Living the Postcolonial; Thinking it Neo-colonial; Calling it Cultural Cooperation Between Spain and the Philippines

José Miguel Díaz Rodríguez


From the promotion of Spanish language in the archipelago to Philippine events with a Spanish flavour, Spain has steadily increased the amount of funding dedicated to cultural promotion in the Philippines over the last decade. Spanish cultural activity in the Philippines, which some diplomats have referred to as the exertion of cultural pressure, can be understood as symbolic power. This essay analyses recent Spanish legal discourses concerning the Philippines. Contextualising this, several aspects of the 2006 "Colonial Imaginary" exhibition are examined, concluding that Spanish cultural promotion in the Philippines can be linked to a postcolonial reality. Furthermore, it has created a web of cultural encounters, some of which are uneven; based on a historical relationship that brings a power relationship into the present.

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