ATRAC - Projectes de Reflexió al Palau Macaya 2020-2021, funded by Fundació la Caixa.


ATRAC - Projectes de Reflexió al Palau Macaya 2020-2021, funded by Fundació la Caixa 

Workshops and debates at Palau Macaya, 2020-2021

A call to fund proposals is held every year by Fundació la Caixa with the aim of fostering dialogue and reflection on the subject of human development and sustainability. The TransMedia Catalonia research group at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona won the proposal named ‘ATRAC’ based on their H2020 EU funded projects TRACTION and SO-CLOSE. The ATRAC proposal seeks to foster debate between different agents working for the reception of migrants in order to find a shared challenge and evaluate the impact of new technologies on designing and testing new models of interaction. To this end, international experts, people involved in university projects, public administrations, young migrants, entities and companies, NGOs and citizens will participate.

The events began online on October 1st with 2 roundtables. The aim of these roundtables was to identify a common challenge in the process of welcoming migrants into society. The first roundtable was held with representatives from public administrations and members of the city council who shared their experiences with hosting migrants, mainly asylum seekers. The main challenges identified were how to encourage labour inclusion in small municipalities. Learning the new language was a key aspect for improving migrant integration, but participants shared some lessons learnt by the public administration: an intercultural framework should be approached when designing policies. Also, NGOs working with migrants should promote small municipalities as an option as a place to live. 

Activity 1: Watch the debate between public administrations

The second roundtable hosted members of H2020 European projects TRACTION and SO-CLOSE, which were awarded in the same call for funding. At the heart of both of these projects are many aligning themes, specifically regarding the shared goals of promoting equality in Europe and seeking social inclusivity for groups at risk of exclusion. The common challenge identified in this activity was finding a balance between intention and cultural sensitivity, and the potential for harm that can be caused through the implementation of technology. Members of the roundtable agreed that a possible solution to this challenge would be to create a resilient technological tool based on user-needs, which can later depart from those needs for future application.

Activity 2: Watch the debate between European Projects

The third ATRAC activity took place online on November 19th 2020 in the form of a debate between local entities and migrant youths. From the discussion between migrant youths and local NGOs two main shared challenges were agreed. The first has a relationship with providing a voice to migrants when designing policies or programs and consider their current situation as a particular moment in their migration process. The second challenge highlighted the importance of networking at local level and policymaking taking into account local knowledge. Lack of visibility of small local projects was also highlighted. 

Activity 3 : Watch the debate between local entities and young migrants

In May 2021, ATRAC hosted 2 workshops in parallel to one another in the Sala d’actes of Palau Macaya in Barcelona, Spain. They aim was to generate ideas and proposals for co-creating with young migrants and communities, creating social inclusivity. The first workshop was a technical activity in the form of a ‘Hackathon’ with neighbouring migrant youths, civil society, NGOs, public administrations, companies and researchers. The second aimed to further expand on the projects created in workshop 1, by offering audiovisual strategies for using new technologies with a co-creation methodology. With the aim of attracting and consolidating the young people’s commitment; it responded to the challenges identified in the previous activities, seeking to explore new audiovisual formats which may be suitable for replication on a different scale in other proposals. One solution from these workshops was selected to be followed up by a mentor session which will take place between activities 4 and 5. It will later be pitched in activity 5, the final debate.

The final ATRAC activity was held online on June 10th 2021. This event served to present and share the outcomes of the Hackathon in activity 4, which was presented in a pitch format, encouraging feedback and comments from the speakers. The winning solution and subsequent platform for migrants that was created was discussed, along with a proposal of its application in different contexts. The discussion was opened between the planned speakers; a number of key international experts from the arts, social sector, NGOs, universities, public administrations and cutting-edge technological institutes.



Activity 1

Public administrations debate and shared challenges

October 1st, 2020, Virtual Format

9:30-11:00 (CET Time)

Moderator: Oriol López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Carles Macian (Secretariat for Equality, Migration and Citizenship)

Mireia Vall (Secretariat for Equality, Migration and Citizenship in central Catalonia)

Pere Cortada, (Secretariat for Equality, Migration and Citizenship in Girona)

Marta Subirana (Berguedà County Council)

Pablo Peralta (Barcelona City Council)


Activity 2

Debate between members of TRACTION and SO-CLOSE

October 1st, 2020, Virtual Format

16.00-17.30 (CET Time)

Moderator: Pilar Orero (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Javier Rodrigo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain).

Teresa Sorde (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Paulo Lameiro, (SAMP Art School, Portugal)

Mikel Zorrilla (Vicomtech) coordinates the TRACTION project.

Richard Willacy (Opera Birmingham)


Activity 3

Young migrants and entities: debate and shared challenges.

November 19th, 2020, Virtual event

09.30-14.00 (CET)

Moderator: Teresa Sorde (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Ana Lucía Olivos (Barcelona Activa)

Marina Calverías (Associació Quilòmetre Zero)

Karim Sabni ( Idària insertion cooperative, Girona Acull)

Mahmoud Assy (Trainer in interculturality participating in initiatives related to the integration of migrants in Catalonia)

Sandra Rodriguez (Servicio Solidari)


Activity 4

Co-creation workshops: Collection of the identified challenges and co-creation of the platform

May 15th 2021, Sala d’actes, Palau Macaya, Barcelona, Spain


Workshop 1: Technical activity - Co-creation of platform ‘Hackathon’

09.30-14.00 (CET)

Moderator: Tony Megna (Learning by helping)

Recipients / participants of the activities: Open Culture Barcelona, Didac-Coding for migrants, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Servei Solidari


Workshop 2: Artistic activity - New audiovisual formats in artistic co-creation

16.00-20.00 (CET)

Moderator: Oriol Pastor (Gran Teatre del Liceu,  MIRA festival, Llum Barcelona).

Recipients / participants of the activities: Open Culture Barcelona, Didac-Coding for migrants, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Servei Solidari


Activity 5

Presentation of the results and final debate

June 10th 2021, Online

09.30-10.30 (CET)


Moderator: Pilar Orero - Expert in Audiovisual Accessibility (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)                

Ainhoa Flecha - Researcher in gender and cultural groups, social inclusion and gender violence (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Hugo Seabra -  Project Manager of the Social Cohesion and Integration Programme (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal).

Marian Ursu -  Director of the Department of Theatre, Cinema, TV and Interactive Media (University of York)

Matt Peacock -  Artistic Director (With One Voice) and Founder (Streetwise Opera) - co-creating opera with the homeless.

Alijosa Smolic -  Professor of Creative Technologies (Trinity College Dublin).

François Matarasso - Expert in community and participatory art, Creative and Artistic Director (TRACTION)



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