“The Barcelona we want is the diverse, plural and welcoming Barcelona”: proclamation of La Mercè 2022 | Information Barcelona
«The Barcelona we want is the one that listens to other territories, the one that builds bridges with other smaller communities, the one that becomes a meeting point. The Barcelona we want is the diverse, plural and welcoming Barcelona, the one that embraces and listens to all these arrivals, the one that invites us to live together, making us grow more human and more complete».
With these words, Simón, who came to the city from La Garrotxa at the age of 17, to study, wanted to pay tribute to the host city of Barcelona at the event that marks the start of the festival.
The director has made it clear that despite not being from Barcelona, she feels the city is very much her own: “I am from Barcelona but I am not from Barcelona. And for this reason today I want to talk about arrivals in this city. Because, for me, Barcelona is, above all, the city that has welcomed me».
Simón wanted to talk about his personal experience in a Barcelona of discovery, opportunities and a lot of culture. That is why he has recorded the relevance of facilities such as the CCCB, the Virreina, Fabra i Coats, the Santa Mònica Art Center, the Filmoteca, the Teatre Lliure and the Sala Beckett, among others.
Nevertheless, the filmmaker has also had words for complex migrations, which encounter barriers, obstacles and difficulties.
“Not all arrivals in this city are as friendly as mine. People come to Barcelona from everywhere and for very different reasons. I am thinking, above all, of the people for whom leaving their home is not a choice but a necessity. Sometimes it is difficult for us to put ourselves in the place of newcomers, we are impressed by otherness and we are unable to identify ourselves with the feelings of those who arrive where we already live».
The winner of the Golden Bear at the last edition of the Berlin Film Festival has also wanted to repair the rural exodus and the depopulation of agricultural areas, and has recalled that migration from the countryside to the city causes the abandonment of small territoriesit changes the landscape of these urban centers and leads them to solitude.
According to his vision, these movements lead to a large concentration of people in the cities and have “consequences on the climate crisis, and that makes it of vital importance turn cities into green and sustainable places».
In addition, Simón has made a call to establish ties with the immediate environment and generate a close dialogue and brotherhood between the towns and the big cities.
“Could there be a more frequent dialogue between the rural and the urban? Is it possible that for urbanites, towns are not just a vacation spot? How can it be that, being so close, often the country and the city turn their backs?”
Finally, the director stressed that the importance of claiming one’s own identity has to coexist with difference: «The pride of feeling of a place is not at odds with the celebration of the coexistence of plurality, and, on the other hand, it leads us to uninteresting places when it appeals to the exclusion of the other, of what we do not know».
The reading of the proclamation of La Mercè, an act that kicks off the festivities, was presided over by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who after the proclamation gave way to the traditional Toc d’Inici, with the dances of giants, big heads and popular beasts of the city.
You will find all the information about La Mercè 2022 at barcelona.cat/lamerce.