The cannibal wave: the cultural logic of Spain’s temporality of crisis (revolution, biopolitics, hunger and memory)

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Abstract: This article analyses how hunger and guillotines, revolution and food, butchers and protests are connected in the Spanish collective imaginary during the current temporality of crisis (2008–2013), with the aim of establishing its cultural grammar. By examining different representations of the crisis by means of gastronomy – including examples of graffiti and slogans, cooking TV shows and horror movies – I will describe the existing tensions between practices of resistance and collective imaginations of violent political change. I will propose that the social circulation of food and food images is a decisive contributing factor in the symbolic landscape of the crisis, shaping divided political economies according to the role of the citizens, the state or the corporations in control and the management of the collective access to nutritional goods. Pig slaughter versus the supermarket of the gods: two political universes offer their opposing poetic poles. On one side we will find (i) the subaltern logic of the popular distribution of proteins acquired, thanks to a founding act of communal violence (the slaughter of the pig). On the other side we recognize (ii) disciplinary, hegemonic logics based on the masking of biopolitical links between nutrition, economy and society (the supermarket of gods).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-271
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies
StatePublished - Apr 3 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


  • 15-M movement
  • Spanish crisis
  • biopolitics
  • cannibalism
  • gastronomy
  • hunger
  • popular culture


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