
Catalan nationalism was codified in 1892 but traces its roots back to the 1600s. The modern day struggle for independence began to gain steam with the fall of the Franco regime in 1975.
Whether you consider this a movement of independence or one of separatism — or both — I hope you keep the people of Catalunya and Spain in your mind and prayers. Economically, Southern Europe doesn't need any more strain as it recovers from the last downturn. Unfortunately, this movement — or at least the reaction to it — is likely to be seen through an economic lens rather than a cultural one. Let's hope it comes to a peaceful resolution, regardless of the outcome.
If you haven't heard of this movement before or would like to learn more, check out these articles: