Barcelona Cultura

Grec 2017: The journey begins_


weaving the new Festival of Barcelona_




A festival is like a mountain peak. A festival forms part of a landscape, a system, a fabric. It is an exceptional moment linked to the artistic life of the city, connecting to what happens in it over the rest of the year, acting as a window to showcase everything that has been cooking there and establishing a dialogue with local creative talents, as well as citizens and the issues that concern them. More than a party, we like to think of our Grec as a celebration, a moment awaited expectantly, an event, food for thought, a tool for change and transformation. A box of surprises and, above all, an experience to be lived. Popular, acclaimed, recognised, beloved, stimulating.


To weave is to intertwine many threads. We are weaving to create tailor-made clothes for our city. We need to make a festival that makes Barcelona look good and gives our city a new air. That is why we have opted for a model that is attractive, not only for its (necessary) programme of guest artists, but also for its artistic value, its many national and international alliances, the number of players and sectors involved, the participation and involvement of citizens and its rigour and consistency. We want to weave a thick mesh of coproductions and exchanges. We hope that great talents, both from here and from other parts, will be inspired by and come to believe in our city, its artists, its people and its memory. For us, a priority will be to weave relations with all those artists, festivals and artistic events that suggest interesting possible responses to all the issues that concern us.

Barcelona is creativity, and we want this to be a sign of identity that distinguishes us from other international festivals.


Four strategic lines of action_
The basic principles that underpin this project can be summarised in four strategic lines of action that will guide us in the decisions we take:
1_ Present exceptional artistic initiatives_
2_ Discover, disseminate and foster local talent and artistic networks_
3_ Generate, stimulate and mentor initiatives_
4_ Broaden the social base of audiences and interest in the arts_

1_ Present exceptional artistic initiatives _

• references and models that can help to stimulate audiences and artists.
• contemporary creativity and authorship
• balance between different languages, grammars and genres in the performing arts
• going beyond the Festival itself

Our strength will lie in the networks and partnerships that we are able to generate both nationally and internationally


2_ Discover, disseminate and foster local talent and artistic networks_

• bringing together artists engaged in different genres, generating intersections and creativity
• providing suitable working conditions
• coproductions between local artists and performing arts facilities both public and private
• helping women artists to develop their talent
• international promotional activities


We believe that one of the tasks that the institutions can perform that of supporting and strengthening the creative fabric.

3_ Generate, stimulate and mentor initiatives _

• casting our net wider as regards programming and curators
• working with organisational stakeholders
• using all available entrepreneurial capital
• supporting city projects


Cities are living organisms, so our project must be flexible and adaptable according to the evolution, proposals and demands of stakeholders in the performing arts sector.

4_Broaden the social base of audiences and interest in the arts_

• we will seek new forms of participation that arouse curiosity among spectators
• broadening the space for community projects
• participation of children and young people in creative processes
• the idea of an entire festival on the Web

We are greatly concerned with helping to broaden the social base of culture. We believe in social values, and will work to make the Grec more socially engaged. We will address different audiences, finding the appropriate number of spectators for the project


The programme: content and themes
Initial sketch, 2017/2020

Becoming informed, travelling, holding a conversation about issues of global concern and finding artist who respond to them with their creations; all this helps to make a festival both truly relevant and truly international. We will not be afraid of touching on four issues that are most present in contemporary society today: migration, the financial crisis, terrorism and fundamentalism.


We think of the international programme for the next four editions of the festival as a “journey eastwards”. We want to stand in the shoes of other cities and see how they respond to global challenges.


The main themes in 2017 will be the Mediterranean and the concepts of travel, migration, trade, exchange. How do artists “distil” everything that is happening? From among all the cities on the banks of our sea that have something to tell us, to discuss with Barcelona, we will begin with Athens, with Greece, and we have invited some of that city’s artists to the Festival. This connection will also enable us to weave alliances so that we can present projects produced here in the Greek capital and at its festivals. This association will generate a season of from five to ten shows within the overall programme.


Grec 2018 will focus on globalisation and democracy, setting its gaze on the continent of Asia. Our attention will rest, particularly, on Singapore and the festival that takes place in that city at around the same time as ours, with a view to conceiving and producing joint initiatives.




At the third edition of our project, we hope to centre on the themes of leadership and dominant cultures. We will cross the Pacific, and the Anglo-Saxon world, from Melbourne to New York, will have a much greater presence on the Festival programme that year.


In our fourth year, we will continue this journey around the world to Latin America, and the Festival will speak in more of a Latin accent and focus more on the soul, feelings, magic, our spiritual side.


Finally, our journey will end in Brazil and Africa and with such themes as the group, the community and post-colonialism.


We will make this journey through our gaze, never ceasing to be what we are: Barcelonans, Catalans, Mediterraneans who share a history with Spain and Europe. We want to establish relations with artists based on their way of seeing the world.


Building up a programme grid is easy. What is difficult is to choose each piece and carefully slot it into place so that they all take on meaning and form an attractive whole for audiences, revealing values and understandings that are woven together with rigour, selection criteria, professionalism, conversation and a drop of intuition. That is the goal we are working towards.


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