"À la ville de ... Barcelona" was the phrase pronounced by Juan Antonio Samaranch at 13.32h on October 17, 1986. Barcelona became the 1992 Olympic venue city.
I remember being at school and how this news made us all jump for joy, despite being only 8 years old. For the history there will be the image of Pascual Maragall, mayor of Barcelona, raising his arms making the symbol of victory.
A collective illusion took over the city, many things were going to change: the city was reunited with the sea, the rounds, the Olympic village and a long list of infrastructures were built, making Barcelona a better city. Above all, the city was open to the world.
In a perfectly studied marketing campaign, including trampoline jumps, Barcelona went on to head the lists of preferences of cities to visit and settle. Slogans such as "Barcelona ponte guapa” (Barcelona get pretty) and "Barcelona la mejor tienda del mundo” (Barcelona the best shop in the world) caused, little by little, that the city became a beautiful showcase where it is increasingly difficult to live.
Barcelona has lost population since 1992, while in Catalonia it has increased by 23%. The price of housing has grown 5 times more than inflation. 30 million tourists visit us every year. The word gentrification has entered into our usual vocabulary and every day there are more people forced to leave their neighborhood and the city.
"À la ville de ..." raises the slow transition from the joy of a better city to this showcase city that is expelling its inhabitants. It does so by going from the periphery to the center, where the natural spaces are disappearing and the images become more and more claustrophobic.