Miguel Trillo, Madrid 1982, Jardines Facultad de Derecho, Concierto Universidad, grupo Ángeles Caídos

Counter-cultural: Ángeles Caídos (Fallen Angels), one of the bands of La Movida. Photograph: Miguel Trillo

The explosion of creativity in Spain that brought filmmaker Pedro Almodovar to the fore will be celebrated this month in an exhibition at Red Gallery in Shoreditch.

La Movida Madrileña was a counter-cultural movement based in the Spanish capital and triggered by Spain’s transition to democracy following the 34-year dictatorship of General Franco.

Sometimes compared to the British New Wave, La Movida was an outburst of music, cinema, literature, photography and painting – with Almodovar its favourite son.

Almodovar is quoted as saying: “It’s difficult to speak of La Movida and explain it to those who didn’t live those years. We weren’t a generation; we weren’t an artistic movement; we weren’t a group with a concrete ideology. We were simply a bunch of people that coincided in one of the most explosive moments in the country.”

Under Franco’s rule from 1939–1975, many freedoms that Western democracies take for granted were oppressed.

Women could not set up bank accounts on their own, and regional languages such as Catalan and Basque were prohibited.

The government banned songs considered sexual, subversive or blasphemous, including the likes of Imagine by John Lennon or Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. Even Don McClean’s American Pie had its “father, son and holy ghost” lyric bleeped out.

La Movida Madrileña 1975-85 will feature films, photographs, music, fanzines, posters, record sleeves and others objects documenting that time, as well as an exclusive screening of “A Freer Time Was Had By All”, a documentary by Beatriz Alonso Aranzábal.

Jointly curated by the Red Gallery and the Cervantes Institute, the exhibition has secured two of the most influential photographers of the time, Ouka Leele and Miguel Trillo who captured some of the most iconic and timeless images of Madrid during the period.

New Year's Eve poster with Pedro Almodovar (left)

New Year’s Eve poster featuring Pedro Almodovar (left)

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team