The weekend before Sant Jordi (23 April), Sitges is set to become the Catalan capital of books – even though there are currently no bookshops in the town.
The first edition of the Sitges Vila del Llibre festival will be held on 16-18 April, and will showcase 50 independent publishing houses – each set up along the Passeig Marítim, in the Terramar area.
Various local-themed presentations, debates and exhibitions are scheduled to take place – with special attention given to the urban and social evolution of Sitges over the last 100 years.
Presentations of the latest literary novelties and alternative activities, including poetry recitals, children’s activities and exhibitions for all audiences, will take place on alternating round tables in different locations around Sitges. Event locations include the Paseo Marítimo and surrounding establishments, such as the rooms of the Hotel ME Sitges Terramar – the sponsor of the event.
On Wednesday, several public figures attended the presentation of the first edition of the festival: the mayor of Sitges, Aurora Carbonell, the director of the Xarxa de Viles del Llibre de Catalunya, Enric Bono, and the curator of this first edition of the festival, journalist Jordi Barrachina.
Carbonell emphasised in her address ‘the responsibility of public institutions in the reactivation and revitalisation of cultural and tourist activity, key sectors of the country’s economy’.
Bono praised the Sitges Town Council, in spite of the pandemic, for ‘opening its arms to the publishing sector’, as well as offering ‘the opportunity to warm up a week before Sant Jordi, to start a campaign that is more than necessary for the sector’.
The curator of the exhibition, Jordi Barrachina, explained that ‘the backbone [of the event] will be the evolution of the town since the 1920s from the construction of the Paseo Marítimo and Terramar’ and added that ‘the confluence of various elements that appeared at that time, such as the avant-garde, rationalist architecture or Sitges carnival … laid the foundations of the current identity of Sitges’.
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