Catalan News Agency – Institut Ramon Llull optimistic about future collaboration with Balearic Islands and Valencia

Barcelona (ACN).- The Institut Ramon Llull (IRL) is a public body in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language abroad. On Thursday, “it expressed optimism for the first time” about a collaboration with the new Governments of Valencia and the Balearic Islands, both led by left-wing coalitions. The Director of the institute, Àlex Susanna, said that, following the May 2015 elections, “positive signs” are emerging but still could not confirm any conclusive agreement. According to him, the new political landscape opens a “great opportunity” to promote the international mobility of artists and intellectuals from Catalan-speaking territories. Asked about the new Head of Barcelona City Council – part of the consortium constituting the institute – Susanna said that he foresees “continuity” with the work of previous local Executives. Finally, the Director expressed his hope for the Institut to keep playing a key role in the Catalan capital’s internationalisation that new Mayor Ada Colau aims to promote.

The Institut Ramon Llull is a consortium comprising the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council, with foreign offices in New York, Berlin, London and Paris. Originally founded by the Autonomous Governments of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in 2002, the collaboration between the two was interrupted twice during the institution’s life, firstly in 2004, and later in 2012, when the Balearic Popular Party-led Government broke its ties with the public body again after a 4-year return (between 2008 and 2012).

The Institut Ramon Llull organises Catalonia’s participation at the Venice Biennale

The Institut Ramon Llull encourages the spreading of Catalan language studies in foreign universities, the translation of Catalan literature and Catalan cultural production in fields such as theatre, cinema, circus, dance, music, design and architecture. It also strives to support Catalan writers’ participation at international book fairs and ensure local artists’ presence at world famous festivals, international museums and key cultural events. For example, it promotes and organises Catalonia’s participation at the contemporary art exhibition Venice Biennale and the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.

New opportunities for collaboration among territories where Catalan is spoken

According to the Institut Ramon Llull’s Director, the new political landscape in Valencia and the Balearic Islands opens great opportunities for increasing the collaboration between the territories where Catalan is spoken.

Catalan – the 9th most spoken language in the EU – has a linguistic domain of over 68,000 square kilometres, across 4 states: Andorra; Spain (Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, the Western Strip, in Aragon, and El Carxe, in Murcia); France (Northern Catalonia); and Italy (the town of Alghero in Sardinia). Overall, about 10 million people speak it.

This article has been originally published by: Catalan News Agency

The original text in Catalan was translated and reworked by Valentina Marconi.

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