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Mónica Ibáñez Angulo

The Governance of Cultural Diversities in Spain
Linguistic, Religious and Artistic Diversity in Two Autonomous Spanish Communities

(Volume 15 : 2015 — The Management of Immigration Related Cultural Diversity in Federal Countries)
Open Access


This chapter examines how the Spanish state and two autonomous communities (the Basque Autonomous Community and Galicia) have addressed linguistic, religious, and artistic diversity. The first section provides a general overview on the constitution of autonomous communities and on immigration policies. The following subsections analyze the ways in which different sources of linguistic, religious and artistic diversity have been included in and excluded from “normalization policies”, i.e. policies aiming at the recognition and support of cultural diversity, at the state and regional levels. The focus of cultural policies on territorial forms of cultural diversity and on cultural difference, as well as the focus of immigration policies on the social integration of migrants, usually disregarding their cultural rights, have reified the symbolic boundaries among cultures and social groups, preventing the development of social interaction and cultural hybridization between and among different social groups.

Keywords : Basque Autonomous Community, cultural diversity, Galicia, Spain, Transnational migration

1. Cultural differences vis-à-vis cultural diversity

1Nation building has effectively contributed to conceal cultural diversity and socialinequality through the establishment of anoften monolithic discourse whereby cultural homogeneity has become synonymousof socialcohesionand, conversely,cultural diversity is thought to lead tosocial conflict and bea threatto nation states. Nation states havebeen quitesuccessful in inculcating upon thenationalmasses thenotion thatothercultural practices, especially thoseperformed bysubaltern socialgroups (women,youth, ethnicizedsocial groups and immigrants), are “dangerous” for socialcohesion, especiallyif these subaltern groupsengageina social critiquethatquestionsthemarginal position thatis being ascribed to them. Indeed, nationalist logic rests on the assumption that culturally homogeneous societies positively contribute to social cohesion and, conversely, that cultural diversity may bring new forms of social conflict. However, as societies become more diverse and cultural diversity is being increasingly visibilized through global processes, this logic must be superseded.

2Cultural diversity refers to cultural dynamism, to the capacity of culture to change and transform practices and meanings through the social interaction among diverse social groups. In the context of the Spanish nation-state and its autonomous communities, we could identify three different sources of cultural diversity: regional territorial cultural diversity (e.g. official, co-official languages), non-territorial cultural diversity (e.g. Roma and immigrants’ cultures), and a global culture that has English as its vehicular language. Until the second half of the 20th century, the main goal was to accommodate within the official national narrative different forms of regional-territorial cultural diversity (and their often centrifugal tendencies), as well as other non-territorial forms of cultural diversity often identified as minorities (e.g. Roma). However, since the late 1980s the state and regional governments had to accommodate other supra-territorial (foreign) sources of cultural diversity brought by postcolonial people now addressed as immigrants.

3Mainstream cultural policies both at the state and regional levels have mostly focused on the protection and promotion of national and regional cultures and have seldom addressed the cultural rights of non-territorial social groups, such as Roma and transnational immigrants1. Indeed, even though Roma people havebeen living in Spain for centuries they seem to be difficultto “integrate”within theofficial nationalnarrativeand, despitetheiroften folkloricappeal, theyarestillconsidered as nationalothers, often identified as aproblem. On the other hand, cultural diversity brought by migrants is also excluded from mainstream cultural policies on the basis of its foreignand recent character,even though the foreignness of some of these practices, such as Arabic and Islam, may be questioned on the basis of their long and significant presence in the territory2.

4The location of deterritorialized cultural rights in ad-hoc immigration and minority policies outside mainstream cultural policies, has further contributed to the stigmatization and alterization of these sources of cultural diversity and to the stigmatization of its producers. As regards to immigration policies, the “Law on the rights of foreigners and their social integration” (LOEX, 2000) acknowledged the positive contribution of the cultural diversity brought by migrants and the role of public institutions in promoting it (art.2). More recently, the Strategic Planning for Citizenship and Integration (PECI of 2007 and 2011) have also addressed the contribution of migrants to cultural diversity and proposed the development of intercultural programmes in order to facilitate the integration of migrants in the Spanish society. However, in practice, immigration policies both at the state and regional levels have pretty much privileged official and co-official cultures (e.g. integration contracts), vis-à-vis other non-territorial and supra-territorial cultures. Moreover, the placement of immigration and intercultural initiatives within welfare departments and NGOs as well as the type of measures and activities that have been developed (e.g. “intercultural” fairs) have prevented the development of lasting social interactions among autochthonous population, immigrants and minorities, and have contributed to reproduce both the symbolic distance between cultures and a social imaginary that often blames immigrants for taking advantage of the public services.

5In the two case studies that I will present below, the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC)3 and Galicia, I will show how these two regions have approached issues of linguistic, religious and artistic diversity. I am especially interested in showing how in both cases the prevalence of a territorial notion of culture has modelled their attitudes towards territorial and supra-territorial forms of cultural diversity, and has affected the kind of resources that each autonomous government has provided to support the cultural rights of transnational immigrants. Overall, the BAC seems to be more sensitive to cultural diversity issues than Galicia, at least regarding the institutional initiatives that both regional governments have implemented and the initiatives originated from associations of the civil society. As regards to institutional initiatives, in the autonomous community of Galicia cultural and immigration policies have been targeted towards the integration of Galician returnees and there is not a specific institutional department in charge of cultural diversity issues. In the BAC, the Basque Service for Integration and Intercultural Convivencia, Biltzen, with headquarters in the three provinces), created in 2004 in order to boost dialogue between and among “different cultural communities and the regional administration” has developed a series of initiatives aimed at mediating in cultural conflicts, counselling in intercultural education as well as organizing a variety of intercultural activities. As regards to initiatives developed by civil society associations, the strong network of socio-cultural associations in the BAC has provided a variety of spaces for social interaction and cultural exchanges and has boosted the development of migrant associations fashioned following local taste (e.g. Islamiar Mendi Taldea, an Islamic mountain group in Bilbao, BAC, fashioned following traditional Basque mountaineers associations).

2. Linguistic diversity

6In a broad sense, linguistic diversity refers to three sets of issues: (i) the actual languages spoken in a given territory (the state, the autonomous communities, the municipality), whether these languages are official, co‐official, recognized as minority languages, or not‐recognized “foreign” languages; (ii) speech forms and speech communities, such as conscious transformations of linguistic forms and meanings (e.g. youth’s jargons); and (iii) the set of attitudes and practices towards different languages and speech forms in relationship to them being a majority, a minority, or a language of power and in relationship to the status conferred to the bearers and users of such languages and speech forms.

7As regards to the different languages spoken in Spain, the Spanish Constitution (SC) states that “Castilian is the state’s official language” notwithstanding that there are other regional “Spanish languages” (art. 3), whose status, support and promotion, either as co-official or as regional-minority languages are competence and responsibility of their respective autonomous communities (art. 148.1.17). Accordingly, each autonomous community becomes the responsible body for the recognition and support of linguistic diversity. By assigning issues of linguistic diversity up to the discretional understanding of each autonomous community, the SC does not account for other aspects of linguistic diversity such as: (i) the recognition of non-territorial languages; (ii) the status of regional languages which are recognized in the statutes but are not co-official (e.g. Leonese in Castile-Leon); (iii) the status of certain regional languages which are spoken in more than one autonomous community but are recognized as official and/or as regional-minority languages in only one of them (e.g. Asturian or Bable in Asturias and in Galicia); (iv) the status of those languages which are not recognized at all in the statutes of the autonomous communities where they are traditionally spoken (e.g. Tamazight spoken in Melilla and Moroccan Arabic in Ceuta); and (v) the lack of further definition over which “Spanish languages” could become official and in which autonomous communities.

