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Primera Persona

Primera Persona is a festival of varieties, brought bang up to date with a literary and experiential twist. It is also a tribute to experience, memory and the word. And a celebration of how narrative, film and music can turn personal concerns and experiences into works that console people or change lives. It took place at the CCCB from 2012 until 2021.

Nik Cohn with DJ Kosmos

The Irish writer Nik Cohn, father of the rock writing and epic chronicler of street culture over fifty years, wrote his first novel, Market, when he was eighteen. Four years later, he published Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom (1969), a definitive saga of rock ‘n roll, written ...

Julieta Venegas

Recitals and live songs

The Mexican singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas, who has sold over twelve million records worldwide, but there’s nothing she likes better than holing up with a book under an angle poise in her bedroom. Her photographer parents didn’t let her turn on the television and signed her up ...

Brett Anderson with Xavi Sancho

Brett Anderson is the lead singer with Suede and one of the foremost figures of Brit Pop (the press called him a cross between Bowie and Morrissey). He underwent the predictable stages of stardom and addiction, and got through both. Although Suede’s tempestuous history ended in 2003, ...

Peter Hook with Agnès Marquès

The English musician Peter Hook is co-founder of the legendary band Joy Division, on bass alongside Bernard Sumner and Ian Curtis. After Curtis’s suicide, which was traumatic for all of popular culture, they reinvented themselves as New Order. Despite touring worldwide with New Order, ...

Primera Persona 2021

Last edition. “Scars” special

This last function brings together stand-up comedians, punk-rockers, illustrators and novelists around a single concept: scars, both physical and symbolic. Each artiste contributes their personal vision and unique approach and experience, as has become traditional at this event. Taking part ...

"Ojalá"

A song by Stivijoes

This song is from the “Cicatrices” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival.

"Amigos"

A song by Eduardo Chirinos

This song is from the “Cicatrices” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival.

"Cicatrices"

A song by Aries

This song is from the “Scars” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival. Check out the publication here.

"Tens el temps"

A song by L'Hereu Escampa

This song is from the “Scars” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival. Check out the publication here.

"Ai, ai, ai (Cicatriu)"

A song by Lluís Cabot and Clara Viñals

This song is from the “Scars” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival. Check out the publication here.

"Vibra la cicatriz"

A song by Hijos del Trueno

This song is from the “Scars” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival.

«Qué cicatriz»

A song by Sr. Chinarro (Antonio Luque)

This song is from the “Scars” digital publication and playlist created by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in May 2021 for the final year of the Primera Persona festival. Check out the publication here. Lyrics, music, recording: Antonio Luque Pérez

7 scars

A video by Kiko Amat

The writer Kiko Amat talks about the 7 scars on her body. This video is part of the digital publication published by the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona in May 2021 on the occasion of the last edition of the Primera Persona festival. You can check the publication here https:// ...

Rachel Cusk

Autopsy of a marriage

In 2009, the marriage of writer and novelist Rachel Cusk ended and her world broke apart “like a jigsaw dismantled into a heap of broken-edged pieces”. Cusk, one of the most original and acclaimed voices of present-day literature, wrote about the experience in her memoir Aftermath: ...

Jia Tolentino

Me on the internet

New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino started to talk about her life in a blog when she was little, took part in a reality show as an adolescent, and, just after turning 30, her first book featured on Barack Obama’s list of favourite reads. Today she is a unique voice on ...

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Maria Manonelles, Montse Batalla and Laura Fernández

Boges

Two comic book artists who take mental illness (in the first person) as the theme of two new works: Maria Manonelles, with her comic Dormo molt (2018), and Montse Batalla, with Manicomio (2019). They talk with journalist and writer Laura Fernández.Mental ...

Emil Ferris with Ana Galvañ

For years, the US writer and cartoonist Emil Ferris worked as a freelance illustrator and toy designer. In 2001, at the age of 40, Ferris contracted West Nile Virus (a rare infection for which there is no vaccine) from a mosquito bite. Three weeks after going to hospital, she became paralysed ...

Thomas Page McBee with Use Lahoz

The US journalist and amateur boxer Thomas Page McBee was the first transsexual boxer to fight at Madison Square Garden. But, of course, that’s just a headline; his story goes far beyond that achievement because his is not a simple narrative of overcoming or of success. Born with the ...

María Sánchez

María Sánchez is field veterinarian, poet and writer. Author of the book of poems Cuaderno de campo (La Bella Varsovia, 2017) and the essay Tierra de mujeres (Seix Barral, 2019), Sánchez is a regular collaborator in digital and print media ...

Primera Persona 2017. Las Ruinas

The Barcelona heavy-pop trio Las Ruinas—consisting of the Peruvian Eduardo Chirinos, the Venezuelan Jaime Bertrán and the Barcelona-born Toni López—provided a festive ending for Primera Persona 2017. Their lyrics embracing love, urban planning, dystopian science fiction, poverty and (emotional and financial) ruin, are the equivalent of the Barcelona of the previous 2,000 chroniclers, like Gato Pérez for example. Quite a long time ago Las R ...

Makoki: Miguel Gallardo and Juan Mediavilla

Primera Persona 2017

If one character from Spanish comics has marked a generation, it isMakoki, the antisocial roughneck who, created by Miguel Gallardoand Juan Mediavilla in 1977, spent five delirious years rampaging through the pages of the main publications in the motherland’s counterculture (Disco ExprésStar and El Víbora).

