prize

10 international figures, including 2 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, support Catalonia's right to self-determination

November 3, 2014 07:50 PM | ACN

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Argentinian activist Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, both of whom were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as UK film-maker Ken Loach, Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, UK historian Paul Preston, American sociologist Richard Sennett, US writer Harold Bloom, Portuguese writer António Lobo Antunes, Irish activist Bill Shipsey and US former ambassador Ambler Moss have issued the 'Let Catalans Vote' manifesto. "A majority of Catalans have repeatedly expressed in different ways the wish to exercise their democratic right to vote on their political future" the document starts. Mentioning the positive examples of Quebec and Scotland, the signers stress that "to prevent the Catalans from voting seems to contradict the principles that inspire democratic societies". Finally, they urge the Spanish and Catalan governments to agree on a vote and "to negotiate in good faith based on the result".

Jordi Savall rejects the Spanish Government’s National Music Prize for its cultural policies

October 30, 2014 09:34 PM | ACN

The internationally-recognised Early Music expert, Catalan Jordi Savall, rejected on Thursday Spain’s National Music Prize, which is awarded by the Spanish Government each year. Savall has not accepted the Prize, which was announced on Wednesday and comes with €30,000, because he wants to show his rejection of the Spanish Government’s cultural policies, particularly that towards musicians. Savall is probably the world’s top interpreter of viola da gamba and the main expert in Early and Renaissance music. In 2012 he received the Leonie Sonning Music Foundation Prize, considered to be the ‘Nobel Prize of Music’. In a letter addressed to the Spanish Culture Minister, José Ignacio Wert, Savall blames the Spanish Government for “the dramatic lack of interest and the great incompetence in defending and promoting arts and its creators”. Furthermore he “deplores the Spanish Government’s downplaying policy towards the vast majority of musicians”. Besides, Savall has been publicly advocating for Catalonia’s right to self-determination in the last few months.

Jaume Cabré’s novel 'Confessions' hits English bookstores

October 22, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

Catalan author Jaume Cabré’s latest novel 'Jo confesso' has been translated into English and is finally hitting bookstores in the Anglophone world for the first time since its original publication in 2011. It was translated by Mara Faye Letham and published by Arcadia books. The novel, which this year won the Courrier International Prize for 'Best foreign novel', as well as several Catalan literature awards, has already been translated into Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese, among others. This is another success for Catalan literature, after the publication in English of 'Quadern gris' ('The Grey Notebook') by Josep Pla and the Joan Sales classic 'Incerta Glòria' ('Uncertain Glory'). Catalan literature is blossoming among English readers, thanks to the recent translations of several other classics.

Mexican Jorge Zepeda Patterson scoops 63rd Planeta Prize with novel 'Milena o el fémur más bello del mundo'

October 16, 2014 08:49 PM | ACN

On Wednesday evening, at an award ceremony in Barcelona, the Mexican author won the prestigious literary award the Planeta Prize, with his novel 'Milena o el fémur más bello del mundo' ('Milena, or the most beautiful femur in the world'). The Planeta Prize, now in its 63rd edition, is an award bestowed on unpublished books in Spanish that are submitted under pseudonyms, and with false titles, in theory to avoid judges being biased by author’s reputations. In the case of the winner, the work was presented under the pseudonym Eduardo Nevado, with the fake title 'Los crímenes del cromosoma XY ('XY chromosome crimes­'). A finalist to the prize, was Barcelona journalist Pilar Eyre, who submitted her work 'Mi color favorito es verte' ('Seeing you is my favourite colour'), under the alias Coral Teide and title 'Se llamaba Sébastien' ('His name was Sébastien').

Barça's player Luis Suárez receives Golden Shoe 2013/14 for the 31 goals he scored at Liverpool

October 16, 2014 05:18 PM | Roger Bogunyà

Luis Suárez is the golden boy. On Wednesday at the Damm Brewery in Barcelona he was presented with the Golden Shoe award that he shares this year with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who both scored 31 goals in the Premiership and La Liga last season, respectively. Kenny Dalglish presented the Uruguayan with the award in recognition of the 31 goals that he scored last season at Liverpool. The new Barça signing was in glowing form alongside his wife Sofia at an event that attracted massive media attention, with more than 100 members of the press packed into the hall.

British author Lee Child receives the "prestigious" RBA Award for Crime Writing

September 5, 2014 09:40 PM | ACN

On Thursday evening the British author who is responsible for the Jack Reacher series of crime novels, Lee Child, received in Barcelona the VIII RBA Award for Crime Writing for his latest book in the series, 'Personal'. Child could not attend the ceremony for personal reasons so his literary agent, Mary Darby, read out a statement from the British writer instead. "Thank you for this prestigious award, I feel greatly honoured and proud to accept it", he said. The judging panel, which selected Child's novel from 244 submitted manuscripts, highlighted "the original composition of an atypical action hero" in the book, which reveals much about the world of "intelligence services and criminal gangs". 

Barcelona Airport recognised as Europe's best, as its T1 Terminal hosts 111 million passengers in 5 years

June 18, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

In the five years since it opened, the T1 Terminal of Barcelona El Prat Airport has received over 111 million people, overseen approximately 1.3 million take-off and landing operations and processed 70 million items of luggage. The new airport terminal became operational on 17 June 2009 and marked its fifth anniversary on Tuesday. The new terminal has processed twice as many passengers in this period than the older T2 terminal. In addition, Barcelona El Prat Airport was on Tuesday night announced as the best airport in Europe, at the ACI (Airport Council International) Europe Awards 2014 held in Frankfurt. It was the second time the airport has received this accolade.

