Back in Brexit Britain, our Barcelona workshop seems like a lifetime ago, but going through my notes to write our report, brings back a bit of the sense of hope expressed by participants in the final discussion. Part of it might have been due to the sensory high incited by city – it was impossible to be oblivious to the lure of colours, the warmth of the sun, the tastes and smells, the glorious view over the city from our conference room in CCCB – or not to be thrilled by a midnight dip in the sea after the end of our workshop – however what gave me, and others, a sense of hope was not this somewhat clichéd reveling of a North European in the Mediterranean sensoriality but the political and social consciousness across talks and activities and the cross-fertilization we saw between theory and practice, between academics, curators, planners, activists and artists, between those working with homeless people, migrant women and tourists to face the transformation of the city holistically and approach challenges in a way that makes the city a livable space for its multiple users, whether they have been in the city since generations, or are newly arrived or temporary visitors. It seems there is much to learned from this ‘Barcelona Model’!
More soon in our report. Check out some of the talks meanwhile!
And for some meditation on the transformative power of art: Luis Martínez Santa María + Roger Sauquet Lloch: “I don’t want to change the world. I only want to express it”