Barcelona gegantera

A collection of previously unpublished multimedia marks the 600th anniversary of the city’s giants

The collection is an encyclopaedic work, promoted by the Popular Culture service at the City Council and featuring video and audio recordings of all the dances performed by the city’s giants.

The research was carried out by Nico Alonso and features accounts from dozens of people who have kept these festivities alive in the city’s neighbourhoods over the last fifty years.

Barcelona, 1424. The centuries-old Llibre de les solemnitats de Barcelona includes a summary of municipal elements which took part in the Corpus Christi procession. Among them, “Lo rey David ab lo Giguant”. Academics consider this the first ever reference to giant figures in the world. Next year marks 600 years since the first known reference to giants in the city. To mark the occasion, Barcelona City Council has promoted an encyclopaedic work in the form of a book, Barcelona gegantera, a compendium written by Nico Alonso, and a website, with a comprehensive collection of the history of giants in the city. The work is being presented at the Palau de la Virreina (Rambla, 99) next Wednesday, 8 February, at 7.30 pm. The session features the author, Nico Alonso, along with Montserrat Garrich from the Esbart Català de Dansaires, Manuel Delgado from the UB Observatory on the Anthropology of Urban Conflict, and Rosa Navarro, from the coordinating body for Barcelona’s giant groups.

This ambitious multimedia project brings the activity of the city’s giant groups right into the present. This is a very thorough and rigorously documentary research work, offering previously unpublished data which rewrite much of the history of the giants in our city, from 1424 to the present.

The book describes the history of giant groups and all the elements of festive imagery created over the centuries. The website includes accounts from dozens of people who have kept these festivities alive in the city’s neighbourhoods over the last fifty years. The website also includes videos and a choreographic analysis of all the dances of giants in Barcelona, a work carried out with the Esbart Català de Dansaires as part of the project to create an inventory of living dances.

During the ceremony there will also be a presentation of the activities to commemorate 600 years since the first reference to giants in the city, which will run until the end of 2024. The presentation will also be used to announce the logo for the celebrations, as well as some of the initiatives currently being developed. The city giants will play a special part in the programme to mark six centuries in Barcelona, with a surprise in store during the presentation.

Publication date: Wednesday, 01 February 2023
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