Friday, December 23, 2011

Catalonia Press wins prestigious publishing prize

Òmnium Cultural, an association dedicated to promoting Catalan language and literature, has awarded the Joan B. Cendrós Prize for works about Catalonia published outside of Catalonia to Catalonia Press, and its principal, Liz Castro. The award is one of 11 book prizes given annually during the Nit de Santa Llúcia [The Festival of Catalan Letters], a sort of Oscars Ceremonies for Catalan books, both fiction and non-fiction.

At the awards ceremony held in the Auditori Theater in Barcelona and rebroadcast via TV3.cat, Vicent Partal, director of Vilaweb, announced the Cendrós Prize and greeted Liz on stage.

Here is a translation of her acceptance speech (originally in Catalan):

It’s a huge honor to be here tonight.

I’ve been explaining how to create web pages, and lately ebooks, for the last twenty years. It’s also been about 20 years since I’ve been explaining—to anyone who would listen—just what Catalonia is. The part of my job that most fulfills me has been to help people have their own voice, to be able to explain their story. And it turns out that that has fit perfectly well with my feelings about Catalonia.

I want Catalonia to have a voice. I want you all to exist here, and also in the rest of the world. I don’t want any company to think it doesn’t matter, for example, if they publish maps with all your street names translated into another language.

There is a lot more work to be done, but I think these new tools will help us.

I want to thank Omnium Cultural, and the Cendrós family. I want to thank Matthew Tree, Toni Strubell and Lluís Brunet per entrusting the publication of their books to me. I want to thank all of the digital newspapers—like Vilaweb—who have given me permission to translate their articles so that the rest of the world could get a glimpse of the situation in Catalonia.

So that Catalonia has a voice. And is heard.

Thank you very much.


És un gran honor estar aquí aquesta nit.

Fa vint anys que explico com fer pàgines Web i últimament a editar llibres digitals. També fa vint anys que explico a qui em vulgui escoltar què és Catalunya. La part de la meva feina que més m’omple ha estat ajudar a la gent a poder tenir una veu, a poder explicar la seva història. I resulta que això encaixa perfectement amb com en sento sobre Catalunya.

Vull que tingueu una veu, que existiu aquí i també a fora. Vull que cap empresa no pensi que no passa res posar els topònims catalans en castellà, per donar només un petit exemple.

Queda molta feina per fer però crec que aquestes noves eines ens ajudaran.

Moltes gràcies a l’Òmnium Cultural, a la família Cendrós, a Matthew Tree i Toni Strubell i Lluís Brunet per haver confiat en mi i haver-me deixat editar els seus llibres, i també a tots els diaris electrònics—com Vilaweb—que m’han permès traduir els seus articles per ajudar a que el reste del món conegui la realitat de Catalunya.

Per ajudar a que Catalunya tingui una veu i que se senti.

Moltes gràcies.


Liz Castro, winner of Joan B. Cendrós Prize


Liz Castro and Omnium Cultural director, Muriel Casals

[Photographs by Lluís Brunet]