Observatorio de Cultura

Newsletter Nº 30. Culture Observatory (May 2014)
Área de cultura del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza

Editorial

ACCESIBLE CULTURE. Culture For Everybody

The right of having access to culture is an essential starting point for defending any approach in our society. Public institutions must guarantee a cultural offer easy to reach for every citizen, handicapped people, the elderly, young people, children? and affordable for everyone; an accessible, varied and plural culture.

Zaragoza is an ideal city to enjoy multiple cultural proposals but it is necessary a higher degree of training to secure the participation of those who feel culture as something far from them or inaccessible.

Is the number of educational and communication initiatives implement to bring the whole of the population closer to culture enough? Is it enough to demolish myths that, as high walls, prevent larger audiences from having access to culture? It is not enough to subsidize theatres or auditoriums to fill more or less its capacity but to take culture everywhere; search for new audiences and make culture accessible to everybody; provide accessible facilities and equipments by suppressing physical and architectural obstacles as well as communication barriers; make possible accessibility to a diversified and plural cultural offer including the majority of publics and attracting new ones; accessibility of prices; and finally, facilities for enjoying culture as a daily activity, increasing didactic and spreading programs.

 

Of course, with a 21% of cultural VAT in Spain compared to the 5.5% in France, the 7% in Germany or the 3% in Luxembourg we contribute to the idea that culture is a luxury good and therefore, an important part of the population cannot enjoy it.

Culture is a right not a privilege and therefore we must put all the necessary means for it to be enjoyed by everybody at the best available conditions. For the handicapped ?among them many old people- architectural barriers must be replaced with ramps and adapted lifts, bathrooms and automatic doors; two-level counters, adequate signalling and shop windows and information at the right height. For blind people and citizens with visual defects, build easier accesses and inner transit in the cultural spaces, with floors made of different textures, lifts with sound, suppress communication barriers using tactile models with sound, audio-guides in museums, and postcards and information in bigger letters. For deaf people and citizens with hearing impairments include subtitled audiovisuals, written messages in speech message, sign language, magnetic loops and sign-guides. We also must design accessible websites for people with different disabilities in order to make access for information, calls and cultural offers easier for them.

From the Department of Culture of Zaragoza, being conscious of this situation, we have started to analyse the situation of accessibility in the museums of our city. The Culture Observatory has made a little survey with results that indicate that the municipal museums show a higher level of accessibility, even though some of them need adaptation.

More information. By guaranteeing accessibility to culture for disabled people we are opening culture to everybody under equal conditions.

An accessible cultural policy starts fitting-out the available area, facilities and equipment, but also needs training programs for cultural professionals and for the staff working there focusing on disabilities and accessibility; research, development and innovation in technologies to create different cultural contents; contract disabled workers; boost the participation of handicapped people in artistic creation and guarantee the participation of users and representative entities in tracking and implementing the actions.

 

Observing Zaragoza

The Gancho Race candidate to the International Prize Agenda 21 of Culture

Zaragoza has presented its candidacy to the International Prize Agenda 21 of Culture 2014 in the city of Mexico, with La Carrera del Gancho (The Gancho Race), an interdisciplinary project carried out by residents at San Pablo district (Gancho district). Historically, this city district represents the values of tolerance, peace and coexistence assumed by the city of Zaragoza. A district that claims its bet for a present and a future without marginalization and with more solidarity. Its residents go to the street to enjoy this three-day fiesta but their transforming capacity is felt during the whole year. Young and old people, children, immigrants, artists, shop-owners, etc, create, build, enjoy, meet and discover themselves by different activities that highlight inclusion, tolerance and democratic participation. The cultural diversity and richness of this district is shown in its streets and squares as well as in its traditions, art and culture addressed to anybody who wants to participate and enjoy it. The winner of this prize endowed with 50,000 ? for the international promotion of its program and the strengthening of the local implementation of its agenda, will be know in June of this year. More information.

