"Democracy is built with truth and generosity"
The event, organized by the UB and the Consulate General and Promotion Center of the Argentine Republic in Barcelona, also included speeches by the rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia, and the ambassador of the Argentine Republic in Spain, Ricardo Alfonsín, son of former president Raúl Alfonsín. The Consul General of the Argentine Republic in Barcelona, Rossana Surballe, also participated, and the audience included members of the Argentine community in Barcelona, people from the world of culture and authorities such as the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, the delegate of the Spanish government in Catalonia, Carlos Prieto, and the minister of Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret.
Popular culture, a space of fresh air
The musicians began the roundtable by recalling their experiences during the years of the military junta's dictatorship: from Miguel Cantilo's exile to escape "systematic persecution" to the use of ingenuity to escape from the control of power and to be able to express themselves, in the case of those who stayed in the country. Serrat remarked how the dictatorship "generated a popular feeling of fear". "We try to communicate to our children how essential democracy is", said Lito Vitale, who recalled "the explosion of liberation" of the 1980s, after the dictatorship. The musicians vindicated the role of popular culture in all these moments: "It has been a space of fresh air; it has not only been a narrator of what is happening but also a meeting place".
The last part of the roundtable was dedicated to the dangers and challenges facing democracy today in Argentina, and also in Europe. Miguel Cantilo warned that there is a minority that wants to call into question the trials that took place in Argentina against the crimes committed during the dictatorial repression. Serrat highlighted how the politicians’ shortcomings harm democracy, while he called for the responsibility of citizens.
Ambassador Ricardo Alfonsín recalled the struggle to achieve democracy at the end of the dictatorship. He also remarked that, forty years later, it is necessary to advance further towards a "material" democracy, which meets the needs of the population in basic areas.
The rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia, closed the ceremony by emphasizing the UB's commitment "to freedom and democracy," which begins with the university's motto: freedom defends all knowledge. He affirmed: "We will keep firm the light that illuminates the path of good and fair knowledge".
Also during the morning, the Historic Building hosted several roundtables to analyze Argentina's progress in various areas: culture, human rights, education and communication. Speakers included Daniel Rafecas, federal judge of Argentina; Iñaki Rivera, scientific director of the official master's degree in Criminology, Criminal Policy and Sociology of Criminal Law at the UB; Francisco Esteban Bara, professor at the Department of Theory and History of Education at the UB; María Celeste Adamoli, director of Education for Human Rights, Gender and Comprehensive Sex Education at the Argentine Ministry of Education, and writer and journalist Martín Caparrós, who discussed democracy and communication with UB professor of Political Philosophy Ander Errasti.