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Kosmopolis 2021

The Literature That’s Coming

Coinciding with the exhibitions “Mars: The Red Mirror” and “Science Friction”, Kosmopolis 21 explored “The Literature That’s Coming” and celebrated science fiction as a fabulous literary genre that crosses boundaries and traditions. For five days, the amplified literature fest brought together a hundred of today’s most outstanding creators to speak of space travel, planets in collapse, new habitable planets, the future, utopias and dystopias, and the great stories that tell us about our place in the cosmos.

Concert by Nico Roig, with Lucia Fumero and David Soler

Martian Heart

The singer and composer Nico Roig re-creates, live, the music he has composed for the exhibition Mars: The Red Mirror and embarks on a sound journey that moves through history from the metamorphoses of the planet to the strange Martian landscapes captured by recent space missions. Because we are on Mars, and the earth is already Martian.

Martian Series: More Fiction Than Science?

Live recording of the iCatFM programme ‘SerieSelektor’

The podcast of the iCat series comes to Kosmopolis to analyse and recommend several series that explore the red planet. In such series, Mars has become one of the obsessions of present-day sci-fi, but how much fiction and how much reality is there? How and when will man arrive on Mars?

Verónica Gerber Bicecci and Alicia Kopf

The Dance of Renewal

Recently there has been a proliferation of bridging texts imbibing from the best that fiction and artistic practice have to offer in order to explore new territories and enrich fiction with the plastic arts. These are books that tend to take shape in drawing, photography, videos, and painting, as well as in installations, performance, and theatre.

Aina Huguet, Iris Llop, Artur Garcia Fuster, Gemma Medina and Martí Sales

Ray Bradbury: A Critical Reading

A story, an actress, and three critics: Aina Huguet reads Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt (La sabana), and Iris Llop, Artur Garcia, and Gemma Medina (from the online magazine of literary criticism, La Lectora) squeeze the text from three different angles in order to extract as much juice from it as possible.

Robert Macfarlane speaks with Gabi Martínez

The Story of the Fire and the Ice

Robert Macfarlane, a world reference of nature writing, speaks with Gabi Martínez, promotor of the idea of Liternatura, on how to construct a new story about nature, one that draws attention to the importance of looking after marginal spaces and biodiversity when faced with the greyness of the Anthropocene.

Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer

Messengers from Space

Werner Herzog returns to Kosmopolis to speak with the volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer about the third documentary they have made together, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds, an inquiry into the cultural significance of meteorites, the impact their craters have had on humanity, and everything science has been able to learn about them.

Presentation of the special number of ‘BRANCA’ magazine

The Rockets Came Like Locusts

Presentation of the collection of short stories Els coets venien com llagostes, fruit of a joint project of BRANCA magazine and the CCCB, and that starts out from the wish to think about futures with the excuse of a hypothetical colonisation of Mars.

Inés Macpherson, Teresa López-Pellisa, Helen Torres, Pol Guasch, and Francisco Jota-Pérez

Sowing Fictions

What stories do we tell? With what voice, and from what point of view do we construct them? Through an experience of live writing curated by Inés Macpherson, Helen Torres, Pol Guasch, and Francisco Jota-Pérez  link together a series of live creative exercises to explore the universes and ideas of Donna Haraway, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Octavia E. Butler, and speak with Teresa López-Pellisa about this experience. 

Mia Couto, José Eduardo Agualusa and Tania Adam

Translators of Dreams

Although they were born half a continent apart, the Mozambican Mia Couto and the Angolan José Eduardo Agualusa are good friends as well as being two of the most respected figures of African literature. They are united by a linguistic homeland—Portuguese—and a similar conception of literature with many thematic and stylistic connections.

Journey to Mars: First Stop

Talk and screening

Over a period of three months, five groups of men and women creators, activists, thinkers, and young people who have migrated unaccompanied have formed the crew of a metaphorical mission to Mars in order to reflect upon the experience of the journey itself and the future we have in common. In this session, the 20 crew members share their experiences and collective creations and they also premiere five audiovisual pieces.

Poetry Slam: Kosmopolis special edition

Ten slammers will participate in this poetic competition, always in an agile, dynamic form establishing new relations between public and poets, in a special version thematically linked with the exhibitions “Mars: The Red Mirror” and “Science Friction”. As always, the night’s master of ceremonies will be El Payaso Manchego and Dive Dibosso will provide the music.

Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Giovanna Rivero, Fernanda Trías, and Jorge Carrión

Future America

What future horizons are being drawn by Latin American literature today? What is it like, this most recent speculative fiction from the other shores of the Atlantic? What interventions does it propose in the domains of realism, experimental literature, and contemporary art? With very different origins and biographies, the writers Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Fernanda Trías, and Giovanna Rivero speak, in this conversation with the writer Jorge Carrión, about their work and that of other contemporary writers of the continent.

Sophie Collins, Irenosen Okojie, Mireia Calafell and Anna Gual

Poetising the Tomorrow

What words do we need for thinking about the future? Are the concepts and ideas of the past of any use or must we create new ones to name another possible world? Where will we find these words that have not yet been spoken? Poetic and audiovisual recital where Sophie Collins and Irenosen Okojie read their texts by videoconference, accompanied from the CCCB by the poets Mireia Calafell and Anna Gual who leads the session.  

