Blanquerna Cultural Centre: A place for cultural production and democratic debate

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I’m pleased to address you at the beginning of my task as Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to Madrid. My aim, together with that of the group of professionals which works in the Delegation and at the Blanquerna Cultural Centre and Bookshop – whom I would like to thank for their extraordinary effort – is to continue promoting the work of the institutions of the Catalan government and the cultural, social and economic reality of Catalonia. I’m convinced that in reasoned knowledge is where the virtuous circle which allows us to link reasoning, collaboration, cooperation, dialogue and, why not, friendship, starts. And amongst all these virtues, finally, the strengthening of equality, democracy and identity.

We will announce the working plan we have been preparing in order to express the different actions and programmes which will materialise it. Thus, we will put at Madrid’s citizens and its visitors’ disposal a small sample of Catalan culture which will illustrate the notable creativity, patrimony and cultural participation which is being displayed today by part of Catalan society.

The Catalan government, through the Blanquerna Cultural Centre and Bookshop, is committed to Madrid’s cultural core and gives opportunities for Catalan artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to spread their work beyond Catalonia.

I, therefore, reaffirm the commitment and vocation of turning the Blanquerna Cultural Centre and Bookshop into the landing strip for Catalan cultural production and a place for open and democratic debate with people from Madrid’s cultural scene. We want to contribute to reasoning the inquisitiveness, longings and ideals of Catalan society in all of this plurality and diversity, as well as wanting to be good recipients of the highest democratic yearnings of the city which welcomes us. Society needs new ideas and new dialogues. Paraphrasing Jaume Sisa, a famous Catalan singer and songwriter, "My house is your house - that is; if houses belong to anybody". We are looking forward to seeing you all.

I believe that many great ideas are rising in Catalonia due to our creative and entrepreneurial tradition. Catalonia knows that the institutional and political system experienced so far, limits us. Catalonia knows that it has to reinvent the functions of the State, it knows that it has to build a new state. Catalonia knows that renewed and more open political systems are needed. It knows that by counting on its own up-to-date political system, its life could be better in material and symbolic terms but it could also contribute more firmly to facing the global challenges, we could use our supportive will with full measure.

It is good then that those who want to understand the demonstrations of citizens which have been happening in Catalonia since 2010 understand that behind it is the will to build a new political harmony and a quality state.

A quality state exercised by a representative part of a mature society, which will be discerning, civilised, creative, entrepreneurial, open to the world, highly diverse in its origins and distinctly democratic. A society which is used to working hard and to which nobody has ever given anything for free. A society which believes that prosperity has to be worked for, which is willing to discuss and reach agreements, which wants a fairer society and which knows that it needs an intellectual frame which would be more appropriate, efficient and intelligent.

Not a single Catalan aims to obtain privileges, their only hope is that their right to administer themselves appropriately and to improve could count on a state which would help them achieve this and in which they could feel protected and comfortable.

We want to be able to fight with the appropriate skills against the consequences of a gaseous society, which is divided by inequality, discrimination and exclusion. Against corruption we want to be able to act with governmental skills which would be more representative and efficient.

Thus, a new right, the right to decide, its being constituted in Catalonia. It is based on the democratic principle, as a principle which will organise a constitutional system. It is born from denouncement in order to give a democratic solution to our aim to redefine our judicial statute and to be able by this to participate, with full civil measures, in the building of a new political for us and for the world which surrounds us.

Ferran Mascarell

Delegateof the Government of Catalonia in Madrid


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