The Institut Ramon Llull will submit the project Seguint el peix for participation to 18th Biennale Architettura 2023 in Venice, as part of the Collateral Events. Leve Productora and Top Manta (Popular Union of Street Vendors) are the curators of this project, that has been selected by an expert panel from an open call organised by the Institut Ramon Llull. Through the street vendors’ view, Seguint el peix addresses issues such as migratory traffic, the privatisation of public space, feminism, the anti-racist fight, or food sustainability. It is a joint project between anti-racist activism and architecture, looking for advice for the future of cities. The Institut Ramon Llull will be in charge of the production of the project.
As in previous editions, the Institut Ramon Llull will present this proposal to the curator of the 18th Biennale Architettura 2023, which, in the upcoming months, will announce if Seguint el peix is included in the Collateral Events.
The committee of experts in charge of the selection process convened by the Llull states: “We have unanimously selected the project not only due to its formulation of architecture as a social production project on an exhibition level, but also as a transformative project demanding the right to the city for everyone. The proposal wipes the division between curators and participants, being a collective work in its conceptualisation, process and formalisation. It will bring methodologies, shared knowledge, and eco-social fights closer, both at the physical space of the exhibition in Venice and in other spaces such as the website and open-access publications in Catalan, English, Italian, and Wolof. The jury values the courage, forcefulness, and quality of the proposal, which embraces necessary practices that are a laboratory for the future in a present under emergency”.
The expert committee president was Eva Franch i Gilabert, architect and artistic codirector of Model. Festival d’Arquitectures de Barcelona, and the jury members were Guim Costa i Calsamiglia, dean of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), and Inés de Rivera Marinel·lo, member of research, education and universities at COAC, with a single vote; Elvira Dyangani Ose, director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA); Jaume Mayol, architect and codirector of TEd’A arquitectes; Olga Subirós, architect and curator of the Catalan exhibition at the Venice Biennale Architecture 2021 (AIR/ARIA/AIRE); and, with a voice but without a vote, Maria Lladó, director of the Arts Department of the Llull.
The 18th Biennale Architettura will take place from May 20th to November 26th 2023, and the theme chosen by artistic director Lesley Lokko is The Laboratory of the future, with Africa as its main character. “There is a place in this planet where the concepts of equality, race, hope, and fear converge and unite: Africa. On an anthropological level, we are all Africans. What happens in Africa happens to us all”. The Ghanaian-Scottish architect, scholar, and novelist also states that “the vision of a modern, diverse, and inclusive society is seductive and persuasive, but if it only remains an image, it becomes an illusion. Something more than a representation is needed, and architects have historically been key actors when it comes to translate images to reality.”
Top Manta is a project created within the Popular Union of Street Vendors. The union was created in 2015 in Barcelona, and it is a social and supportive project that fights against the difficulties of migrant and afro-descendant people, against racism and human rights violation in general.The Popular Union of Street Vendors has taken part in cultural and political activities on a national and international level, creating ties with the organisation of various fights, and it has been an inspiration for other collectives such as the Street Vendors and Litter Pickers Union of Madrid, or similar entities in Zaragoza or Valencia.
In 2017 they created Top Manta, an ethic, social and supportive fashion label that is now a sign of self-determination and a world reference that answers the needs of those made vulnerable by the system, and works for social justice.
Leve is an architecture and movie studio developing interdisciplinary projects. Each project is approached as a unitary direction, networking and management experience, working on what and how on an integrated way, exploring the bordering territories of what is considered architecture, strengthening its social desire for creativity and activism. These are the current Leve members: Eva Serrats, who worked in the fields of photography, film, architecture, and cultural projects, and who is also project coordinator at the ETSAB-UPC; Francesc Pla, architect, member of the team Pla de Sostenibilitat Ambiental a l’Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, and project coordinator at the ETSAB-UPC; Daniel Cid, Leve collaborator for research projects, he is professor of Design Studies at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton (UK).
The Institut Ramon Llull has been producing and organising the Catalan and Balearics Islands participation in the Collateral Events of the Biennale Arte since 2009, and has been present at the Biennale Architettura since 2012. The Institut is a consortium formed by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Govern de les Illes Balears, and the Ajuntament de Barcelona, and its mission is to internationally promote Catalan language and culture.