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Painting ‘tourists go home’ is not enough

As reported previously in this blog, since the pandemic gave way to a new flood of tourism arrivals in Barcelona, the city has been plastered with ‘tourists go home’ graffiti. We did wonder if this message would have any impact with the tourists themselves. Apart from anything else, once the tourists get to see the graffiti, they have already arrived and are very unlikely to take the next plane home.

It seems that at least some in the Barcelona anti-tourism movement agree with us. The latest addition to the street furniture in the Gracia neighbourhood is a poster which proclaims in Catalan ‘painting “tourists go home” is not enough’ (No és sufficient pintar “tourists go home”). The reason? Because, as one of our readers commented on the previous post, tourists simply take selfies of the graffiti and send it to their friends. This in turns helps to attract more tourists….

Instead, the poster goes on to suggest, ‘we have to seek new lines of attack’. For obvious reasons the nature of the attack is left rather vague: ‘imagine what you would do it in that hotel. Imagine new possibilities. Find accomplices, look for an anti-repressive collective….’

It will be interesting to see what kind of action this proclamation generates. The tone suggests that some in the anti-tourist lobby have concluded that neither the more violent protests seen in the summer of 2017, nor the recent wave of graffiti have had much effect. Watch this space for the latest developments in the ‘smart anti-tourism campaign’ as it unfolds.

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