“Everyone has the right freely to take part in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, and to share in scientific progress and its benefits.” It is the first part of article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, and refers to cultural rights. It is not a small thing, and to deal with it, between November 16 and 19, the international conference Culturopolis is held in Barcelona, ​​which the City Council has co-organized with the Culture Action Europe network of cultural agents.

The organization wanted to locate the activities in Paral·lel to promote two of its own spaces, Paral·lel 62 and El Molino, in a hybrid between academic congress, conferences and general debates –with the presentation of up to 36 cultural projects– and also city ​​festival with multiple performances.

Among the prominent participants is the UN Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights, Alexandra Xanthaki, who will be at the inauguration on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Paral·lel 62 with the mayoress, Ada Colau; the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Jordi Martí; the delegate of Cultural Rights of Barcelona, ​​Daniel Granados; the general secretary of Culture Action Europe, Tere Badia, and the culture coordinator of United Cities and Local Governments – the entity that supports the sessions –, Jordi Pascual, moderated by the journalist Tania Adam. Personalities such as the Director of Cultural Policies and Development of Unesco, Paola Leoncini Bartoli, will also participate in the conference; or the director of Cultural Policies of the European Commission, Catherine Magnant.

Debates will be held around what and for whom cultural rights are, how they can be guaranteed or how to democratize cultural institutions. Within the congress, issues such as cultural rights in the digital society, the challenge of gender construction, the material and living conditions of artists and cultural professionals or inclusion in artistic practices will be discussed.

On Friday the results of the survey on participation and cultural needs of Barcelona will be presented, and among the projects that will be presented these days will be Mutare, from the Fundació Carulla, Impuls de Barri – around the creation of community awareness through rap –, Play it Loud! –to guarantee the empowerment through music of underrepresented women and youth groups–, among others. In Paral·lel 62, a Culturopolis Fair will also be installed on Friday morning, an informal space to publicize projects and research selected by the conferences.

Obviously, a conference on culture needs to go from theory to practice, and for this reason there will be a series of artistic performances, starting with a concert by Joana Dark after the opening. Desnonissea is scheduled for Thursday, a dramatic piece by Roger Bernat and ERRO Grupo that reproduces the odyssey of an eviction based on a dramatic poem by Núria Martínez Vernis and Oriol Sauleda, in which the audience will embody the characters of Penélope and Telemaco. On Friday, a Cyberexorcisme by Núria Guiu and the cabaret show Livid, la vida loca by Alba Rihe.

And on Saturday morning, the sessions will culminate –while the congress continues at Paral·lel 62– in a street party between the two places where the events are held, with a space for children to play, a community television set , a popular parade, a dance workshop with books, a radio show with Marc Giró, Flavita Banana or Flamenco Queer, open doors at the Molino, an open stage and performances by Rumba All Stars -from Raval, Gràcia and Hostafrancs- and Mrs. Thomas. Four days to try to understand cultural rights and take them further enjoying.

Catalan version, here