A gorgeous full-color collection of interviews in English by Toni Strubell accompanied by striking photographs by Lluís Brunet, with a poignant prologue by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín. The book takes a close look at Catalonia at a time when the country’s political future as a Spanish autonomous region is being seriously questioned for the first time since it came into being in 1980.
“What Catalans Want” contains interviews of more than 30 representative Catalan personalities in various key areas of public life. The book’s aim is to discover why so many Catalans feel as uncomfortable about continuing to form part of Spain as they feel enthused about being full independent members of the European Union. Could the Catalan question—fanned by ongoing Spanish political, economic, and cultural oppression—be welling up into a political issue on the same order as Scotland’s?
The book delves into this essential question by concentrating on what matters most: the opinion of those affected, from the presidents of Catalonia and FC Barcelona, professors of economics and communications, business professionals and community leaders, writers, journalists, and historians, and many more. This book appears at a time when the current crisis has destroyed the country’s traditional image as an “oasis” of satisfaction, enjoying what was seen as an “ample” margin of autonomy and economic welfare. Instead, independent polls now reveal that more than 40% of Catalans would vote in favor of an independent Catalan state, in large part for economic reasons. The book also explores the recent unofficial independentist polls that were held in over 500 municipalities in which over 90% of the participants voted for independence.
Why have things come to a head? And why do most foreign tourists visiting the country have so little idea what is going on? “What Catalans Want” aims to answer the first question while obviating the need for the second.