Catalan Book Week is still in the final stretch, and this Saturday morning, between the stage with sessions focused on Andorra and the one dedicated to the Balearic Islands – Sunday is the morning dedicated specifically to Valencian literature – has given the second of its awards, and in a double sense: on Wednesday they awarded the Trajectoria to Joan Francesc Mira and this is the second time that the Diffusion award is given, this year to the director of the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), Judit Carrera ( Barcelona, 1974).
It is a personal award, but from the first moment the winner has appealed to the collective "us", highlighting teamwork and showcasing the common project. In the act, presented by the journalist Anna Pérez, the president of the Setmana, Joan Carles Girbés, thanked Carrera for his "complicity with authors and editors", because "it is not so common that from a public position one works so closely with the publishing sector in Catalan”, to the point that the CCCB “has an impact because knowing that we will have its support helps us decide on the edition of some books, and makes us diversify and raise the level”.
After receiving the award, Carrera and Pérez talk about reading and the award winner assures that as a child "she was not a bookworm" but she does especially remember El zoo d'en Pitus and the Viatge al país dels lacets by Sebastià Sorribes, and how the His was one of the first generations that could already learn to read in Catalan, without stopping doing it in Spanish –at school they made Borges read around the age of 13–.
Passionate about culture in general, she decided to study Political Science "to try to understand the world", which she continues to do from the institution she directs, giving value to "the word as a defense of democracy".
Pérez also explains that it is not the first distinction she has received, since a few months ago she was distinguished as a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, and they review some important titles for Carrera, who as a reader is more of non-fiction. They begin with The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, “the great political philosopher of the contemporary world”, which has helped her understand that, in a troubled world with a tendency towards a certain pessimism, “culture gives meaning to the future”. In addition, she believes that it is important to vindicate female models, because when she studied she missed them. She says about The Prince of Machiavelli that “it is the book that marked me the most when I studied Politics”. La mort i la primavera (Club Editor), by Mercè Rodoreda, is a wonderful book that undoes the image that has often been held of the author and proposes a story of resistance.
From Mary Beard, La veu i el poder de les dones (Arcàdia), which made her see that feminism still has to be insisted on, because men still have intellectual authority despite the increasingly important presence of women in the directions. She also highlighted Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich's work War Isn't a Donut Face (Raig Verd) and how it looks to everyday life to reflect history. Also Praise of Moderation by Tzvetan Todorov (from the Breus collection published by the CCCB itself), a “brilliant author who helps us understand that human beings can understand each other, but to do so we need to give in and reject purity ”. As a result of Rosi Braidotti's Coneixement post-humà (Arcàdia), she claimed “the need to rethink the humanities, because we cannot leave science in the hands of scientists and technologists”.
A review that also gives rise to highlighting the generosity of some names that have passed through the CCCB, such as Carolin Emcke, Gonçalo Tavares or Judith Butler, on the contrary, in her opinion, of Byung-Chul Han, who disappointed her when she met him because it seemed to him "the antithesis of everything he preaches."
Catalan version, here