Archive for the 'Barcelona' Category

Friday Night Feature – Guirilandia

This is a short movie I shot in 2002, shortly after I came to live in Spain. It’s basically about what feels like to be a guiri – Spanish slang for foreigner.

Download (right-click, save as), or watch it here.

Best watched while inebriated.


Firemen protest in Barcelona

The bombers – Catalan for firemen – are protesting right under my windows. I am not really sure what it is about, but I sure as hell want to find out now (I guess that’s the whole point of staging protests). Sirens are going off, someone is setting off firecrackers, and a helicopter is hovering right over my building.

View from my terrace:

Continue reading ‘Firemen protest in Barcelona’

Could be a job for Kovaks

A forum member on the Kovaks Street Scam Forums found an interesting job offer in Loquo:

Bodyguard” wanted for help to artist eve 21.00-02.00 can pay 6-8 €

I am making a photo art project (non paid) for myself at night in some spots of Barcelona where I do not want to be alone with my camera. Therefore – looking for somebody who is:

- reliable
- good built and big, would say over 175 cm height
- can defend himself + me against eventual robbers/attackers/rapist/etc.
- who speaks either English/german/Scandinavian
- copy of your passport/ID and proof of your residence needed for my own safety reasons Eventually can you have more jobs later depending on how it goes and how I get along.

Barcelona, by the way, is a safe city. As in safe to your physical well-being. While there is a lot of scam activity in the center – which is Kovaks’ specialty – getting physically assaulted is not a usual occurrence. This person is a wee bit paranoid.

Larry Kovaks, P.I.

I just finished creating a website for Larry Kovaks, P.I., Barcelona’s Premier Tourist Detective. I embedded a google map on the index page that has thumbtacks on the actual locations of his solved crimes. If you click on those you can read a short description of the story and get a link to it.

Most importantly, there is a new Kovaks Street Scam Forum with literally hundreds of true scam stories dating as far back as 1996. The great majority of these were taken off the original Barcelona Street Scam page by Terry Jones, and are now living on the new forum.

Stop by and check it out!

Larry Kovaks, P.I.

Kovaks Street Scam Forums

“Remixed” Vicky Cristina Barcelona Poster

I went to Friday’s showing of Vicky Cristina Barcelona and was inspired to make a more appropriate poster for this lousy movie. Woody man, what’s up?

Click on it for full-screen magnificence

Quien roba a un ladrón …

A Spanish activist by the name of Enric Duran has defrauded banks throughout Spain and Europe of more than 492,000 euros, and he has published a 20-page manifesto explaining that it was to show the fallacies of the system. It has purportedly been distributed throughout Catalunya, and is downloadable from his website, Crisi. (The only pdf version I could find was in Catalan, but the website is in English and Spanish too.) Now he’s on the lam.

In an interview via Skype with EFE – the Spanish-language AP – he says it started out as personal loans to remodel his house and to buy a car, but then he realized that by setting up fake companies in the fashionable audiovisual sector, he was able to obtain far more – with loans of up to 39,000 euros from 39 different banks. “I stole 492,00 euros from those who steal most from us in order to denounce them and construct alternative societies.”

One of the advantages of asking for loans for a company was that “the debt doesn’t appear in your personal financial records, so you can increase the amount you owe and go undetected by the the debt information system of the Bank of Spain.”

My question is why are they calling him “Robin Hood”? I think it’s cool that he bucked the system, but it would have been cooler if he actually did something besides make a 20-page manifesto. Like actually distribute the money or invest in a socially beneficial project.

According to La Vanguardia, Enric says he is not going to return the money. So until he does, or really does distribute it in some way, I will refrain from calling him “Robin Hood”. This whole thing reminds me in some way of the subprime mortgage crisis in the US. It was also started by fraudulent loans, and, as far as I can make out, the prime culprit in it all was basic human greed – from the people giving the fraudulent loans to the people taking them knowing full well they would never be able to pay them back. The problem is now we have to bail them all out. Enric does prove a point about the need for better regulation, but his credentials as a “Robin Hood” don’t quite stand up to the whopping 492,000 euro bill for his 20-page manifesto against banks.


“Quien roba a un ladrón tiene cien años de perdón.”
He who robs a thief is pardoned for one hundred years.
A Spanish aphorism

Ballard Exhibition in Barcelona

If you’re in Barcelona walk on over to the CCCB in the Raval and check out the J.G. Ballard exhibition called Autopsy of the New Millennium (until the November 2). According to the curator:

This exhibition offers an itinerary through Ballard’s creative universe: his times and obsessions, his dissection of the secret keys of the contemporary, the traces of his own life in his fictional body of work, his artistic and literary referents, and his precise, disenchanted intuitions of a future life governed by the concepts of aseptic dystopia and disaster.

I haven’t read many of Ballard’s books, but his short story War Fever is among my all-time favorites. It’s had a huge impact on the way I approach the themes in my writing. I sincerely believe – paraphrasing Joseph Campbell speaking about visionary artists – that he is tapped into the unconscious and can intuit things about the future. I’m curious to see how a retrospective on his work will be handled.

This guy has posted an extensive review of the exhibition.

(via Boingboing)