8The ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), signed in 2001 by the Spanish government has not greatly contributed to advance linguistic rights to deterritorialized linguistic communities, such as immigrants. Indeed, the Charter explicitly excludes the languages of migrants, as well as dialects of the official language(s) (art. 1) from the Charter’s protection. In addition, the fact that the (minority) languages that can be included in the Charter (art. 2 and 3), is open to the good will of the national governments, and that its non-compliance is not sanctioned may lead to the further marginalization of those languages and linguistic communities that a given state is not willing to recognize. Consequently, mainstream linguistic policies have been mostly circumscribed to territorial languages (official, co-official, or minority languages), excluding the languages spoken by immigrants (especially Romanian, Portuguese and Arabic) and by other minoritized social groups such as Roma (Caló).

2.1 Territorial Linguistic diversity: official, co-official and regional Languages in Galicia4 and the BAC5

9Both the autonomous statutes of Galicia (LO1/1981 last reformed in 2010) and BAC (LO3/1979) establish that: (i) the proper languages of Galician and Basque people are, respectively, Galician and Euskera; that (ii) those two languages are co-official in their respective autonomous communities together with Castilian; and that (iii) autonomous communities have competency over regional linguistic issues.

10Given that until the 19th century Euskera and, to a lesser extent Galician6, have been oral languages, there were significant variations regarding the extent to which these languages were actually spoken in different areas, as well as variations regarding different local speech forms. Consequently, linguistic normalization policies have been carried out in both Galicia (L3/1983) and the BAC (L10/1982) with the aim of “normalizing” the use of these regional co-official languages vis-à-vis Castilian. One of the most controversial issues has centred on the role that these languages should play in everyday life. Those who defend an equilibrium between the official Castilian and the co-official languages argue that there is not any incompatibility between Castilian and the regional languages, that the presence of Castilian does not imply that those regional languages will disappear and that to make Galician/Euskera the preferential languages would entail cultural impoverishment, renouncing to the “knowledge of one of the languages most spoken in the world”7. In contrast, those who privilege the use of regional languages consider that Castilian is an imported and imposed language, and that it is not an issue of bilingualism (since being bilingual is a purely individual prerogative), but rather of diglossia whereby one language (Galician or Euskera) is subordinated to the other, Castilian; consequently, they demand a kind of affirmative action policies towards these regional languages and their speech communities, a kind of “right of restitution” for all those centuries when these regional languages were sort of subjugated by the centralizing policies of the Spanish state8.

11Normalization policies9 have included a process of standardization and a process of (re)vernacularization of the society. Standardization has centred on unifying linguistic norms for written and oral communication. In Galicia, the process of standardization has been questioned on the basis of its high degree of Castellanization, particularly as regards to the phonetic reduction of the seven Galician vowels to five. In the Basque context the main concerns arose in relationship to the excessive influence of certain local speech forms of Euskera vis-à-visthe marginalization of others (such as Bizkaian) when the unified Euskera, Batua, was officially constituted in 1968. As regards to the process of revernacularization, the main concerns have arisen in relationship to the unequal impact of these policies, given that in the most urbanized and industrial areas Castilian still is the predominant language and given what some authors consider an excessive zeal of these policies in areas where these regional languages had disappeared long ago10.

12Education constitutes a privileged social field for the implementation of linguistic normalization policies, given its role in the standardization of the language and in the revernacularization of society. In both autonomous communities to study the co-official languages is mandatory in all non-university courses, although students who have been recently incorporated in the local school system (mainly immigrants and returnees) can be exempted from learning them11. In Galicia, given that the autonomous law on education expressly forbids the segregation of students in different schools and/or different classrooms for linguistic reasons, the debate has focused on establishing the percentage and type of courses taught in Galician and Castilian. Thus, whereas the 2007 Decree established a minimum of 50% for courses taught in Galician, including science courses such as mathematics and physics (Decree 124/2007), the later 2010 Decree established a maximum of 50% for courses taught in Galician and excluded Galician from the study of science courses (Decree 70/2010). On the contrary, in the BAC the debate has centred on the social effects of having three linguistic education models (A, B and D)12, especially regarding the stigmatization of model A given its low success rate13, and regarding the decrease on the percentage of students who choose model D as they move forward in the education system14, which is interpreted as a failure of the linguistic policies towards Euskera.

2.2 Non-Territorial Linguistic diversity: The case of foreign languages

13Given the emphasis on the territorial adscription of linguistic diversity, other speech forms and languages without a precise territorial delimitation within the state and/or the autonomous communities have not been addressed either by the Spanish or by the regional institutions. There is not an institutional framework that defines the role of the state and autonomous communities in protecting and promoting these other foreign languages that are spoken currently in Spain. Indeed, neither the autonomous statutes of Galicia and BAC nor their linguistic normalization policies include any special provision for the recognition and support of other non‐territorial sources of linguistic diversity.

14Support of non-territorial forms of linguistic diversity, such as those used by migrants, may be mentioned in the preamble of immigration laws and programmes although it is rarely (if ever) implemented through specific policies and measures; also, those languages are absent in the school curriculum, where only English, as a world language, constitutes a mandatory course. More significantly, these foreign languages are also absent from the Official Schools of Languages, OSL, which constitute the most popular schools to learn foreign languages. Thus, for instance, whereas in these two autonomous communities (as well as in most other Spanish regions), the largest speech communities are Portuguese, Romanian and Arabic15, only Portuguese is taught in both autonomous communities16, but Arabic is only taught in A Coruna and Romanian is not offered at all. Interestingly enough, although the OSL of A Coruna is the only one in these two autonomous communities with official courses on Arabic, the number of Arabic speakers in this region (7,857) is much lower than in the BAC (25,180); thus, it seems that support and recognition of linguistic diversity is more closely related to the sensibility of the school board than to the actual demands of the population17. This disregard to linguistic diversity is also evident in the scarce offer of language courses on other co‐official Spanish languages (Catalan, Euskera and Galician): OSL in Galicia and BAC do not offer language courses on other co‐official languages (besides, obviously, their own regional languages). This lack of relationship between, on the one hand, the languages taught at these OSL (English, French, German and Italian) and, on the other hand, the linguistic diversity that is experienced in the everyday life and the social demand and/or social interest for these languages, especially Romanian and Arabic, illustrates the extent to which the languages spoken by transnational migrants have been excluded from the debate on linguistic normalization that has characterized the debate on the status of co‐official and regional languages.

15The social demand for the linguistic rights of transnational migrants has been partially covered in the education system through so‐called ELCO programmes18 (Language Education of the Country of Origin), and through different initiatives carried out at the level of municipality in partnership with the departments of social and cultural affairs and/or civil society associations.

16In Spain there are two ELCO programmes: the Programme of Portuguese Language and Culture (PLCP), and the Programme of Arabic Language and Moroccan Culture (LACM). Both programmes are framed within institutional cooperation agreements between the governments of Portugal (1970) and Morocco (1980), respectively, whereby teachers are selected and paid by the governments of Portugal and Morocco, and the Spanish and regional authorities are in charge of accommodating these courses within the school curriculum19.

17Currently, nine autonomous communities co-manage the Programme of Portuguese Language and Culture20, although during the 2012-2013 school year the PLCP was only active in four: Andalucía, Castile-Leon, Galicia21 and Navarre. As regards to the Programme of Arabic Language and Moroccan Culture, more than five thousand students in twelve autonomous communities had participated in the programme during school year 2010-2011. In these two autonomous communities, the impact of the LACM is very similar, even though the potential demand is much higher in BAC than in Galicia, and even though the number of students involved in these Arabic courses is much lower than the “potential” demand in both autonomous communities. In Galicia, two teachers had been appointed to teach at eleven schools to a total of 174 students, and in the BAC the same number of teachers taught at sixteen different schools to a total of 222 students. Taking into account the number of Moroccan children aged 4-14 in Galicia (903), and in the BAC (1,779), LACM only reached to 19% of these Moroccan children in Galicia and to a low 12% in BAC22. Whereas in the BAC all students were registered in four groups of modality A (schools with a low number of students where courses are taught outside the teaching period and one teacher serves in several schools), in Galicia students registered in both modalities A and B (schools with high numbers of students, where Arabic courses are taught in the teaching period and there is one teacher per school).