Ecozine 2014

One more year Ecozine, the International Festival of Cinema and Environment of Zaragoza organised by Ecozine Cultural Association and the City of Zaragoza is hold from 15 to 22 May 2014. The objective of this 7th edition is to spread a message of respect and commitment to the environment among the people of Zaragoza. Other essential goals of the Festival, today more valid than ever, are to inform and make people aware through cinema; be a window of the realities present in today´s world; and be a platform for showing the works of many film-makers committed to the planet. This edition will be composed of the following sections: Première, Cinema and Water, Young People, CoopeRart, Ecozine in Familiy, Focused, Other Perspectives and the official section Meeting 2013 for Audio-visual film-makers. More information.

Call for proposals for the fourth edition of Zaragoza White Night to be held next 28 of June

The organizations and cultural entities interested in taking part in this program can present its proposals of activities until Friday 23 May. The cultural and leisure program Zaragoza White Night comes back to the city in the night of 28 June, turning the old town into a huge cultural stage during six hours. From 8 pm to 2 am the city will experience a constant boiling of concerts, theatre and dance performances, shows, cultural meetings, exhibitions and a long list of activities ?most of them for free- that will gather tens of thousands of citizens of Zaragoza in public spaces, museums, concert halls, theatres and in any other place where a cultural event can be organised. This will be the fourth edition in Zaragoza of this cultural program born in 2002 in Paris and that has spread quickly among the main European capitals and cities to consolidate itself as one of the more widely shared and valued global experiences for the citizens. All the organizations and entities interested in taking part in this edition can present their proposals until Friday 23 May by this email nocheenblanco@zaragozacultural.com.

Zaragoza White Night was held for the first time in 2011 with the collaboration and support of the association Zaragoza en Blanco and with 51 activities in 42 spaces of the city. The number of activities increased in 2012, overcoming the figure of 90 in


 

Leonardo Padura wins the 1st International Prize of Historical Novel "City of Zaragoza" and Sarah Lark is awarded the Honour Prize

Leonardo Padura has been the winner of the 10th edition of this prize. The coordinator, Juan Bolea, has declared that the jury has valued in Herejes (Heretics) by Leonardo Padura (La Habana, 1955) that, "apart from being a very well-written work, it is an atypical historical novel written following the characteristics of the detective and thriller genre. Leonardo Padura is also the author of La novela de mi vida (Story of My Life) and El hombre que amaba a los perros (The Man Who Loved Dogs), a reconstruction of the lives of Trotsky and Ramón Mercader.

This award ?with a prize of 20,000 euros to be shared by the writer, Leonardo Padura, and his publishing house Tusquets- and the Honour Prize of this edition awarded to the German writer Sarah Lark, will be awarded next 28 May in Zaragoza City Hall

Sarah Lark, who lives in Spain as is known in our country by her Trilogy of the Maoris, has published very successful international novels such as The Cry of the Earth (2009) or The Waves of Fate. According to the jury "this writer makes historical novels richer" thanks "both for her literary styles and for deepening into the psychology of the characters". The histories that have deserved a bigger international acknowledgement are situated in New Zealand, country that she knows well, with a plot focusing on Maori culture and the process of colonisation of this country. More information.

 

Observing Zaragoza Cultural Firms

Zona de Obras
We interview Rubén Scaramuzzino, director of the company Bailanta, SL (Zona de Obras)

How does it arise the idea of creating this project and why? What is the difference between your project and those from others?

When we started Zona de Obras there wasn´t any media focusing on the musical and cultural scene of Iberoamerica. The presence of alternative culture in general media is ridiculous. That motivated us to create ZdeO, a project of contra-cultural management from which a company-magazine, different multidisciplinary festivals, and online paper, a design study and an online shop were born.

Maybe what differentiates our project is the concept, since we focus on topics such as Iberoamerica and the exchange between Iberoamerica and Nordic countries, subject in which we have been working for five years.

What difficulties have you found? Have you been helped in any way?

All kind of difficulties. Unfortunately culture doesn't generate much interest in Iberoamerica. Institutions have other priorities and the industry is totally devoted to the most conventional and commercial.

No, we don't have received aids important enough to be mentioned. All that we have made during these 20 years is the result of our effort and absolute dedication.

What has the implementation of this initiative brought to you?

Plenty of satisfaction earn my living from something that I like and I know how to do. And also to be conscious that there is a lot to be done in the cultural field.

What projects are you developing right now? And in collaboration with other companies?

