The footage shows a woman emerge completely naked from a toilet in the middle of Barcelona as shocked locals look on before a shirtless man steers her back inside.
The video shows the naked woman leaving a public toilet and wandering across the square before being called back by a shirtless male companion who then locks her back in the toilet. In the background as tourists and locals alike look on in amazement, a voice can be heard laughing: “Welcome to Barcelona!”
The incident was captured in the notorious Raval district of Barcelona, in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain which has become a by-word for anti-social behaviour.
There has been speculation that the woman may have been the victim of a sexual assault, but the exact reasons for her naked appearance are as yet unknown. One commentator said that the woman was known in the local area and appeared to have mental health problems and was “a victim of social exclusion.”
The incident is the latest of many that have caused indignation among local residents in the central Raval district. Recent video clips of the area, located just off Barcelona’s main avenue, the Ramblas, have shown prostitutes in a mass brawl as they compete for prime spots, drug
traffickers attacking one another with baseball bats, and a large group of women fighting in a children’s playground.
Some locals blamed the large number of homeless that are said to be camping out with impunity in the traditionally working-class area. Others laid the blame squarely at the door of the police and above all the mayor of the town, left-winger Ada Colau, who is perceived by many to be interested only in fashionable symbolic causes, and not in actually maintaining order on the streets of Barcelona.
One woman argued that a marginal, semi-criminal class had taken over the Raval: “They’ve got nothing to lose and the authorities don’t do anything. Even the police are sick and tired of it.”
Ivan Rivera President of the local Residents’ Association said: “This situation wouldn’t have happened in one of the high class areas of
Barcelona, but unfortunately this kind of thing is now part of every day life in the Raval.
Another netizen complained that he was tired of hearing at work that “The Raval is a shit ghetto full of immigrants and junkies,” and that the price of denouncing anti-social behaviour was “stigmatisation” as the press continues to portray the area as decadent and decayed.
Others pointed out that the Raval has always had a bad reputation and that recent events were nothing different from what had been going on for decades.
What is true is that over the last 20 years Barcelona has undergone a huge make-over as part of massive process of gentrification, and that the Raval seems to have been left behind.
Several commentators expressed surprise at the sudden uproar arguing that the Raval “has always been like this.”
There was no comment from the local authorities.