Rich man, poor man: Large wall projects in Gràcia

This image comes from a concrete wall on a side street just a few blocks from my home in Gràcia. I imagine the concrete wall is either protecting a small vegetable garden or an empty lot awaiting a construction project, or both. Side by side are two images that are common sights in these times of crisis. The man sitting atop the rubbish bin, out of which he may have been able to find some clothes and leftover food, greets passersby as he takes a rest from his foraging. Just behind him we see the equally common sight of the public figure, usually a politician, waving to the crowds from out of the sun roof of his chauffered black car (the preferred official car of Spanish and Catalan politicians seems to be the Audi), while on his way to an important meeting or perhaps even a trip to the hairdresser or just a bit of shopping. Paradoxically, as the economic crisis drags on, not only has there been an increase in the number of people like the first man atop his rubbish bin, but the number of politicians travelling in their chauffer-driven black cars seems to remain steady as well. Strange, considering these are the same people who preach about “times of sacrifice”.
The reason for the odd angle of this shot is that the image was so large I was having a difficult time capturing the entire picture. In fact, this work is life-sized or perhaps a bit larger, one of a number of large wall paste-ups that have been popping up around Gràcia. As I mentioned in a previous entry, their size gains them much more attention and thus makes them more vulnerable to the elements, both natural and man-made, although the last time I passed by, this one seemed to be holding up pretty well. I’m not sure if these have been popping up in other areas of Barcelona as well, because my timetable and the un-springlike weather have prevented me from taking any trips outside the neighbourhood for the last few months or so. I should be getting out later this week, and will definitely be on the lookout, though they’re pretty hard to miss.

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