Are Almodóvar, Rosalía, or Bardem Not a Source of Spanish Pride?

Are Almodóvar, Rosalía, or Bardem Not a Source of Spanish Pride?

Ernest Urtasun, the Minister of Culture, and Joaquin Robles, a Vox deputy, engaged in a passionate discourse during the congressional session held on February 28. At the heart of their debate was the definition and representation of Spanish culture. Urtasun passionately defended the modern icons of Spanish cinema and music, citing them as sources of national pride.

Ernest Urtasun questioned Joaquin Robles, asking, “Do you consider that Bayona, Almodóvar, Elena Martín, or Isabel Coixet are Spanish culture or not? Because we are proud of the film workers of this country that you attack. Are you so far from the common sense of this country that you genuinely believe that Pablo Berger, Javier Bardem, or Malena Alterio are not a source of pride for Spain and this country?” This question was asked during an urgent inquiry concerning his Ministry’s policies to “defend the cultural and civilizing legacy.”

Urtasun defended the Spanish film sector, which was previously described as “gentlemen” by the vice president of the Government of Castilla y León, Juan García-Gallardo, before the Goya awards. He expressed his surprise at how far removed from reality those who attacked the Spanish film sector were and emphasized the increasing international recognition of Spanish cinema.

The Minister also mentioned the writer Miguel Hernández and the singer Rosalía as sources of national pride. He criticized Vox’s attempts to eliminate an award in Hernández’s name and their proposal to the European Commission to veto Rosalía, asking, “But what world do you live in that asks the European Commission to veto Rosalía, who is a source of pride for our country? What is Spanish culture for you and what are the requirements that Vox establishes for someone to be a worthy representative of Spanish culture?”


Robles suggested dismissing Urtasun, accusing him of failing to defend Spain’s reputation. He criticized Urtasun for expressing his “Hispanophobia” and blamed him for his enthusiasm for returning the relics of a supposed colonial past. Robles also accused Urtasun of being a pawn of globalist ideology, subscribing to “woke” ideology, and representing elitist interests.

Robles defended the Spanish legacy while criticizing Catalan and Basque nationalism. He acknowledged the crimes and injustices of every conquest, including those committed by Spain, but argued that Spain was a generator, not a colonial empire.


Urtasun responded by referring to a recent meeting between Santiago Abascal, the president of Vox, and former US president Donald Trump. He expressed his dismay at the American and woke debates being brought into the Spanish context. He reiterated that Vox neither knows nor defends Spanish culture and urged them to frequent cinemas, theaters, museums, and libraries more often.

He defended Spanish culture against Vox’s attempts to belittle, cut, censor, or outright ban it. He also championed museums as institutions that are receptive to debates and in tune with global social concerns. Urtasun concluded by declaring, “Long live Spanish culture”.