Moveo Company


The dance company Moveo presents a show in which it playfully and ironically explores the contradictions between the need to belong and that to exist as an individual, using a profoundly physical language that mixes theatre, dance, and acrobatics to create a collective experience. This show is part of the Circuit Nòmada, a project of the Tàrrega Theatre Festival that aims to promote and revitalise the performing arts.

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Lana Bastašić, Tatiana Țîbuleac, and Xènia Dyakonova

Writing in Turbulence

In Kosmopolis, Lana Bastašić and Tatiana Țîbuleac, two women among Europe’s writers of most potential,  share the stage for the first time to speak about literature, language as activism and turbulences, because their books are shocking, full of extreme characters and dysfunctional relationships.

Presentation of the magazine ‘CARN DE CAP TRES’

Posthuman Landscapes

The literary magazine CARN DE CAP, promoted by the Escola Bloom, presents its third issue, a landscape to Posthumanism, as a space for going beyond the aesthetic, political, and philosophical coordinates of humanism.

Pau Riba, Neil Harbisson, Pol Lombarte, Núria Martínez-Vernis, Oriol Sauleda & De Mortimers

On Big Bangs, Cyborgs, and Poetry

The poets Núria Martinez-Vernis and Oriol Sauleda recite fragments from the book that Riba has written for the occasion, after his talk with with Pol Lombarte and Neil Harbisson, the first person  to be legally recognised as a cyborg. To conclude, and together with the group De Mortimers, Riba performs the most galactic themes from his albums.

Sebastià Portell, Joaquín Rodríguez, and Angelina Cabré

Reading, between Pleasure and Need

In an event organized by the Libraries of Barcelona and moderated by Angelina Cabré, Sebastià Portell and Joaquín Rodríguez, two authors of different but complementary standpoints on reading,  speak about their most recent books on the occasion of Kosmopolis 2021.

Ted Chiang, Carme Torras and Toni Pou

The Universe Began as a Puff of Air

Ted Chiang, seen by many people as the heir to Isaac Asimov and with a work halfway between speculative fiction and philosophy, between high literature and scientific popularisation, connects with Kosmopolis21 to talk about his latest collection Exhalació (Exhalation — Mai Més / Sexto Piso) and discusses with the scientist and writer Carme Torras and the journalist Toni Pou the power of science fiction to make amenable and appealing the most complex philosophical premises.

Oriol Sauleda, Marcel·lí Bayer and Alexandra Garzón

The Only Thing I Need Is to Imagine

Accompanied by the musician Marcel·lí Bayer and the video creator Alexandra Garzón, Oriol Sauleda takes us on a trip through the cosmos with words alone. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a recital with an ascending lexicon and constellations of metaphors.

Claudia Durastanti and Stefanie Kremser

Being from Everywhere or Nowhere

These two nomad writers talk about identities that are constructed on the basis of passport stamps and refer to their most recent books, L’estrangera (The Stranger – L’Altra Editorial / Anagrama) and Si aquest carrer fos meu (If This Street Were Mine – Edicions de 1984 / Entreambos), to discuss uprootedness, the sense of belonging, and the strategies they have adopted to find their place in the world.

Isaki Lacuesta, Pedro G. Romero, and LaboratoriA

Mute Portraits

Isaki Lacuesta has once again amplified flamenco with Retratos mudos, a performance-screening of a series of soundless films of great flamenco artists, accompanied by live music from the LaboratoriA group and a conversation with the artist Pedro G. Romero.

Kameron Hurley and Víctor García Tur

Feminism in the Age of Geeks

The standpoint of gender has changed science fiction and Kameron Hurley is overturning paradigms and enriching the genre in many directions.She speaks with Víctor García Tur, winner of the Sant Jordi Prize with his L’aigua que vols (The Water You Want – Univers)  about the new horizons of the genre, although reflections about the future of war, posthumanism, sexuality, capitalism, and the dangers of the multinationals sneak into the conversation.

Maggie O’Farrell, Gemma Ruiz Palà, and Begoña Gómez Urzaiz

Forget about Shakespeare

In this session, Maggie O’Farrell, one of the United Kingdom’s most acclaimed writers, speaks with Gemma Ruiz Palà and Begoña Gómez Urzaiz about her immersion in Elizabethan theatre, the misogyny of biographers, and her discovery of the world of natural knowledge to the point of becoming a veritable healer.

Closing festivities of the ALIA Mission: science, literature, and live radio

Martian Waves

Closing festivities of the "ALIA Mission", an educational project relating popularisation of science with literary and artistic creation, with the conversation of the astrophysicist Fatoumata Kébé with Miquel Sureda, and the recording of a live podcast with the schools and scientists involved. 

Hervé Le Tellier and Pablo Martín Sánchez

Parallel Universes

Speculation is the departure point for many great stories. Ever since the Iliad, starting from a hypothetical “and if…” and exploring parallel universes, possible futures, and uchronian pasts, have allowed us to test the contradictions of our world.

Dani Orviz and Crisal Rodríguez

Poetry Slam

The poetry slammers Dani Orviz and Crisal Rodríguez recite two creations inspired by the great themes of this Kosmopolis, namely our interplanetary future and coexistence among companion species.

Fatoumata Kébé and Albert Forns

The Moon Is a Novel

With L’altra cara de la Lluna (Once Upon a Moon: History, Myths and Legends – Angle Editorial/Blackie Books), Fatoumata Kébét pays tribute to our satellite, offering a cultural history of the Moon that reads like a gripping novel.  This brilliant French astrophysicist talks with the writer and journalist Albert Forns ...