18The LACM programme has been questioned on the basis that only literary Arabic is taught, disregarding the fact that the programme is mainly focused on Moroccan children whose parents speak either the Moroccan Arabic variety or Tamazight, neither of which are taught through the LACM23, and disregarding that standard classic Arabic based on the Quran is very rarely used, if ever, in casual conversations. Other authors24 have focused their criticisms on the institutional aspects of the programme, arguing that, on the one hand it allows Spanish authorities to evade European directives on the teaching of immigrant children’s mother tongue, while on the other hand, it allows Moroccan authorities to exercise certain control over Moroccan immigrants in Spain.

19Other bottom-up initiatives at the micro-level of the municipality, include the establishment of after-school programs for immigrant children where they can learn the history, culture and language of their countries of origin. They are usually organized and/or inspired by immigrant associations and often count with the collaboration of the local social services and associations of the civil society (e.g. providing classrooms)25. Once the courses take a more formal character (especially regarding students’ attendance to these courses), the associations may search for additional financial support form the local and/or regional administrations and from their countries of origin (usually in the form of learning materials, textbooks).

20Similar bottom-up initiatives have been developed in the context of religious associations, especially in Muslim associations, where the learning of Arabic usually goes hand in hand with learning the Quran. Yet, there is not a consensus as regards to the role of Arabic as a vehicular language among Muslims living in Spain. Whereas some Muslim scholars argue that Arabic should be the vehicular language among Muslims, especially among the young Muslim generations “who have been born in countries with different languages”26, others emphasize the need to have the Friday sermons in Spanish or both in Arabic and Spanish in order to avoid that those who do not know Arabic feel displaced, but also recognizing that Spanish is becoming an integrative language for many Muslims in Spain and that, therefore, it is important to learn it27.

21Other initiatives developed at the level of the municipality include a wide range of popular and institutional activities, such as the publication of multilingual guides, translation services28, or the provision of foreign newspapers, films, music and books upon demand at public libraries. These initiatives, despite their good intentions, have not been successful in relationship to their lack of continuity, their isolated and discretional character, their lack of integration within a broader strategy and the low number of local people who participate in them. In some cases, such as the publication of multilingual guides, their almost exclusive focus on welfare services as well as the fact that they only interpelate one public, immigrants, reproduces a social imaginary that sees immigrants as welfare (ab)users. As Unzurrunzaga has rightly pointed out, the insignificant linguistic protection that immigrants receive and the (inexistent) linguistic policies towards their languages implies that when immigrants approach the national and local administration they can use their languages only in three cases, when they are arrested, when they are judged and when they are sent to prison, whereas in all other cases immigrants are forced to learn the official language29.

3. Religious diversity

22Religious diversity refers to several forms of diversity: diversity of religious beliefs and dogmas, diversity of practices and rituals, diversity of the ways of being religious and of belonging to a religious community as well as diversity regarding the role of religion and religious institutions in everyday life. In the following subsections I analyze the ways in which the processes of secularization and transnational migration have contributed to the diversification of religious beliefs and religious practices as well as, paradoxically, to further preserve the role of religion in shaping individual identity (following a corpus of beliefs and acting accordingly) and in community building (given that religious beliefs and practices become meaningful through social interaction).

23The process of secularization that accompanied the development of modernity in Western Europe since the 18th century meant that religious affairs, and more precisely the Catholic Church, became progressively detached from the state. Yet, as I have argued elsewhere30, the moral bases of religious beliefs remained practically untouched. Nonetheless, the detachment of state and religious affairs brought a fundamental question to the fore: whether religion should be relegated to the private sphere outside any state intromission (e.g. French model of laïcité), or whether the state should support religious practice without aligning with anyone in particular (e.g. non-confessional states). By consigning religion to the private sphere and by banning the performance of religious rituals in the public space, the laïcité approach implicitly denies the social and cultural dimensions of religion and compromises the fulfilment of religious rights. In contrast, state support to religion has often translated into the institutionalization of unequal relationships and agreements between different religious confessions, granting more privileges to certain religious groups than to others (e.g. the privileges granted by the Spanish state to the Catholic church)31.

24The process of secularization enabled the diversification of religious beliefs and religious practices by producing different styles of being religious and different modes of belonging to a religious community. Thus, despite secularization or perhaps thanks to it, religion still remains influential in the construction of social identities both among practicing believers through their participation in religious rituals, as well as among non practicing and non believers through their acculturation from previous religious beliefs, practices and behaviours. In the Spanish context, the process of secularization32has not resulted in an agnostic or atheist society; rather, it has contributed to the development of new Catholic lifestyles, and to the diversification of religious beliefs.

3.1 Diversification of religious confessions

25Transnational migration from North Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe has greatly contributed to the growth and diversification of non-Catholic religious confessions33, especially Muslims, Evangelicals34, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Orthodox Christians (López Rodrigo 200935). Indeed, the growth of Evangelical and Muslim cult places is coincident with the settlement of Latin Americans and North African populations since the late 1990s36.

26At the state level, Evangelicals, most of whom are Pentecostals and followers of the Church of Philadelphia, constitute more than half of non-Catholic religions (58%);Muslims constitute the second most numerous non-Catholic group (23%), and Jehovah’s Witnesses constitute the third (11%). Other confessions are significantly less numerous, Orthodox Christianity (3%), Buddhists (2,5%) and Mormons (2%)37. In the BAC and Galicia these percentages are very similar, although the BAC has a larger number of Islamic cult places and associations (61) than Galicia (17) and, conversely, Galicia has a larger number of Evangelicals (156) than the BAC (102). This high number of Muslim cult places in the BAC correlates with the high number of immigrants from countries where Islam is the official state religion, 23% of the total immigrant population, whereas in Galicia only amounts to 10%. Conversely, the higher number of Evangelical communities in Galicia correlates with the high number of Latin Americans in this autonomous community (almost half of the foreign population is Latin American). As regards to the territorial distribution of religious diversity in these two communities, it should not be a surprise that the largest number of religious cult places and associations are to be found in the most populated and most dynamic municipalities, such as A Coruña and Pontevedra in Galicia (almost one half of the cult places are registered in A Coruna), and Bilbao in the BAC.

27The visibility and growth of Evangelical churches since the 1960s is related to three events: the conversion of most Spanish Roma to the Church of Philadelphia in the mid 1960s, the promulgation of the Law on Religious Freedom in 1980 (LO 7/1980), and the arrival of migrants especially from Latin America and East Europe since the mid 1990s. The first nation-wide Evangelical federation (FEREDE) was constituted in 1985 and currently it has chapters in all autonomous communities. Evangelicals have also developed a widespread network of NGOs and networks of mutual aid that include the provision of religious assistance in prisons, hospitals and schools as well as the provision of services to the community, such as rehabilitation centres (Remar and Reto). In addition, Evangelicals have created a widespread network of (mass) media that includes a publishing company (El Mensajero), TV and radio programmes, several nation-wide print and online publications and a number of local publications38. In the field of education, ERE (Enseñanza Religiosa Evangélica), coordinates the demands for Evangelical religion in the public school system and guarantees students’ right to study Evangelical religion.

