With great courtesy and some shyness, he approached my table, in the quiet square that bears the name of the singer Carlos Cano, which is already a coincidence, in Granada. Do you like flamenco?He asked me in syncopation, inclining his head a little so that the question would remain between us and so that if the answer was no, the issue would not come out of there. A gray jacket and a long, patterned scarf around the neck added elegance to the wavy gray hair. a few well-lived wrinkles. Of course I like it!
He told me that It has been, like all flamingos, two years uphill Until the closing shot came
of the tablaos and against the coronavirus, without being able to work, but he said everything with half a smile, because he also told me about the
Valente’s poem that he composed in tangos and that little by little, the palms and the emotion return to climb the vocal cords. I bought him two of his records.
Manuel Lorente, is a musician, a singer who in his early days accompanied Camarón and Morente (yesterday I saw the house where he was born in the Albaicín). He is also a doctor in Anthropology, which is why he investigates and promotes classical cante and has organized exhibitions on other ethnographic aspects. It has seemed to me a paradigm of culture and dignity in this time, suffering just enough for the jondo and friendly, happy, to connect and leave warmth, like the sun this afternoon on the terrace of a bar called ‘Disloque’ Good name, because everything in the culture is still a bit dislocated.
I left the square thinking that culture needs a lot of help, that there is very good people who are having a bad time, projects that remain there, without means to be realized, and what we journalists can do to make them visible, so that public administrations get serious about prioritizing the needs of a sector that is the soul of who we are.
Then the news reached me. Decree of 20 million euros for the cultural institutions of Barcelona. Lately – and more from now on – they force us to take a critical look because they disguise political arbitrariness. Says the minister Miquel Iceta that this hose of millions spreads on the cultural institutions of Barcelona for the Ciudad Condal to exercise cultural and scientific co-capitality with Madrid. We all know that the literal translation of that is: I am from Barcelona, from the PSC, I have to help the members to support the budgets of my party, of my president. There go 20 million.
Without talking to Madrid, without a backbone plan, without joint projects, I don’t believe Iceta’s cocapitality. It is the pure decapitality. Let’s behead Madrid, because you vote for Ayuso, and by the way let’s enjoy because the Culture delegate is Catalan, Andrea Levy. Hehe, Iceta will say, mel i killed on flakes. The millionaire of Iceta is therefore a counter-millionaire, thought against, a patch of banknotes to stop as part of the decline of Barcelona, of which Madrid is not guilty. And the rest of the thriving cities, the cultural institutions and the projects that hope that the minister’s irrigation will reach them, either.
Culture deserves a lot of encouragement, but are we changing equity just for Barcelona? The 20 kilos game was foreseen in the budgets, some will tell me. Yes, but the Government advances it by decree to inject it to the undecided partner and tie the vote well. Can you imagine Rajoy -who was Minister of Culture- thus releasing 20 kilos to La Coruña to encourage coca-capitality? What would Iceta have said?
I’m still in Granada, I close my laptop, all of this seems really obscene. I think of the flamenco singer, of so many cultural professionals who are not out for parties and yet they do not fail us, I meditate on what they are thinking now, because they are in Malaga, Granada, Seville, Coruña, Valencia, or Madrid. Wrong places, obviously, for the minister. Tonight in the Sacromonte they laugh heartily to the point of madness.