“If history was told using dialogs, no one would ever forget it”, wrote the first English Noble Prize, Rudyard Kipling. Tarraco Viva Festival, which is based on this philosophy –telling history using a story–, opens this Sunday under the heading “Roma i Egipte, una fastinació mediterrània” (Rome and Egypt, a Mediterranean fascination). The director of the festival, Magí Seritjol, hints this year’s edition is a statement of intentions of what we can expect in the next years: “We’d like to present, not just the history of Ancient Rome, but the encounter of the two largest classic Mediterranean civilizations”.
Tarraco Viva offers, between 15 and 19 May, a time travel to takes us back to the Roman and Egyptian worlds. Overall, it’s 124 activities, which add up to 436 events, designed with educational purposes in mind. The Praetorium, Amphitheatre, Circus, Forum of the Colony and Walls, will home most of the programmed activities, despite the fact that, as usual, others will take place in towns such as Constantí, Altafulla, Cambrils, Falset or Porrera, to we add which Vila-rodona’s columbarium this year.
The opening ceremony, due on Sunday 15 May in the Sarcophagus room of the Roman Praetorium, will present a debate concerning the relationship existing between these two civilizations that happened to meet in time, with the intervention of several experts in the field: URV’s professor, Joaquín Ruiz de Arbulo; journalist, Enric Calpena; Barcelona Egypt Museum’s curator, Luis Manuel Gonzálvez; URV’s Greek Philosophy teacher, Jesús Carruesco, and the festival’s director, Magí Seritjol, as the debate’s moderator.
Among the different activities programmed, we can find a bit of everything: guided tours, open days to museums, workshops and games, lectures, school activities, audiovisual projections, dramatic readings, concerts, food tastings and successful historical re-enactments. Concerning the latter, there’s two new ones related to this edition’s tittle, whereas others will recreate funerary banquets, feminine prostitution in Rome, gourmets of the antiquity, or the celebrated Ars Dimicandi, with their gladiators shows, or the Ludi Scaenici, which will bring back the Ancient Rome’s music.
The festival will end on Sunday 29, at 6pm, with a spectacular event, due in the Sala August, Palau de Congressos in Tarragona, where users will have the chande to admire the re-enactment performance “Mirades d’Eternitat. Els retrats del Faium” (Eternity gazes. Faium’s portraits).
Pictures: ©Manel R. Granell