Casablanca will be the guest city of La Mercè 2024

A culture that is familiar and little known has become one of the main protagonists of the festival.

20/01/2024 - 10:15 h - Culture and leisure Ajuntament de Barcelona

The main city of Morocco and its most important port, Casablanca, will be the guest of honour of the Mercè festivities to be held next September, according to what has just been made public. It will be a great opportunity for the city’s artists and Moroccan culture in general to showcase their creative wealth.

It is no coincidence that this city has been chosen, one of the great cities of a country that we can touch, but whose cultural industry and capacities we still don’t know much about, even though the Moroccan community settled in Barcelona is one of the largest groups of foreigners in the city.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, and the Mayor of this city of more than four million inhabitants, Nabila Rmili, have already made initial contact with a view to arranging Casablanca’s participation in Barcelona’s main festival. In this sense, the councillor for Culture and Creative Industries, Xavier Marcé, and the mayor’s deputy for Cooperation and International Relations, Abderrahim Outass, are expected to meet soon to select the city’s most outstanding artistic proposals for the festival.

Having a guest city participate in La Mercè every year is almost a kind of tradition that aims to strengthen links with other cultural capitals around the world and offer Barcelona’s citizens a window onto the world. It began in 2007, when Medellín was invited, which filled the Catalan capital with flowers. Since then, the following cities have been invited to host La Mercè: Quito (2008), Istanbul (2009), Dakar (2010), Sant Petersburg (2011), Montreal (2012), Vienna (2013), Stockholm (2014), Buenos Aires (2015), Paris (2016), Reykjavik (2017), Lisbon (2018), Beirut (2019), Barcelona (2020, the year of the pandemic), Havana (2021), Rome (2022) and Kiev (2023).

In this edition of the festival, you will discover a young Casablanca, with great vitality and a clear commitment to urban music that we will be able to listen to this September, as well as seeing street arts proposals and many other cultural displays.

According to Mayor Jaume Collboni, the festival will be a very good opportunity for us to get to know better a culture that is very close to us thanks to the presence of many Moroccans in the city. “It’s a way of giving them this support and at the same time helping them to increase their level of participation in the cultural life of the city”, Collboni explains.

The Mayor of Casablanca, Nabila Rmili, for her part, highlighted the points in common between two cities that, she says, are equally “cosmopolitan and lively”, share a passion for culture and creativity, have a “rich and inspiring” heritage, and are equally committed to making culture a central element in the life and activity of the city.

The Mercè programme will be made public from summer onwards. Until then, you can check the festival’s website.

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