Mozaika - Showcasing new cultural trends

Mozaika - Showcasing new cultural trends

16 May 2016

Mozaika is a non-profit organization created with the intention of contributing to a greater knowledge and understanding of Jewish culture, and promoting relationships between the Jewish community and the rest of society.

The aim was to provide the opportunity for an exchange of concerns, and creation of a common ground that could strengthen projects and common interests.

Mozaika's team is made up of three enthusiastic young men - Manu Valentín, Carles Basteiro and Victor Sorenssen - from different backgrounds, who share one idea of modern, respectful and transgressive judaism that does not abandon its ancient heritage.

As of 2009 Mozaika has brought together writers, poets, philosophers, scientists, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights, psychologists, rabbis, journalists, and philologists, willing to discuss key issues of our times and to celebrate a universal point of view that comes from an ancient diversity.

This goes in line with Mozaika’s aspiration to emancipate prejudices, stimulate curiosity, agitate debate, disciplines and styles, to sail upon one’s own seas and beyond. To become the meeting point for the arts, and to be free to enable mutual understanding and dialogue. At the same time, we want to showcase new cultural trends of Jewish origin that stir up the world.

We have worked in this inclusive way of promoting Jewish culture through: regular publications on our website, luxury editions in paper (Heroes, 2014; Erets Catalunya, 2015), organizing events (Happening to Crisolart, 2011; Happening at Palau Robert, 2013; Hannukah Girona, 2013, 2014, 2015; Anti-Tour, 2015), collaborating with others on research and dissemination of culture and Jewish history (PARENTESI, MUME, 2012; Diàlegs d'Història Urbana L'exili jueu alemany to Barcelona 1933-1945, MUHBA, 2013; Persecuted and Saved, MUHBA, 2014, Barcelona, Refugi de Jueus, Ed Angle. 2015. Fleeing the Holocaust, MHC, 2015), and mini-documentaries (Beatle Jew, The Last Guardian, 2011; Verbannung, 2013).

So far Mozaika has been working on several global scale projects: such as La Casa de Cultura Judía de Barcelona – a work in progress, and, La Feria del Libro Judío (Jewish Book Fair, September 2016), both based in Barcelona.

This first edition of the Jewish Book Fair is born from the desire of several organizations and institutions that were willing to work together in order to bring about a powerful and relevant cultural event, which would have a continuity and leave an imprint.

The program lasts only for a day, and will host not only presentations of authors and books that could be put on sale by the partner publishers, but also a sample of our artistic activities relevant for the context of our city, Barcelona. The main objective of this festival is to show the diversity and plurality, with the intention of encouraging debate and exchange.

Our aim is to make Jewish culture public, in the form of its foundations such as literature and philosophy, i.e., the written word, study and questioning.

Therefore, relevant Jewish and non-Jewish authors will be included in the program who have contributed to Jewish history or culture, either in the past (e.g., Maimonides, Nahmanides) or modernity (e.g., Baruch Spinoza, Henri Bergson and Sigmund Freud). Included will also be well-known authors (e.g., Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, Primo Levi, Jacques Derrida, Aharon Appelfeld, Juan Gelman, Pizarnik, Clarice Lispector, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick or David Grossman), as well as lesser known (e.g., Samuel Joseph Agnon, Rachel Bespaloff, Jeanne Hersch, Danilo Kiš, Soma Morgenstern, Henri Meschonnic or Jean Amery), with the desire of engaging with contemporary themes in light of all these subjectivities.

Faced with this great diversity, the program would centre around themes such as identity, exile, memory and language. In that way, we would not only present the cultural aspect through a concrete historical angle, but we would be encouraging debate from the current perspective, trying to capture attention from all kinds of participants.

Additionally, another objective of the Festival is to present the Jewish past of our city (with native characters internationally renowned, such as the great medieval philosopher Hasdai Cresques) and contemporary Jewish history, since, as of 1917, Barcelona is home to the first Jewish community established in Spain after the expulsion of 1492.

In short, Mozaika aims to popularize Jewish culture, to bring it closer to the greater public, to make it accessible, to share the doubts and a few certainties with those who are willing to come near, and in that way to celebrate life together, as we have always loved to do.

We are:

Manu Valentín - a historian and researcher, active in a variety of digital and print media and runs a start-up for content management in augmented reality formats. Writer and director of museum projects in Mozaika.

Carles Basteiro - a lawyer and auditor specialized in copyright and new technologies, engaged in the promotion of Jewish culture in Catalonia and with notable trackrecord in the field of art, fashion and culture. Comissioner and editor of the Mozaika magazine.

Victor Sorenssen - the director of the Jewish Community in Barcelona, with a degree in Political Science and Semitic Philology. Writer and content director of new projects in Mozaika.

JEU aims at providing a platform for a pan-European exchange on Jewish life, thought and culture that extends beyond national and linguistic barriers.

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