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Barcelona will commemorate the 75th anniversary of President Lluís Companys' execution

October 9, 2015 04:28 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Commission for Dignity, an NGO that aims to return the documents confiscated by Franco’s troops at the end of the Spanish Civil War to their rightful owners in Catalonia,“urged” the Spanish state and the army to condemn the court-martial that executed Catalan President, Lluís Companys in 1940. The Commission also invited Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and commanding officer of the Spanish military forces stationed in Catalonia, General Boyero Delgado, to attend the commemoration events “as an action of normality”. One of its initiatives to fight for the preservation of historical memory is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Companys’ execution. As a tribute, the Commission is also preparing a concert on the 11th of October, performed by the School of Music of Catalonia (ESMUC) and to be held at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC).

Singer-songwriter and anti-Franco activist Lluís Llach to head pro-independence unitary list in Girona

July 24, 2015 08:37 PM | ACN

Lluís Llach, one of the most famous Catalan musicians and one of the main voices against Franco's dictatorship, will  top the pro-independence unitary list running in the Girona Province in the forthcoming Catalan elections, which should become a 'de facto' referendum on independence. In the Tarragona Province, the 'Junts pel Sí' pro-independence list ('Together for the Yes') will be topped by economics professor Germà Bel, an expert on infrastructure. The list groups together Liberal, Social-Democrat, Green, and Christian-Democrat politicians, as well as many independents and representatives from civil society. It will officially start the independence process if they win the elections and pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament. The list is topped by former Eco-Socialist Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is running in Barcelona Province.

Paul Preston: comparing current Spanish language's situation in Catalonia to Franco's repression of Catalan is "ridiculous"

May 15, 2015 09:15 PM | ACN

The renowned Hispanicist Paul Preston, Professor of International History at the London School of Economics (LSE), received an honorary PhD from Tarragona’s Rovira i Virgili University (URV) on Friday. Before the ceremony, Preston seized the opportunity to state that comparing the Spanish language's current situation in Catalonia to that of the Catalan language during Franco's dictatorship "is ridiculous". "In 35 years no one told me anything for not speaking Catalan", he said in perfect Catalan. Preston's remarks follow controversial statements by the Spanish Minister for Education José Ignacio Wert on Wednesday. In particular, the Spanish Minister was recorded stating that "the situation of Spanish [language] in the education system of Catalonia, limited to being used as a non-tuition language, like any foreign language, is comparable to the situation of Catalan [language] in the times they like so much to remember", referring to Franco's dictatorship.

Interwar photography from the experimental Gabriel Casas on show in National Art Museum of Catalonia

April 28, 2015 09:08 PM | ACN

From Wednesday 29th of April onwards, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) will exhibit 'Gabriel Casas: Photography, journalism and modernity, 1929-1939', the first great monographic exhibition dedicated to one of the most important photographers of the interwar period. Standing out as the photographer who introduced 'New Vision' photography in Spain, Casas achieved "great maturity" in the decade represented in this exposition with 120 photographs and 4 thematic areas: 'Records', 'New Vision', 'Photography' and 'Portraits', as explained by the curator Juan Naranjo. The exhibition dedicated to Gabriel Casas is a cooperative production between the MNAC together with the National Archive of Catalonia and La Caixa's foundation for social and cultural work. The show will later travel to the CaixaForum art galleries in Girona (North-East Catalonia) and Tarragona (South Catalonia).

The feast of Our Lady of Montserrat: A Catholic celebration with a Catalan nationalist twist

April 27, 2015 11:05 PM | Shobha Prabhu-Naik Garaialde

The 27th of April is the feast day of the Mare de Déu deMontserrat,Our Lady of Montserrat, or as she is more affectionately called in Catalonia, la Moreneta, "the little dark-skinned one". One of the only black images of the Virgin Mary in Europe, the Virgin of Montserrat is the patron saint of all dioceses in Catalonia and together with St. George (Sant Jordi) is considered the patron saint of the territory. In recent history, she has also become a symbol for Catalan national identity and Catholic Catalan nationalism. Up in the mountains of Montserrat, the Santa María abbey celebrated on Monday with a mass dedicated to the Virgin, and outside in the main square there were numerous traditional activities including people making human towers (castells), music bands and food stalls, as well as groups dancing the traditional Catalan dance, La Sardana.

Catalan tribute to 70th anniversary of the liberation of Ravensbrück Nazi concentration camp

April 20, 2015 04:50 PM | ACN

L'Amical de Ravensbrück association and the Catalan Government commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany on Sunday. The association of Catalan survivors of this Nazi camp and their relatives organised the event, in which some of the camp survivors participated, including Neus Catalá - the only living Spanish survivor of Ravensbrück. The commemoration coincided with celebration of Neus Catalá, aged 99, who this year was given the Gold Medal of the Government of Catalonia, the highest award given by the institution.

Son of former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, tells judge how Andorran money grew

March 26, 2015 10:42 PM | ACN

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, has testified in court to explain the management of the money his family kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Jordi Pujol senior confessed the alleged fraud in July, shocking the entire Catalan society and destroying his moral leadership. In the past few months, the former Catalan President (1980-2003), his wife, and 6 of their 7 children have been indicted for alleged fiscal fraud, and 3 of them are also indicted for other corruption and fraud cases. The Spanish authorities may have known about irregular activities of the Pujol family for decades, but it only made front-pages when the former President started to publicly support independence. Besides, the Catalan Parliament have already undertaken a series of hearings to investigate potential corrupt practices during Pujol's governments.

20th anniversary of the passing of Valencian protest singer Ovidi Montllor

March 10, 2015 10:23 PM | ACN / Laia Font

This year is the 20th anniversary of the death of Valencian singer Ovidi Montllor who, along with other artists, promoted Catalan music during the Franco dictatorship and the transition years to democracy. Though not well-known internationally, Montllor was an important figure in the Catalan music world and especially in the opposition to the dictatorship. Back then, he started to accompany his poems with music and those of renown Catalan poets like Joan Salvat-Papasseit. For this reason, throughout the year there will be a lot of events and tributes paid to him. One of these tributes is a book to be published in March written by Catalan writer Jordi Tormo made up of photographs, poems and a review of his career.