Ernest Urtasun: "We are going to raise the flag of culture in the face of censorship and fear"

The transfer of portfolios between Miquel Iceta and Ernest Urtasun has become quite a spectacle.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
20 November 2023 Monday 21:52
3 Reads
Ernest Urtasun: "We are going to raise the flag of culture in the face of censorship and fear"

The transfer of portfolios between Miquel Iceta and Ernest Urtasun has become quite a spectacle. With sold-out at the entrances and with humor, emotion and vindication on stage. The auditorium of the Ministry of Culture has become very small, something never seen before, for the farewell of Iceta and the arrival of Urtasun, with many well-known faces from the world of culture and politics, especially from Catalonia, including Ada Colau.

Those who were able to sit down - some had to march in front of a packed auditorium - attended a fun and very emotional farewell to Iceta, who, in response to the welcoming applause, assured that "they won't make me emotional, I come home crying." and has strongly vindicated culture: "I have seen chronicles that say that this is a minor ministry. Minor, of what? It is the Ministry of life and joy, of creation, of creators, of those who They want to change the world and improve it, and therefore it is not minor.

Iceta has vindicated his role in achieving the Statute of the Artist, of which during his mandate he has managed to approve many measures - "If we want to protect culture we must adapt the rules to the specificity of cultural activity" - and he has joked, remembering that today He made "two transfers of half portfolios - Sports has gone to the Ministry of Education - but it doesn't matter, I'm left without any."

"They have been the best two and a half years of my life, and I have had a very entertaining life as you all know," he confessed to an audience in which half of Madrid's cultural world was present: the president of the Teatro Real board of trustees, Gregorio Marañón. , the director of the Reina Sofía, Manuel Segade, the producer Enrique Cerezo, the former minister Ángeles González-Sinde, the president of the theater association, Jesús Cimarro, the director of the National Classical Theater Company, Lluís Homar, the president of the Federation of Editors' Guilds, Daniel Fernández, the communications director of Grupo Planeta, Patrici Tixis, or the director of the Almagro Festival, Irene Pardo.

There has also been a shower of politicians, from the former leaders of the Initiative per Catalunya Joan Saura, Imma Mayol and Jordi Guillot, to the world of the commoners, with Colau, Joan Subirachs, Aina Vidal, Jessica Albiach and Gerardo Pisarello and Jordi Martí, who After having directed the cultural destinations of the city of Barcelona, ​​he becomes the brand new Secretary of State for Culture, a position that until now did not exist, and number two in Urtasun. Of course, Vice President Yolanda Díaz was also present and there was also the former popular minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, whom Iceta expressly thanked for his assistance because he believes "institutional continuity" is very important.

Urtasun, for his part, gave a committed speech in which he cited Jorge Semprún and his idea of ​​culture "as an antidote to barbarism" in a Europe where, he said, "there are more and more people interested in the cultural wars that in culture." He has not stopped alluding to the linguistic diversity of a country "intersection of diverse cultures and heritages" and has claimed freedom of expression and the cultural rights of the population as key axes of his mandate. In that sense, he said that "we are going to raise the flag of culture in the face of censorship and fear", and recalled the "vetoes of singers, censorship of plays, even children's films", experienced recently, highlighting that "there is no right to culture without freedom of expression."

And he has said that it will be key to work on the "right to access to culture, the right to participation in cultural life, as an unavoidable priority" to overcome social fractures: "Culture is an essential good, a pillar of a Egalitarian society". The internationalization of Spanish culture and the stimulation and protection of the conditions that drive artistic creation through the completion of the Artist Statute have been other keys to a speech that concluded by quoting in Catalan some phrases from the writer Montserrat Roig: "Culture is the air you breathe" and "Culture is the most revolutionary political option in the long term." "We are going to that transformation," she concluded.