Simona Levi

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This article contains material translated from the Spanish Wikipedia's version of this page.

Simona Levi
Simona-levi17.jpg
Born( 1966-07-23)July 23, 1966
NationalitySpanish
Known forActivism, Performing arts

Simona Levi is a theatre director, playwright, activist, technopolitical strategist, cultural manager and curator, multidisciplinary artist, researcher, reporter, teacher and lecturer. Born in Italy and naturalized Spanish, she has been living in Barcelona, Spain, since 1990. She is a prominent activist in European social movements supporting the free circulation of knowledge, culture and information, e-democracy, strategic use of digital tools for organization, communication, collective action and the struggle against corruption. She has also participated in movements in defense of the right to housing and use of public space.

She is a key figure in the establishment of Xnet, the Free Culture Forum, the anticorruption movement 15MpaRato, and the Citizens Group against Corruption at both Catalan and Spanish levels.

Simona Levi is coauthor of the book Tecnopolítica, internet y r-evoluciones - Sobre la centralidad de redes digitales en el #15M1 and editor of Cultura libre digital - Nociones básicas para defender lo que es de todxs, both of which were published in 2012 by Icaria.

Since 2018 she is the academic director of the Postgraduate Course in Technopolitics and Rights in the Digital Era at the UPF Barcelona School of Management, in the Pompeu Fabra University.[1]

In October 2019 she co-authored #FakeYou, Fake news and disinformation - Governments, political parties, mass media, corporations, big fortunes: monopolies of information manipulation and cuts to freedom of expression, published by Rayo Verde[2].

In 2017 Rolling Stone magazine chose Simona Levi, as the founder of Xnet and for her work with 15MpaRato, as one of 25 people in the world who are shaping the future.[3]

Artistic career[edit]

A theatre director, actress and dancer by training, Simona Levi studied performing arts at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris, where she worked as a programmer in the squatter arts space L’oeil du Cyclone. She started touring as an actress with several companies in 1982, eventually settling in Barcelona in 1990. In 1994 she set up Conservas in the city's Raval neighborhood. This is a venue promoting local, innovative, independent performing arts based on a self-production paradigm.[4]

In 1999 she founded Compañia Conservas, and that same year the company presented its first stage production, Femina Ex Machina, directed by Levi and Dominique Grandmougin. The piece was awarded the FAD Special Critics Price and the Aplaudiment Award, and toured extensively to festivals and theatres in Europe (Spain, France, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Norway...) for more than two years. In 2003, again with Dominique Grandmougin, she directed the company's second work, Seven Dust, which premièred at the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona. The production toured through several European countries, including Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Slovenia and Poland. In 2007, with Marc Sampere, she co-directed the third show by Compañia Conservas, Realidades Avanzadas, which questioned representative democracy and the concept of property. This work is based on the open-source model. At the end of the performance, audience members could take home a CD-ROM with the texts, videos, music and images used in the show.[5] The idea for the production was sparked by a video posted on YouTube in October 2006 that denounced real estate speculation and included footage recorded with a hidden camera in the anti-mobbing office at Barcelona City Council. The video was removed from YouTube at the request of the bank La Caixa, which alleged copyright infringement based on the use of images of one of its branches.[6]

From 2001 to 2011 Simona Levi directed the Performing and Applied Arts Festival InnMotion,[7] which is held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.[8][9] Since 2008 she has managed the stage production of the oXcars.

She is scriptwriter and director of the play Hazte Banquero - Tarjetas Black: todo lo que quisieron ocultarte (Become a Banker: Black Cards, Everything They Wanted to Hide from You), a documentary work staging the “black credit cards” corruption case and revealing the modus operandi of the top management of the bank Caja Madrid by means of a selection from 447 emails sent to and by the bank's president Miguel Blesa. The work was premiered in July 2016 in the Poliorama Theatre, Barcelona, as part of the city's Grec Festival and has also been performed in several venues including the Fernán Gómez Theatre in Madrid and the Rosalia de Castro Theatre in A Coruña. After seeing the show in Madrid, the HSBC whistleblower Hervé Falciani said that he could “see the future” in this dramatization of data.

In 2018 she directed the play Advanced Realities, premiered at the Festival Grec de Barcelona.[10]

Activism[edit]

Simona Levi is one of the founders of eXgae (now Xnet), a non-profit association created in 2008 which explores alternative models for cultural diffusion, copyright and democracy in the digital age. Since 2008, Xnet, with the support of Conservas, has organised the annual oXcars, a non-competitive awards ceremony, which puts the spotlight on projects created in different arts disciplines based on the paradigm of free culture.

As a member of Xnet, she is director of the staging of the oXcars and also the coordinator of the FCForum, an international arena in which organisations and experts in the field of free/libre knowledge and culture work towards creating a global strategic framework for action and coordination. She is also a founding member of Red Sostenible (Sustainable Network), a citizen platform created in January 2010 [11] to combat the introduction of the anti-download legislation known as the “Sinde Law” in Spain, and to defend Internet rights. The work of this platform would seem to be of concern to the United States government. A cable from the US ambassador in Spain notes that “[…] these populist advocacy groups are very vocal”.

