Constructing Contemporary Nationhood in the Museums and Heritage Centres of Catalonia

Colin Breen, Wes Forsythe, John Raven


Geographically Spain consists of a complex mosaic of cultural identities and regional aspirations for varying degrees of autonomy and independence. Following the end of violent conflict in the Basque country, Catalonia has emerged as the most vocal region pursuing independence from the central Spanish state. Within the Catalan separatist movement, cultural heritage sites and objects have been appropriated to play an intrinsic role in supporting political aims, with a variety of cultural institutions and state-sponsored monumentality playing an active part in the formation and dissemination of particular identity-based narratives. These ae centred around the themes of a separate and culturally distinct Catalan nation which has been subject to extended periods of oppression by the varying manifestations of the central Spanish State.  Recent developments have seen museums and other historic sites and places being appropriated and redesigned to play a more consciously active, overt and supportive role in the independence movement.


Catalonia; museums; heritage; identity; nationhood

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Copyright (c) 2020 Colin Breen

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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