A festival brimming with colour, energy, joy and light. That was how the Colombian illustrator Catalina Estrada wanted to portray Barcelona’s annual festival in the poster for La Mercè 2011.
Using the style and shapes she is known for, she has brought together the traditional features of the festival and the essence of this year’s, which will see lots of circus activities, music and art on the city’s streets.
With this in mind, this year’s guest city will be St Petersburg, one of Russia’s cities with a very strong dance and circus tradition.
The festival’s other big name revealed this Wednesday was that of journalist Joaquim Maria Puyal, who will get La Mercè 2011 under way with the traditional opening speech in the Saló de Cent at the City Hall on 22 September, over the three days of the festival, one less than last year because the 24th falls on a Saturday .
More than 40 Catalan street art companies will demonstrate the high standard of the shows produced here, some of which have received international awards. Parc de la Ciutadella and the Castell de Montjuïc, two star festival venues, will provide a showcase for these artists to put on their creations.
Inevitably tradition will play a unique part in the festival. This year the fire-totting devils and beasts will lead the way through Hell’s Gate, which will span the whole of Via Laietana.
And once again the City Council facade will turn into a cinema screen for La casa màgica, by Franc Aleu.