28According to the Islamic Commission of Spain (CIE), the expansion of Muslim religion in the last twenty years (the CIE reports 1100 Mosques and 24 Islam schools or Madrasas) is very much related to the settlement of foreign Muslims, mainly from the North of Africa (Morocco and Algeria) but also from other African countries (Senegal, Nigeria, Mali) and from Pakistan, while conversions of Spanish people only amount for a low 10‐15%39. Most local communities are integrated within either one of the two main state‐wide organizations, UCIDE and FEERI, although certain associations are not even registered at the official Spanish registrar of religious organizations40. The first state-wide Muslim association, the Muslim Association of Spain (AME), was constituted in 1971, and almost twenty years later, in 1989 and 1992, two more Muslim Associations were created, the Spanish Federation of Religious Islamic Entities in Spain (FEERI) and the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain (UCIDE). Also in 1992, the CIE was constituted as the representative body of all Islamic communities in Spain. At the regional level, territorial federations of Muslim associations have been developed in several autonomous communities, such as the Basque Islamic Council (Euskadiko Kontseilu Islamiarra), constituted in 2012 in Eibar41 with the aim of “normalizing the presence of Islam in the Basque Country”42 and the Basque Islamic Federation (Euskal Herriko Islamiar Federakundea, FIVASCO)43.

29The scope of Muslim publications in Spain includes the bimonthly Noticias de Al-Andalus and the magazine Islam (last available from September 2013), both of which are published by UCIDE and are available online. The Observatorio Andalusi, created in 2003 as an autonomous institute within UCIDE, also publishes the annual Demographic Report on the Muslim Community of Spain, with information that ranges from Islamophobic incidents to the institutional relationships between the Muslim communities and the national and local administration. The presence of so-called Islamist movements and networks in Spain that was evidenced at the Madrid bombings of 2004, has not translated into a widespread social fear that similar events could happen in the near future44.

30Jehovah’s Witnesses registered their first communities in Spain in the 1970s and obtained the status of deep rootedness in 2006. The central headquarters are located in Madrid, Casa Betel, and have worship places in all autonomous communities45. They are quite active as regards to the publication of periodical religious journals, such as the monthly magazines Despertad and La Atalaya, both of them also published online in several languages (including sign language). The growing number of bible reading groups in Romanian and Bulgarian languages illustrates the extent to which Jehovah’s Witnesses have succeeded among citizens of these nationalities46.

31The recent growth of Orthodox associations and cult places is closely related to the settlement of Eastern Europeans, mainly Bulgarians and Romanians. Indeed, most Orthodox communities are registered as Romanian Orthodox, which indicates that there is an active Orthodox Romanian community. Orthodoxy was granted the status of deep rootedness in 2010, the same year that the Episcopalian Orthodox Assembly for Spain and Portugal, the official interlocutor between the Orthodox communities and these states, was constituted. Some Orthodox churches have been able to open their own temples but most often they use worship places lent by the Catholic Church and by interreligious platforms, where they hold Sunday Mass and other religious festivities (Christmas) and celebrations (weddings)47.

3.2 Diversification of Religious Practices

32Diversification of religious practices refers to several issues, such as the transformation of religious rituals, cases of hybridization and synchretism, as well as new religious lifestyles. As regards to the ways in which religious rituals have been transformed in order to accommodate the social and cultural diversity of parishioners, Evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses have shown a high degree of resilience in accommodating cultural diversity by adjusting religious rituals to parishioners’ preferences (e.g. sermons in Romanian and Bulgarian languages), and attracting minoritized social sectors that had been explicitly or tacitly excluded from the Catholic church. This is the case, for instance, of the Evangelical Church of Philadelphia, which is mostly composed of Roma people, but also the case of other local churches which have modified certain religious practices in order to meet the demands of parishioners (e.g. Evangelical churches playingChristian heavy metal songs).

33Diversification also applies to the cases of religious hybridization between, for instance, Catholic and non-Catholic rituals, such as the placement of flowers over Muslim thumbs, as it is the case in the Muslim cemetery of Grinon (in the province of Madrid), a rare event amongst Muslims which reflects, as the Imam of the mosque argued, “the españolización of many Muslims”48. In some other cases, diversification of religious practices also refers to the development of relationships between religious groups which would be unthinkable in other contexts; this is the case reported by the association Islam-Spain at the occasion of the simultaneous celebration of a Shiite and a Sunnite funeral, where the Sunnite Imam was called to pray for the deceased Shiite in addition to the Shiite rituals49.

34Diversification of religious practices also relates to the new and/or renovated role of religious associations for community building, in so far as the very constitution of these associations implies a commonality of interests as well as the development of social relationships and the desire to strengthen those common trends through the (common) celebration of religious rituals and other sociocultural activities. This is the case, for instance, of Muslim associations, most of which are registered as socio-cultural associations because besides religious motivations, these associations are also conceived as a way to maintain Muslim culture, to live as a Muslim, and to act as a meeting point where Muslims can socialize and share their experiences (especially relevant for newcomers for whom these associations may be one of the few places where they may feel at ease)50. Religious diversification also refers to the development of sociocultural initiatives which are not directly related to religious issues, such as language courses (official, co-official languages) often adapted to the needs of parishioners (e.g. Spanish and Euskera courses offered to Muslim women at the Mosque Assalam in Bilbao), as well as the creation of a wide variety of NGOs that have transformed religious charity into solidarity and cooperation (e.g. the Evangelical rehabilitation centres Remar and Reto).

35Finally, diversification of religious lifestyles refers to new forms of being and belonging to a religious community. This is the case of what Requena denominates “nominal Catholicism”51, where individuals identify themselves as Catholics because they retain a kind of diffuse Catholic identity that is activated only on specific occasions, while showing different patterns of religious practice (e.g. church-going). Thus, for instance, although only a low 17% consider themselves as being active Catholics and while church-going has decreased52, other rituals, especially relevant rites de passage (such as birth and death) are often performed following Catholic rituals. Paradoxically, we observe that despite of, but also as a result of secularization the Church has retained much of its power over life and death (baptisms, funerals), while at the same time Catholics have freed themselves from the obligations of certain dogmas and religious rituals.

3.3 Normalization of Religious Diversity

36Normalization of religious diversity refers to the policies and programmes that have been developed towards the provision of religious rights to different religious communities. Legislation towards religious freedom was inaugurated by the Spanish Constitution (SC) of 1978 whereby the Spanish state is declared non-confessional, and by the Law on Religious Freedom approved two years later (LO 7/1980). As regards to religious practices, even though the state guarantees “ideological, religious and cult freedom” (art. 16 SC), it also limits cult practices to “the necessary maintenance of public order” (16.1); maintenance of public order that, as I will show, has been deployed as an argument to ban the opening of non-Catholic worship places in certain areas (e.g. residential buildings). Event though the LO7/1980 meant an important advance in the recognition of religious freedom and no-discrimination for religious issues (art.1), the law did not contemplate some issues that became relevant twenty years later as non-Catholic religions experimented a fast growth and new resources were needed (e.g. provision for religious assistance in public institutions, religious teaching). In order to address these issues the Socialist Party (PSOE) presented in 2009 a proposal for a new law on religious freedom inspired in the French laïcité model that did not reach parliamentary consensus.

37The LO7/1980 included the provision for establishing cooperation agreements between the Spanish state and (Catholic and non-Catholic) religious confessions. In order to sign these agreements, religious communities must be registered at the Department of Religious Affairs (Ministry of Justice), must designate one official interlocutor, and must have obtained the status of “notorious rootedness” on the basis of its social representativeness (i.e. the number of practitioners), its historical presence (whether legal or clandestine), and/or its territorial expansion. Cooperation agreements recognize two types of rights: individual rights referring to civil issues (e.g. marriages, the right to receive religious assistance in the army, in penitentiary centres and in the public school system); and collective rights, such as the right to establish worship and cult places (e.g. cemeteries). To date, besides the Catholic Church, only three non-catholic confessions (Protestants, Jews and Muslims) have signed cooperation agreements with the Spanish state. All three had obtained the mention of “notorious rootedness” in 198953 and have signed cooperation agreements in November 1992, coinciding with the five centenary of the Expulsion/Conversion Edict of 1492. Yet, as I will show, Muslim and Evangelical communities have often complained that these cooperation agreements have not ensured the recognition of and support to their religious rights.