Right now we are focusing on Zona de Obras online paper (the first paper on Iberoamerican music and culture) and the festival Nordic Days (first multidisciplinary festival of Nordic culture in Spain and Latin America) that this year will hold its fifth edition.

What would you recommend to somebody thinking of starting a business projects?

To have a clear and well-defined concept and to be different from those already existing.

 

Observing Spain

1st Forum of Culture and Good Practices

Last March took place in Madrid the 1st Forum of Culture and Good Practices. The Forum has been organised by different professional of this sector in order "to launch in our country a debate on how to make a cultural management able to strengthen the professional sector, identify and foster good professional practices in Spain, promote networking and produce a basic document with advices and protocols.

Handbooks of good practices made by professionals and accepted and passed by them are becoming the necessary tool to introduce criteria of good management, efficiency and transparency, including the measurement and publication of the results as well as transparency in the boards that value the aids, grants and subsidies and also in public-funded cultural projects by establishing objective criteria and standards.More information.

They are women from cinema. This is Spanish cinema

The Institute of Cinema and Visual Arts (ICAA) has launched the campaign "They are women from cinema. This is Spanish cinema", presenting thirteen female professionals of Spanish cinema with the collaboration of the Association of Women Film-makers and Workers of Audiovisual Media (CIMA).

The poster of the campaign ?that has appeared in different media- shows the faces of the script-writers Virginia Yagüe and Lola Salvador, the film editor Teresa Font, the sound technician Eva Valiño, the producers Belén Atienza, Esther García, Puy Oria and Mariela Besuievsky, the film directors Inés París, Isabel Coixet and Paula Ortiz, the musician Zeltia Montes and the costumes director Laia Huete). More information.

A 40% of Musac former grant holders show their works in an art gallery and a 47% have exhibited individually in the last year

Grants and aides to the cultural sector constitute a fundamental tool for a professional development: presence in exhibitions, galleries or receivers of other grants and aides. "arteinformado", the digital newsletter of the portal of contemporary art publishes a report on the professional career of MUSAC internship artists. The results are: "from the 44 grant-holders of MUSAC Leon during the six editions of its "Grants for Artistic Creation" 40% of them have found a gallery to represent them and a 47% have made at least one individual exhibition during the last year. These MUSAC grants are now good news due to two things: first because they will be called in 2015 after five years cancelled, as it has been confirmed by the direction of the museum in Leon; and second because until 8 June Laboratorio 987 will show the projects made by grant-holders in the exhibition "Una pausa para reflexionar" (A Pause to Think About").  More information.


 

Elena Poniatowska has been awarded Cervantes Award 2013 and María Victoria Atienza the Award Reina Sofía of Iberoamerican Poetry 2014

Elena Poniatowskahas been the fourth woman awarded Cervantes Award from its 39 editions. According to the jury she presents "a bright path in different genres, particularly in her way of narrating and her exemplary commitment to journalism. The most important of her work is her strong commitment to contemporary history. She is the author of emblematic works that describe the 20th century from an international and integrating point of view and one of the most powerful voices of present literature in Spanish.

She dressed in native clothing that, as Margarita Borja explains

"reinforces in a ritual way her image of cosmopolitan authority". Elena Poniatowska started her speech remembering the three women awarded before her, comparing herself to Sancho Panza: "I´m a female Sancho Panza?" and said that "the financial power rules not only in Mexico but also in the world". Those who stand against it are less and less". That is the reason why she is proud of walking with the "naive, the beat-up, the innocent". Live video of her speech

 

María Victoria Atencia has won Reina Sofía Award of Iberoamerican Poetry 2014, considered the most important institutional prize of its genre in Spanish and Portuguese language. She has also been the fourth woman to win this prize that celebrates its 23rd edition.

Soledad Puértolas and María Ángeles Pérez López, that have formed part of the jury, have highlighted that she "has known to dialogue with tradition and turn the ordinary into something transcendent". Soledad Puértolas, a great defender of the poetry of María Victoria Atencia, has stressed "the way of this writer from Malaga to crystallise the present, filling it with light to do something shared from every gesture or small thought"? "She always lights up our inner-self with a kind of nostalgia of what we could be, going towards that kind of love that support us sometimes and sometimes not, but that vindicates itself".

