Tag Archives: Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls

The London School of Castells.

Alex Diaz-Manero asks me not to tell how much he has been living in London. “It’s confidencial — he says — only my best friend knows it and if he tells he would be violating the Data Protection Act”. He is one of the instigators of The London School of Castells, one of the some samples of this cultural fact worldwide. 

With a huge increase of Catalan population due to the Spanish  Crisis, it was already time that somebody engaged a Castells-related activity

So we decided to have a nice Q&A with him.

Tell me about the school of castells, how did it started? And, especially, why?

I am the administrator of a Facebook group named “Catalans a Londres” that now has near 2000 people in it. There I met Ingrid Hurtado, who comes from Micacos de Badalona. My sisters were at that Colla for some years and already met Ingrid. Anyway, it was Ingrid who asked “why don’t we create a colla castellera in London?”. That put the idea in my mind and I thought “ok let’s start looking for people, Facebook is a great tool for that purpose”. Also I commented with people also had considered to do workshops to practice the technique. At first we did the first workshops at Regent’s Park in the summer of 2013. 

I hope that, being a school is there someone who already did castells?

Yes, there are already up to ten people with ample experience who reside in London or its outskirts and who have come at least once to the workshops. They can teach the novices that come along. But so far has not been possible to gather them all at the same day and time. And there are more people interested with experience but they are working long hours or weekends in London or live too far away and sadly cannot attend. Continue reading The London School of Castells.

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Castells overseas!

If you’re reading us from Paris, London, Lisbon, Geneva, Brussels or Berlin, then open your agenda by June 8th (it’s a sunday) and write down at 12pm: “CASTELLS”.

These diadas, called “Human Towers for Democracy” are supported by the Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya and the organisation Òmnium Cultural within the campaign “Catalans Want to Vote”. This campaign wants to call attention around the globe about the situation in Catalonia, where the Spanish state denies the right of self-determination through the polls of the Catalan people.

Continue reading Castells overseas!

What is a Diada Castellera?

A diada castellera is the name of a gathering where colles build castells. Nothing more and nothing less.

This is a poster of the "Diada dels Quatre Fuets" in Berga. Featuring Castellers de Berga, Castellers de Barcelona and Castellers de Sabadell
This is a poster of the “Diada dels Quatre Fuets” in Berga. Featuring Castellers de Berga, Castellers de Barcelona and Castellers de Sabadell

Diades are held mainly while in the major festivals of a city, town or village, or because a certain festivity, or because on behalf or to honour a colla. This is, according to the CCCC, there are nowadays almost 90 colles castelleres all around the Catalan Countries, and there are, usually, around 53 weeks in a year. This means that last year 2013 castells reached a record with about 10.400 castells raised, as I stated in the previous post. Unfortunately I can’t tell how many diades have been celebrated to achieve this record.  Continue reading What is a Diada Castellera?