In our society, the effects of crises are usually measured by the impact they have on public services in general and on culture in particular. Cutbacks often affect both. And during the pandemic this was especially visible. Fortunately, society is recovering its pulse and the culture on offer is finally approaching normality. The new season brings daring, original and risky offerings and also ones for very large and family audiences, which contribute to the sense of normality so demanded and so missed by everybody. Although we will not be able to achieve it as long as the Russian aggression continues in Ukraine and as long as we have not reversed the disastrous effects caused by climate change, it is clear that the cultural products offered to readers in this issue (see pages 12-21) are surely getting closer to the good times.
Catalonia is a country that generates a lot of top quality culture and at the same time is a great consumer of it. Firstly, because of the interest of its inhabitants, and secondly because culture is an essential element of Catalonia’s heritage and international appeal. It’s not just Barcelona and all its extraordinary cultural power as the capital; it is the country as a whole that strives to provide content - from music to theatre, music, popular culture, you name it - of high quality and great interest.
The challenge lies not so much in the products on offer, which are solid and powerful, as in increasing citizens’ cultural activity. According to the available European data, which analyse cultural activity at state level, the Spanish state occupies a very low position in participation in live cultural activities. Smaller countries, which attract far fewer tourists, register almost double the participation rates. This is therefore a major challenge. The supply of culture does exist, with many companies and artists doing extraordinary work, but they need an audience and a decent income to be able to contribute to a civilized, cohesive and advanced society. A society that in culture will have the best antidote against barbarism.