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TRANSLATION: From Perceval Press: Viggo & Catalan

Source: Translation by Ollie
Categories: Politics

Thanks to ollie for the translation of Viggo's remarks regarding his recent affiliation to Òmnium Cultural.
About a month ago I decided to become a member of Òmnium Cultural. I did it because of the interest I feel for the original function of this association, which was in 1961 and remains today, regardless of its growing political side, the claim of the language, culture and civil rights of Catalonia. This was clear (at least for me) in the text that Òmnium Cultural published announcing that I joined as a member: "Welcome to the family of Òmnium, Viggo Mortensen! It is an honour that you give support to the entity that works for the culture, language and civil rights of Catalonia ".

Surely the Spaniards know better than me that after the end of Franco's dictatorship cultural and political liberties were recovered in their country, including Catalonia. Perhaps they also know that Òmnium Cultural has continued, since the Transition, promoting the normalisation of the use of the Catalan language and its equalisation to the use of Spanish, and of the traditions and celebrations typical of Catalonia. I think it's an important task, and I recommend anyone interested in multiculturalism to take a look at it.

Since it was announced that I belonged to that organisation, I have been identified as "independentist". I knew that the issue of Catalan identity within Spain is very complicated, and that my link with Òmnium Cultural could be considered as part of the secessionist movement, but the truth is that I have never spoken in favour of the Catalan independence movement. I have said publicly that I think that Catalans have the right to decide how they want to be represented and governed, as the citizens of Quebec and Scotland have done, within a legal framework.

I don´t give a damn about flags, borders and passports. Well, I like the flags of the Athletic Club San Lorenzo de Almagro, the Canadiens de Montréal, and the Real Madrid Football Club, but I would never kill anyone for them. I have a passport because I need it to travel freely, but I am not a supporter of nationalisms - nor of Spanish, Catalan, American, Danish, Argentine, or of any human group. I know where I come from and I'm interested in learning where others are coming from. Where we will go cannot be known.

I am interested in Catalonia as I am interested in Andalusia, León or Madagascar. I was not asked if the recent affirmations in some media outlets and social networks that I supported a secession of Catalonia were true; it has simply been written and said, and it seems that it is already a fact for many readers. Also - and this causes me more sadness and anger than the lies and moral turpitude of many of the comments - when I have been blamed of certain convictions, it has been assumed that my partner has to think the same as me, something out of place in this day and age.

On the other hand, I do not intend to stop being a member of Òmnium because of the personal insults and lies propagated by biased or ill-informed people. As Albert Camus said, "all the misfortunes of men come from not speaking clearly." I hope I have done it this time.

Visca Catalunya and Hala Madrid.

-Viggo Mortensen

© Perceval Press.