38At the state level, the creation in 2011 of the Observatory of Religious Pluralism54 has meant an improvement in and for the public management of religious diversity. Besides offering updated data on religious associations and cult places the Observatory also coordinates the relationships between different administrations and religious confessions with the aim of addressing their demands towards religious issues (e.g. religious education) and, as far as possible, trying to satisfy them. In 2011 the Observatory published The Handbook for Municipal Management of Religious Diversity that has become obliged fundamental reference for the local administrations. Fortunately, the handbook emphasizes the need to distinguish and differentiate transnational migration from religious diversity55. According to the authors the distinction is fundamental because, first, the demands for religious rights transcend citizenship and nationality issues and, second, because the separation of religious diversity from transnational immigration would lessen the stigma towards immigration and towards non-Catholic confessions. Besides this publication, the Observatory has also edited several volumes on religious diversity in different autonomous communities; the volume dedicated to the BAC was published in 2011, and the volume dedicated to Galicia in 2014.

39However, most Evangelicals and Muslims living in Spain consider that legislation on religious freedom has not ensured the recognition of religious rights and has nor always materialized in a firm support to religious diversity. This dissatisfaction with the ways in which religious rights are granted to non-Catholic confessions relates to the obvious Catholic tradition in Spain but also to the fact that religious issues are also affected by a wide range of multisectorial local, regional and national policies. Legislation on urban planning, for instance, may have a direct impact on the construction of worship places. This is the case of the 2012 urban planning for the city of Bilbao of 2012, the Plan General de Ordenación Urbana (PGOU), that banned the establishment of new non-Catholic worship places in residential buildings in order to avoid conflicts with the neighbours, who had repeatedly complained on personal insecurity, “too many foreign people”, and on being “too noisy”. In response to the PGOU non-Catholic communities elaborated a common “Multireligious Manifesto” and, in addition, both the CIE and Ferede presented particular appeals. CIE’s appeal, grounded on the consideration that the programme infringed religious rights was rejected by the Court of Justice of the BAC in July 2014. However, the appeal interposed by Ferede, grounded on the non-compliance of the procedural protocol that demanded the participation of local associations in the elaboration of the urban planning, was admitted by the same Court of Justice and declared the nullity of the PGOU in November 2014.

40Legislation on education may also affect how religious freedom is exercised. Thus, for instance, while the General Law on Education (LO 2/2006, LOE), established the optional character of religious courses in primary education, the last reform (LO 8/2013, LOMCE), recuperated the mandatory character of religious courses in primary and secondary education. The main issue here is that whereas all public schools offer Catholic religion and most of them also offer an alternative course on ethical values for non-religious students, very few schools offer alternative Evangelical or Islamic courses, even though the cooperation agreements include the provision of Islamic and Evangelical religious courses56.

41Finally, normalization of religious diversity also pertains to the local imaginary that still perceives religious diversity as something alien and foreign that concerns only to immigrants and other minoritized social groups. This imaginary translates into attitudes of rejection (“they are too noisy, too many”), scarce relationships with the majority Catholic local population, and difficulties to establish worship places either because local people do not rent/renew the lease and/or because the municipal authorities deny permission to adapt the locale to their religious needs. Indeed, relationships between non-Catholic religious associations and the local society are not fluid but rather they are restricted to occasional participation in often non-religious initiatives and events. Even though non-Catholic religious confessions have been able to successfully integrate transnational migrants into culturally diverse religious communities, cultural diversity is often identified with and limited to the cultural practices and experiences of transnational migrants. This is the case of the youth festival organized by the evangelical network Red Evangelica as part of their activities for an “Intercultural Christmas”, festival that was “especially intended to extra-communitarian children living in Spain” and required to give a copy of the NIE (Foreign Identification Number) in order to be admitted, “as demanded by the financing members”. Similarly, the Literary Contest on Interculturality, also organized by the Evangelical Network, was intended to 6-14 years old children “who are regularized third-country citizens, that is, any boy and girl who is not a EU citizen”57.

42Interreligious platforms organized by religious confessions and/or by associations of the civil society with the aim to promote joint activities towards interreligious dialogue, constitute an interesting initiative towards the recognition of religious, social, political and cultural rights58. Indeed, the activities organized by these platforms, such as intercultural workshops and social sensitization, transcend purely religious issues and deal with broader social, cultural and political issues (e.g. xenophobia, regularization). Interreligious platforms have been created in several autonomous communities, being most numerous in Catalonia and the BAC and non existent in Galicia59. In the BAC, the most influential is the Ellacuria Centre and Foundation (named in honour of the Basque Jesuit priest assassinated in El Salvador in 1989) that organizes a wide range of activities (social sensitization, interreligious dialogue, cession of worship places, interreligious roundtables) and counts with the participation of autochtonous and foreign population.

4. Artistic diversity

43Beyond the individual genius of the artist, artistic diversity is related to: (i) deterritorialized “artistic styles”; (ii) aesthetic expressions and representations brought by transnational migrants, including their re-elaboration in the (post)migration context and/or their hybridization with other local and foreign aesthetics; (iii) diversity of the medium used to convey such aesthetics (performance, video, installation, painting) and of the (iv) exhibition contexts (e.g. museums, civic centres, the street). Moreover, given that artistic practice is both “aesthetic (a vehicle for subjective feeling) and useful (an expression of cultural tendencies and values)”60, artistic diversity also refers to (v) the sociocultural attitudes towards artists, hybridization processes and styles, as well as to (vi) the structure that defines how artists may access to the resources for the production, distribution and consumption of their artistic practices.

4.1 Institutional Framework

44In the Spanish context, the notion of art (including literature, painting, dance, theatre, music) is pretty much identified with the notion of “culture”. Consequently, the governance of artistic diversity refers to broader cultural policies that define the ways through which the state and the autonomous governments support the arts and artistic creativity, including the spaces for their production, reproduction and consumption such as fine arts schools, libraries, museums, as well as mass media, especially radio and television.

45Artistic issues are competence of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. In addition, autonomous governments have also developed specific departments with competences on artistic issues. In the BAC, artistic issues are competence of the “Department of Education, Linguistic Policy and Culture”, being linguistic issues (Euskera-Castilian) at the centre of most, if not all, cultural-artistic programmes. In the past ten years, three different Cultural Programmes have been implemented in relationship to the governing political party. The first programme, the Plan Vasco de la Cultura, was elaborated by the Basque Nationalist party, PNV, in 2004; the second, the Citizens’ Contract for Culture was elaborated by the Spanish Socialist party, PSOEin 2010, and the last one Kultura Auzolanean was implemented in 2014 when the PNV was again the governing party. Even though this last programme is the only one that considers “cultural diversity” relevant enough to have it as one of its main objectives, none of the activities that are being currently developed have included any initiative to promote it. Moreover, the fact that culture always appear in its singular (generic) form may indicate a rather essentialist notion of culture.

46In Galicia, the department with competences on art is the “Department of Culture, Education and University Planning”. As regards to “culture” (i.e. art), the Xunta has centred its activity on two main aspects, cultural patrimony and cultural revitalization, which means that the main interests of the Xunta focus on the support of local culture, hence the creation in 2008 of the Public Galician Agency of Cultural Industries, AGADIC, in charge of funding Galician cultural industries. Cultural diversity became a relevant issue in the 2013-2014 cultural agenda of Galician administration in only two occasions and in both cases it was linked to difference, to otherness (e.g. the inauguration of the exhibit Orinoco Collection, where cultural diversity referred to the peoples in the Amazonia).

