“The Catalan audiovisual sector denies the youth”
His name is Pol Gise and he has hundreds of thousands of followers. He succeeds on YouTube and Instagram. He is one of the most important creators in our country and, despite everything, he warns that the Catalan audiovisual sector “does not believe in young people’s talent”.
This Catalan ‘youtuber’, who has built a professional career, like most of his generation, outside the conventional media ecosystem, says that he is successful in Spanish, whereas, in Catalan, he finds no way to stay profitable despite his accumulated great success. Gise denounced it a few days ago in a viral thread on Twitter, and now he opens up to 11Onze’s content director, Toni Mata, in the latest podcast published in La Plaça. “Sometimes I’ve even felt contempt,” he says.
“At the beginning I made the videos in Spanish, out of pure diglossia. How sad I didn’t even think about it! And when I started to publish videos in Catalan, I felt much more free,” he continues. Since Pol Gise already knows how the social networks work, it didn’t take long for his profiles to grow in Catalan. “It was fantastic, many people liked it, and I did it in my mother tongue,” he exclaims. And yet, though his social networks have grown, he has realised that he cannot monetise this content as he does in Spanish.
“A Titanic with an iceberg inside”
His frustration is accentuated when he observes how politicians manage public money and the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (CCMA). “TV3 is like a Titanic with an iceberg inside. It’s sinking indeed, but it’s more profitable for them to sink it, because they are living fine meanwhile, than to change direction a bit or plug the holes,” he criticises.
Gise also recalls that at the last event organised by Òmnium he felt disconcerted. The organisation’s president, Jordi Cuixart, denounced the fact that the new Audiovisual Law being negotiated by the Spanish government could further reduce the visibility of the Catalan language. “Now they criticise it, but the problems of the language already existed. The president of Òmnium said that he didn’t want Catalan artists to leave the country, but the thing is that you don’t have to leave. I haven’t left Catalonia and I am living by using Spanish, a language that is not my own,” he regrets.
To Gise, the only answer to this setback should not be to invest in foreign productions, but rather encouraging Catalonia’s own production. “Obviously we are not a power like the United States, but there are many more things that can be done. What do people like and what is our tax money being spent on? Something is wrong. I’m not saying that everything must be invested in social networks, but someone should sit and talk, and they are not doing it”, continues.
Generation Z, a cancelled youth?
“Now they’re trying to revive the Super3 channel, but they’re six years behind schedule,” Gise says. In fact, he is surprised about how hardly understood is what he and his colleagues are doing. “I was invited to a programme and they wanted me to dress up as a sumo player and play with giant balls… There are ‘youtubers’ who do that, but it’s not my case,” he confesses. Gise also admits that both, pressure from social media and from misguided expectations of the culture industry are causing him anxiety.
An anxiety that, in fact, is perpetual for his generation. The ‘youtuber’ recalls his clearest personal example when writing his book, ‘2040. Humanitat Cancel·lada’ (Columna Edicions, 2020), a process that made him fall into depression. “If I don’t sell enough books, am I useless? I have been feeling very lonely,” he says. To finish, he recommends the leading essayist of a youth that many feel, effectively, cancelled: Mark Fisher and his ‘Capitalist Realism’ (Zero Books, 2009). “He links mental health problems very well with this whole economic system,” he says. Commenting on this pairing, however, would take another interview.
11Onze is becoming a phenomenon as the first Fintech community in Catalonia. Now, it releases the first version of El Canut, the super app of 11Onze, for Android and Apple. El Canut, the first universal account can be opened in Catalan territory.
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