Karlo Basta | Associate Professor of Politics
This was a wonderful residency, bringing together a diverse set of scholars and practitioners, all united by the common interest in issues of legitimacy and self-determination. Unfortunately, due to other obligations, I was unable to participate in the first half of the residency, but this meant that I arrived to what was already a group of people who shared a sense of community. I had many useful and pleasant exchanges on a daily basis with all of the colleagues. These conversations were useful both as intellectual exercises, and as a networking opportunity.
The residency itself was impeccably run by the team in Olot. All the organizational details, from information, to taxi arrangements, to the stay itself, were arranged to maximize the time and energy available to the residents to dedicate to their respective projects. The premises at the Hotel Riu Fluvià were very comfortable, with all the necessary amenities, and an insipring view of the surrounding valley, the hills and the mountains beyond. The hotel itself was in the ideal position between nature and the town itself. While I have visited a number of cities and towns across Catalonia, I have never been to Olot, and was pleasantly surprised by a town that is small, but full of things to experience. One of these was Ètic Cafè i Te Artesans that served better coffee than most cafes I have been to in Barcelona.
During the five days of my stay at the Faber residency, I have made significant strides in my project on the role of business elites in the debates around independence. This is a comparative project that examines the dynamics in the lead-up to referenda in three cases that featured a large and diversified private business community (Catalonia, Scotland, Quebec) and two that did not have such business communities (Slovenia and Western Australia). I am very grateful to the Residency for providing the conditions to facilitate this work.