Barcelona Cultura

Marta Tatjer

Marta Tatjer

1986 - 1987

The Grec Festival's first director was born in Barcelona in 1943 and studied Fine Art before beginning to work at the City Council in 1977, just before the restoration of democracy. There, she began to help organise the city's major festivities, particularly those for Sant Joan (summer solstice). However, she was soon assigned specifically to organise La Mercè, a celebration in honour of the city's patron saint that was then being revamped to take the shape we know today. With Rafael Pradas as Councillor for Culture and Joan-Anton Benach as the cultural delegate, Marta Tatjer became head of the Festivities and Traditions Service, embarking on an in-depth overhaul of the city's festive celebrations. The inclusion of diables and castellers, as well as Brossa's invention, the correfoc, in Barcelona's festivities forms just part of the legacy from that period, when Barcelona's festa major was brought up to date and Carnestoltes (Carnival) as well as other popular celebrations were consolidated.

During that period, Tatjer was also in contact with the Grec Festival organisation through links with her colleague in the municipal administration, Biel Moll (Grec Director from 1980 to 1983), who occasionally turned to her for help and advice.

It is no surprise, then, that, in 1985, in view of her success in renewing the festivities for La Mercè, for which she had programmed such contemporary performers as the improv pianist Carles Santos, and the support that she had given Moll, she should be offered the chance to direct the Grec Festival. As a result, Tatjer directed the first two editions (1986 and 1987) after the period when Joan Maria Gual and Josep Anton Codina were festival co-directors.

With Marta Tatjer as director, the Grec became consolidated as a summer festival, with the Teatre Grec as its epicentre, but also spreading to other venues: the Casa de la Caritat, where more alternative and innovative events were staged; Plaça del Rei, devoted to Catalan cançó and jazz; and Poble Espanyol, used as the scene for major concerts.

Marta Tatjer's team in those days included Víctor Blanes, Irma Coronilla, Pep Monasterio and many more. Some continued (and still continue) working on the festival and in the Culture Department after Marta Tatjer decided to leave the municipal administration in 1987. It was time to embark on a new adventure at the head of her own company, Equip Tatjer, devoted to organising and communicating major events. The commissions this "Team Tatjer" received included such outstanding occasions as the arrival of the Olympic torch in Empúries and Barcelona ahead of the 1992 Games, as well as activities for private firms, always with a cultural component.

Since retiring, Tatjer has devoted her energies to working with Amics del Nepal (Friends of Nepal), a Barcelona-based NGO engaged in promoting development cooperation projects, such as literacy campaigns for women in Kathmandu, providing grants for children and achieving improvements in the healthcare field.

Editions directed

  • 1986
  • 1987