"I wanted a domain that would link my business to its country of origin"
We spoke to Xavi Méndez, the creator of laCULTURAL, Igualada’s cultural agenda that you will find on igualadacultural.cat
Xavi is a designer and lives in Igualada. In 2010 he moved to Edinburgh to refocus his professional career. There the idea of creating the laCULTURAL cultural agenda was born. In May 2011 this idea came true, and now you can see all Igualada's cultural offer on the igualadacultural.cat website.
What is igualadacultural.cat?
It is where laCULTURAL is hosted, a cultural agenda based on a private initiative that announces all events that are scheduled in different leisure venues in Igualada, with the philosophy of bringing cultural events being organised outside the city's administrative culture circuit closer to all people from Igualada.
When and how is the project born?
LaCULTURAL was born in Edinburgh in 2010, where I spent a few months to refocus the track record of my graphic design company (amorfa.cat) and find new job and promotional opportunities within the resources the company offered to me, while opening new horizons. But it was not until May 2011, when I had settled back in Igualada, that the project came into being.
During the time I was out of Catalonia, cultural events became, owing to the crisis, a way to promote and afford more value to leisure venues that were in danger of extinction due to impending closure. Social networks began to fill up with cultural events, and I thought it would be appropriate to sort all those events in a unique, attractive and functional format for users to be able to choose between all of them and schedule their daily life or weekend.
Do you manage the website on your own?
Yes, I manage the domain myself, because the igualadacultural.cat website is based on the WordPress platform, which is very easy to use and allowed me to constantly create posts and make changes on the website without boasting a high programming level. By this I do not mean that there are not better or easier platforms, but currently WordPress is the one I feel most comfortable with.
Moreover, as I work in the field of graphic design, I undertake the whole process of laCULTURAL: design, layout and cover photo, with all that this entails. This cover is worthy of a great deal of the success and acceptance the website has had in Igualada, as it includes on a monthly basis a protagonist in an original and careful way, thus creating expectations every month.
Why did you choose the .cat domain for your website?
This was the easiest part. I was very clear about the fact that I wanted a domain that would link my business to its country of origin. When creating a cultural agenda, I wanted to establish a direct relationship with Catalonia, since culture plays a major role in our country. My second option was the .com domain, but it is too generic and does not refer to my nationality.
How do you imagine igualadacultural.cat within 5 years?
I would like to have a much more developed website that would encompass everything related to the culture of Igualada and its surroundings, where it could cover the entire territory of the Anoia region, whose capital is Igualada, while joining forces.
You mentioned earlier that you lived in Edinburgh for a few months. What did this experience afford you? Has it changed you in any way?
I think I have not changed, because you are what you are, and when you return in the medium or long term, you and everything goes back to normal. However, I can actually say that the fact of living outside of Catalonia has made me way more objective when thinking in the long term. Obviously, living abroad brings you closer to your country, either out of homesickness or because you get to like it differently, perhaps more intensely. I think that everyone who lives outside of Catalonia becomes an ambassador of sorts of their home country.
What I do know is that when you live outside of your country, you become a stronger person, face things differently and live intensely on a daily basis. Everything depends on you and how you do things, with whom you relate, where you go ... It is like starting over from scratch, albeit knowing that when you go back, everything will go back to normal, and this allows you to do things that, if you had not left, you surely would never have thought about them. It is like having the feeling that every day is the first day of class at a new school and with new people, but with the added difficulty of the language.
Would you like to repeat the experience elsewhere?
It is never too late to repeat the experience, who knows! What I do know is that the older you are, the more it takes for you to leave and change your habits, so I recommend leaving the younger the better.
Who would you recommend should go abroad for a season?
I think everyone, at some point in their lives, would have to spend a few months living in another country. For me it was a very enriching experience from a personal point of view, where you find yourself and you can face your fears and establish new challenges.
There is a story behind each .cat domain. Enter lacomunitat.cat and discover more stories. What about you, do you already have a .cat domain?