Configuring Community

Configuring Community: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Community Identities in Contemporary Spain

PARVATI NAIR
Editor David D. George
Volume: 61
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 191
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b8xg
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  • Book Info
    Configuring Community
    Book Description:

    The concept of community has become central to constructions of Spanish identities since the transition to democracy. Contemporary Spain is witnessing a political, social, and economic resurgence of community, which both cuts across and is prioritized over nation. Yet few studies of contemporary Spanish culture deal with this concept. This book aims to fill a gap in Spanish cultural studies by providing an in-depth analysis of the intersections of theories, narratives, and concepts of community identities across a broad range of media. Literature, film, music, and photography are analysed here in order to explore the diverse means by which community is imagined and constructed.

    eISBN: 978-1-78188-083-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    In sharp reversal of the monolithic imagination of national identity projected for so long by the culturally levelling discourses of Francoism, Spanishness, for the past two decades, has been actively constructed in terms of multiplicity and synchronicity. Any location of identity thus rests on the historically contingent axes of temporal and spatial parts. In this scattered and fragmented cultural landscape, the modern imagination of nation necessarily cedes to a more ambivalent vision of collective identity, one that allows for a more adept navigation through the disjuncture of postmodernity. Ironically, therefore, this has meant the return to the concept of community....

  5. CHAPTER 1 COMMUNITY THEORIZED
    (pp. 5-30)

    No doubt it would be worthwhile to attempt a base definition of ‘community’ as currently in use, so as to establish a clear starting point for this research project. However, it is important to bear in mind that the term ‘community’ has long defied explicit definition in modern usage and a clear starting point thereby becomes problematic in itself. For this very reason, and because the commonly-shared premodern connotations of the term endow it with a solid sense of location whereby it has often provided a firm field of research in the social sciences, it has long been the focus...

  6. CHAPTER 2 THE AESTHETICS OF MEMORY: COMMUNITY, TEMPORALITY, AND HISTORY IN THE WORK OF JULIO LLAMAZARES
    (pp. 31-57)

    Issues concerning the concept of community in the context of modernity which were presented in Chapter 1, will be explored in a more specific way in this chapter. My aim here is to problematize community identity by focusing upon key aspects of Julio Llamazares’s prose narratives, attending particularly to La lluvia amarilla (1988), Luna de lobos (1985), and El río del olvido (1990). Where relevant, I shall also draw upon some of Llamazares’s other works, namely Escenas de cine mudo (1994) and his earlier poetry, La lentitud de los bueyes (1979) and Memoria de la nieve (1982). My particular focus...

  7. CHAPTER 3 TEMPORAL MOSAICS: JUGGLING COMMUNITY, NARRATIVE FRAGMENTS, AND POSTMODERNITY IN THE WORK OF BERNARDO ATXAGA
    (pp. 58-93)

    This chapter will examine two works by the Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga, Obabakoak (1988) and El hombre solo (1995), in order to assess their treatment of contemporary Spanish experiences of history and temporality and the subsequent effects on community identity. The previous chapter probed these issues in Llamazares’s work in the context of modernity. My aim here is to intensify the problematization of community in modernity presented in the first chapter through an analysis of Atxaga’s focus on identity in the more recent contexts of post-Francoist Spain. Underlying the key issues which arise in this chapter, therefore, is the postmodern...

  8. CHAPTER 4 COMMUNITY, ETHNICITY, AND BORDER CROSSINGS IN ALMA GITANA (CHUS GUTIÉRREZ, 1995)
    (pp. 94-123)

    This chapter aims to examine concepts and narratives of community identities in relation to representations of ethnicity in the film Alma gitana (Chus Gutiérrez, 1995).¹ This film, which projects a love story between Lucía, a gitana, and Antonio, a payo, ² problematizes ethnic and communal boundaries not just as borders which fence off identity, but also as possible points of crossing. The borders of ethnicity therefore fulfil the dual function of demarcating ‘self ’ from ‘other’ whilst also being presented as bridges for the passage of cultural exchange. Ethnicity is simultaneously projected in the film, on the one hand, as...

  9. CHAPTER 5 THE CÓRDOBA PRISON PROJECT: TRAVEL, CONTINGENCY, AND COMMUNITY THROUGH FLAMENCO
    (pp. 124-143)

    This chapter problematizes the practice of flamenco as rehabilitation amongst gitano convicts in Córdoba prison.¹ The idea for this project, which seeks out a disciplinary overlap between cultural studies and ethnography, arose from an article in the Independent on Sunday (6 October 1996) which reported that flamenco was being practised in the penitentiary of Córdoba as a form of rehabilitation for long-term prisoners; the fieldwork during which much of the material for this chapter was collected took place in June 1998. In its course, this project is an attempt to question concepts of ethnicity and community identity within the enclosed...

  10. CHAPTER 6 MOVING PICTURES: COMMUNITY, PLURALITY, AND RELOCATION IN PHOTOGRAPHS OF NORTH-AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS IN BARCELONA
    (pp. 144-168)

    This chapter focuses upon photographic representations of the Moroccan immigrant community living in the Barcelona locality of Ciutat Vella.¹ The photographs aim both to record current social and ethnic practices among the Moroccans and to construct a sense of community through shared ethnicity. Given the racial and ethnic diversity of Ciutat Vella — home not just to Moroccans, but also to Pakistanis, Turks, Chinese, Philippinos, Catalans, and several other ‘nationals’, as the many arrows on a street corner off Plaça San Agustí which point diversely to cities such as Karachi, Shanghai, Manila, Marrakesh, etc. will attest — the construction of such community...

  11. AFTERWORD: COMMUNITY AND REFLEXIVITY
    (pp. 169-176)

    As the preceding chapters show, this study of community must remain in the interrogative. Attempts to draw clear-cut conclusions on community would result in a discursive stasis, whereby the larger context of modernity and postmodernity—as late modernity or an intensification of the tensions between discourse and practice that characterise modernity—would be lost. The notion of community in postmodern Spain can be seen to be foregrounded in political and cultural contexts over emphases on nation or state. Nevertheless, community is itself a problematic concept: necessarily fluid in order to survive in current contexts, yet loaded with the fixed structures...

  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 177-181)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 182-185)