47Overall, both the state and regional institutions have pretty much failed to recognize the artistic aspirations and representations of transnational migrants, which, in a sense, can also be understood as a failure to respond to their demands for equality. This exclusion of immigrant artists and their aesthetic representations outside mainstream artistic circuits further underlines their alterity. In this sense, the marginal location of “ethnic arts” as part of broader immigration and welfare policies also correlates with their marginal position in unusual exhibition spaces where ethnic arts are performed (civic centres, NGOs, immigrant associations). This marginal position might as well be related to the focus of Spanish policies on social integration where the cultural and artistic realms have rarely, if ever, constituted a means and/or a resource to improve social integration; indeed, integration paradigms have often constituted a politically correct euphemism to refer to assimilation where integration has been understood as an unidirectional process on the side of immigrants, and where integration policies have mainly focused on labour integration and political citizenship, disregarding cultural rights.

4.2 Circuits of production and performance

48Mainstream artistic policies have failed to recognize the artistic rights of immigrants and other minoritized social groups (e.g. ethnicized groups, women); accordingly, these artists and their artworks must follow specific circuits of production and performance. Some of these circuits, however, may contribute to reify their alterity (of artworks and artists), given that access to these circuits is not based upon aesthetic criteria but on otherness, such as subsidies to minorities, performances in civic centres, exhibitions at NGOs and immigrants associations, inter-multicultural festivals, among others. Inter-multicultural festivals, for instance, often organized as part of larger “celebration of diversity” events (e.g. International Migrants Day) may indirectly contribute to the further alterization of immigrants and other minoritized social groups given that, on the one hand, local autochthonous artistic expressions are usually absent and local autochthonous people participate as voyeurs; and, on the other hand, given that the selection of which artistic practices are to re-present these non-deterritorial sources of artistic diversity, are often based upon stereotypes, essentializing these expressive forms and privileging difference vis-à-vis diversity (e.g. ethnic art).

49To perform in the street, however, has a different meaning. The street constitutes one of the preferred stages for artistic performances. The artistic appropriation of the public space constitutes an exercise of empowerment and it is for this reason that all social groups have shown interest in gaining control over it, either through symbolic processes (e.g. artivism, street musicians) or through real force (e.g. police evading these musicians). Street performances contribute to the development of sociability and to make cities more liveable61 by successfully activating public spaces and making them safer62. Street performances provide numerous opportunities for the development of short-term low-intensity social interactions (fleeting sociability), which could evolve into “deeper and enduring social interactions and engagements between people”63. This is the case, for instance, of interactions among audiences composed of strangers who otherwise would have never talked to each other, but also interactions among artists themselves who may eventually end up performing together.

4.3 Professional Roma musicians in the post-migratory context

50With the collapse of the communism, minorities, especially Roma, experimented an overall and rapid impoverishment of their living conditions due to the lack of state’s support; moreover, some of the traditional ways through which Roma people had gained an extra-income such as wedding bands or Chalgadzhi,or as foreign money traders and importers of most-wanted western goods (e.g. jeans, cosmetics, car devices) were no longer meaningful in an open capitalist market, and many Gypsy people were left without either state support and/or alternative economic means. Quite a few Roma from Romania and Bulgaria opted to migrate abroad to other EU states (especially Spain and Italy) where they could use their skills as folk musicians and traders64. Yet, they encountered a very much hostile reception and experienced a double kind of alterity and otherness both as immigrants, constrained to work in the “black” economic sector, and as gypsies, often stigmatized as being thieves, lazy, uneducated, and treated with disdain by the majority population65.

51Their skills as professional musicians have seldom been taken into account, and they have been excluded from the official musical channels such as recording studios, radio stations and concert halls. Nonetheless, they found some alternative channels to perform their music in taverns and restaurants open by compatriots, in celebrations organized by other fellow nationals (e.g. weddings and national holydays), and as street musicians. According to several Romanian musicians living in Bilbao, when they play in taverns and celebrations with compatriots, they play their music not only as entertainment but also, and more fundamentally, as a collective performance of their identity. Given the interaction with their public (singing, dancing), to play in these contexts becomes the collective performance of the “ethos” of a people; it is not only music that is shared, but also the meaning of a music genre which had also constituted a ‘marginal’ music during socialist times for being ‘undisciplined’ and open to improvisation (something that the Socialist nomenklatura openly resisted in all fronts). In the last instance, it is a celebration of their being Romanian and Roma (e.g. singing and dancing both Romanian and Roma songs).

52To play in the street, in contrast, as many of them do, contributes to their visibilization and recognition, both in the sense of recognizing the musicians themselves by becoming known to their publics (playing in the same spots of the same streets), and in the sense of recognizing cultural diversity by confronting the audience and passers-by with a kind of music that transcend the musicians’ performance and refers to a (broader) diasporic people. Moreover, taking into account that most Eastern European Roma musicians have not learned their musical skills through the official academia but that playing music is a self-taught process aided and supported by other family members who are themselves musicians and luthiers, to play in the street also implies the recognition of another informal type of acquiring musical knowledge and dexterity located outside institutional schooling.

53Mehta’s argument that the street “is like a stage where people can act out their parts and display their talents and skills”66 is specially true for migrant street musicians. The integrative, creative and transformative dimensions of street music might as well constitute an example of what Guarnizo and Smith67 have denominated “transnationalism from below”, and illustrate how street performances can bridge socio-cultural differences by creating a new language of cultural diversity.

5. Concluding remarks

54Cultural diversity constitutes a dynamic notion; it does not refer to the static notion of cultural difference that reifies the symbolic boundaries between cultures; rather cultural diversity refers to processes of cultural exchange and to the potential role of culture for building bridges among and across social groups. As I have shown, transnational migration has greatly contributed to linguistic, religious and artistic diversity; however, I have also shown the risk of a too close identification between cultural diversity with migration because it reifies the notion of cultural difference at the same time that excludes the local culture from such diversity. The emphasis of Spanish and autonomous cultural policies on a territorial notion of culture (e.g. the criteria of territorial rootedness in the case of religious confessions) provides legitimacy and support to certain cultural practices that are constructed and essentialized as being an intrinsic part of Spanish culture(s). On the contrary, other deterritorialized sources of cultural diversity are excluded from mainstream cultural policies while they are included in specific ad-hoc programmes for immigrants and other minoritized social groups, usually ascribed to welfare departments, which further contributes to their stigmatization and alterization.

55As cultural diversity is increasingly being recognized as a social fact in contemporary European societies and as these societies are becoming more diverse, cultural policies could follow, at least, three paths: (i) implementing a cultural policy that promotes and empowers encounters between and among different groups; (ii) promoting just a limited number of (official, co-official) cultural practices; and (iii) not interfering in cultural issues assuming that, for instance, religion is a private right and its promotion is an individual endeavour. In the first scenario, these policies could effectively contribute to the recognition of cultural rights and the promotion of cultural diversity (vis-à-vis cultural difference) through the development of transversal programmes that encourage high levels of social and civic participation. The second scenario, which is the option chosen by the Spanish and autonomous regional governments, reproduces the unequal status between territorial and non-territorial cultural practices and contributes to the further minoritization and stigmatization of immigrants, minorities and ethnicized others. Finally, in the third scenario, which we may as well denominate the “liberal paradise”, the state has effectively liberated itself from the task of providing means and resources to cultural diversity, assuming that the laws of market will settle the issue.

56In order to arrive to the first scenario, where the encompassing notion of cultural diversity has taken over the excluding notion of cultural difference, it is necessary to respond to three challenges. First, to understand that cultural diversity is the norm rather that the exception, should require an exit from a way of thinking that imagines the world as being made of specific, well defined and precisely located sociocultural groups, and an entrance into a way of apprehending the world as a world made of deterritorialized networks and connections of variable, yet structured, geometries of power relations. Second, to ascribe a new role to cultural diversity in building social cohesion should require to abandon an understanding of cultural diversity as a potential source for social disruption and conflict and to develop a new appreciation for cultural diversity as the source of social change and cultural enrichment, as a source of/for building social and cultural bridges through the development of participative policies and networks that transcend administrative and symbolic borders (national, regional, municipal, immigrants, minorities, ethnic groups). And third, to relocate cultural diversity and intercultural policies within transversal policies should require to take these policies out of their marginal position as part of immigrant policies and welfare programmes, given that this location that has proven to be ineffective and that it has further contributed to understand cultural difference as a “side-effect” of transnational migration.

