Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Catalonia and the 8th Mobile World Congress: the 21st Century

Catalonia has to build its 21st century existence. What do I mean by that? Since the recovery of democracy in the mid-70s, Catalan society and politicians have tried to build a space of freedom within the new democratic Spanish state. We, the Catalans, wanted to be ourselves within the already existing structures. But after 30 years trying, we realise that this is impossible. So here we are in the second decade of the 21st century trying to explain to the world that Catalonia now needs to build its own structures. Internet, the global network, has to help us with our aim. Fortunately technology provides great tools that make everything more transparent and democratic.

You may remember how the Chiapas conflict was shown to the world thanks to a student from Texas who made the first Zapatista Army of National Liberation website, publishing all their communiques. From there on, different groups and Internet websites spread their struggle to the world.

Nowadays, mobile technologies let us inform the world in seconds of what is happening, for example when on September 11th in Barcelona more than one and a half million people called to the world to be heard and to be helped.

And we must go on with this spirit through the free communication platforms: blogs, social networks and websites. They allow us to join large civic majorities, working peacefully for the international community to take a serious, democratic and unflinching part on this issue.

Barcelona has just hosted its 8th Mobile World Congress and this has been a great international showroom for Catalan technological companies. This has been not only now but always, because we feel we form part of this world. We want to be Catalans in the world as we were in the past. At this Congress, the 72.000 people attending could see we have a competitive and talented character to offer the world. I’m sure some of those attending this congress have discovered that we are not the way some “traditional” Spanish media explain to the world… although they also use free communication platforms.

Carles Flamerich
Telecommunications Engineer
Director General of Telecommunications and Information Society
Generalitat – The Government of Catalonia

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