Archive

Uncategorized

profile pic

Hi there! My name is Ferran H. Casamitjana (@FHCasamitjana on Twitter). I was born in Tarragona (1 hour by train from Barcelona, and a very beautiful ancient town built by the times of the Roman Empire). I have been living in Poland 4 years, the last 3 of them in Warsaw, the capital. Living in Poland is quite different from Catalonia I would say: from sunny days 24/7 to a complete lack of sun for at least 6 months! But I survived! Despite the gray days, the country is really beautiful and has lots of history to explain (it really deserves a visit), moreover the people are very open to welcome someone who wants to get integrated to their society, learn their language and participate to their rich culture – mix of Central and Eastern Europe.

I am a lawyer, but studied a Master on International Relations. I like practicing Martial Arts, going to the gym – more recently I started jogging, love reading books and when I have free time I write about Geopolitics; my main focus of interest are the frozen conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. I have been an active member of the Catalan Community of Warsaw, and still travel there occasionally when the University asks me to give lectures about the current situation in Catalonia. The picture you can see is from a trip to Armenia and Georgia, I love traveling around the world.

Advertisements

fotoperfil_MSS

My name is Màxim Serranos Soler (@maxsersol on Twitter). I was born in Vilanova i la Geltrú (near Barcelona), but I live in Luxembourg since 2002. No big difference: I moved from a seaside town where it never rains to a riverside town where it never stops raining. I thought I would stay for 1.5 years, but so far I’ve been here 15 years… The difference, once again, is not that big: just a tiny dot. I studied Translation and Arts at the Pompeu Fabra University and today I’m lucky enough to work as a translator at the European Parliament. I love languages.

 

I’m also an active member of the Centre Català de Luxemburg, which means I spend my free time organising cultural events related to Catalan culture for an international community living in Luxembourg. As for the rest of my free time, I can spend it reading books, listening to music or going to theatre. In a previous life, I wanted to be a writer and even published a couple of not very successful books. Now I only write posts, every now and then, in a collective blog about Luxembourg.

 

I cycle to work and I don’t have a smartphone.

Gerard_Mayol

Hello everybody

My name is Gerard Mayol (@gmayol85) and I’m very proud to be this week’s curator. Catalan Voices is a great initiative and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to be one more of the voices of this extraordinary, diverse, plural and crazy land called Catalonia.  I will be tweeting on different subjects and aspects of my day by day life namely politics, society, urban life, education, music and sport, I hope you will enjoy it as much as me!

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I’m 32 and I was born and raised in Barcelona. I have been living in this wonderful city for 29 years and just moved out 3 years ago. I consider myself a happy person, quite diplomatic, but self-determinated when defending my convictions. I love travelling and sport and I’m very interested in politics, which is the only way humans can solve their problems without violence. I live now in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a 90.000 inhabitants lovely city just 15 km away from Barcelona. I work in Barcelona, so yes I’m a commuter and this will be an important aspect which I will be tweeting about during this week.

I have studied political science and specialized in International Relations in the Autonomous Barcelona’s University (UAB). I finished my studies in 2007 and I decided to go to Australia to have a spare year, meet new people and enjoy playing rugby, one of my biggest passions. This was a major step in my life, I had many small jobs (laborer, gardener, house removals etc.), met great people, learnt English and learnt to love my country, even more.

Once back, I specialized on European funded projects for cities and I started to work for the Sabadell City Council, a 210.000 inhabitants municipality in the north west of Barcelona. I worked 8 years there and had the opportunity to develop myself professionally: I raised various European projects related to local economic development, entrepreneurship support and urban sustainable development and I learnt how to manage them. I currently work in the International Relations office of the Barcelona’s provincial government, an entity which supports economic and technically 311 municipalities in Barcelona area. My job is to support these municipalities to raise European projects and to help them to connect their local policies with the goals set up by the Urban Global Agendas (Habitat III, EU urban agenda).

Beyond my professional life, I play rugby since I was 6, my dad introduced me to this sport and I have never stopped playing since then. Rugby has given me self-control, discipline, some fitness, team-work sense and above all, lots of friends. I play now for my home town, Sant Cugat in the second Spanish division, I also played in Australia and in some other teams in Spanish top division.

I wouldn’t like to finish without mentioning other important things! I love sailing and kiting and since some years ago I have been introduced to classical music thanks to my lovely wife which is a professional violinist. I will be tweeting about all that as well!

Foto_blog_ferrerons

Greetings!

First of all, I would like to say how glad I am for this chance to be the curator of @CatalanVoices, starting on October 9th and until October 15th.

Please allow me to introduce myself: I was born in Barcelona in 1976 (year of the fire dragon, for those keeping tabs on the Chinese horoscope), so I’m 40 years old (41 next month). My name is Oriol Ferrerons Manich, @Oferrerons in Twitter, www.ferrerons.cat if you want to check my personal website.

If my name seems long to you, it’s because traditionally, in Catalonia, we carry each of our parents’ first surnames, so everyone has two surnames. Ferrerons is my father’s, and Manich is my mother’s. In addition to that, The last 5 years I’ve been living in the island of Taiwan (Republic of China), which means I have a Chinese name as well (法男龍, pronounced Fǎnánlóng). It may seem strange from the perspective of other countries, but it’s mandatory for foreign residents here to pick a Chinese name, so locals can pronounce it with ease.

I came to the island in 2012, after getting married to my wife in a double ceremony (one in Taipei, one in Barcelona). We had already been living together for some years in Barcelona, but for several reasons, we decided to come to Taipei. 9 months later our first daughter, Laia, was born. A year ago we became parents a second time to our son Han-Kai (just Han if you want the short version). And, getting back to weird surname traditions, their surnames in Catalan are Ferrerons Wang (mine and my wife’s), but in their Chinese names they carry mine, which, as all Chinese surnames, must just a silable long (法, pronounced Fǎ) and be written in front of the name. We all live in the Songshan district of the capital of Taiwan, Taipei.

