Thursday, April 3, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. The gigaphoto of the Catalan Way finally made available

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Catalonia’s major citizen organisation, today has published the massive panorama photo of last 11-September human chain for independence. The so-called gigaphoto was actually made from more than 107.000 single pictures and it has taken seven months to stitch together and build the website to support it.

The Gigaphoto coordinator, Galdric Penyarroja, told the Catalan daily Vilaweb about the difficulties of putting all the footage together:

Why was the Catalan Way Gigaphoto so hard to create?
“What we were trying to do goes against what you do when you make a panorama shot. In a panorama, you try to piece together the parts that aren’t moving, and that’s how you make it fit properly. And we were fitting together people who were moving, who were cheering and celebrating.” Why was the Catalan Way Gigaphoto so hard to create? – Vilaweb

Perhaps unsurprisingly –some 1,6 million people took place in the human chain–, the site was down for a little while after more than 333.000 people connected during the first hours to try and spot themselves in the +400km-long line. 

2.Redefining self-determination – in Brussels 

What does self-determination mean in the 21st century? Which peoples are entitled to it? What correlation is there between democracy and right to self-determination?

These and other questions were asked earlier this week at the European Parliament seminar “Redefining Self-determination”, organised by the Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC), Unrepresented Peoples and Nations (UNPO) and the barcelona-based International Centre for Minorities and Nations (CIEMEN).

Professor Miquel Strubell from the Open University of Catalonia discussed the problems facing regional or minority languages while Dr Alan Sandry from the University of Swansea, Wales, focused on developments in the UK regarding self-determination:

Redefining Self-Determination in the 21st Century
“We will see what will happen in the next ten years, it’s as if a new Berlin wall is coming down. New states are emerging and Europe should prepare for that reality. […] If you are willing to be open, transparent, democratic state you should accept self-determination.” – Centre Maurits Coppieters

3.Marching for self-determination – In Brussels, too

Yet the aforementioned seminar was not the only Catalan-related event that took place in Brussels this week. On Sunday, a few thousands Catalans marched alongside Flemings, Scots and Venetians, among other European nations.

The Catalan paper El Punt-Avui reported:

Ni un pas enrere 
“One people’s right to decide is not requested; it’s simply taken. And seeking to warn the UE that Catalonia “won’t step back” and will exercise its right to vote on independence on 9th November 2014, roughly 4,000 people demonstrated yesterday in Brussels. Especially Catalans and Flemings […], but also South Tyroleans, Scots, Basques and Galicians, all denounced before the European institutions the “difficulties and threats” that the Spanish government is posing against the referendum. – El Punt-Avui

Several thousands –between 4,000 and 25,000, depending on the source– followed the protest, under the slogans “Europe, we will vote!” and “It’s about democracy”. It was organized by the International Commission of European Citizens, which is also raising “signatures for self-determination” across the continent.