CCCB/Ramoneda in Barcelona - threatened by closure!

Wodak, Ruth r.wodak at lancaster.ac.uk
Sun Dec 11 16:01:56 UTC 2011


FYI - please distribute widely!
Ruth


From: Pep Subiros [mailto:pepsubiros at gmail.com]
Sent: 11 December 2011 09:55
To: Pep Subiros
Subject: CCCB/Ramoneda

Dear friend,

As you probably know, the institutional political scene in Spain has suffered a turnabout after the recent series of elections -local (May 2010), regional (November 2010) and 'national' (November 2011). For the first time in post-Francoism, the totality of the government levels are under control of rightwing parties, including as such the Catalan nationalists. The prospects for democracy and social justice are increasingly darker as days pass and the Merkozy couple complete their template for our future.

Anyway, the purpose of this message is not to demoralise you with our misfortunes. After all, Spain has also been in the West -that is, after the popular insurrections in the Arab world showed the way forward- the cradle of an impressive wave of 'indignados' movements of resistance against corporate politics and for the renewal -or perhaps we should say 'reinvention'- of democracy. It is clear though that it will take a long time before these revealing movements will be able to light up, if they ever manage to, a new democratic politics able to transform society. I'm afraid in the short and mid-term we'll have to endure a hardening of conditions of life and work in practically all domains, and specially a rightwing offensive against, among others, those entities, groups and initiatives that until now have kept defending and developing critical thought and alternative views vis-a-vis current realities.

Then, this is to confirm to you, in case you didn't know, that one of the first victims of this offensive is the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, that you know well, and more specifically its director, Josep Ramoneda. Taking advantage that Ramoneda's contract was due for renewal at the end of this year, the new political authorities have decided to finalise his responsibility at the forefront of the CCCB. Given the prestige and the success of the CCCB as a unique cultural entity consistently encompassing all sorts of cultural activities with a rare ability to combine both intellectual rigour and a wide social appeal,  needless to say that Mr. Ramoneda´s dismissal can be only understood as the first step for a radical change of the Center guidelines.

That's why a number of friends of the CCCB -including Jane Alexander, Ash Amin, Etienne Balibar, Zigmunt Bauman, Hommi Bhaba, Ian Buruma, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Krzysztof Czyzewski, Paolo Flores d'Arcais, Timothy Garton Ash, Eric Hobsbawm. Ismail Kadare, Achille Mbembe, Simon Njami, Saskia Sasssen, Gayatri Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov-, have expressed their willingness to make public their admiration for and support to the work accomplished by the Centre and their astonishment for Mr. Ramoneda's termination.

This is then to invite you to add your signature to the attached open letter, that will be delivered to the political authorities responsible for the decision, and that we'll try to get simultaneously published in a few European media, printed and/or online.

I also attach, for your interest, the URL of an article by Frédéric Edelman published in Le Monde, November 25.

I would appreciate very much if you could give me your agreement to sign the open letter, or your refusal, as soon as possible, our intention being to make it public early next week.

Thank you very much, all best wishes

Pep Subirós

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