Barcelona has a queen

She is a protective saint or a powerful queen. With these exact words, the Barcelona City Council presents on its website the poster for the Mercè festivities, the most emblematic of the city, and this year hardly any criticism has been heard, against the prognosis. Let’s say that it is a bit of a national sport to attack the poster chosen for the holidays, and each proposal year after year faces a very critical examination on the political bias, the good taste, the inclusiveness of the approach…. a full-fledged marking of the council so that it does not take advantage of the power it has to inoculate ideas that are not shared by the majority of citizens. The artistic value is also questioned, but the critical voices do not make so much noise if it is not because the supposed municipal stumbling block comes from the ideological flank.

This year we have a consensus with few precedents, as if this woman adorned with all the weight of the symbolism of the city and of Catalonia had finally reached the idea most similar to Barcelona’s cohesion. The French poster author, Malika Favre, has designed six different posters, in which, in addition to varying the color, the style of the earrings and the crown worn by the female protagonist also changes. A total queen for a Barcelona that is also considered fire rose because of his anarchist past?

Holy or Queen, the poster promoting the Mercè festivities takes the crown to all the streets of the city and its illustrations have aroused a fury among collectors and have been liked by the vast majority.

Fictional queens

The monarchy does not like and instead, the queens of fiction, of illustration, triumph. The crown, sometimes a simple tiara, points like an invisible finger to a power and when it is held by a woman it represents the recognition of a leadership that can be difficult but that someone assumes. Coronation ceremonies in fiction like those of Game of Thrones, a very large series of queens, have been celebrated by audiences, but the most remembered are those of women, not those of men. There is something of a happy ending in seeing them reach a difficult goal, such as Sansa Stark’s proclamation of Queen of the North, in the latest chapter of the legendary HBO series.

But in the majority of representations of queens that have reached the cinema and fiction in general, what underlies is a sense of the historical reparation of the mistreatment suffered by many of the leaders of our past, repudiated by husbands or sons, when not murdered or simply buried in history.

Recent attempts to reclaim the weight of queens from the past include Helen Castor’s book ‘Lobas’, which traces the lives of Margaret of Anjou, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth of France and Matilde of England to bring their figures and figures out of oblivion. glass ceilings that, in their historical context, had to break. The historian has collaborated with Netflix to bring her work to the general public in streaming.

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Old and new leaderships

In 2021 we no longer need crowns to mark political leadership: although the Queen of England is still there, as one of the last witnesses of an era that is left behind, other women in power are beacons for millions of people willing to follow in the wake of his example. From the imprint left by Angela Merkel’s way of governing to the governments of Sanna Marin in Finland, Katrin Jakobsdóttir in Iceland, Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland … all of them carry an invisible crown, but that We can all project on those who represent us if we trust them.


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