Greetings from the Mayor

Dear residents of Barcelona, 

This year 2020 is a strange one for us all. The Covid-19 health emergency has given rise to very difficult times, and our city has suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic. We’ve lost loved ones without being able to say goodbye to them, and the health crisis has led to a major social and economic crisis, probably the most serious one that will ever be experienced by our generation. 

The pandemic has magnified existing problems, such as growing inequalities, the housing crisis and the climate emergency. It’s made us aware of our vulnerabilities, and has highlighted the challenges before us as well as the urgent need to take steps towards building a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable city. For the sake of our health and our economy, we can’t wait any longer.

Barcelona's heart is still beating. This is why we're standing by our La Mercè festivities and ensuring that all the cultural activities go ahead, albeit in a reduced format and always in accordance with the health authorities’ recommendations, with prior booking required in order to avoid crowds. This year’s Mercè will necessarily be a more intimate experience. We’re reinventing ourselves and adapting to this new situation to show the world the strength of our city and its people. 

It’s also a time to showcase culture, in particular our local talent, whose theatre productions, circus and dance shows and stage performances help us to think in a different way, and to dream at a time when we most need to. This is why, being fully aware of the struggles that are plaguing the cultural sector, this year’s guest city is Barcelona itself. This is our tribute to a city that overcomes adversity and shows its courage in the hardest of times, and it’s also our way of providing concrete support to a cultural network that needs us by its side. 

Barcelona doesn’t stop, and neither does La Mercè. We can overcome one of the most difficult challenges of recent years: the health, economic and social emergency caused by Covid-19. We have the hope and the strength we need to overcome the difficulties we’ll have to face over the next few months. It won’t be easy. We’ll have to keep trying our hardest. It’s only with everyone's collaboration, effort, and sense of responsibility that our city will be able to get back to normal. 

Let's re-imagine our world. Now is the time to look inside ourselves, and at the same time to look ahead. Let’s take advantage of the opportunities that arise from the current situation to rethink our way of life: let's focus on life, and on care for others, and give priority to the things that matter the most. We have an unparalleled opportunity to build a city that belongs to us all - to everyone. 

Take care of yourselves and each other. 

Ada Colau Ballano

Mayor of Barcelona