57Sixty-four years ago T.H. Marshall published his famous essay “Citizenship and social class”68, where he questioned the extent to which there should be limits to social equality. Forty years after Marshall’s publication, Bottomore pointed out some flaws of Marshall’s optimistic argument, such as his disregard for transnational migration69. Yet, in both Marshall and in Bottomore’s texts, cultural rights are excluded from their debate, as if cultural rights would be the necessary outcome of citizenship rights. Nonetheless, the sequence colonial-postcolonial-immigrants-ethnic minorities, illustrates how citizenship rights do not guarantee the recognition of and support to cultural rights (even among citizens). Thus, in contrast with the traditional understanding of cultural citizenship as an epiphenomenon of political citizenship, cultural citizenship could rather be understood as a pre-condition for full citizenship, including the right to perform a given set of cultural practices without fearing to be excluded on the basis of cultural differences.


1  The Spanish Constitution of 1978 establishes that while “the Spanish state will protect the cultures, traditions, languages and institutions of the different peoples of Spain” (Preamble), autonomous communities shall promote the culture of the community (art. 148.1).

2  Plann (S.), “Arabic: another ‘other Spanish language’?”, International Journal of Multilingualism, vol.6, n°4, p.369-385; Astor (A), “Religious Governance and the Accommodation of Islam in Contemporary Spain”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol.40, n°11, 2014, p.1716-1735.

3  I will be referring to the Basque Autonomous Community or BAC instead of referring to the Basque Country in order to distinguish what is usually understood as Basque Country or Euskal Herria (comprising seven provinces: Araba, Bizkaia, Nafarroa and Gipuzkoa in Spain, and Lapurdi, Nafarroa Beherea and Zuberoa in France) from the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain comprising only three: Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa.

4  The autonomous community of Galicia is located in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula and includes the provinces of A Coruna, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra. It has a territorial extension of almost 30 thousand km2 and a total population of a little more than 2.7 million with a population density of 92 inhabitants/km2. Immigrants constitute 4% of the total population.

5  The Basque Autonomous Community is located at the western corner of the Pyrenees and comprises the provinces of Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and Araba.  It has a territorial extension of a little more than seven thousand km2 and a total population of 2.2 million people, which means a high population density of 303 inhabitants/ km2.  Immigrants constitute 7% of the total population.

6  Galician language flourished as a literary language during the 12th-14th centuries, but given the centralization tendencies of the Castilian kingdom after the 15th century, Castilian replaced Galician as a literary language until the 19th century.

7 Porto Dapena (A.), “El español en contacto con el gallego”, Instituto Cervantes Congreso de Valladolid, Valladolid, 2001.

8 Regueiro Tenreiro (M.),Modelo harmónico de relación lingüística. Estudio en Galicia, 3catorceeuro Ediciones, 1999; Sánchez Carrión (J.M.), Un futuro para nuestro pasado. Claves para la recuperación del Euskara y teoría social de las lenguas, Donostia, Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, 1991.

9  In both AACC citizens may use either Castilian or the co-official regional languages in their relationships with the local administrations, which publish all their documents in both languages. In the BAC the law also includes the provision that local administrations could use exclusively Euskera in certain geographic areas “given that linguistic rights are not harmed” (art. 8.3). Other minor differences include, for instance, toponyms, which in the Galician case will be official only in Galician, whereas in the BAC toponyms will respect the original oral and written forms.

10  Igartua (I.), “Basque Country”, in Extra (G.) and Yagmur (K.) (eds), Trends in Policies and practices for multilingualism in Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

11  These models are in clear recession; in Bilbao, for instance, the largest industrial and urban centre of BAC, only a low 1,3% were exempt from learning Euskera.

12  In Model A teaching is carried out in Castilian, and Euskera is taught as another language course; in Model B, courses are taught both in Castilian and Euskera; and in Model D teaching is carried out in Euskera, and Castilian is taught as another language course. Models A and B are in clear recession and only around 16% and 21% respectively opt for this model, whereas Model D constitutes the option taken by the majority of students, 62%.

13 Iglesias de Ussel (J.) (ed.), Las políticas de integración social de los inmigrantes en las comunidades autónomas, Madrid, Fundación BBVA, 2010, p.218.

14  Igartua (I.), op.cit.

15  According to official data from the National Statistics Institute (www.ine.es) as of January 2014, citizens from Romania and from countries where Arabic and Portuguese are the official or co‐official language constitute almost half of the total foreign population, which in absolute numbers accounts for 44,000 people in Galicia and 65,000 in the BAC.

16  In Galicia, Portuguese is taught in all Galician OSL while in the BAC is only taught in the OSL of Bilbao.

17  Some OSL may have offered Arabic courses in the past (e.g. Irun in the BAC) but without continuity.

18  ELCO Programmes have been questioned in relationship to their implicit goals, given that some of them were established not so much with the aim of granting linguistic rights to immigrants but rather to facilitate their return to their state of origin. See García Guerra (M.), La razón mestizo, Madrid, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, 2007 and Eurydice, La integración escolar del alumnado inmigrante en Europa, Madrid, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, 2004.

19  Although mainly intended for Portuguese and Moroccan students, these courses are open to any other student.

20  http://educalab.es/cniie/competencias-basicas/lenguas-extranjeras/programa-lengua-y-cultura-portuguesa.

21  Initially, the PLCP was intended for the children of Portuguese miners in mining dictrict of El Bierzo (Southeast Galicia and Northwest of Castile-León).

22  (www.ine.es; latest data available January 2014).

23  Plann (S.), Op.cit.

24  Mijares (L.), Aprendiendo a Ser Marroquíes. Inmigración, Diversidad Lingüística y Escuela, Madrid, Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, 2006.

25  This is the case, for instance, of Romanian, Arabic, Russian and Chinese language courses intended mainly for immigrants’ children co-organized by immigrant associations and Biltzen, the Basque Service for Integration and Intercultural Convivencia.

26  Excerpt from Al Muqri Al Idrissi Abu Zayd, a Moroccan academic, in a conference given on May 2014 at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Fuenlabrada, Madrid (http://ucide.org/es/content/la-importancia-de-la-lengua-%C3%A1rabe-en-la-conservaci%C3%B3n-de-la-identidad-musulmana).

27  Kamel Laifithe, specialist in the formation of imams, at the workshop of the International Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IESCO) in May 2013 organized by the Spanish UCIDE and addressed to Imams and Islamic teachers in Spain.

28  In 2010 by the Basque Health System (Osakidetza) inaugurated a tele-translation system in fifty one languages intended to provide linguistic assistance to patients who do not speak any of the official languages. In some cases, specific in situ translators (either volunteers or paid staff) are also called in, while in other cases “it is not just a translating service but also an exercise on cultural mediation” (conversation with Aierdi, former director of the Basque Immigration Observatory, Ikuspegi, 2014). At the state level, the Department of Justice also has a list of translators who are called upon demand, especially when foreign citizens are arrested or in judicial procedures.

29 Unzurrunzaga (A.), “Etorkinen hizkuntza eskubideak”, in Aierdi (X.)et al., Euskara, Immigrazioa eta Hizkuntza eskubdeak. Lan Jardunaldiaren inguruko gogoetak, Bilbao, Ikuspegi-Eusko Jaularitza, 2008, p.9-11.

30 Ibanez-Angulo (M.), “Desarrollo Sostenible: Un enfoque sistémico”, in Vattier Fuenzalida (C.) and de Román Pérez (R.), Del Desarrollo Rural en la Política Agrícola Común 2014-2020, Pamplona, Thomson Reuters-Aranzadi, 2012, p. 237-275.

