The truth is that when I read «Deixádenos remar» (Let Us Row) by the writer and journalist Ana Cabaleiro, I remembered the graffiti on the road to my father’s village. At the moment, I made a note of the idea to relate it to the space in the same way that she did in her novel, that among multiple voices and stories, there appeared every so often a stone barrier or wall «analyzing» phrases with which humans were expressing themselves in them. In one particular moment in the novel, there is a stone barrier that reads: «To be a wall that listens, that preserves the secular power to hear» and then continues with «To be one of the few walls that boasts a single graffiti.»
The matter is that for years, in the middle of the rotary that leads us to the village, there was a piece of graffiti that said «INDEPENCIA» (INDEPENCE), like that, without the syllable «DEN» that would complete the word. Every time that we would come or go from Ourense to Armariz, I saw the word and thought about the story that there had to be behind it…At that time, I asked myself about the moment that someone decides to make a piece of graffiti, and about what the trigger of the rush that leads the person who made it to exclude a syllable in the middle of the word.
This week, after a long time, we went by there again, and I was surprised to see the rotary’s evolution. Now, it has artificial turf, and some big, gigantic capital letters in white–the kind of letters like a sculpture that is now seen everywhere with the name of the county or city. And suddenly, I missed the loss of the other rotary, not because of the word itself or the quality of that piece of graffiti, but because of the feeling that today, like that same road through which not only we travel, that turf and those words mean, in some way, the gentrification of the rotary of the way to the Ribeira Sacra.