About Kosmopolis

Kosmopolis is a biennial literary event that has been held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona since 2002, with two special editions (in 2005, Year of the Book and Reading, and in 2010, the Kosmopolis Special Day), and with a continuous programme that keeps the spirit of the festival alive all year round.

At Kosmopolis, literature is the star in all its roles: we promote a concept of amplified literature in manifestations of the spoken, printed and digital word that erode the division between genres, accept the evolution of reading and writing supports, and prevent successive deaths foretold.

Since day one, Kosmopolis has brought together writers, poets, scientists, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights, storytellers, comic-book artists, screenplay writers, journalists, actors, librarians and editors to debate key issues of our present-day reality and celebrate a universalist discourse, a festival to emancipate readers, stimulate the mutation of the canon, shake and stir genres, interact with the sciences, navigate languages, and revise myths, traditions and identities.

With each new outing, Kosmopolis explores the spirit that prompted its creation in 2002: to offer a meeting with art and freedom, inspired by an age-old awareness: we are citizens of the cosmos, citizens of the world.

Kosmopolis is inspired by these general principles:

  • Seeing literature as the—only?—discourse that does not try to model a world of absolute foundations, disciplinary boundaries or ideological straitjackets.
  • Helping to preserve oral literatures as world cultural heritage.
  • Addressing the transformation of written culture by means of studies and methodologies that allow us to reflect on the various supports they use: from the papyrus to the e-book.
  • Encouraging unconditioned readings of the Western canon that reassess, without prejudice or pigeonholing, the great texts and authors of history, to encourage the progressive emergence of a mutant canon that changes with its readers and generations.
  • Finding a place for all genres and literatures, particularly the most underrated and the least known.
  • Encouraging “contamination” between disciplines and interaction among writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, actors, architects, designers and other figures on the culture scene.
  • Promoting the visionary, experimental, playful tradition of literature.
  • Activating citizen participation in the co-creation of an international event with the mission of contributing to the culture of creativity, knowledge of others, dialogue and peace.

Kosmopolis Presentation Dossier (PDF)