Fira Mediterrània participates in a Euro-regional project based on the common cultural areas of Occitania, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands
This year, Fira rolls out an extensive internationalisation plan that aims to support artistic and professional initiatives connected with Catalan culture.
Partnership agreements are set up with Algeria, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, the Valencia region, the Balearic Islands, the Basque country, Aragon and Castille and León.
The Flamenco guitarist ‘Chicuelo’ is set to spearhead a project in 2016 at the French institution, the Royaumont Foundation.
Fira Mediterrània Manresa has designed a national and international action plan for 2015, which seeks to broaden horizons by opening up new areas of operations and renew the main partnership agreements from previous years. Of particular interest is the Euro-Regional Heritage and Creation Forum project, approved by the European Union, in which four agents representing the Occitan, Catalan and Balearic cultures will work together to expand the common social, cultural and linguistic areas that connect these nationalities. Furthermore, the plan consolidates the main partnership agreements from previous years, with countries and regions that include Algeria, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, the Valencia region, the Balearic Islands, the Basque country, Aragon and Castille and León. Concerning international scope, the partnership agreement initiated last year with the prestigious French organisation, the Royaumont Foundation, will see the Catalan guitarist Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’ perform as part of its concert season.
The Euro-Regional Heritage and Creation Forum project (CIRDÒC) comprises different partners. In addition to Fira Mediterrània, these include Estivada, the Festival of Occitan Culture, and Sa Xerxa, Theatre for Children and Young People in the Balearic Islands. The project seeks to promote artists’ mobility and facilitate the professional and artistic exchange of different cultural, social and linguistic aspects of Occitania, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia.
The project aims to instigate cooperation between the cultural organisations involved, which will take shape through the creation of a series of tools for professional and artistic exchange. These consist of: theme-specific get-togethers, artist mobility, a digital platform and a Euro-regional forum.
The theme-specific get-togethers will be determined by the respective members over three major events organised by Fira Mediterrània, Estivada and Sa Xerxa Theatre for Children and Young People. In relation to artists’ mobility, each event is set to book artists to perform from the other two regional members of the Euro-project. The digital platform will be a crucial mechanism for organising the Euro-regional forum, Heritage and Creation: Occitania, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. Held over a three-day period in April 2016, the forum is intended to be a hub of collective thought that will be used to assess internationalisation through existing networks and the promotion of creation on a Euro-regional level.
The project leader is CIRDÒC-Mediatèca Occitana (Regional Centre of Occitan Development), which oversees the preservation, study and promotion of Occitan culture and heritage. The other members consist of Estivada, the inter-regional festival of Occitan culture, which takes place each year in Rodés in the French Pyrenees; and Sa Xerxa, which promotes theatre for children and young people in the Balearic Islands. Estivada has been an international collaborating partner at Fira Mediterrania for two years. The two organisations are also members of Cofae - the Spanish Performing Arts Trade Fair Coordinator.
Chicuelo at the Royaumont Foundation
This year the collaboration agreement that was set up by Fira Mediterrània with the Royaumont Foundation last year is set to continue. The prestigious French institution runs a major programme of artistic creation residencies based on dance, classical and ancient music and world music. As part of the partnership agreement, Fira co-produced the WASL project by the Palestinian singer and composer Kamilya Jubran, which was borne of a creation residency with the poets Hasan Najmi, from Marrocco, and Salman Masalha, from Palestine. The project will be showcased at the upcoming Fira, having already been staged within the Cinq Chants cycle at Avinyó Festival last year. Headed by the Royaumont Foundation, it was coproduced by the prestigious French Aix-en-Provence Festival, Villes World Music Festival, Fira Mediterrània, Hangar 23 (Rouen) and Ville de Gonesse.
The partnership agreements will continue next year, when the Royaumont Foundation is due to host the guitarist Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’ -put forward by Fira Mediterrània- at a creation residency. Here the artist will develop his latest project in association with Fira and the Foundation. The artistic residencies are held at the majestic abbey run by the Foundation at Asnières-sur-Oise (Île-de-France).
Renewal of international partnership agreements
Regarding the renewal of partnership agreements, on an international level Fira has renewed its partnership agreement with the Italian region of Puglia. As part of this agreement, a Catalan group, to be put forward by Fira, will perform at the upcoming Medimex, Italy’s forerunning music marketplace.
The following partnership agreements have also been renewed: Estivada - Inter-Regional Festival of Occitan Cultures, one of the Euro-region partners for boosting internationalisation of artists in Catalonia and promoting the access of projects based on Occitan culture into the Catalan market; and Internationale Kulturbörse Freiburg (IKF), a major performing arts fair in Germany. Fira upholds its partnership agreements with Mirabilia International Circus and Street Performance Festival, the benchmark festival in Italy for circus and street performance, and OuTonalidades, the Portuguese live music circuit. Following Txarango’s tour last year in Portugal as a result of this partnership agreement, the artist selected for the Portuguese line-up this year is Yacine and the Oriental Groove. The multicultural outfit will perform on 4 and 5 August at the Andanças Festival, in the Portuguese town of Castelo de Vide in the region of Alentejo.
Finally, the partnership agreement started last year with The Cultural Influence Algerian Agency (AARC) has also been renewed. Throughout 2014 and 2015, the collaboration has consisted of an artist being invited to perform in the respective countries, in addition to the presence of an official delegation at the Fira Mediterrània Business Area.
Regarding Spain, on a nationwide level the following partnership agreements have been renewed: Trovam, the only music market in the region of Valencia; the Basque Government / Etxepare Basque Institute; Segovia Folk Festival; the Huesca International Theatre and Dance Fair and Zaragoza City Council for participation in the 12th OFF street competition, organised as part of the 2015 Pilar Festival celebrations. The winner of the competition, targeted at artists devoted to dance, music, theatre, street clown and circus, will perform at the upcoming Fira. In addition to the already-mentioned Euro-regional project, complementary partnership agreements are in the process of being set up with the Balearic Islands government.
To reinforce these initiatives, Fira is a member of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM), the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (EFWMF). It is also a member of the Spanish Performing Arts Trade Fair Coordinator (COFAE) and the Anna LINDH Foundation and Network.
The four partners of the Euro-regional project, today in Manresa.