I opened the treasure box with awe. It was a simple receptacle with a few colorful ornaments. There was no lock or a key to it. They do not lock doors, boxes or drawers here. So I opened it with the awe of a curious traveler. There lay a diary with annotations in different languages, an aromatic papier armenie, a wooden egg, a piece of bread and a house with a courtyard, garden and shades that surpassed the time. If I ventured to enter that box I would be enchanted and lost in the mazes of it. I wanted to find the way to the unknown and back home, so I kept a thread of love and gratitude in my heart as a guide…
Thus starts my midsummer journey to Catalonia with the dichotomy of a traveler versus a tourist. I was euphoric to immerse into Catalan culture during the two weeks of traveling in several towns in the region observing and reflecting upon the flux and flow, serenity and multifunctional use of public spaces as well as storytelling through Catalan architecture and folkloric tradition.
My quest was the discovery of phenomena and processes of the everyday and the unique, of the explicit and implicit without the precondition of the ‘what’ specifically. My trip to Catalonia was a mixed adventure ranging from planned to serendipitous findings and encounters, self-reflection and initiation of dialogue with people who eagerly shared their knowledge, experiences and hospitality. I had a good feeling of being in the right place in the right time.
People that I have met make the inseparable part of this story. In fact, they are the story whether I have built close ties with them or simply passed by saying ‘hola’. The diary of my observations will evolve into a set of essays and features that will seam this invaluable experience of looking beyond the everyday and tapping into the extraordinary of Catalonia. This repository of impressions and networks will continuously inspire me, and hopefully others, thanks to my innate drive for discovery, CerCCa’s vision of providing non-conventional research and creative space, and ECF’s support of Step Beyond grant.