Posts Tagged ‘literatura’

Nadeem Aslam, a Window into Pakistan

September 10th, 2013 No Comments

Ana Ballesteros

In the last few years, writing about Pakistan has become an almost obsessive account of what is wrong with the country. Sword, failure, chaos, jihad, frontline, terrorism, war, turmoil, trouble or Armageddon are just some of the words that abound in headlines regarding it since the symbolic date of 11th September 2001 and the subsequent War on Terror. A usually one-sided account of Pakistan leaves us with many questions and a certain feeling of concern, not to say fear.

Nadeem Aslam (© Richard Lea-Hair)

But a country cannot be portrayed in such a restricted way, one which ignores its past and its cultural richness. Nadeem Aslam’s writing contrasts with this monochromatic perception and shows us a world of colour, variety and nuance. The human condition and whatever remains of normality must be expressed; in this way, what is often seen as a failed state finds its foundations in the strength of its people. They, ordinary Pakistanis, are the real heroes of a daily existence that is by no means easy.

Aslam reminds us in his writing that there is a cultural legacy -brilliant, alive, surviving the dark forces of uniformity that threaten the rich heterogeneity of Pakistan. Traditions, stories and names get to live on and even come to life within our own traditions as we try to see them through our own eyes. The touchstone of it all is nothing but human nature: human feelings set in a certain context and a certain time that we can identify with because at certain times in our past, we have experienced them within our own countries, on our own doorsteps, in our own families and right in our own hearts.

That is how we can start to see this troubled area from a human perspective: not with the eyes of analysts, politicians or strategists, but with those of common people who just happened to be in the right or wrong place, at the right or wrong time. ‘The Blind Man’s Garden’ is set between Pakistan and Afghanistan at a time when the lives of its peoples were turned upside down. The story tells us that amidst the turbulence of the times, love, friendship and family prevail.

Nadeem Aslam will visit the CCCB on Monday, 16th of September, at 19:30h. He will read a fragment of his last novel and speak with Ana Ballesteros, an expert in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They will both open a window into Pakistan and the afghan conflict. Tickets can already be purchased at Telentrada or at the CCCB.

(Català) PASOLINI: PENSAR DIFERENT. Notes d’una taula rodona

July 17th, 2013 No Comments

Kosmopolis 2013: Less Than One Month To Go

February 18th, 2013 1 Comment

There is less than one month to go before the start of the seventh edition of Kosmopolis. The Amplified Literature Fest and we now have everything ready to make the CCCB the meeting place for lovers of literature during 14, 15 and 16 March.

As always, the festival programme presents many new features. For this reason we have designed a series of itineraries which will be very useful for you when arranging your visit to the festival, as they structure the activities of the different sections (workshops, lectures, films, musical performances, etc.) according to this edition’s themes: third culture, graphic novels in the United Kingdom, the tribute to Roberto Bolaño, humour and the futures of reading.

Kosmopolis will be inaugurated with Jaume Cabré and will close with David Carabén: the first a writer who will talk about the literary process and the second a musician who will offer an exclusive recital with songs specifically designed for the occasion. The end of the Barcelona slam competition will serve as a counterpoint between oral poetry and music. Three examples of live literature for the evenings that are added to the following itineraries:

  • First itinerary: If you want to know more about the interaction between sciences and literature, you need to follow the Third Culture itinerary: you can travel to Mars, discover the secrets of the Higgs boson, take a look beyond reality through experiments in quantum physics, learn the language of the genome and younger visitors will be able to create songs based on photonics. And you will also be able to attend a battle between science-fiction series.

  • Second itinerary: For fans of comics, we have prepared a series of activities based on the graphic novel in the United Kingdom: two workshops led by two young illustrators and two lectures, the first to be given by Dave McKean, one of the cult authors of comics today, and the second by Paul Gravett, one of the gurus in this area. Now is a good time to make sure you have tickets.
  • Third itinerary: Roberto Bolaño will be one of the stars not only of Kosmopolis, but also of the CCCB for the whole of 2013. In the year that the tenth anniversary of his death is being commemorated, the centre has prepared an exhibition,  Bolaño Archive. 1977-2003, which will be inaugurated on 5 March. During the festival, four events will pay tribute to Bolaño: a debate with writers, friends and publishers; a poetic performance given by Olvido García Valdés, a talk about the adaptation for theatre of 2666 and two firsts: the premiere in Spain of the film El futuro, based on Una novelita lumpen (presented recently at Sundance and with Rutger Hauer as protagonist) and a poetic reading of El policía de las ratas, a text dramatized by Alex Rigola, and performed by Joan Carreras and Andreu Benito, two actors who are regulars at the Teatre Lliure.
  • Fourth itinerary: Humour and Other Medicines is a title that covers two activities: Café Europa and the chat between Juan José Millás and Andreu Buenafuente, called Sustainable Humour. Furthermore, on Alpha Channel there will be a series of films with a humorous theme, as well as films related with comics, third culture and live literature. Don’t forget to check out the programme: there are up to 13 premieres of documentaries and short films.
  • Fifth itinerary: Kosmopolis always offers in its programme a series of activities aimed at professionals from the world of libraries: readings with writers, reading clubs and talks about literature. These are events that we have grouped under the title The Futures of Reading. And we will also have two important parallel activities open to the general public: the return of the BookCamp (with workshops and information sessions on reading and writing, which this year will include a meeting of digital magazines organised by Revista de Letras) and a new itinerary: Reading Barcelona, developed by CCCB Education and Libraries of Barcelona, which will take place at different places outside the CCCB