Isa Calderón i Lucía Lijtmaer

Primera Persona 2017

Isa Calderón and Lucía Lijtmaer are leading figures in cultural journalism and feminist humour in Spain, as they show in this entertaining performance they gave at the 2017 Primera Persona Festival. Shortly after their show in Barcelona, they created “Deforme Semanal”, ...

Primera Persona 2017. Jon Savage

Jon Savage came on Primera Persona's stage to comment his main works. An expert in matters like British punk, thanks to his unqualified bible on the phenomenon,England’s Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, which was rescued and published ...

Primera Persona 2017. Joe Pernice

The musician Joe Pernice, with two essential bands (Scud Mountain and Pernice Brothers) to his credit, took the stage of Primera Persona to play some of the compositions that have marked his career and speak of his novel It Feels So Good When I Stop, which has recently been published in Spanish by Blackie Books.

Primera Persona 2017. Alison Statton & Spike + Stuart Moxham

Alison Statton & Spike and Stuart Moxham are three Welsh musicians who have changed the rules of pop. Young Marble Giants, the trio which Statton created with the Moxham brothers (Stuart and Philip) in 1978, gave expression to the adjective “minimalist”: post-punk ...

Kate Bolick and Anna Gabriel

Talk in the Primera Persona 2017 Festival

Kate Bolick, author of the essay Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own (published in Spanish as Solterona. La construcción de una vida propia, Malpaso Ediciones, 2016)—which explores in first person the issues considered in ...

Primera Persona 2017. Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins (Glanbeigh, in the Spanish edition by Sajalín Editores, 2016), a moving, harsh and beautiful collection of stories set in a semi-fictional Irish village, took the Primera Persona stage to speak of the biography of a godforsaken place.

Primera Persona 2017. Ana Curra with Joan Pons

Ana Curra, dubbed the “Spanish queen of punk” and the most radical, complex face of the ill-named “Movida madrileña” (Madrid Scene) of the 1980s, opened the Festival’s second session. An essential part of the musical group Alaska y Los Pegamoides and also of Parálisis Permanente, Curra talked about her career with the music critic Joan Pons, scriptwriter for such television music programmes as Sputnik and Cachitos de hierro y cromo. ...

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Primera Persona 2017. The Young Ones: Nigel Planer and Alexei Sayle

Two of the actors from the hilarious, subversive BBC comedy series of the 1980s, The Young Ones (Els joves) Nigel Planer “the hippy” and Alexei Sayle, who plays different members of the Balowski family, appeared together for the first time in Catalonia to reminisce about the best bits of the legendary series and analyse its amazing success in this country.

Primera Persona 2016. Zeina Abirached

Lebanese autobiographic graphic novelist Zeina Abirached opened the festival with a presentation of her work Le piano oriental, building a bridge between East and West.

The best (and the worst) moments of Primera Persona

Miqui Otero and Kiko Amat tell stories about the festival

The directors of the Primera Persona festival, Miqui Otero and Kiko Amat explain what are the funniest, stage panic and exciting moments, what performances they will never forget. They remember the anecdotes of a festival which claims autobiographic live sessions: pop music concerts, stand-up ...

Who motivated Juan Marsé to write his first stories?

The writer takes part in the Primer Persona 2016 festival

The Barcelona writer explains how he started writing his first stories, motivated by the attraction he felt for his neighbor. "I confused the vocation with desire," he says. 

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Kiko Amat i Miqui Otero

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CCCB

Robert Forster on Jonathan Lethem

Primera Persona 2014

The australian musician and composer Robert Forster, who participated in the second edition of Primera Persona festival, speaks about the American writer Jonathan Lethem, invited at the 2014 edition. Video: Ariadna Cebrián, 2014

CCCB

CCCB

Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens) & Part Company

Primera Persona 2013

Why do people who read Dostoevsky dress like Dostoevsky? He doesn’t, despite having read the Russians. Because he’s the most elegant pop-music dandy and one of the most talented songwriters in recent decades. Australian Robert Forster secured his place on the Olympus of cult pop ...

Junot Díaz and Iván de la Nuez

Nerds, reggaeton and superheroes

Trujillo, salsa and comics. And the books borrowed from public libraries that changed the destiny of a writer born in Santo Domingo who has made history in US literature. Junot Díaz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, looks ...

Carlo Padial

A monologue with oddities

A writer, filmmaker and humourist who doesn't mean to be, all Carlo Pardial really wants to be is black (in fact, he considers himself black). He has an entire past (and present, and plenty of future ahead) filled with his own neuroses and hypochondria common to literature and Jewish stand-up, ...

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CCCB

Lucia Calvo

Primera Persona 2017

Festival Lineup

The Primera Persona (First Person) Festival is to be held for the sixth time this year in the CCCB Theatre and will present a new round of stories about life: monologues, readings and an incredible range of shows. The festival will also be held for the second time at La Casa Encendida in ...

Jon Savage, expert in British punk

Primera Persona 2017

Jon Savage, an expert in matters like British punk, thanks to his unqualified bible on the phenomenon, England’s Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, which was rescued and published in Spain by Reservoir Books/Penguin Random House (2016). Savage has also offered an audacious, innovative ...

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Performance by Dr John Cooper Clarke

The punk poet takes part in the Primer Persona 2016 Festival

Closing Saturday’s first session is punk poet Dr. John Cooper Clarke, scrawny underworld dandy, who will be wielding his words like a sword in a performance of his poetry.