Yesterday, Sunday, the last residents of this second period of residence—which began on 24 October—left. Once again, we have been able to enjoy four intensely enriching weeks. In the same way that those of us who work at Faber feel how our spirits are awakened and rejuvenated, we hope that everyone who has taken part in this month’s activities has been able to make the most of this experience.
The second stay at Faber began with a very heterogeneous mix: a Welsh historian (Andrew Dowling), a Catalan translator and journalist (Valèria Gaillard), a Scottish writer (David Manderson), an Israeli theatre actor and director (Roy Horovitz) and a Catalan playwright (Llàtzer Garcia). Rapport and humour were in great abundance throughout the days when all five of them were together. And the people of La Garrotxa were a willing audience to the talks given by the Welshman and the Scotsman in Olot. For her part, Valèria Gaillard—the only resident who stayed at Faber during the entire period—explained her daily work as a literary translator and journalist to about twenty students at the Institut Bosc de la Coma.
A Finnish translator (Kristiina Drews), a Cuban essayist and exhibition curator (Iván de la Nuez), a Catalan translator and writer (Marta Marín Dòmine), and Kabylian writer (Salem Zenia) took the place of the four residents who had already gone back home. This new group was also able to offer activities such as talks at Can Trincheria of Olot—headquarters of the Institute of Culture: Kristiina Drews talked about the challenges and daily work of a literary translator, while Iván de la Nuez gave his insights on the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America and the inability of the intellectual class to prevent it. Both talks were given to a full house at Can Trincheria with a highly participative audience—from a wide age range and diverse backgrounds, which gave us great satisfaction.
These five residents also got the chance to interact with some forty librarians who attended the annual gathering of Bibliowikis that Faber hosted on 18 November. This project by Amical Wikimedia—which seeks to bring Viquipèdia closer to citizens and library professionals—was led by Carme Fenoll, Head of Library Services at the Generalitat of Catalonia, and Àlex Hinojo, Project Manager at Amical Wikimedia and future resident of Faber. The event included a lunch where participants were able to get an inside look at the workings of a place like Faber with the help of its Director and the residents themselves.
A snapshot that will remain with us of this second stay would show a rich and diverse group which threw themselves into giving back to society. This is something expected of the residents of Faber, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for their efforts. The residency is based on cultural and social return, where the key lies in the interaction between the different agents found at the residence. This second stay has been an excellent example of this burgeoning relationship between the residents, society, and institutions, which has just gotten off the ground.