Let me first say how thrilled I am to be this week’s curator of CatalanVoices (September 25th to October 1st), this extraordinary project that helps getting the plurality of the Catalan people be known to the world.
My name is Andrés da Silva (@asj_dasilva), and I was born 20 years ago in a unique city, Badalona. It is second to none reflecting what I like to call the ‘Catalan dream’; people from all backgrounds, communities and traditions, that through their hard-work and effort try to make their city and country a better place for the following generations. You will certainly hear about Badalona in @CatalanVoices this week.
Currently, I am an undergraduate starting the second course of Global Studies. This ‘revolutionary’ degree is coordinated by five different faculties (law, politics, communications, economics and humanities) and aims to educate the ‘leaders of tomorrow’. As a ‘global student’, I love travelling and getting to know other peoples and cultures.
Without a shred of doubt, I will tweet about my two great passions. Let’s start with sports. I have been a footballer myself for 14 years. Few fields leave that big a mark on a person as sport does. Compromise, discipline, self-motivation, ambition or companionship are core values football has instilled in me. University and work made it impossible for me to compete, so I had to temporarily “retire”, but I’ll be back! I’m a proud Barça fan, that team that has always been linked to the history of Catalonia and its people. You may call me a nostalgic, but I can’t help to miss seeing the greatests, Xavi and Puyol, in a Barça shirt. Apart from football, I am a big-time basketball fan, following Joventut de Badalona (@penya1930) and attending every much since I was a kid.
My second passion is politics. In 2012, as a 15-yeard old, I attended the “first” pro-independence demonstration during the Catalan National Day. Since then, alternatively to what many people think, I knew that the only way to bring about change was getting involved in politics. In 2014 I joined the Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (@jncatalunya), of which I became the chairman of its local branch in my city (@jncbdn), and in 2016 I became member of the Catalan European and Democratic Party (@PDemocrataCAT). I’ve also had the opportunity to serve at the European Parliament as an assistant to two British Members of Parliament. These experiences convinced me at the same time of the importance of Europe and the urgent need for its reform. Add British and Scottish politics to the list of what you will hear about this week!
Being the curator during the most important and crucial week for the future of my country is for me a distinct privilege. As you may know, an independence referendum will take place in October 1st, and it could change the course of Catalonia forever. I’ll keep you updated on that, and also on the demonstrations that are taking place these days to defend the sovereignty of Catalan institutions, providing videos of the protests that I will personally attend, because democracy needs to be defended!
I’ll be extremely glad to interact and exchange views with you all in the following week. Cheers!