What do I do, or what do I like, you may wonder? Well, let’s start for the easy ones: I currently work as a Quality, Environmental, and Safety Manager in Symtek Automation Asia, an automation company. I am also a father to my kids, and a husband to my wife.

On what do I like to do, well… from my father, I inherited the love for books and reading, from my mother, spatial perception and artistic sensitivity. The love for comics, science-fiction, and fantasy is all mine. I enjoy any means of artistic or creative expression: I draw, paint, sculpt, watch films, listen to music, sing in the shower… I just don’t know how to stay idle. I will tweet about some of these interests, specially since I’ll be in the middle of #inktober, an artistic initiative by @mrjakeparker, where all the participants produce an ink drawing everyday during October. After attending @EscolaJoso and after many, many years of practice, I’m getting to that point where I am satisfied with what I draw (not yet with what I paint or sculpt).

I will also tweet about the lifestyle and cultural differences between Catalonia and Taiwan (which are broad and numerous, as you’ll probably see).

And I won’t be able to avoid politics-related tweets, since my homeland is in a very important moment in its history (this will be after the secession referendum that Spain wants to prevent and most people of Catalonia, as well as our government, are determined to have). In addition, Taiwan’s political status has always been a source of controversy, specially since 1971, when they lost their seat in the United Nations. In some regards, Taiwan is ahead of some of its fellow Asian countries, but still decades behind in several other aspects (and not a UN member anymore).

I welcome the chance to exchange my personal views with all of you during this week. Read you around!

elisendaLamana

Hello there!

My name is Elisenda Lamana (@ElisendaLG) and I am thrilled to be this week’s curator of this inspiring project, Catalan Voices. It will be an exciting and exceptional week that will start in Barcelona, the day after the Catalan referendum, will continue in London and will end up in Copenhagen, a city I will visit for the first time and that I am looking forward to discover together with you!

But let me first introduce myself. I am 31 years old and I am currently living in London, where I have just finished my master’s degree at the European Institute (London School of Economics). Originally, I am from Matadepera, a beautiful small village located in a privileged area, near the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt and less than an hour far from Barcelona.

I consider myself an eclectic person, who feels comfortable learning different disciplines; that is why I have quite a particular interdisciplinary career. I graduated in Economics from the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) in 2011, but I also took studies in Communication and Humanities. Since my graduation, I have worked mainly as a project manager of private and EU-funded R&D projects in different companies, but also as a financial analyst and economic researcher.

In 2016, I decided to come back to school and purse one of my dreams, which was studying a master’s degree abroad. I chose Political Economy of Europe at the LSE because I am passionate about the history of EU integration, the evolution of the EU institutions and the analysis of public policies related to the EU and its member states. I have to say that studying these topics in London while the United Kingdom initiated its road to exit the EU has been as exciting as ironic. However, despite this challenging context, I fell in love with this city and its cultural and economic dynamism, so that is why I decided to remain here after my master’s ended.

I am also keen to actively participate in public life and public debates. Since my graduation, I have been collaborating with different digital platforms and magazines, such as Qué Aprendemos Hoy, Revista Mirall and Beerderberg, writing informative articles on Economics and European integration. In 2015, I also launched my own project, Focus Europa (@focus_europa), a bilingual blog that concentrates in the political and economic analysis of EU issues, including analytical articles, essays and interviews. Besides, I am the President of Catalans Lliures (@Cat_Lliures), a Barcelona-based independent think tank built on the principles of pluralism, the exercise of tolerance, the defence of civil rights and fundamental liberties and the promotion of inclusive governance, open societies and the free market economy. Our main goal is to enhance public policy through building coalitions with the academia, policy makers and citizens and promote a more open, plural and tolerant society.

Last, but not least, I am a passionate foodie and a convinced epicure!

At @CatalanVoices I will be tweeting about my travels, my passions and my interests, hoping to build interesting and constructive dialogues on topical subjects.

That said, I am looking forward to sharing this unique experience with you all!

foto blog

Hi there!

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!

Foto perfil_Blog

Hey there!

My name’s Núria Gurina (@nuriagurina) and I’m chuffed to be this week’s curator at @CatalanVoices (from Monday September 18 to Sunday September 24).

I was born and raised in Barcelona, more specifically in a district called Sants, located on the south-western edge of the city and mostly known for still keeping the vibe of a little village in the metropolis and being a powerhouse of social movements.

My curiosity to explore the world brought me to Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, but after a while abroad I came back home to fight my own battles. So here I am again, working and living in my native Barcelona where I combine the two activities which drive my life: contemporary art and community activism.

As a contemporary art professional, I work as a writer, curator and mediator developing projects which involve participation and activate empowerment. I regard the visual arts field as a space of freedom to rethink our current sociopolitical environment and as a great opportunity for reflection, debate, transformation and change. It won’t be difficult for you to spot me at one of the many exhibition openings which take place in Barcelona, or leading groups to visit artists’ studios and galleries. You can also follow my art essays at postpostpost.org, where I try to put my thoughts in order, as well as on other digital and print media I collaborate with.

At @CatalanVoices I will be tweeting about my everyday life and work, so wherever I go and whatever I do you’ll be the first to know. I’m hoping that after my week’s curation I’ll have given you an insight into what’s brewing in the Barcelona’s art world and which social initiatives are currently blossoming in the neighbourhood I live in.

See you around!

Núria