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‘Catalan Way towards independence’ is Wall Street Journal’s photo of the year

The readers of the Wall Street Journal have deemed best photograph of the year a picture of the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, a 400-kilometre-long human chain which crossed the whole of Catalonia on the 11th of September 2013. 1.6 million Catalans took part in the demonstration, asking for independence from Spain. The winning photograph was taken by Raymond Roig and portrays participants on the heights of Pertús village (located near the French border, in the Pyrenees). It was chosen amongst the 364 pictures selected by ‘Wall Street Journal’ editors as the best photos of the year.

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19 December 2013 08:15 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).-  The readers of the Wall Street Journal have deemed best photograph of the year a picture of the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, a 400-kilometre-long human chain which crossed the whole of Catalonia, from north to south, on the 11th of September 2013. 1.6 million Catalans took part in the largest-ever demonstration in Catalonia, asking for independence from Spain. Many Catalan figures from the political, cultural and socio-economic sphere also participated in the event. The winning photograph was taken by Raymond Roig, working for AFP. It portrays participants on the heights of Pertús village (located near the French border, in the Pyrenees). It was chosen amongst the 364 pictures selected by ‘Wall Street Journal’ editors as the best photos of the year. Amongst other selected pictures were scenes of bull fights in Pamplona’s San Fermín festivities or a photo of the train accident in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia), which killed 80 people. 


The ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, organised on Catalonia’s National Day (September, 11th), was a 400-kilometre-long human chain, which spanned the whole of Catalonia, from North to South. 500,000 citizens joined hands in the city of Barcelona and a total of 1.6 million Catalans participated in the rally, according to the Catalan Police. However, the Catalan Home Affairs Minister, Ramon Espadaler, explained it was highly difficult to calculate such figures, adding that 1.6 million “would be the lowest estimate”. This means it was the largest demonstration to ever take place in Catalonia and one of the largest in Europe. At the end of the event, the Catalan Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, stated that “very few noble causes at world level, such as the freedom of a people, could gather so much support”. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Catalans had travelled throughout the country to participate in one of the ‘Catalan Way’s’ 788 stretches, which were all fully packed. The demonstration was entirely peaceful and many people sang, danced or organised meals.together

A demonstration inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’ of 1989

The ‘Catalan Way towards Independence’ was inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’, a 670-kilometer-long human chain formed in 1989 which went across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The 2 million participants demanded these three Baltic States to become independent from the USSR, something they achieved two years later, in 1991. Condemned by Moscow, the human chain gathered international sympathy and was praised on many occasions for being a unique and peaceful demonstration asking for the right to self-determination. Organisers of this ‘Baltic Way’ demonstration gave their support to the ‘Catalan Way’.

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  • The Wall Street Journal publishing Raymond Roig's picture (by Wall Street Journal / Raymond Roig / AFP)

  • The Wall Street Journal publishing Raymond Roig's picture (by Wall Street Journal / Raymond Roig / AFP)