The Queen will open the Annual Meeting of Directors of the Instituto Cervantes in San Sebastian on Monday

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director and the Minister of Culture and Spokesperson for the Basque Government will speak
instituto cervantes


Queen Letizia will preside over the opening of the Annual Meeting of Directors of the Cervantes Institute in San Sebastian on Monday 20 December, which will bring together for three days all the directors of the institution both in Spain and in the centres around the world. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, the Director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, and the Minister of Culture and spokesperson for the Basque Government, Bingen Zupiria, will take part in the opening ceremony. 

Monday's inauguration will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Tabakalera building in San Sebastian in an event open to the media (one team per half). 

There will be a press conference before the Cervantes Institute and the Provincial Council of Guipúzcoa sign the general protocol of action for the organisation of the Annual Meeting at the headquarters of this institution (Plaza de Guipúzcoa). 

The inaugural session chaired by Doña Letizia will continue after the aforementioned speeches with the panel of directors "30 years of the Instituto Cervantes: evolution and future prospects", led by the heads of four centres located on four continents: Casablanca (María Jesús García), Tokyo (Víctor Ugarte), New York (Richard Bueno) and Brussels (Ana Vázquez). 

At the end of the panel, and after an informal meeting with the directors, the Queen will bid farewell to the annual Cervantes event. The event with Doña Letizia will take place just a week after she presided over the inauguration of the Institute's new centre in Dakar (Senegal). 

Strategies for the promotion of Spanish and its culture

Over three days, from 20 to 22 December, the more than 70 Cervantes directors will discuss the strategy for the international promotion of the Spanish language and culture in Spanish, take stock of the Institute's 30 years of existence - an anniversary that will be celebrated in 2021 - and analyse issues such as cultural management, the teaching of Spanish and the co-official languages, certification and advances in digitisation. The sessions (most of them behind closed doors) will take place almost entirely in the Tabakalera building in San Sebastian. 

This is the first time that the annual meeting has been held in the Basque Country, and the second time that it has taken place in an autonomous community with a co-official language (the first was in Galicia in 2005). The last Directors' Meeting was held in July 2019, in El Escorial (Madrid). Last year it could not be organised due to the pandemic. 

On Monday afternoon (15 h), the director of the Institute and the Secretary of State for Ibero-America, the Caribbean and Spanish in the World, Juan Fernández Trigo, will hold the first of the working meetings

It will be followed by two inaugural lectures: by Professor of Language Ángel López García (16:00), who will speak on 'Identity and languages of Spain', and by the Director of the Spanish Academy in Rome, Ángeles Albert (17:00), on 'Perspectives on cultural management and the promotion of Spanish culture abroad from the experience of the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome'.

instituto cervantes

 Five presentations on Tuesday 

Tuesday the 21st will begin (10 a.m.) with a cultural visit to Chilida Leku, the museum that brings together works by sculptor Eduardo Chillida in Hernani. Back at Tabakalera, there will be a presentation (1 p.m.) on the culture of the Basque Country (Etxepare Euskal Institutua, with Irene Larraza), and Galicia (Consello da Cultura Galega, with Rosario Álvarez). 

In the afternoon, after a working session led by the Secretary General, Carmen Noguero (3pm), there will be four presentations (4pm) by the directors of the Institute's headquarters: Raquel Caleya (Culture), Carmen Pastor (Academics), Antonio Lázaro (Technical Office of the Secretary General) and Tíscar Lara (Technology and Digital Content). 

Legacy of Ángela Molina

Following the presentations (6 p.m.) of Tabakalera and Digital Gastronomy Lab, the actress Ángela Molina will present (7 p.m.) a legacy for the Caja de las Letras del Cervantes, which can be followed online at Luis García Montero will collect the (undisclosed) object from the veteran performer, winner of the 2021 Goya Award of Honour. This will be followed by a screening of the Franco-Spanish film That Obscure Object of Desire, directed by Luis Buñuel in 1977 and co-starring Ángela Molina

On his return to the headquarters in Madrid, García Montero will leave his legacy in the old vault, which houses objects donated since 2007 by almost a hundred cultural personalities from Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. 

The challenge of digital renovation

Wednesday will open (10:00) with a lecture by the expert Mario Tascón on "Digital renovation", a process accelerated as a result of the situation created by covid-19 and which, at the Cervantes Institute, has given impetus to online teaching and the holding of cultural activities via the Internet. 

This will be followed (10:30 a.m.) by a session with presentations by five directors of European centres: London (Ignacio Peyró), Bucharest (Jorge Jiménez), Berlin (Ignacio Olmos), Rabat (José María Martínez) and Paris (Domingo García Cañedo). 

On the last day, the Director of the Cervantes Institute, the Secretary General, the Director of the Etxepare Institute, Irene Larraza, and the Government Delegate in the Basque Country, Denis Itxaso, will take stock of the work carried out and inform the media of the decisions taken

In addition, CANOA (Pan-Hispanic network for the internationalisation of culture in Spanish) will be presented (12:30 p.m.) by the heads of three Spanish-American organisations in Spain: the Inca Garcilaso Cultural Centre (Peru), the Caro y Cuervo Institute (Colombia) and the Centre for Mexican Studies of the UNAM (Mexico). 

The final session will take place at San Sebastian City Hall, where the conclusions of the annual Cervantes Summit will be discussed (18:30). 

Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.