This year the most attended act for La Diada will be the Via Lliure (ANC), the mass mobilisation which the Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya is organising at Av. Meridiana on the afternoon of 11 September.
As ever, commemorations for Catalonia’s National Day get underway a few days before 11 September. As usual, City Council is organising a conference at the Saló de Cent hall dealing with the history of La Diada. This year the conference is by the historian and professor emeritus from the University of Barcelona, Eva Serra, who has talked about ‘La potencialitat democràtica de la Catalunya històrica’ [the democratic potentiality of Catalonia in history].
During September, the Born Centre Cultural is also offering the exhibition “Bon cop de falç. La història de l’himne”, [Strike with your sickle. The history of the anthem], curated by L’Avenç, the Grup Enderrock and Clack and explaining Els Segadors from a social and historical perspective.
The institutional act for La Diada in Pl. Sant Jaume
On Wednesday 9 September, the institutional act for La Diada has occurred. This year the act takes place 2 days before 11 September so as not to coincide with the start of the electoral campaign for 27 September.
Culture forms the backbone of the celebration. The 2 main themes are the centenary of the public library network and the 750th anniversary of the birth of Ramon Muntaner.
The theatre director Josep Maria Mestres has created the first part of the show, which follows the evolution of the country via the role of Catalonia’s public libraries. The second part revolves around Ramon Muntaner. Based on an account written by the author Albert Sánchez Piñol, the French audio-visual artist Franc Aleu has taken inspiration in the 4 grand medieval Catalan chronicles in order to produce a video mapping presentation covering the history of Catalonia since its beginning in the year 988.
On the evening of 10 September, the traditional torchlit march to the Fossar de les Moreres memorial square will take place, with various political parties and entities laying wreaths.
11 September: Via Lliure
Commemorative acts for Catalonia’s National Day during the morning of 11 September centre on the Rafael Casanova monument. During the course of the morning various entities, sports clubs, political parties and the municipal corporation will lay wreaths at the memorial to Barcelona’s last leader prior to the defeat on 11 September.
During the day, various centres around the city will also hold open days, such as the Palau de la Generalitat, the Parliament and the Born Centre Cultural.
However, the most packed and popular act is expected to be the Via Lliure a la República Catalana, which the Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya is organising along Av. Meridiana. This year’s march, which defends as many as 10 causes which would form the basis of a hypothetical independent Catalan state, has a special element of colour to provide a unique image from the air. The Via Lliure a la República Catalana, is the title for this year’s demonstration, divided into 135 sections, the same number of seats as in the Catalan parliament, and covering a distance of 5 km.
Throughout the day, a new edition of the Festa per la Llibertat will take place. Pg. Lluís Companys sets the scene for a fair of entities from the Catalan countries, along with various activities for all the family to enjoy La Diada. The day and the march will round off with music. The Companyia Elèctrica Dharma perform as from 7.00 pm with a specially made show for the occasion to include the participation of various popular culture groups. Valencia’s Zoo and La Troba Kung-Fú make up the musical line-up for the day.
11 September in the city’s districts
Three city districts will also be holding acts to commemorate La Diada. In Sant Martí there will be a conference by the historian Paola Lo Cascio entitled ‘El país de tothom. El catalanisme als barris i a les institucions’ [The country for everyone. Catalan identity in neighbourhoods and institutions]. The conference takes place on 9 September at 7.00 pm at the Auditori de Sant Martí de Provençals.
A day later, on Thursday at 7.00 pm, the Sarrià – Sant Gervasi district is offering a musical history narration based on the book Victus. Texts have been chosen by the author himself, Albert Sánchez Piñol, and will be recited by the actress Sílvia Bel.
In the Nou Barris district a musical and cultural evening is being prepared for Saturday 12 September, As from 6.00 pm there will be a performance of classical music hits combined with rock in the district office courtyard. Prior to this there will be a dance by giants in Pl. Major.