New Pricing System

There are two reasons for our having designed these itineraries: firstly, in order to better structure all the activities of Kosmopolis (there are over 30, if we include the BookCamp sessions and workshops); and secondly, the new entry tickets system that we are setting up this year. On this occasion there will not be a single entry ticket to the festival; rather, each of the activities will be paid for separately. The events will be divided into two price levels: €3 for talks, lectures and debates, and €7 for the recital by David Carabén. As an exception, Bookworm Barcelona and the exhibition dedicated to Bolaño will have a price of €6. Meanwhile the BookCamp, Alpha Channel, activities for professionals and comic workshops will be free of charge (although in the last case, it will be necessary to sign up in advance by sending an email to [email protected]).

If you follow the itineraries and acquire three or more tickets, you will enjoy a discount, and you will also enjoy a discount if you are a libraries card user. For the unemployed, children aged under 16, Friends of the CCCB and holders of teaching permits and the pink card for senior citizens, entry will be free of charge.

Follow all the latest news on Kosmopolis via its website and on the social networks:


Visible Bolaño: «Bolaño Archive: 1977-2003» reveals the writer’s creative timeline and unpublished work

January 18th, 2013 5 Comments

Perhaps being invisible to the world for a time would make us freer and more creative. In a world like today’s where showing yourself on earth, sea and Twitter is now the norm, social isolation as a form of creative escape is becoming a real experiment. By observing the work of Roberto Bolaño and calculating when he wrote it, where he lived and the writer’s degree of public visibility during his prolific literary life, one realises that for Bolaño, being invisible to the world – especially to the world of publishing – enabled him to work at becoming a major narrator and poet of the 21st century.

The exhibition «Bolaño Archive: 1977-2003», which the CCCB will inaugurate on 5 March 2013, presents the creative chronology of Roberto Bolaño from the time when, having left behind Chile and Mexico, he went to live in Catalonia: Barcelona (1977-1980), Girona (1981-1985) and Blanes (1985-2003). These are the three places where the author only let himself be seen among neighbours and friends. He lived far removed from the big prizes and offices and devoted himself fully to his writing («The voyage of literature, like that of Ulysses, is only one way») and his family («My two children are my only homeland»).

Video inspired in the post-escriptum of the novel Amberes, written in Barcelona in 1980, with a drawing of Bolaño.  Author: Toni Curcó, 2013, CCCB

Evidence of Bolaño’s intense literary activity lies in the 230 manuscripts – most of them originals – that the exhibition presents, along with personal items, books, unpublished family photographs which will be a treasure trove for Bolañistas and a way for the public less familiar with the author to immerse themselves in the Bolaño universe. The chronological itinerary is completed with a prologue, an essential reference to the years Bolaño lived in Mexico and an epilogue that closes the exhibition and analyses Bolaño’s influence on the literature of the 21st century.

Valérie Miles, co-editor of the magazine Granta and Juan Insua, director of the CCCB Lab  and creator of other CCCB exhibitions dedicated to other literary geniuses such as Joyce, Kafka and Borges, are behind this exhibition project which makes use of themes and resources from Bolaño’s literary kitchen (play, humour, enigmas, detective-style investigation, the kaleidoscope) to make up the route to be followed by visitors at the exhibition.

Novels, short stories, interviews, notebooks (with flawless handwriting!), correspondence and strategy games (in which Bolaño was a brilliant specialist)  make up what is only a first exploration of the personal archive of the writer which his widow Carolina López has ordered and preserved since Bolaño died ten years ago.

«Bolaño Archive: 1977-2003» is a tribute to the author of such literary masterpieces as «Los Detectives Salvajes» (The Savage Detectives) and «2666» which features the participation of some of his friends. In the exhibition catalogue, we find fascinating accounts by A.G.Porta, Javier Cercas and Enrique Vila-Matas about the relationship each had with Bolaño, a great talker, happy reader and impassioned bibliophile. “A writer of yore,” writes Vila-Matas. Articles by Valérie Miles, Juan Insua, Olvido García Valdés, Barbara Epler and Patricia Espinosa complete the catalogue.

One week after the exhibition’s inauguration, from 14 to 16 March, the CCCB will be hosting Kosmopolis, the Amplified Literature Fest, which has programmed a series of activities to complete the tribute: a poetic recital with Olvido García Valdés, who will recite a collection of her own poems crossed with verses by Bolaño; the discussion “Roberto Bolaño: the gestation of a myth” with A.G. Porta, Pere Gimferrer, Jaume Vallcorba, Jorge Herralde and Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas and the premiere of Il Futuro, a film by Alicia Scherson based on Bolaño’s book “Una novelita lumpen”. Dramatists Àlex Rigola and Pablo Ley, who signed the stage adaptation of «2666» for the Teatre Lliure, are also planning to take part in Kosmopolis with a special activity.

(Català) Adéu a Jordi Castellanos

October 22nd, 2012 No Comments