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Interrupting Movements in Barcelona


With an attention to walking, this article explores a politics of movement and recognition that emerged between tourists and anti-tourism activism in Barcelona in 2017. Of focus is the political performance of a walking artist who interrupted tourist entitlements and imaginaries, performing what anthropologist Audra Simpson calls refusal (2016 328). Upon wandering the periphery of a Catalan festival that was celebrating local myths and legends, this artist-activist, named Jordi, contested the commodification of Catalan culture and incited anxiety among tourists taking in the display. In relation to other scenes of protest, these enactments of collective refusal shifted the rhythm of relation in the moment of encounter, entangling tourists in the wider socio-political context.

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