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Catalonia Days

Radio Project by Simon Harris

The Catalonia Days Project is self-financed and has been given the go ahead by the Head of Programming at Catalunya Radio.

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Presentation of the Catalonia Days Project

Catalonia Days is an audio-magazine in English comprising five weekly episodes lasting 15 minutes broadcast from Monday to Friday plus a weekly round-up that can be listened to over the weekend.

Consequently, each episode deals with a specific topic related to the day in question and also the full hour and fifteen minutes of the weekly programme has an appealing and predictable structure that offers a review of the week in Catalonia.

Having said that, the central idea of the programme is to transmit the identity and current state of Catalonia to the English-speaking world by answering two questions: What happened today? and What is happening today?

For example, in an episode broadcast the week of El Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, you can comment on the form of the two sides, talk about the rivalry between the two clubs as representatives of Catalonia and the Francoist Regime respectively and also explain why there are so many pro-independence Catalan Estelada flags in the stadium.

In a programme about the exhibition on Can Roca, which is currently on at Palau Robert, you can do a review of the recent history of creative Catalan cookery and the figure of Ferran Adrià and then talk about elements of traditional Catalan cooking, such as Mar i Muntanya or the use of chocolate in savoury dishes, that are strange to the foreign palate but also explain the creative combinations of flavours in modern Catalan cuisine.

On Jaime Gil de Biedma's birthday, you can talk about the literary atmosphere in Barcelona and why so many writers wrote in Spanish in the Sixties, sexual repression under the Francoist Regime and finally talk about Hotel 1898, which used to be La Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas, where Gil de Biedma worked as a manager. 

The possibilities are infinite and, apart from being author of two books in English, Going Native in Catalonia (2008) and Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective (2014), since the summer I have been researching and writing about Catalonia Day by Day both from a historical and current affairs point of view.

I also talk about politics and provide historical and cultural context to the events that are occurring in Catalonia at the moment both now and in the immediate future. The fact that I am British-born gives me a deep understanding, from both a historical and cultural point of view, of the various identities in the British Isles, which helps me to explain Catalonia's desire for sovereignty.

Although I am the main voice of the programme, I can count on collaborators and guests who talk about many topics, such as parts of Catalonia (Delta de l'Ebre, Pirineus, Catalunya Central etc.), hobbies and clubs (Cobles de Sardana, Castellers, Boletaires etc.) and professions (pagesos, científics, professors de llengua etc.).

As the great American anthropologist, Clifford Geertz, once said "Culture is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves". I believe that the story of the Catalans needs to be told to the rest of the world.









If you think there's been an oversight or you can provide more more detail about a particular event, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

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