Desmond Tutu openly supports Catalonia's right to self-determination and asks Spanish Government to talk

June 3, 2014 10:45 PM | ACN

"The parties should discuss how independence can be best achieved," if the majority of Catalans choose this option in a self-determination referendum, stated the South African Archbishop and anti-Apartheid activist, Desmond Tutu. When he was receiving the 2014 Premi Internacional Catalunya – Catalonia's most prestigious award given to people who have significantly contributed to Humankind throughout the world, Tutu directly appealed to the Spanish authorities "to listen" to the majority of Catalans, since "it's common sense." The Nobel Peace Laureate urged Spain to allow Catalans to freely and democratically hold a self-determination referendum. He also said that consensus is better than unilateral decision, which is "the second best." The Archbishop dedicated the award to all the people fighting against a series of causes, such as AIDS in South Africa, war in Syria, torture in Guantanamo, homophobia in Uganda, pollution in Northern Canada or not being allowed self-determination in Catalonia. "They do the work and I get the credit," he said ironically.

Desmond Tutu urges Spanish authorities to engage in Catalan self-determination debate "like adults"

June 3, 2014 07:27 PM | ACN

The South-African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has travelled to Barcelona to receive the XXVI Premi Internacional Catalunya, the highest tribute the Catalan Government accords following an independent jury's decision. The award recognises people who have made significant contributions to Humankind. Addressing journalists on Tuesday morning, ahead of the evening award ceremony in Barcelona, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke of the Spanish authorities' necessity of an open dialogue about Catalan independence. Tutu was surprised that such a vote could take place in Scotland but not in Catalonia. He stated that Spain's denial of the strong support for self-rule only exacerbates the problem. At the press conference, the Archbishop also touched upon the subject of King Juan Carlos' abdication, saying he believed a monarchy could be a force for good when "it helps draw people together", although he also underlined that all human beings are equal.

South-African Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded the prestigious Premi Internacional Catalunya

May 8, 2014 09:33 PM | ACN

Desmond Tutu, the South-African Archbishop who fought the Apartheid regime and won the Nobel Peace Prize, has been awarded the 26th Premi Internacional Catalunya. This is the most prestigious prize given by the Catalan Government and follows the decision of an independent jury formed of high-profile professionals from Catalonia and abroad. The jury has chosen Tutu from 162 other names from 51 different countries for "his vigorous and constant fight for social justice and the improvement of living conditions of those oppressed". Last year, the Premi Internacional Catalunya was awarded to the former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland and to the young Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai for "their determination and courage in the defence of human rights". Other awardees have been Lula da Silva, Haruki Murakami, Jimmy Carter, Jacques Delors, Amartya Sen and Aung San Suu Kyi, among others.

Gaudí Awards honour top Catalan films in midst of broadcaster strike

February 3, 2014 03:39 PM | Robert Boucaut / Victòria Oliveres

The apocalyptic blockbuster Los Últimos Días (‘The Last Days’) and the intense quasi-documentary La Plaga (‘The Plague’) took home top honours at the Catalan film industry awards, which took place in Barcelona on Sunday evening. The decision by the workers from the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster not to air the ceremony was present throughout with many personalities from the world of cinema displaying their support for the protesters. The President of the Catalan Film Academy, Isona Passola, condemned this decision in her address. Contemporary drama Tots Volem el Millor per a Ella (‘Puzzlement’) was also recognised in the gala, picking up both Best Leading Actress for Nora Navas and Best Supporting Actress for Clara Segura, while big nominees Fill de Cain (‘Son of Cain’) and Grand Piano went home empty-handed.

Carmen Amoraga wins the 70th Nadal literary award

January 7, 2014 05:44 PM | ACN

The novel ‘La vida era eso’ by Carmen Amoraga has won the Nadal Award, in the 70th anniversary of this literary prize given by Destino publishing house. Albert Villaró with his roman ‘Els ambaixadors’ was awarded the Josep Pla Prize for prose in Catalan, also given by Destino, on the same evening. Amoraga’s book tells the story of a woman who dives into the social networks after the death of her husband. The novel by Villaró invents an alternative outcome of the historical facts that happened in October 1934, when the Catalan President Lluís Companys proclaimed the “Catalan State of the Spanish Federal Republic”.

European Book Prize 2013 awarded to Barcelona’s Eduardo Mendoza

December 5, 2013 07:33 PM | ACN

Catalan writer Eduardo Mendoza was proclaimed winner of the European Book Prize 2013 in the novel category for An Englishman in Madrid (Riña de gatos, Madrid 1936). Mendoza rose to fame in the late 1970s and the 1980s by publishing several books on his home-town, Barcelona. However, in his latest novel, the writer has decided to explore the political tensions in Madrid at the very beginning of the Spanish Civil War (1936), through the perception of a foreigner, an Englishman. The other finalists were Luciana Castellina for Discovering the World, Vassilis Alexakis for The Greek Child (L’Enfant Grec), and Petros Markaris for Lixiprothesma dania. Furthermore, Arnaud Leparmentier has won in the essay category for Ces Français fossoyeurs de l’euro.

Hong Kong telecomm company opens its European offices in Barcelona

November 25, 2013 07:24 PM | ACN

The telecommunications company Cronos Group, based in Hong Kong, is opening its European offices in Barcelona to offer services throughout the continent and worlwide. According to the Catalan Ministry of Business and Employment, the company is expected to create 25 new jobs in the first year operating from the Catalan capital. Currently 10 people are already working in Cronos’ Barcelona offices. The project received the assistance of the Catalan Government’s programme ‘Invest in Catalonia’, which focuses on attracting foreign investment and international business. Cronos’s Managers explained they have decided to settle in Barcelona because it had become the world capital of the mobile phone and of telecommunications, since each year it organises the main international event in this sector. Furthermore, Cronos Group praised the talent and skills of Catalan workers.