“On tot comença” (where everything begins) is the motto of this year’s Setmana del Libre en Català, as the president of Editors recalled at the inauguration. cat, Ilya Perdigo. And one more year the contest becomes the pole of attraction for literary novelties and meeting of the sector, with a record number of exhibitors, 287, and more than 300 activities scheduled until the 17th.
They started strong, with events such as Karin Smirnoff’s talk, Vic Moliner’s concert or the Punkis Decimonòniques live podcast, a poetry recital and dozens of walkers at the Moll de la Fusta.
The Honorary Prize for Catalan Literature, Josep Piera, recalled at the inauguration that “for a writer, his homeland – or matria or phratry, if you want – is his language, and his home is his library. In this library, each book is a window through which we see the outside reality with imagination and affection at the same time.” An affection that he extended to the city of Barcelona, “my natural metropolis and my literary city, the city where I can speak my Valencian.” Language, he said, “is above any ideology.”
An event, presented by Txell Bonet, in which the Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga, appealed, remembering Carme Junyent, to “be aware of all the possibilities of our language.” Mayor Jaume Collboni, after claiming the role of Barcelona as the book capital and making clear his commitment to the defense and promotion of the Catalan language that is suffered in Valencia, revealed that next year the location will have to be temporarily changed due to of the America’s Cup. For his part, the acting Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, asked – after also remembering Junyent – that “we read, we read as much as possible, but above all we read in Catalan.”
A while later, now without institutional pressure, Iceta calmly visited the space and was able to buy books.