Last year, two weeks before we were about to launch the NYC version of Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Book Fair, all was swept away by COVID-19.
So we went online. We’ve reinvented the festival as 32 hours of Sant Jordi NYC (Online). Four days of literature in translation, 8 hours a day, from April 23 to 26, 2020.
This year, the festival continues online, with a six-day programming of events from April 19-26, 2021, a special on the mediterranean diet with the most famous chefs in Catalonia, a web-AR game, a curating of concerts and more...
On Sant Jordi’s Day, Catalans celebrate St. George, the dragon slayer, who killed the fearsome beast to save the king’s daughter. For centuries, on this day, Catalan gentlemen would give their beloved a rose.
In the 1920s the Catalan booksellers’ association added books into the mix and the Sant Jordi Book Festival was born. No longer gender-based, lovers, friends, and family now give one another books and roses. Valentine’s Day — for nerds.
Knights and dragons and books and roses! How could a virus take us down?
Sant Jordi NYC is not only a literary offering, but an artistic and technological innovation. The web is designed by an extraordinary team of video artists and animators, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger. An online portal through which people can enter and choose an area of activity following different narratives, the site will be innovative and interactive, incorporating live streaming of panel discussions, a special on the mediterranean diet, web-based AR experience, and the history of Sant Jordi as an immersive journey with augmented reality experiences that are accessed through a web browser rather than an app. Created in collaboration with interactive designer Aniol Saurina Masó, there will be thrilling visuals such as three-dimensional dragons that will chase user generated roses and books directly on the website.
Sant Jordi is a party, but it is, above all, a booksellers’ festival. in Catalonia ten percent of a year’s revenue from book sales comes in on Sant Jordi’s Day.
True to the spirit of Sant Jordi, our fundraising seeks funding for two purposes: to support bookstores and publishers by bringing their books into your homes through our gorgeous virtual city, and to offer a stipend to the writers, translators, and musicians who will reach you through Sant Jordi NYC.
Your support will open this international literary portal, and your contribution will be tax-deductible. This will be a truly original online experience, with dragons of the world, animated illustrations, web-AR game, original music, and, above all, a surprising array of international literature.
These are precarious days, for artists, writers, translators, musicians, and the industries that support them. Help us bring Sant Jordi and the dragon together to connect world literature, the people who write and translate it, and the people who read it.