In 2010, she appeared before the European Union Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Intellectual Property Law reform to defend the proposals contained in the “Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge”, a document that was drafted collectively by participants of the FCForum. In her presentation, she offered an overview of some of the omissions in the legislation and put forward possible solutions included in the Charter, such as the abolition of Spain's levy for private copying or “canon digital” and the need to reform copyright collecting societies which, she pointed out, “hinder the free circulation of knowledge and sustainability for authors.”[12][13]

In recent years, she has participated as a speaker and observer at national and international events, where she talks about the Xnet project, the situation of free culture, digital democracy, copyright management, and possible alternatives to the present model. These events include the Ministerial Forum for Creative Europe (The Czech Republic),[14] Transmediale (Berlin),[15] Economies of the Commons (Amsterdam) [16] and the seminar “Sustainable Economy Law and the Internet” organized by the Telecommunications Technical Engineering Faculty at the Technical University of Madrid. As a representative of the FCForum, she is a lobbyist at the European Commission.

Simona Levi is a member of the 15M movement in Spain and of the group 15MpaRato, which filed a lawsuit against the banker and former IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato, an action that launched the Bankia trial in Spain after an anonymous source used the Xnet anticorruption mailbox to give access to the web domain http://correosdeblesa.com with more than 8,000 emails from the Inbox of Miguel Blesa, president of Caja Madrid from 1996 to 2009. These revealed, for the first time, the existence of the so-called Black Cards (tax-free, corporate credit cards for Caja Madrid–Bankia cronies), how the bank bought and sold the City National Bank of Florida, and how the bank's customers were defrauded by the preferred stock scheme. In June 2015 Xnet published a selection of the Blesa emails through four online media sources. The National Court admitted the case and charged Rodrigo Rato and the former board of directors with fraud, falsification of accounts in order to attract investment, and improper management, among other crimes.

Simona Levi is a member of the Grupo Ciudadano contra la Corrupción (Citizens Group against Corruption), a network which works at both Catalan and Spanish levels to strengthen already-existing initiatives to protect whistleblowers, coordinate them and facilitate exchange of information among them. The Spanish branch of the Group was presented at the Free Culture Forum 2015 with the support of Xnet, 15MpaRato, David Fernàndez, former member of parliament for the political party CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), and the Acción Cívica (Civic Action) platform, among others.

In 2015–2016, as a member of the Advisory Council of the Barcelona City Hall Office for Transparency and Best Practice, she initiated and worked to install the Ethical and Good Governance Box, a complaints box by means of which citizens can denounce corruption and other practices that are damaging for good governance in the city of Barcelona. This mailbox, similar to that already produced by Xnet, is the first such box to be promoted by a government (in this case that of the city of Barcelona). Once the mailbox was presented in public, Levi announced her resignation from the advisory board.

Political career[edit]

Levi is one of the coordinators of X Party, a Spanish political party that emerged from the 15-M movement (Indignados movement) and was founded on 17 December 2012. She was second on the X Party ballot for the 2014 European Parliament elections, after the party's first candidate Hervé Falciani.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Postgraduate Course in Technopolitics and Rights in the Digital Era". Barcelona School of Management. Fundació Institut d’Educació Contínua. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.rayoverde.es/catalogo/fakeyou/
  3. ^ González, David (November 17, 2017). "25 People Shaping the Future in Tech, Science, Medicine, Activism and More". Rolling Stone. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  4. ^ "Simona Levi reabre su histórico espacio de creación Conservas". El País. April 22, 2008. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  5. ^ "Parodia de la participación". El País. March 28, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2001.
  6. ^ "La revolución del público llega a la Fundición con un corrosivo mitin contra la "violencia inmobiliaria"". Diario Gara. February 15, 2008. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  7. ^ "Simona Levi's projects at CCCB". CCCB.
  8. ^ "'In Motion' amplía su aforo para ofrecer un arriesgado menú artístico". El País. July 2, 2002. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  9. ^ "Un corto porno en 3D y un vídeo con la ciudad como plató, sorpresas visuales en el Grec". La Vanguardia. July 2, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  10. ^ "Advanced Realities 2". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "Red Sostenible". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18.
  12. ^ "Propuestas para innovar en la reforma de Ley de Propiedad Intelectual". El Mundo. January 21, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  13. ^ "Simona Levi defiende la Carta para la innovación de la reforma de ley de propiedad intelectual". Terra. November 29, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Conference agenda". Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  15. ^ "Observer talk of the day with Simona Levi". Transmediale.
  16. ^ "Simona Levi: "Power is always using the name of freedom to do the nasty things". November 15, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2011.

External links[edit]