The survey on cultural rights in Barcelona, promoted by the City Council, analyses the diverse ways in which city residents experience culture and how the inequalities experienced by some people impact their ability to exercise their cultural rights. Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world that has a survey which enables it to define and evaluate the state of the cultural rights of its population.
The results of the survey show that in some neighbourhoods, it is more difficult to exercise the right to culture, given the accumulation of factors that generate inequalities. However, the survey also lays bare the fact that the neighbourhood is a source of cultural life. The right to culture is experienced in many neighbourhoods through activities and spaces that are not always recognised as cultural. This seems to be a growing trend in the post-pandemic context.
The survey also shows that everyone has cultural needs and that people give value to culture, regardless of which neighbourhood they live in.
Another key factor that conditions people’s cultural activity and their ability to exercise their cultural rights is the family environment. One of the areas where inequalities linked to the family are most evident is in artistic training or education. Likewise, the survey shows that inequalities affect the cultural rights of children. In more affluent neighbourhoods and family environments, children are able to exercise their cultural rights more and more often.
Lastly, the survey also shows the importance of gender identity and (migratory) origin for people’s cultural life. In this regard, the closure of cultural spaces affects everyone, but some more than others.
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During the last quarter of 2021, and carrying on from last autumn’s survey, the Barcelona Institute of Culture included a series of questions in the GESOP’s quarterly Omnibus, in order to monitor the importance of culture during the pandemic.
As a new feature, people were questioned on their knowledge of the Grec Festival, its projection beyond the city, and the Quinzena Metropolitana, Metropolitan Dance Fortnight festival, held in the Metropolitan Area.
The main conclusions are:
- The gap between the importance given to culture at a general and individual level is narrowing. 35% see it as being ‘very important’ in people’s lives and 39% at a personal level.
- Reading, watching films or series and listening to music are the most prominent activities, although there are differences in the groups that take part in each one, compared to the previous survey.
In regard to festivals:
- 70% of the people residing in the BMA know about the Grec Festival, but only 3.2% saw a show in the last edition.
- 17% of the people surveyed had heard about the Metropolitan Dance Fortnight, but less than 1% of them had attended a performance recently.
More information in this report (in catalan).
15In addition to analysing what impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the number and origin of visitors, as well as on revenue from museum activities, it is interesting to note what types of groups visited these facilities in 2020, their distribution by month, days of the week, times and origins.
With this aim, we expanded the information from museums with a specific section on data concerning group visits (only in catalan).
For example, these data provide us with information about the number of school groups visiting museums every month:
or alternatively, the days of the week with the most tourist groups:
According to the weekly evolution of visitor numbers (only in catalan), Barcelona’s museums are on the road to recovery. In the week of 5 to 11 July, the figure rose above 27,000 visitors. This is undoubtedly still a far cry from the figure of over 64,000 visitors to those centres during the same period in 2019, but little by little, the curve is rising in a sustained way, marked here and there by peaks which correspond to open days.
Although it is true that since May, and especially since June, the number of foreign-national visitors has risen sharply (in just one month, the number of foreign visitors rose from 5,000 to 15,000), it is also true that the oscillations in the curve can mostly be explained by open days: the local public takes full advantage of them. This was especially clear during the celebration of Museum Night, on 15 May, an extraordinary open day which led to a rise in the number of visitors that week to 28,344, the highest figure of the year so far. Nearly 16,000 of those visitors were Barcelona residents (doubling the number of city residents who had visited museums the week before). A massive response which consolidated Museum Night and showed the interest it fosters in our city.
With the prospect of a fifth wave that may turn things around, it seems that the trend that started in May is being maintained for the moment: the number of foreign nationals is increasing, free admission continues to have a considerable effect on the number of visitors (especially locals) and, all in all, the financial revenue from ticket sales is increasing significantly. This is therefore good news for the city’s museums: the recovery continues.