Barcelona’s local festival is starting to take shape. La Mercè kicks off on Friday 22 September with a speech by the philosopher Marina Garcés and concludes on Monday 25 September with the music and fireworks spectacular. The designer Javier Mariscal, who created the mascot for the 1992 Olympics, designed the poster for an edition which continues to place the emphasis on the city’s neighbourhoods and for which the guest city is Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.
Given the successful incorporation of the Parc de la Trinitat last year as a festival venue, La Mercè includes two more new venues this year: the Parc de Sant Martí, as a festive space for families and children, and the Plaça Major de Nou Barris, located in the Parc Central de Nou Barris.
This year’s opening speaker is the philosopher Marina Garcés. Professor at the University of Zaragoza, the thinker is the author of books such as En las prisiones de lo imposible (2002), Un mundo común (2012), Filosofia inacabada (2015) and Fora de classe (2016). Given the numerous challenges facing current society, Garcés advocates the collective use of philosophy and argues it should not remain exclusively in the academic realm.
The poster for La Mercè 2017 is the work of the designer Javier Mariscal, the creator of Cobi, the mascot for the Barcelona ’92 Olympics. The drawing looks to capture the essence of the festivity, portraying a neighbourhood girl, bright and happy, who cares about the environment and believes in a decentralised and sustainable city.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital and largest city, is the guest city for La Mercè this year. The programme therefore includes various Icelandic artistic and musical acts, boosting ties between the two cities and also based on Icelandic people living in Barcelona or who have a connection with the city, such as the musician Halldor Mar, with his passion for the Nova Canço genre.