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“Barcelona needs to do something with its heritage”, by Benedicte Bodard

“Barcelona needs to do something with its heritage”, by Benedicte Bodard

Benedicte Bodard, 64 years old, France, originally from Normandy (Rouen), and with a daughter. She lived 3 years in Paris and moved to the US, where she worked as a wardrobe stylist in the commercial industry and in still photography before moving to Barcelona 22 years ago. She is the founder and designer of Mesa Bonita, which rescues, restores, and gives a second life to hydraulic tiles found in Barcelona dumpsters. The idea is to save the heritage of the city that most people are so fond of and allow them to go home with a given product that is functional and has a soul.

Why did you choose Barcelona?

Like mentioned above, I lived in California and worked in the movie industry, loved doing so but little by little the excessive consumerism wore me down. I also always had a problem with the idea of people living with guns in their home and gun violence was becoming a big issue. Besides, my husband who was a commercial director had more work in Europe than in the US and was making these huge trips. Our daughter was young, we had fallen in love with Barcelona’s Architecture and ambiance therefore, Barcelona became an obvious choice to us.

What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?

As I said, when thinking of Barcelona, first thing that comes to mind is its beautiful Architecture. Its landscape, proximity to mountains and various beaches. Extremely reliable public transportation. We are also extremely fortunate to have various markets or shops that offer fresh and very affordable produce grown locally. Last but not least, the healthcare system is outstanding.

What aspects of the city must be improved? How?

Salaries, salaries and salaries! Rents are so high and salaries so low. Little entrepreneurs should get help to be encouraged in their initiative.

What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?

I wish the authorities would do something with the heritage that the city has, in order to not be thrown away on an everyday basis.

Which city do you feel as «your city»? What do you miss the most?

Since I have lived in 3 different countries (in almost same length each), if asked where I am from, the obvious answer is “French” since this is where I was born and where my family still lives. This being said, I spent all my adult life either in the US or in Barcelona which has deeply affected my way of working, my ethics and commitment to helping others in the community. I never feel like a foreigner in any country, I live the moment and really try to not compare places or people. Where I currently live is my city!

El Periódico

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