A Brick Culture, 2004

A Brick Culture consists of nine audio interviews that Daniel G.
Andújar conducted with people who have participated, at a governmental
level, in the corruption surrounding construction and urban
developments in Spain. They are the protagonists of the so-called
brick culture that has haunted the country since the beginning
of the 2000s and has radically transformed the look of the land.
Agricultural areas have been invaded by housing projects, and coastal
towns have been expanded to accommodate more tourists (on behalf
of the existing population). For one five-year period Spain was the
biggest consumer of cement in Europe. Land has been revalued and
prices speculatively increased. No names are mentioned in the interviews,
and the voices of the interviewees have been distorted, like
witnesses in a police case. They explain their simple techniques to
get to the politicians and paint a clear picture of a government that
is for sale if you pay the right person. Moreover, as one interviewee
says, “Complicity is absolute.” A grotesque fact revealed by the interviews
is that during Spain’s first two years in the Eurozone, from
1999 to 2001, nearly 43 million ¤500 notes—equal to ¤21.331 billion—
went into circulation in Spain. That amounts to 35 percent of
all the money in circulation, yet no bank ever saw these notes since
most were laundered and moved in suitcases.
Originally the audio interviews were exhibited with photographs
of golf courses and residential buildings, the same kind of imagery
used by the corruptors to hypnotize the public and generate a flow
of money. When the interviews were first exhibited, they caused a
media scandal, and the identity of one of the politicians was somehow
revealed. Today that politician is imprisoned.


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