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The mediterranean:

Myth and reality



Although the Mediterranean has traditionally been considered a unitary cultural space, even a civilization, today it is a territory that is increasingly divided by its differences.


The aim of these debates is to reflect on this single yet plural character of the Mediterranean area from a historical, political and cultural viewpoint. The debate forms part of the Mediterranean Forum of Cultural Cooperation taking place in Barcelona on the occasion of the Festival of La Mercè.

19th September

5pm: Welcome and introduction
Josep Ramoneda, Director of the CCCB; Jordi Martí, Delegate for Culture for Barcelona City Council; Alfons Martinell, Director-General of Cultural and Scientific Relations at Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, and José María Ridao, director of the seminar.

5:15pm History and politics of mediterranean
Paul Balta, French journalist and writer, president of the FEMEC (Euro-Mediterranean Culture Forum).
Sophie Bessis, Tunisian writer, Director of investigation of the IRIS in Paris (Institut d'études internationales et stratégiques).
Fred Halliday, professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and visiting professor at the Institute Barcelona of International Studies.

Moderator: José María Ridao, journalist and writer.

7pm: Frontiers and tensions in the mediterranean
Nassif Hitti, ambassador and director of the mission of the League of Arab States in France and permanent observer for UNESCO.
Feride Çiçekoglu, Turkish writer, director of the MA programme in Visual Communication Design at the Bilgi University of Istanbul.
Tomàs Alcoverro, correspondent for "La Vanguardia" in Lebanon, author of "El decano. 30 años de crónica de Beirut a Bagdad" (Planeta, 2006).

Moderator: Miguel-Anxo Murado, journalist and writer.

20th September

5pm: Cultural spaces in the mediterranean
Thierry Fabre, French essayist, director of the programme, "Représentations de la Méditerranée" at the Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme in Aix-en-Provence.
Nedim Gürsel, Turkish writer, author of "Les Turbans de Venise" (Seuil, 2001).
Dolors Bramon, professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Barcelona.

Moderator: Javier Valenzuela, journalist and writer

7pm: Closing conference
by: Karen Armstrong, British author specialised in the history of culture and religion, author of "The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions" (Knopf, 2006).

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