The UAB to host Catalonia's universities' 2018/19 academic year inauguration on 6 September

Recinte Històric Hospital de Sant Pau

This year the ceremony will focus on the refugee crisis, with the opening lecture offered by Òscar Camps, director and founder of Proactiva Open Arms, music by the group Orpheus XXI and dance performance Halaboffered by Sol Picó. The event also will include the annual Jaume Vicens Vives Awards ceremony.


The gardens of the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona, the first location of the UAB's Faculty of Medicine founded 50 years ago, will play host to the inauguration of the 2018/19 academic year of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and all the other public universities in Catalonia. The event will be presided by the President of the Catalan Government Quim Torra and will also include the annual Jaume Vicens Vives Awards ceremony, with speeches by Gabriel Masfurroll, President of the UAB Social Council, and UAB Rector Margarita Arboix.

The event will begin with the presentation of the 2017-2018 Annual Report by Cristina Riba, General Secretary of the UAB, and a summary of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Faculty of Medicine by Miquel Vilardell, emeritus lecturer at the UAB. Following the speeches, Òscar Camps will give the inaugural speech on “Human Rights in the Mediterranean". Lifeguard, entrepreneur and human rights activist, Camps has worked as volunteer in different stages of the crisis of refugees reaching the Greek island of Lesbos. In 2015, he and other co-workers specialising in sea and rescue founded Proactiva Open Arms, a non-governmental organisation with the main mission of rescuing refugees at sea seeking to arrive to Europe after fleeing war, persecution and/or poverty. The NGO sails the Aegean Sea and central Mediterranean Sea. It has received awards and mentions from different entities, among which the European Citizens' Prize, awarded by the European Parliament (2015), and the Creu de Sant Jordi, awarded by the Government of Catalonia (2018).

Refugee Commitment
The ceremony will include a performance by music ensemble Orpheus XXI, under the direction of Syrian director Moslem Rahal. Orpheus XXI is a music ensemble composed of professionals and young students, all of who are immigrants or refugees from different countries, mainly Mediterranean. The group works to highlight the musics and traditions of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean and uses traditional instruments such as the lute, African drums, qanun and traditional flutes. The group will be accompanied by vocalists specialising in Arabian and Oriental music. All of them with a very emotional projection and invitation to intercultural dialogue. Orpheus XXI was born as a social project in 2016 byJordi Savall, appointed European Union Ambassador for intercultural dialogue in 2008 and named “Artist for Peace” under the UNESCO “Good Will Ambassadors” programme, with the objective of integrating professional immigrant and refugee musicians and inviting them to transmit their culture through an intercultural educational and creative proposal in favour of young refugees and immigrants with musical skills and talent.

Next, Lluís Baulenas, General Secretary of the Catalonia Inter-University Council, will speak on the merits of each of the receivers of the government of Catalonia's Jaume Vicens Vives Award to university lecturers, followed by the institutional speeches by President of the Social Council Gabriel Masfurroll, Rector of the UAB Margarita Arboix, and President of the Government of Catalonia Quim Torra. The event will continue with a performance by the UAB choir, directed by Poire Vallvé, who will interpret Universitas by Poire Vallvé and Rafel Simó, created especially for the UAB's 50th anniversary, and Gaudeamus Igitur.

The inauguration will then conclude with the contemporary dance company Sol Picó offering an urban street dance performance entitled Halab. Halab was the name of what is now the city of Aleppo, Syria and Sol Picó's choreography aims to raise awareness and make visible the humanitarian drama of refugees who every day risk their lives in the Mediterranean, fleeing from the terror of their home countries. With live music by Pere Jou, Halab is an austere piece, yet very powerful, committed, emotional and striking. Through the poetry of dance it bring the audience closer to the terrible reality of thousands of people.

Places are limited and all those interested in attending must fill out this form before 3 September. Upon arrival, all attendants will have to show their entrance tickets to security personnel.

More information: UAB 50 Years: the audacity of knowledge


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