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Instituto Cervantes in London celebrates World Book Day with the reading of ‘10 Poems of Love and A Confined Song’

Instituto Cervantes in London joins the World Book Day celebrations with a reading of ’10 Poems of Love and A Confined Song’ by founder and Artistic Director of the Cervantes Theatre, Jorge de Juan. He will be joined by singer María de Juan and the event joins the list of celebrations for the 2020 Cervantine Week. It will be a week of multiple online initiatives based on all aspects of culture from books, libraries and bookstores to the publishing world, and it is open to everyone to join in and celebrate.

Having just released their new album ‘24/7’, Jorge de Juan and María de Juan come together tonight from their current locations of London and Granada, respectively. Jorge will read poems by Alfonsina Storni, Pablo Neruda, Carmen Conde, Joan Margarit and Luis García Montero among others, whilst María will sing a poem by Mario Benedetti accompanied (from Seville), by Andrés Barrios – pianist and composer who fuses world music in combination, such as flamenco and jazz. In addition, the video transmission will include photos of the journalist Jorge Pastor Sánchez, taken in Granada under the state of alarm in March 2020. The Cervantes Theatre, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes in London, hosts this soirée as a message of love and unity during this global pandemic.

The director of Instituto Cervantes in London, Ignacio Peyró, underlined the importance of celebrating World Book Day and Sant Jordi: “Normally on a day like today, we would be giving roses and books at our centre and celebrating reading, literature and ‘The Quixote’. This year is different, but we have made an extraordinary effort so that, although they are not face-to-face and even though they are more modest this year, our cultural activities continue to have variety and quality. In other words, they offer new, relevant and curated content by us”.

2020 Cervantine Week 

Instituto Cervantes offers multiple cultural initiatives open to the public in the framework of the celebration of World Book Day, today April 23rd. With meetings with writers such as Lorenzo Silva, Elvira Lindo and Isabel Coixet, free audiobooks, the opinions and talks of more than 70 outstanding professionals in the world of culture and readings of passages from ‘Don Quixote’, among others.

The range of online projects offered today is epitomised by the verse title of the 2019 Cervantes Award winner, Joan Margarit: ‘Freedom is a bookstore’. The Cervantine Week aims to bring home, at this stage of confinement, the best of our book culture as well as promote reading and the celebration of authors, publishers and booksellers.

Even though the Instituto Cervantes in London was forced to close in response to the British government guidelines on COVID-19, our mission and cultural programmes continue online.

The Best Spanish Short Films with CinemaAttic 

Every Monday, CinemaAttic and Instituto Cervantes in London, Manchester and Leeds share a weekly programme of ‘Seven Essential Short Films of the Last Decade of Spanish Cinema’. The whole thing is entirely free and accessible with English subtitles. The program is available until Sunday on both the CinemaAttic website and the Facebook event where you can also vote for your favourite shorts and comment. In addition, every Sunday at 1pm, we end the week together with ‘A Vermouth with CinemaAttic’: an online event on Facebook where a selection of the short films’ directors are interviewed.

Visual Arts: Amalgama 2020 Program

Amalgama is the first cultural initiative dedicated to promoting the work of Ibero-American female artists in the United Kingdom and will run from April to June. Amalgama, in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes in London, proposes a series of videos to present its 2020-2021 programme.  

Amalgama aims to strengthen the relationship between the British public and the international art scene regarding the work of female artists from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. This year’s programme will include two exhibitions (a group show and a solo exhibition) displaying the artists’ research on the tension between nature and culture in the digital age. 

The exhibitions include 15 artists, ranging from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Portugal and Venezuela. Each artist included in the final product was specially selected from the 190 applicants in an open call. For the second show, Amalgama will present the work of renowned Colombian artist Maria Elvira Escallon who was nominated for the Luis Caballero Prize in 2019.

Spanish Cinema Snippets with Joana Granero

Also available are a series of short introductions to Spanish cinema. They include presentations across a wide array of subjects, hosted by Joana Granero, Director and Founder of the London Spanish Film Festival. Each one focuses on a specific new or archival film on the work and career of leading names in Spanish cinema as well as artistic movements and schools.

In session one, Granero talks about José Luis Cuerda; filmmaker, screenwriter and producer. In session two, she will talk about a successful case: ESCAC. ESCAC, Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya, where teamwork and crossing barriers are primary guidelines. They have produced some of the most interesting and fresh productions over the last few years.

Literary podcasts with The Eye of Hispanic American Culture

April’s literary podcasts are produced by The Eye of Hispanic American Culture and led by Enrique Záttara who is responsible for the project. They include central figures such as the Spanish poet, professor and director of Instituto Cervantes, Luis García Montero and the Argentine novelist Mariana Enríquez.

The Eye of Hispanic American Culture is a multimedia, international and bilingual cultural project, based in London. Its objective is to promote the Hispanic-American culture residing in Europe and across the globe by connecting and informing artists, writers and intellectuals. 

Great Spanish and Ibero-American composers season 

Additionally, the Iberian & Latin American Music Society (ILAMS) and Instituto Cervantes in London present a series of podcasts which bring the life and work of the most representative Spanish and Ibero-American composers to life. The podcasts are released on a monthly basis and celebrate the rich musical tradition of our countries. 

Ray Picot, concert reviewer at ILAMS and writer of a popular monthly column for Echoes Magazine, will focus on the masterpieces of Enrique Granados, who was one of a triumvirate of great Spanish composers to achieve international acclaim during the early 20th century.

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