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First Catalan cultural week in Shanghai attracts 73,000 people

‘Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week’, the first Catalan cultural week organised in Shanghai awoke the interest of 73,000 people. Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Catalan Society ‘Casal Català de Xangai’ and 15 years since the twinning of Barcelona and Shanghai, China’s financial capital hosted more than 30 activities to present Catalonia’s cultural heritage to the local audience. International icons such as surrealist painter Salvador Dalíand architect Antoni Gaudíwere the centre of some of the art exhibitions. Another key point of the programme was the participation of ‘Castellers de Vilafranca’, whom displayed Catalan human towers all around the city. “This initiative introduces Catalonia to China’s collective imagination”stated the Catalan Institute of China’s President, Alexis Roig, and is the result of “a joint effort from civil society, companies and the Catalan institutions”. 

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10 November 2015 12:37 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- 73,000 people attended the first Catalan cultural week organised in Shanghai. From the 1st to the 8th of November, China’s financial capital hosted more than 30 activities to present Catalonia’s cultural heritage, including art exhibitions, live music, Catalan gastronomy shows and human towers ‘Castellers’, which were displayed all around the city. “This initiative introduces Catalonia to China’s collective imagination” stated the Catalan Institute of China’s President, Alexis Roig, and added that it is the result of “a joint effort from civil society, companies and the Catalan institutions”. Barcelona Council’s Asia-Pacific Programme Director, Miquel Mateu, highlighted “the tight relationship between Barcelona and Shanghai” and underlined the key role that culture plays in this relationship. The first ‘Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week’ also commemorated a double celebration; the 10th anniversary of the ‘Casal Català de Xangai’ and 15 years since the twinning of Barcelona and Shanghai.


‘Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week’started with a series of conferences about Catalan initiatives which have become international examples in the technological and social fields. The first cyborg artist, Neil Harbisson, and expert in technology applied to daily life, Luis Galán and publicist and responsible for the image of Barcelona during the Olympic games, Jesús Muñoz showed Catalonia’s most creative and innovative side.

Regarding the artistic sphere, seven major exhibitions were presented in Shanghai during the week and will continue to be displayed in the city for the next three months. Amongst them stand out the exhibition ‘Dalíand Media’based on the relationship between the surrealist painter Salvador Dalíand the press, a major retrospective of the work of abstract artist Joan Miróand a 3D exhibition on internationally renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. Following the architecture and design theme, Tongji University and the West Bund Art Centre also hosted Catalan graphic and interior design shows. In total, the seven exhibitions which will be displayed until January are expected to receive more than 750,000 visitors. 

However, one of the most applauded activities was carried out by ‘Castellers de Vilafranca’, Catalonia’s most famous group of ‘Castellers’. They displayed the traditional human towers in different iconic spots around the city.

The thousands of people whom attended the cultural week could also take part in different gastronomy workshops and food tastings organised by chefs Albert and Jordi Servalls. The closing event was a concert by ‘La Màlaga’, a band from the ‘Rumba Catalana’ genre, one of Catalonia’s most popular music styles, and was followed by a session performed by several Catalan DJs.

A pioneer initiative to build bridges between Catalonia and China

More than 50 international volunteers have been working on ‘Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week’ throughout the year. The initiative, designed by the Catalan Institute of China, is the result of “a joint effort from civil society, companies and the Catalan institutions” stated Roig. The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) member Kolja Bienert, representing the Foreign Affairs Secretary, congratulated the Catalan Institute of China and assured that “the bridges we build with China are a priority question for Catalonia’s government”. Barcelona Council’s Asia-Pacific Programme Director, Miquel Mateu, highlighted “the tight relationship between Barcelona and Shanghai”and underlined the key role that culture plays in this relationship. 

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  • Traditional Catalan human towers were displayed by 'Castellers de Vilafranca' all around Shanghai (by ACN)