Catalonia's poems and digital roses to break the confinement
Diplocat launches an international campaign to celebrate the Day of Books and Roses on 23 April
Tomorrow, 23 April, the Covid-19 will prevent books and roses from filling the streets and squares of Catalonia as usual. There will also be no events outside Catalonia, beyond some virtual literary competitions, while in recent years there have been a few hundred in the framework of the internationalization campaign of the Day of Books and Roses promoted by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) since 2015.
With the aim of keeping alive the spirit of this feast and making it easier for everyone to send roses and literary texts from home, Diplocat has activated this morning a section of virtual congratulations on its website www.booksandroses.cat, accessible in Catalan, Spanish and English. Roses can be customized with the choice of different colors and stems. Diplocat has spread the initiative among its network of international contacts so that roses are spread around the world and texts and poems are sent in many different languages.
Laura Foraster, Secretary General of Diplocat, explains that this initiative "is in line with one of the main objectives of the entity, which is to make Catalonia known to the world, with its values and assets". According to Foraster, "due to force majeure, this year's virtual congratulations campaign replaces the traditional international visitors program that Diplocat organized every year with journalists from around the world".
Although the section on the website that allows you to send roses is already activated, the intention is that it will be in full swing tomorrow. Laura Foraster has announced that she will be sending 25 roses early in the morning. Among the recipients will be political representatives such as the President of the Catalan government, the Catalan Minister of Culture, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Mayor of Barcelona; the president of the Guild of Booksellers of Catalonia and some of the foreign booksellers that Diplocat had invited to Barcelona in the past; writers such as Haruki Murakami and Colm Tóibín; Nobel laureates such as Jody Williams, Mohammad Yunus, Malala Yousafzai and Martti Ahtisaari; academics such as Paul Preston, Eeva Furman and Nick Cull, and renowned personalities such as Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall and Jeremy Rifkin. Also, as a sign of gratitude for the work they are doing these days, and in representation of the entire group of doctors and nurses, Foraster will send roses to Vanessa Estudillo, nurse at the ICU of Vall d'Hebron, doctor researcher Oriol Mitjà and epidemiologist Antoni Trilla.
Diplocat launched the website of the #BooksAndRoses project in 2015 as an international promotion tool for the Day of Books and Roses. The website offers information on Saint George's Day (Sant Jordi) in several languages, an explanatory video and downloadable broadcast materials, such as a flyer that has been translated into 17 additional languages this year, being now available in more than 30 languages.