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Feísmo (literally meaning "Uglyism" in Galician) or Urbanismo Caníbal (meaning "Cannibal Urbanism" in Galician) are pejorative terms that describe an architectural style that unintentionally originated in the autonomous community of Galicia during the 1960s, in northwestern Spain. The main reason why this style emerged were poor architectural fixes in the region. The style is characterized by the co-existence of various architectural styles without harmony (often being akin to Brutalism, although not classified as such), mixes of various materials (resulting on poor quality), lack of a "start" and "end" in architectural pieces, unfinished constructions and unnecessary ornaments.

On social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok, some Galician users made aesthetic edits out of Feísta buildings as a joke because many people found it similiar to Soviet Brutalist buildings, which were often featured in the Doomer aesthetic.

History[]

Origins[]

Feísmo became prevalent in Galicia sometime around the 1960s. Surprisingly enough, this style doesn't originate from poverty - it emerged during the "Spanish Miracle", a period when the poorer regions of Spain such as Galicia could finally develop a better economy. Curiously, many buildings that ended up looking like this were actually pretty wealthy projects. Feísmo actually emerged as a result of poor regulations in constructions, a lack of interest for Galician traditional architecture and a lack of interest for finishing projects. During the same decade, many Galicians also immigrated to other countries, especially to South America, which would mean that many architectural projects would remain unfinished because it was hard to know who started them or owned their rights. Some projects were even unnecessarily elongated, resulting in them never being completely carried out.

Problematic Emergence[]

However the emergence of this architectural style was noticed some years earlier, and it was called out as a problem for the first time by the Asambleia Nazonalista de Lugo, a former group of Galician regionalists who fought for the culture and language of Galicia. In 1994, an association of 48 architects was formed to replace Feísmos in Galicia and make new buildings with traditional materials and elements. In 2003, Feísta architecture became the most reported problem to the Xunta (Galicia's autonomous government). 1 year later, a campaign against this architectural style was formed in the city of Ourense. In 2023, multiple towns received funds to restore architectural problems and poorly built houses.

Modern-day Feísmo[]

Nowadays, Feísmo can be found throughout most of the region and is far from being gone. This style isn't as prevalent in major cities such as A Coruña or Santiago, but can still be seen in certain districts.
In many Galician municipalities, unfinished Feísmo buildings have been repainted with murals and art (See Gallery). Carballo is one of the most notable towns for doing this; it's home to multiple several street art murals, some of which are considered notable worldwide.

Characteristics[]

The most common characteristics of Feísmo include:

  • Abandoned or unfinished homes/buildings
  • Mixed, decaying or broken materials
  • Mixes of various architectural styles
  • Unorganized design: co-existence of different heights, lack of alignment, lack of a start and end
  • Unnecessary ornaments
  • Poor architectural fixes

Philosophy[]

Feísmo emerged in a pretty rough era for Galicia. Many inhabitants of the region had lost their interests for preserving the traditional architecture of the region, and many of them didn't actually care about finishing their architectural projects such as homes of buildings. Along with that, there was a mass wave of immigration to South America (particularly Argentina and Uruguay), which only made the problem worse. A common mentality many Galician people held during the decade can be described with the phrase "ti vai facendo" (roughly translating to "go do something") - this resulted in a lot of unnecessary houses being built just for the sake of building them, even if there was never a real necessity to do so. The lack of architectural regulations at the time also contributed to the phenomenom.

Criticism[]

Feísmo is obviously widely disliked in Galicia, as it ruins landscapes and takes up space in towns, and it has constantly been reported as a problem since the 1960s. Feísmo is also criticized for being a problem exclusive to the region, because according to architectural experts and sociologists, there's not similiar phenomena anywhere to be seen in its neighboring regions, such as North Portugal, Asturias or León, or even in Brittany, a nearby region of France which has a similiar climate and cultural background. Various groups and artists are looking forward to renovating Feísmos with either art or actual Galician traditional architecture.

Gallery[]

References[]

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