Culture, a tool for reconciling antagonism

© Laura Guerrero. Views of Barcelona from the sea to the mountains from Barcelona City Council's Novíssim building.

In these pages, Enric Montefusco explains why his albums share their names with major avenues in Barcelona: Meridiana and Diagonal. These two lines represent antagonistic faces of the city, where people born here live side by side with those who come from all over, Barcelonans of all walks of life who reside here but all too often seem to belong to different worlds.

Someone’s post code can still determine their cultural level, as well as their income and life expectancy. The cultures of the city are diverse, but the future of Barcelona will be the sum and distillation of them all in a shared culture. Against the strength of the market, which spins people outside the city, culture can be a tool that helps them to overcome marginalities and puts them on equal footing without making them all the same.

Today, Meridiana and Diagonal run through a square literally drilled by tunnelling machines. The urban transformation of Les Glòries should be the symbol of the confluence of these two Barcelonas to bring about new centralities in the city. Meanwhile, Montefusco’s music shows us that poetry runs freely beyond each individual’s post code, just as Meridiana and Diagonal meet in the confluence at Les Glòries.

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