Barcelona – A Welcoming City

Director:  Christin Schuchardt
Country: Germany
Year: 2021

The image of Barcelona is characterised by a cosmopolitan touristic life, long term gentrification processes and progressive political perspectives, as for example for the welcoming of refugees and migrants. In order to find out to what extent the self-drawn image of Barcelona as a ‘Refugee City’ reaches the realities of the lives of the people affected by the European border regime, this ethnographic documentary focuses on the local political strategies which define and regulate the treatment of migrants. Further, it shows the alarming deficits and precarious living situations of those who have come in search of more humane living conditions and how, due to The Immigration Law, most of them spent years without the perspective of a right to stay or a work permit. Due to a one-year-and-half anthropological research with a collaborative approach, this documentary gives a deep insight into the everyday life, functioning and networking of diverse migrant communities and documents their persistent fight against the prevailing racist power relations. It consists in the presentation of the self-organized Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona, the human rights initiative ’Tanquem els CIEs’ which fights for the closure of Immigrant Detention Centres across Spain, the campaign against racial profiling ’Parad de Pararme’, the collective ’Frontera Sur’ which accompanies refugees after their arrival at Spain’s southern border and in their asylum process, and the self-organized migrant-and-refugee-protest ’Encierro Migrante’ which occupied a former Art School in Barcelona in order to reach out to the local politicians and fight for their human rights. These collectives have been involved in the research, shooting and editing-process of this ethnographic documentary film, which aims to show the social struggles in the face of institutional racism from a BPOC and migrant perspective.