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Spain's Peace Efforts

by John Bascombe on Thursday, March 26, 2015

National and International Peace Efforts

In March 2015 the Royal Mint of Spain announced the release of a series of collector’s coins to celebrate “70 years of peace in Europe” with the obverse showing a bust of the new king Don Felipe VI.  However it is the reverse of the coin showing a dove with an olive branch which we want to focus on. To what extent has Spain made an effort to embrace, spread and work towards the concept represented by this universal symbol? This article aims to answer this question by looking at some of the different Spanish initiatives, institutions and paintings which are and were dedicated to promoting and spreading both national and international peace.

  • •In 2013 and 2014 Spain remained in the list of the top 30 most peaceful countries in the world based on the Institute for Economics and Peace´s Global Peace Index.
  • •It ranked higher than some other European countries including France and the United Kingdom.
  • •Two Spaniards, the violin player Jordi Savall and the ballet dancer Joaquín Cortés, are UNESCO Artists for Peace.

What better place to start when talking about Spanish peace than with the iconic “Museo de la Paz” (Peace Museum) itself, situated in the town of Guernica in the Basque Country. This museum aims to educate its visitors about the culture of peace, reflecting on its absence in light of the past events in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, while also looking at the efforts and tools used to peacefully solve conflicts in today´s society. This foundation also takes an active role in conducting research on this culture with associations such as AIPAZ (The Spanish Peace Research Association) organizing conferences and workshops to inform people of all generations about the importance of learning from the past and working together towards a more peaceful future.

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What's Wrong With Spanish Cinema?

by John Bascombe on Thursday, March 05, 2015

Spanish cinema has just had its best year ever with record attendance and box office earnings. So what can go wrong? With films like Spanish Affair and El Niño generating millions at the box office and delighting Spanish filmgoers, it is hard to believe that anything can be wrong. But to some people in the film world, all of this success hasn't translated into recognition or invitations and nominations to the most important film festivals or major film awards. (The last Spanish film to be nominated for an Oscar was The Sea Inside , which also won the award in 2004) According to some, it appears that in the industry's attempt to raise flagging attendance, they have sacrificed some of the elements that captures the attention of serious film lovers and critics… read more »

The Teacher and the Beatle

by John Bascombe on Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Beatles was a band that swept over the world with startling speed, even a country like Spain couldn't avoid this English steamroller thanks in part to Radio Luxembourg and its shortwave transmissions of rock n roll into Spain. One person, in particular, who was an admirer of the group, also used the lyrics from these transmitted Beatles songs to help teach English to his students. Juan Carrión, now 90 years old, was an English teacher at the University of Cartagena and his story was the inspiration behind the movie Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed by David Trueba which was selected as Spain's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards… read more »

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