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La Movida Madrileña, meaning “The Action of Madrid”, was an unplanned countercultural movement from 1977 to 1985 in Spain. It began when Dictator Francisco Franco died and Spain erupted with pent-up energy. It was a movement that valued style over substance. The cultural revolution was evident in the music, subculture, fashion, alcohol, drugs, and sexual experimentation. La Movida took place primarily in Madrid, although some other cities such as Barcelona and Vigo had their own Movidas. Popular nightlife slang of the time reflected the spirit of the movement: “¿Dónde está la movida?”— “Where’s the action?”
La Movida began when Dictator Francisco Franco died in Madrid on November 19th, 1975. Franco’s 36-year reign had been one in which rigid public and church laws preserved the traditional role of family, enforced formal relations between the sexes, and controlled expression in the press and media. Eager to distance themselves from Franco’s repression and censorship, Spain quickly began the move to democracy called the “Transition”. King Juan Carlos I helped the tran…
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