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Orwell Day

Wishing to return the homage that George Orwell paid to Catalonia, the CCCB has been holding Orwell Day every year since 2013. This initiative, organised by local scholars of Orwell’s work together with the CCCB, aims not only to uphold the relevance of his legacy as a journalist and, in particular, as a critical thinker but also to ensure that his message is kept up to date through contemporary voices which also struggle against dogmatism and authoritarianism while striving to defend freedom of expression.

Ben Mauk and Manel Ollé

The Ubiquitous Eye: Digital Surveillance in Xinjiang

As part of the 2021 Orwell Day, the journalist for The New Yorker Ben Mauk, one of the few people who has been able to investigate the regime of digital surveillance deployed in the Chinese province of Xinjiang,  and Manel Ollé, expert on modern and contemporary China talk about the role of technology in future social control.

Dorian Lynskey and Jordi Puntí

The Present Relevance of "1984"

The cultural journalist Dorian Lynskey speaks with the writer Jordi Puntí about the influence of the book 1984 in the contemporary cultural imaginary and its impact in the new generations.

Marta Peirano and Peter Pomerantsev

Technology, Digital Surveillance, and Disinformation

The journalists Marta Peirano and Peter Pomerantsev, with the researcher Liliana Arroyo as moderator, speak about how the dream of a free and emancipatory Internet has given way to a system of surveillance and manipulation that operates without democratic supervision.

Orwell through New Eyes

Andrea Lucio, Jordi de Miguel i Oriol Quintana

The recent publication of books and essays on George Orwell clearly show that interest in the writer and his work is as keen as ever. Participants in this panel discussion - young local journalists and researchers - talk about the relevance of Orwell’s legacy and the need to pass it on to the new generations.

Deborah Levy

With My Own Voice: Language, Literature, and the Politics of Silence

A well-known figure in the English literary scene, Levy starts out from Orwell’s essay, revisiting it from the perspective of a woman writer. In this lecture, which coincides with the publication in Spanish of her two most recent books, Things I Don’t Want to Know and The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography (in Spanish, El coste de vivir, Literatura Random House, 2019), Deborah Levy  talks about the political project as a motivation in her own writing.

Masha Gessen: "Imagination and Democracy"

In the framework of the Orwell Day, the journalist and activist Masha Gessen defends imagination as a necessary tool for reviving the ideal of democracy and countering the assaults of totalitarianism. 

Antonio Monegal and Manel Ollé

Verdad y ficción en la distopía totalitaria. De Orwell a Bandi

George Orwell's classic novel about totalitarianism 1984 recently returned to the best-sellers list. The unlikely victory of Donald Trump, the rise of the far right in Europe, and a blurring of the lines between reality and fiction seem to have revived the ghosts of the past.

Timothy Garton Ash: "Free speech under attack"

Timothy Garton Ash, the internationally renowned intellectual and author of the book Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, speaks about the threats faced by free speech and debates about it, as well as the electoral rise of right-wing populism, laws against hate speech, and the conflicts arising between humour and religion.

Miquel Berga and Marc Martínez: "Reading Orwell nowadays"

On Freedom and the Right to Tell People What They Don’t Want to Hear

How relevant is George Orwell’s legacy? Many Orwellian concepts still resound forcefully around the world today, for example his defence of freedom of expression and opposition to censorship. On this fourth celebration of Orwell's Day at the CCCB, Miquel Berga, lecturer in English Literature at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), speaks about the posthumous victories of the author of Homage to Catalonia.