I lifted up with my finger the crystal of the waters, contemplated its silence and went deeper into myself. Verses from the poem "The Lagoon of Fuentedepiedra" by María Victoria Atencia.


 

 

Observing Europe

European elections from 22 to 25 May 2014

At the end of May have been called European elections, the firsts after the endorsement of Lisbon Treaty. It is a good time to know the cultural program of our future representatives on cultural policies such as the proposal for a common cultural VAT in Europe that is defended by several candidates.

Culture Action Europe (CAE) -the first European cultural network and a voice for over 80,000 organizations to put culture in the centre at every level of the local and European public debate- is trying to establish a new global identity and not the hegemony of a unique language, culture or religion. It has also fostered an initiative for this election addressed to all the political parties. These are its main points:

  • Support cultural and artistic dissemination in Europe and eliminate barriers.

  • Recognise ?by means of national legislation- the economic rights of creators and producers, and of distributors and middlemen.

  • Active opposition against any kind of interference in culture, arts, education, research and human rights.More information.

 

 Balkan Museums Network

Ciberkarys, the digital newsletter of Interarts,More information.) includes in its number of April information on new network formed by 19 museums from the Balkans area. Based on peace and reconciliation as well on efficiency, this network is looking for establishing a platform of exchange, dialogue and promotion of museums within the complex common heritage of this region. Museums from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mantenegro and Serbia form part of the network. Participation is opened to other museums from that geographical area.

The Balkan Museums Network (BMN) http://bmuseums.net/ as it is called, has launched different projects to improve its facilities and make them more attractive to the public. One of the most important improvements has been the construction of accesses for handicapped people.

 

Creative Europe program

Creative Europe is the new program of the EU for the period 2014-20120 aiming at fostering the cultural and creative sectors and including the old Culture Program 2007-2013.

Its goal is to foster all the sectors of the cultural and creative industries as a great source of employment and growth, and support European professionals working in the different cultural fields and other related sectors. Culture, cinema, television, music, literature, stage arts, European heritage and other fields will benefit from a bigger support in the framework of this new program.

The program is endowed with a budget of 1,460 million euros and will make it easier funding for at least 250,000 artists and culture professionals, 2,000 cinemas, 800 film and the translation of 4,500 books. A new mechanism of financial guarantee allowing small firms from the cultural and creative sector to have access to bank loans for a maximum of 750 million euros will also be launched. More information.

 

Observing Latin America

 

Registration open for Animage festival of animation

Between 19 and 27 September 2014 will take place Pernambuco International Festival of Animation. Registration to send proposals is opened until next 21 July and the event will be held in the city of Recife, at the North-east of Brazil. The festival includes four awards: Best Short Film, Best Short Film for Children, Best Brazilian Short Film and Prize of the Public. Prizes in the following categories will be also awarded: Best Director, Best Script, Best Artistic Direction, Best Sound and Best Technique. Animage, a project of Rec-Beat Produções presented 129 films in 2013 from 32 different countries. More information.


 

 Newsletter of the Iberoamerican Culture ObservatoryThe Iberoamerican Culture Observatory (OIBC), an initiative of the Organization of Iberoamerican States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) has started to publish a digital newsletter: "it is a project of cultural cooperation searching for joining and spreading important information on culture and cultural cooperation in Iberoamerica as well as for contributing to the elaboration of a shared methodology of cultural indicators of common interest for the region" Number two informs on advances about satellite accounts on Iberoamerican countries and the impact of creative industries in the economic development of the region, access and participation in cultural activities, and a survey on cultural consumption in Mexico. http://www.oibcult.org/web/?BOLETIN-no-2-Abril-2014


 

Bogota Festival of Iberoamerican Theatre

Its 14th edition has taken place from 4 to 20 April. This festival is the most important theatre event in Iberoamerica and an unprecedented case in the history of Colombia. It was launched in 1988 by Fanny Mikeycon, a person who has survive from several murder attempts and constant threatens. As the organisers declare "the festival keeps on producing a kind of insurgent movement of citizens against the horror of violence".

25 countries from the five continents have participated in the 17 days of this year´s edition, with 1,200 artists and 300 theatre performances in 21 halls as well as many street-theatre events. Brazil has been the guest country. More information.

