Letters from Catalonia: Part 1


If Scotland ignores the Catalan process we will miss out on a story from which we have so much to learn. Worse, we would be ignoring our friends in their time of need.

I have come to Catalonia with two aims. One: to observe the similarities and the differences between the Scottish and Catalan independence movements. Two: to encourage Scots to take interest in the Catalan process.

I have a lot to see, and very little time to write, so please excuse my brevity. If you would like to follow my journey find me on twitter using @AndrewRBarr.


Catalonia Day #1

Today I met Liz Castro, editor of the book ‘What’s up with Catalonia?‘, an English-language guide to the Catalan process from the voices of the people who live here.

I asked Liz what she thought of when she thought of Scotland.

Green, castles, rain and the accent, which I love!”

I asked if she thought independence would benefit Catalonia from a cultural perspective.

Yes, Catalonia suffers from a lack of self-confidence, like Scotland. People will speak to you in Spanish automatically instead of Catalan. I think independence would make us feel validated. We weren’t allowed to speak Catalan for 40 years, it was banned, people would get fined, or beaten up for speaking it. People learnt to keep their Catalan identity to themselves. I think independence would mean an acceptance of who we are.”

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Andrew Redmond Barr
National Collective