A city of hospitality and solidarity
The projection of Barcelona in the world and its appealing for tourism –especially for the MICE industry– is mostly due to its hospitality spirit. Since its founding, it has been a city open to the sea: its citizens have always wanted to visit other places and know about other cultures. At the same time, people from different origins have found their destination in the city. The commitment to the terrible refugee crisis caused by the war in Syria is another example of the strong determination to assume a relevant role as a “refuge city”.
In December, the CCIB was the venue for the presentation of the public audience to different schools. In May, after an academic year working on this issue, it will be carried out a comprehensive and formative reflection on the forced displacements of people and the role that cities are playing in their welcoming. Around 600 students aged between 11 and 17, as well as their teachers, were aware of the initiative which aim is to promote awareness and especially some actions. During the presentation, they learned the reasons and consequences behind the refugee crisis and, in the end, they developed some activities and recorded a mannequin challenge.
The charity concerts organized in February by volunteers and institutions committed to the welfare of the affected people were massive. In order to raise funds, more than 15.000 people attended the big show “Volem Acollir” (We Want to Welcome), a macro-show that combined a poster with exceptional artists (Serrat, Llach, Manolo García, Macaco, Antonio Orozco, Amaral…) with projections and real stories of refugees. A week later, at the Forum Auditorium, the Singfonics and other choirs starred in the concert “Actuem!” (Let’s Act). On the same day, the citizens’ mobilization reached its highest point in the demonstration for the reception of refugees and migrants. According to organizers, more than 500.000 people were out to the streets for this cause.
Facing the worst refugee crisis since the World War II, Barcelona is working to find a solution. Violence, armed conflict, natural disasters, oppression, human rights violations or persecution forced 12.4 million people to leave their homes in 2015, according to UNHCR. As a host city, Barcelona assumes its responsibility and is faithful to its solidarity values.