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Reading: Archaeologies of the National:Albert Boadella and "El Nacional" Revisited


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Archaeologies of the National:Albert Boadella and "El Nacional" Revisited


Helena Buffery

Profesora universitaria (University College Cork)
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This article explores the dynamics of resistance and normalization in contemporary Catalan culture through a case study of the recent revival of a devised performance by Els Joglars. The play in question, El Nacional, was first performed in 1993 as a response to the changing landscape of contemporary theatrical production, shaped by increasing political intervention in the cultural field. In particular, it presented a challenge to the monumental vision of a Teatre Nacional de Catalunya through continuing commitment to an alternative Catalan national theatre based on the creative exploration of identity in performance. Revived as part of Joglars' celebration of the 50th anniversary of their foundation, El Nacional has been explicitly presented as a prescient exploration of the conditions and need for a culture of resistance, capable of standing against the normalising tendencies of political and economic power. However, both the discourses of the national in which the play has been reinserted and the particularly overt archaeological focus with which it has been re-enacted, replace the more translational aesthetics (and ethics) that were the hallmark of Joglars' devised practice with a performance style more committed to repetition and reinscription, resulting in the reproduction and fetishization of stereotypes of Catalan difference.
How to Cite: Buffery, H., 2013. Archaeologies of the National:Albert Boadella and \"El Nacional\" Revisited. Digithum, (15), pp.33–39. DOI:
Published on 15 May 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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