31  The prevalent high status of the Catholic church in Spain has been institutionalized through agreements with the Spanish state, via the Spanish Concordat with the Vatican in 1953 and the later agreements of 1976 and 1979, that have granted the Catholic church a privileged position in different social fields (e.g. the Spanish state co-funds catholic schools). This is why some authors have argued that “Spain is a non-confessional state with a lover”, El Pais, 3 July 2010, “De laicos, nada”, http://elpais.com/diario/2010/07/03/sociedad/1278108001_850215.html.

32  In Spain the process of secularization did not really start until the end of the Franco regime in the second half of the 1970s.

33  The close relationships between religious diversity and transnational migration might, nonetheless, be fictitious in so far as it would only be valid for the first generation since their children (the so-called “second generation”) are no longer migrants as they have often received Spanish nationality and/or have been born in Spain. Moreover, to establish a close link between religious diversity and immigration may contribute to create a too narrow identification between religious or cultural diversity and immigrant issues and to reproduce the stigma associated to immigrants and non-Catholics.

34  Throughout this text I will be using the term Evangelical to refer to the Protestant Confessions in Spain given that they prefer to be known as Evangelicals.

35 López Rodrigo (J.M.), “La gestión de la diversidad religiosa desde la perspectiva pública”, in Laicidad y libertades: escritos jurídicos, vol.1, n°9, 2009, p.297-337

36  The number of Evangelical cult places more than tripled from 1992 to 2012 (five hundred cult places in 1992 vis-à-vis more than eighteen hundred in 2012), as well as the number of Muslim cult places (twelve in 1992 vis-à-vis more than thirteen hundred in 2012), of Jehovah’s Witnesses and of Orthodox Christians (six hundred new Jehovah’s Witnesses have been registered from 1980 to 2014, and almost all Orthodox cult places, 96 out of 100, in the last two years).

37  According to the Observatory of Religious Pulralism, 80% of Spanish population is Catholic, 12,2% Evangelical, 4,5% Muslim, 2,4% Jehovah’s Witnesses, and 0,6% Orthodox Christians, http://www.observatorioreligion.es/upload/04/39/Explotacion_Directorio_diciembre_2013.pdf

38  Other Evangelical media include the online publication Protestante Digital; five TV programmes one state-wide Buenas Noticias and other four regional wide; one radio station, Radio Encuentro and one state-wide radio programme Mundo Protestante.

39  According to the 2014 Demographic Report on the Muslim Community of Spain published by UCIDE, more than three quarters of the Muslim community in Galicia are foreigners, whereas in the BAC the proportion is even larger, 84%.

40 Valero Matas (J.A.) and Miranda Castañeda (S.), “Introducción”, in Valero Matas (J.A.) (ed.), Hablando de lo religioso. Minorías religiosas en Castilla y León, Barcelona, Icaria, 2012, p.15-25.

41  Indeed, the first Muslim community and worship place were established in Eibar, an industrial town in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, in 1982.

42  Interview with Ismael Samadi, president of the Islamic Council, http://www.eitb.eus/es/videos/detalle/847210/video-nace-consejo-islamico-pais-vasco-eibar.

43 The Basque Islamic Federation is quite dynamic as regards to their intercultural and interreligious activities (e.g. the encuentro vecinal, neighbourhood meeting, organized in June 2015) and workshops, as well as their manifestos against, for instance, the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015.

44 Blanco Navarro (J.M.) and Pérez Ventura (O.), Movimientos islamistas en España, Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Madrid, 2012.

45  There are 38 Jehovah’s Witnesses cult places in the BAC and 45 in Galicia.

46 Ibanez-Angulo (M.), “Nation Building within the European Union: Reframing Bulgarian national identity from abroad”, in Marushiakova (M.), Dynamics of National Identity and Transnational Identities in the Process of Economic Integration, Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, p.154-188; Rodriguez Fernandez (L.) and Uriarte González (L.), “Otras comunidades de inspiración cristiana”, in Ruiz Vieytez (E.J.) (dir.), Pluralidades Latentes. Minorías Religiosas en el País Vasco, Madrid, Icaria, 2010, p.151-162.

47 Valero Matas (J.A.) and Miranda Castañeda (S.), “Introducción”, in Valero Matas (J.A.)(ed.), Hablando de lo religioso. Minorías religiosas en Castilla y León, Barcelona, Icaria, 2012, p.15-25.

48  Also in this cemetery there is one thumb with the picture of the deceased, something that the Imam considers “a unique case in the world”, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.diariodetuciudad.com/noticia/4299/reportaje/cementerio-musulman-de-grinon-el-unico-de-madrid.html

49  http://islamhispania.blogspot.com.es/2010/08/grinon-reune-sunies-y-chiies-en-el.html.

50  Muslim associations may also prefer to register as a sociocultural because it is much easier (i.e. less bureaucracy involved) to register as a sociocultural organization than as a (religious) Muslim association and, besides, it has certain advantages, such as access to local and regional funding.

51  Requena (M.), “The Secularization of Spanish Society: Change in Religious Practice”, South European Society and Politics, vol.10, n°3, 2005.

52 www.observatorioreligion.es/upload/83/81/Opiniones_y_actitudes_de_los_espanoles_ante_la_dimension_cotidiana_de_la_religiosidad_y_su_gestion_publica.pdf.

53  Mormons have obtained the mention of notorious rootedness in Spain in 2003, Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2006, Buddhists in 2007 and Christian Orthodox in 2010, but to date they have not signed cooperation agreement with the Spanish state.

54  The Observatory was created by an initiative proposed by the Ministry of Justice, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, and the Foundation Pluralism and Convivencia.

55 VVAA, Manual para la gestión municipal de la diversidad religiosa, Madrid, Observatorio del Pluralismo religioso en España, 2011, p.51-52.

56  Indeed, according to the Demographic Study of Muslim Population in Spain 2015, published by the Observatorio Andalusí, 90% of Muslim students cannot attend Muslim religious courses.

57 http://www.latidocreativodigital.es/diaconia/concurso-literario-infantil.

58  Torradeflot (F.), Religiones y pluralismo. Las vías del diálogo interreligioso en España, Observatorio del Pluralismo Religioso en España, Madrid, 2012.

59  Ibid.

60  Hiller (S.), “Introduction”, in Hiller (S.), The Myth of Primitivism, London, Routledge, 1989, p.3.

61  Carlin (A.), “Working the Crowds: Street performances in Public Spaces”, City Imagining: Regenration, renewal and Decay. Geojournal Library, vol.108, 2014, p.157-169.

62  Portas (M.), The Portas Review. An Independent Review into the Future of our High Streets, London, 2012.

63  Mehta (V.), The Street. A Quintessential Social Space, London, Routledge, 2013, p.102.

64  Besides these musicanti, other professional musicians, educated in renowned music schools also migrated abroad when state support to folk and classical music disappeared. Upon their arrival to Spain they found that their skills as professional musicians were not always taken into account and even though quite a few have integrated classical orchestras (especially playing chord instruments), many others play in the street and in subway stations.

65 Slavkova (M.), “Estrategias migratorias de la población gitana búlgara en España”, Perifèria, n°12, 2010.

66 Mehta (V.), op.cit., p.102.

67  Smith (M.P) and Guarnizo (L.E.), “Transnationalism From Below”, Comparative Urban and Community Research, V6, 1998.

68  Marshall (T.H.), “Citizenship and Social Class”, in Marshall (T.H.), Citizenship and Social Class and other essays, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1950, p.1-85.

69  Bottomore (T.), Citzenship and social class, London, Pluto Press, 1992.

To cite this article

Mónica Ibáñez Angulo, «The Governance of Cultural Diversities in Spain», Fédéralisme Régionalisme [En ligne], Volume 15 : 2015, The Management of Immigration Related Cultural Diversity in Federal Countries, URL : https://popups.uliege.be/1374-3864/index.php?id=1565.

About: Mónica Ibáñez Angulo

Professor, University of Burgos