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2021 Programme

Programme 2021 (PDF)


Living Together

Almost a year ago now, a zoonotic virus began to spread around the world, shaking the foundations that had underpinned our collective life over the past few decades and unleashing an unprecedented crisis that has affected both our physical and mental health and economies. Still in the grip of the pandemic as we are, it is difficult to imagine the future from a present in which the lines between reality and fiction have become blurred and in which the very heart of human life – our connection to others – has come under attack.

Understanding what it means to live together is the ultimate purpose of culture. Between the world we have and that which has not yet materialised, there exists a gap where culture is a fertile ground for exploring the meaning of human experience and imagining new possible futures. A change of era has unfolded, one which was already brewing and which requires new roadmaps to guide us in the world to come. Through its many languages, culture links together different people, times and regions, thus promoting an awareness of the world that we must inevitably share. Today more than ever, creating meaning must involve acknowledging our connection to others and mixing voices, experiences and cultural languages that will allow us to tackle the huge challenges that this crisis has laid bare.

In the midst of all the confusion, some certainties have emerged. The pandemic has served as a general rehearsal for future crises related to the climate emergency, confirming the interdependence not only between humans but also with the other species that inhabit our wounded planet. And it is precisely the idea of symbiosis, the etymological meaning of which is living together – the underlying theme of the CCCB’s 2021 programme, which will start off with an exhibition about Mars – which is now garnering new relevance and will be the central theme of the Kosmopolis literary festival. The next exhibition of the year, “Science Friction”, will examine the dialogue between species through the work of Donna Haraway and Lynn Margulis, two essential authors that have helped to further research into the intersection between science and the humanities. Along these lines, the CCCB has created ALIA, a permanent partnership with scientific and technological institutions based in Catalonia, initially the IEEC (Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia) and ISGlobal (the Barcelona Institute for Global Health), which will involve artistic residencies, screenings, seasons of conferences and educational and citizen science programmes.

To celebrate our coexistence, during 2021 the CCCB will become an in-person, virtual and open-air space. This coexistence, or symbiosis, has been severed by a crisis that has attacked the very essence of cities: population density, contact and social interaction. Cities will be the theme of “Urban Nature”, an experimental project that fuses performing arts and the language of exhibitions, and which invites us to stand in the shoes of others, defending the corporeality of theatre and of city life in times of isolation and digital bubbles. The exhibition will be accompanied by a reflection on the city as ecosystem and by two new creation projects: City Symphonies and an audiovisual offering under the title of The Company – a new programme for young people aged 18 to 35 from different disciplines.

The last major exhibition of the year will take a tour through the cultural history of the mask, a ritual object that has become a widely used political tool and which has now taken on a new meaning. Through the exhibition, the CCCB will once again defend critical thought and the use of multiple artistic languages to tackle the major debates of contemporary culture now that the pandemic has generated much more uncertainty.

“To think is to invent”, said Michel Serres, and it is with this faith in creative thought that the 2021 programme seeks to widen the cracks that are emerging in this uncertain present. Seasons of conferences, conversations and literary meetups will once again place words centre-stage. And science fiction, which has the implicit power to balance the rational power of scientific and political thought with the liberating irrational energy of speculation and imagination, will be the focus of a programme that will invite us to create, test out and speculate on other possible worlds. The field of audiovisual work – a constantly mutating ecosystem and one of the essential areas of the CCCB’s activity –will, as usual, be present throughout the whole year’s programme.

In the midst of a new threat to the structural stability of culture, the CCCB is expressing its commitment to the ecosystem of which it forms part and strengthening its mediation programmes so as to build new partnerships and bring more voices into this essential collective conversation. School in Residence, a programme involving 50 teenagers from the Miquel Tarradell secondary school in the Raval neighbourhood, has become a flagship initiative for opening up cultural spaces to new perspectives and communities, one that gives form to the CCCB’s will to generate experimentation, porosity and a sense of belonging.

Judit Carrera,
Director of the CCCB