From November 12 to 15, the Raval(s) Cultural Festival celebrates its 13th edition, this year featuring changes and new ways of looking at Barcelona's Raval neighbourhood. This community and collaborative festival, in which more than 120 businesses, collectives, associations, educational centres and neighbours of the Raval participate, has a theme this year of a sense of belonging to and in the area. There will be free artistic, social and educational activities on that are related to, for example, the recognition of artistic and sociocultural projects developed in the manufacturing space of Can 60, or the renovation of the Arnau theatre, as well as bringing back the forgotten history and traditions of the neighbourhood and finding out what those who live their have in their personal knowledge base.
Among the more than 70 activities programmed are those related to getting to know the neighbourhood, its people and its customs, which is just what you can do via exhibitions like 'Our Barcelona-Raval. The city and the neighbourhood seen with eyes that form part of it' (Fri, 5pm, Galeria Moraima) and 'Parallel Portraits. Stories of life in the Raval', featuring people who live in the Raval as its stars. There are also fun and intergenerational activities on, such as '3,2,1 Play!!!' (Fri, 5pm-8pm, Plaça Vázquez Montalbán), where kids can learn traditional and popular games that people their grandparents' age played in the area when they were small. Another featured event is 'Let's get to know each other', where a group of young people mostly from the local Sikh and Muslim communities take elderly Raval residents to visit their respective cultural centres (from 10am).
'Diaries of life, our roots' (Fri 13, 5pm, Biblioteca Sant Pau-Santa Creu) is a participatory workshop for sharing the experience of those who have kept a personal diary, and 'Have we met? ... Come to India's magic night!', a group of activities to celebrate the Hindu New Year, discovering different customs of the country.
There's also space for the best kind of cultural exchange at the festival – through food. Under the banner 'What's cooking in the Raval?', there will be various activities including recipe exchanges (Fri, 6.30pm-9pm, Rambla del Raval), the second edition of 'Fiesta of soups from here and there' (Fri, from 8.30pm, Rambla del Raval), and 'Let's eat up the Raval' (from 5pm in the Convent auditorium, Plaça dels Àngels), a way to foster the relationship between the diverse forms of art and food as a vehicle to establish better relationships among neighbours.
Music is also a big part of the festival, with performances on the Rambla del Raval (Fri from 5.30pm, and Sat from noon), and at the Museu Marítim (Fri 13, from 11am) and the Parròquia del Carme (Sat 14, from noon), that will feature multiple styles, from hip hop to jazz and soul, Brazilian music and choir singing, among others, and there will be groups made up of adults, adolescents and kids from the neighbourhood.
The programme also includes the 4th International Competition of Short Films in the Raval, 'Size doesn't matter', as well as various exhibitions, workshops for kids, theatre events, dance performances, itineraries to get to know the various faces of the Raval, and guided tours to some of the biggest cultural venues in the area.
The big Raval(s) party comes to a close with a multiple-day parade, featuring city giants, bigheads, drum processions, bands and more.