1714-2014: THE DEFENDERS
2014 was the date that Catalan nationalism designated to held an independence referendum on November 9th. The date was no casual, but highly symbolic in the Catalan imaginary. In parallel to the current political process of indepence, Catalan society also recalls in 2014 the 300th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona during the War of Succession in 1714. Thus, lots of events are happening these months around the Catalan geography in commemoration of the tercentenary 1714- 2014.
One of the most striking aspects of these events are historical reenactments of battles of the time. At these events, dozens of historical reenactors relive the 1714 scenarios, with weapons and uniforms of the time. Different groups recreate the tropos in Bourbon and Habsburg sides. Every weekend tents and camps are set up, XVIIIth century uniforms are dressed, the guns are loaded ... a trip over 300 years ago in memory is held.
Miquelets de Catalunya is the leading association for historical recreation of this period in Catalunya. Its more than 100 members are during the week engineers, nurses, translators, restaurateurs... for becoming the weekend their alter-ego of 1714: “in defense of the rights, freedoms and institutions of the Catalans”.
Most reenactors, on both sides, are no strangers to the current independence process, and recreation becomes an act of deep personal involvement for many participants. A trip to the past… but with inherent implications in the present.