Images of the Nation in Spanish and Catalan Cinema

The notion of ‘country-image’ is crucial in post-identity studies of national cultures. This project seeks to further develop this concept in order to explore an alternative methodology for the study of the cultural roots of contemporary separatism.

woman in red dress and man in denim jacket
Still from film ‘Jamon Jamon’

The project tests the widespread idea that the construction of negative cultural image of the country is a strong predictor of political separatism. The project focuses on the case of Catalonia’s push for independence from Spain and the specific cultural practice of Catalan cinema.

The project aims to reach a systematic understanding of the ideological and rhetorical processes that have resulted in a radical modification of Spain’s image in Catalan film culture over the last three decades.

The proposed study methodically examines the evolution of national discourses and country images embedded within influential key cinematic texts by well-known directors such as Bigas Luna, Ventura Pons, Isabel Coixet and others.

This analysis enables a reappraisal of the conflicting meaning of ‘Spain’ in contemporary Catalonia and offer greater insight into the underlying motivations for contemporary separatism.