In recent years, flamenco has become one of the most prominent symbols of regional identity in Andalusia, Spain. The Andalusian Government has embarked on an ambitious project aimed at developing flamenco within and beyond the region. In this article, I explore how flamenco is being ‘regionalised’ at the institutional level, framing this process within the context of identity politics in Spain. Moreover, I consider the ways in which this process has been received among some Andalusians. Focusing on ethnographic research conducted with members of the Platform for East Andalusia (a sub-regionalist movement that contests the concept of a unified Andalusia), I examine responses to the development of flamenco, and in doing so problematise a fixed correlation between flamenco and a single understanding of Andalusian-ness. By drawing upon theoretical perspectives in political geography, I reveal a fragmented reading of the relationship between flamenco and regional identity in Andalusia. This research adds to a growing body of literature concerned with music and regionalism in sub-national contexts.
First and foremost I am grateful to members of the PAO who have given me their time and their opinions regarding my research. In particular, I would like to thank Javier Ramírez, Leonardo Villena Villena and José Antonio Delgado Molina. This paper would not have been possible without the support of Dr John Morgan O'Connell, who acted as my doctoral supervisor at Cardiff University, UK. This research was made viable through a doctoral studentship at the School of Music, Cardiff University. I would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers of this article for their useful and thought-provoking comments.