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Mike Ribalta – Fira Tàrrega

23.05.2019

FiraTàrrega is the international market for performing arts that takes place every year in Tàrrega during the second weekend in September.

Founded in 1981, it acts as a shop window of what is going on in performing arts, with special emphasis on street arts, visual and unconventional shows. Ahead of his visit to Galway for FRESH STREET#3 we had a chance to speak with Fira Tàrrega Coordinator Mike Ribalta.

 

You have had the opportunity, through Fira Tàrrega to experience the best street art in the world. How can street theatre transform places? 

Street theatre transforms places, but moreover, it changes people – even for the short time they participate in an event, without expecting it. It impacts the places that inhabit it, as it attracts people who eat, drink and buy, but beyond that, there is the sudden transformation of the everyday place into something very different. Street theatre (especially those plays that go beyond simple entertainment) inspire the viewers, even more than any other cultural expression. In the long-term, outdoor arts increases the sense of belonging to the place of the community, it helps the audiences to change the perception of a place and it is a driving force behind personal and community creativity. But, overall, it contributes to the establishment of an authentic cultural democracy.

Outdoor art increases the sense of belonging to the place of the community, it helps the audiences to change the perception of a place and it is a driving force behind personal and community creativity. But, overall, it contributes to the establishment of an authentic cultural democracy. 

You have been involved in FRESH STREET from its inception – can you tell us about your involvement?

Fira Tàrrega hosted the first edition of FRESH STREET, back in 2015, and we have been involved in the organisation of the two following editions. For me, it is a time to bring the sector together and, moreover, to welcome professionals from other sectors to advocate for the role of outdoor arts. It’s a time to foster the recognition and, at the same time, to collectively evaluate the work we do, to explore new topics, to be inspired and to work towards the improvement of our practice. 

 
What would you like to see happening for street art internationally? 

I would like that all countries, in Europe and beyond, recognise outdoor arts as an important art form in its own right for its cultural, social and artistic values. 

  

What could we do here in Galway to promote a vibrant street theatre scene?

Galway is already a great promoter of street arts and culture. During 2019 and 2020, as European Capital of Culture, the city will become a focus of attention. Understanding that street arts and the European Capital of Culture share many goals, now is the moment to boost the development of the vibrant and dynamic organisations that are already leading Ireland’s street arts, circus and spectacle art forms. 

 

 

Photo credit: Nuria Boleda

About FRESH STREET#3:

As a result of their partnership with Circostrada, the ISACS Network will host the International conference FRESH STREET#3 in partnership with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. This event is scheduled to take place from 22 – 24 May 2019. It will see over 250 international delegates with a professional background and passion for all things street arts from all over the world in attendance. Artists, practitioners, programmers, producers, festivals, stakeholders, policymakers, journalists and more will make up the audience.

The theme of this event is ‘Place and Identity’ and is driven largely by the global and local crisis that the world is experiencing currently in relation to how we relate, feel and perceive same.

The event will be hosted by the National University of Ireland, Galway, with a one-day exploration of place and identity on the beautiful Inis Oírr, Aran Islands.

Stay up to date with FRESH STREET#3 on Facebook.

About Mike Ribalta

Mike Ribalta is a producer and Cultural Manager. Since 2001, he has been the head of the Department of Professionals of FiraTàrrega. He has been the coordinator on behalf of FiraTàrrega of the EU projects Meridians from 2007 to 2013, and CASA from 2015 to 2017. Currently he is a proud member of the steering committee of Circostrada.