On June 28, 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court repealed the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy, passed by the Spanish General Courts in a Senate session on May 10, 2006, highlighting the unconstitutionality of the preamble of the text which refers to Catalonia as a nation.
This incident, in the context of a profound economic crisis that was devastating the Catalan region, provoked a sharp increase in nationalist sentiment, and the pro-independence movement began to develop from a mere pipe dream.
But it’s not until the following years, in particular each National Day of Catalonia on September 11, the day of commemoration of the fall of Barcelona by the Bourbon troops during the War of Spanish Succession, on September 11, 1714, that the pro-independence movement truly starts showing signs of strength and a great capacity to mobilize large numbers of citizens, thanks to the efforts of two key organizations: the ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and Òmnium Cultural.
On September 27, 2015, the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí wins regional elections for the independence of Catalonia, with a strong plebiscitary character. The Junts pel Sí coalition, together with the other pro-independence party CUP, together make up 72 seats in the Parlament as well as enjoying the support of 48% of the electorate. In light of this, the Parlament de Catalunya is left broken into two parts, one in favour of a new Catalan Republic and the other loyal to the Spanish Constitution.
On September 6, 2017, pro-independence groups assert their parliamentary majority by approving the Law of Juridical Transition and Foundation of the Republic of Catalonia in order to declare secession two days after the referendum for self-determination on October 1 of the same year. The abandonment of half of the MPs while this law is passed paints a concerning picture of a political situation that is highly polarized between the Yes and No sides. This polarization will be seen on the streets and in public life in general in the following months. After the independence referendum of October 1 the pro-Constitution forces start to make themselves heard in different parts of Catalonia and especially in Barcelona, with a series of large protests during the months of October, November and December, in response to a pro-independence movement that is well-established and highly-organized.
On October 27, 2017, the Senate in Spain passes Article 155 of the Constitution leaving Catalonia’s autonomy in suspense. All the governmental posts in the Generalitat are suspended with immediate effect and regional elections are called for on December 21, 2017.
The photographs that document this project were shot in Barcelona from September 11, 2017, National Day of Catalonia, through December 6, 2017, day of the Spanish Constitution.