 

Observing the World

 

Canadian Tulip Festival

More than a million tulips will be used in the Canadian Tulip Festival to be held one more time in May in Ottawa, Canada. It is an event full of colour and emotion that inspires the creativity of all the photographers and artists that visit it.

The event counts with more than 500,000 visitors every year. Going beyond the celebration of the tulip as a symbol of beauty and friendship, the Canadian Tulip Festival aims at presenting some of the most brilliant contemporary thinkers talking on new ideas.

The Festival -that will be held this year from 9 to 19 May- includes also music shows, speeches and exhibitions of international cooking. More information.

The Italian paintings of the Museo del Prado travel to Australia

70 paintings and 30 drawings from the beginning of the 16th century to the 17th century belonging to the Italian collection of the Museo del Prado, will travel to Australia to be exhibited from 16 May at Melbourne´s National Gallery of Victoria.

Rafael, Tiziano, Tiepolo, Correggio, Tintoretto or Carracci are some of the artists that will form part of the exhibition "Italian Masterpieces from Spain´s Royal Court" being the biggest lending of Italian art made by this museum for a single exhibition and the first time that these works will be shown outside of Europe.

Organized by the Museo del Prado in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria and Art Exhibitions Australia, this three-month exhibition will represent a unique opportunity for Australian public to enjoy this selection of works that form part of the Spanish cultural heritage. More information

 

Holi Festival

In India, Nepal and other world regions with important communities of people from India or of Indian origin, the arrival of spring is celebrated with a festival, the Holi Festival.

Holi is a spring event full of colour called also Festival of Colours or Festival of Love. It includes, music, dance, theatre, becoming a true street-party.

The festival has a cultural meaning. It is a holiday to get rid of past mistakes and end conflicts; a day to forget and forgive. People pay or close his/her debts; they reconcile each other. Holi is also the start of a new year for many people .More information.

Prize Penagos Mapfre of Drawing 2013 awarded to William Kentridge

The Prize Penagos of Drawing is the most important of Spain and has been won by important artists such as Carlos Cruz Díez, Miquel Barceló, Paula Rego, Antonio López García or David Hockney.

This year´s prize -endowed with 30,000 euros- has been awarded to the South African artist William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) who has mainly focused his work on the expression of many different kinds of drawing, presenting a genuine vision of present-day South Africa. His work, according to the jury, "is a personal and expressive attempt to deal with the nature of human emotions and memory as well as the relation between wishes, ethics and responsibility".

William Kentridge uses metaphors as a vehicle for communication and explains that "the activity of drawing is to discover the essence of drawing. It is not drawing before drawing but the process of thinking". More information.

 

Calls

27th Painting Contest Francisco Padilla

Deadline open until 15 May to present works for the 27th Francisco Padilla Painting Contest organized by the Municipality of Villanueva de Gállego. More information.

CULTUP, program for supporting cultural entrepreneurs: call open

The Iberoamerican Foundation of Culture and Creative Industries (FIBICC) launches its first call within the framework of CULTUP, a program for supporting cultural entrepreneurship. The call is addressed to young Spanish entrepreneurs living in other European countries or in Iberoamerica, and is composed of two stages: one in classroom with training session on the development of a business project; an another online in which participants will receive advice on cultural entrepreneurship. The objective of the program is to contribute to an education of quality for cultural and creative entrepreneurs allowing them to build themselves a professional profile in this sector. Data of the classroom stage by country and registration forms are available at More information.

Faena Arts Center calls its Arts Award 2015

Faena Arts Center of Buenos Aires has just announced the call for its Faena Arts Award 2015, that in its fourth edition includes artists and groups from the whole world who are developing original and specific projects in dialogue with architecture and Buenos Aires city centre

The winner of the project will receive 25,000 dollars and a budget of up to 50,000 dollars to fund the production of a work that will be exhibited at the Faena Arts Center during 2015. More information.

More calls in the portal of the Culture Observatory of the municipal website

Note: The digital newsletter of the Culture Observatory of the City of Zaragoza is available in three languages: Spanish, English and French. It is sent to subscribers from the whole world. If you want to consult past numbers visit this link:

if you want to subscribe to our newsletter, you can do it here