Catalonia is experiencing the worst drought on record, with reservoirs as low as 18 percent and local governments preparing for drastic measures - such as shipping in fresh water. And this is due, in large part, to climate change. For years, the territory has been getting hotter and drier weather, leading to drained reservoirs, wildfires and lost harvests. In this episode, we'll talk to an environmental organization about what more should be done and to a farmer's union on how the agriculture industry is affected. The Catalan phrase of the week is: "El peix que es mossega la cua," which translates literally to "The fish that bites its own tail," and is used when talking about a vicious cycle. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Lea Beliaeva and Oriol Escudé.
Catalonia has the most Michelin stars in all of Spain - with a whopping 70 in all. The last three stars were added just this week, at a gala held in Barcelona to announce the restaurants that would be included in the 2024 Michelin Guide to Spain. One of them is a Barcelona joint, Disfrutar, that was given its third star - the highest achievement in the guide's ranking. In this episode, we'll talk about Catalonia's world-renowned cuisine and visit a restaurant in Igualada, Somiatruites, that has a Green Michelin star for its focus on sustainability. The Catalan phrase of the week is: "Descobrir la sopa d'all," which translates literally to "Discover garlic soup," and is used when someone claims to do something new but is actually recycling an old idea. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Lorcan Doherty.
These days, going grocery shopping is making more of a dent in our wallets than usual. The cost of many basic food products - including olive oil, milk and eggs - has risen more than thirty percent in just two years. That's due to several factors; among them, the ongoing inflation across much of Europe. But shoppers aren't the only ones affected by price increases - farmers are just as fazed. In this episode, we'll hear from the Catalan Farmers Union and talk to Barcelona residents about how they've changed their shopping habits. The Catalan phrase of the week is: "Mitja figa, mig raïm," which translates literally to "half fig, half grape," and is used when someone is undecided. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Oriol Escudé and Lea Beliaeva.
Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez was sworn in as prime minister on Friday, bringing an end to a four-month long saga of inconclusive results from the July general elections. The new coalition government with left-wing Sumar was made possible by the support of smaller parties like Catalan pro-independence Esquerra Republicana and Junts, securing Sánchez a total of 179 votes in the 350-member chamber. But the re-election comes with a controversial amnesty deal that would benefit those involved in the Catalan pro-independence push of the last decade, including exiled political leaders. The Catalan phrase of the week is: "Tarda d'hora," which means "sooner or later." Presented by Lucía Benavides with Gerard Escaich Folch.
Catalonia has reached a new population record of 8 million residents. The growth has come quicker than ever before - jumping by 1 million inhabitants in just 17 years. And that's despite having some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. So, how does the math add up? Well, there are two main factors at play: people are living longer and there are more foreign-born residents. In this episode, we'll get reactions from a range of people on the street and talk to Albert Esteve, director of the Center for Demographic Studies. The Catalan phrase of the week is: "Entre poc i massa," which translates literally to "between a little and too much," and is used when someone exaggerates. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Lorcan Doherty, Oriol Escudé and Guifré Jordan.
There are around 1.6 million foreign-born residents in Catalonia, almost 400,000 of whom live in Barcelona. They come from all over the world: Pakistan, China, Venezuela, Senegal, Romania. But the stats don't tell us the full story. Why did they come here? Are they adapting to life in Catalonia? Do they feel at home or completely out of place? In this episode, we'll hear from a number of migrants who spoke to us at the Barcelona International Community Day and talk to cross-cultural management professor Marina Ruiz Tada. The Catalan phrase of the week is "A la tardor, ni fred ni calor," which translates literally to "In autumn, it's neither cold nor hot." Presented by Lucía Benavides with Gerard Escaich Folch and Cillian Shields.
Barcelona has one of the lowest subsidy rates for public housing in all of Europe: only 1.7% of rental properties are designated for social housing. Compared to other EU countries, where the average rate is 18%, the Catalan capital's situation looks pretty grim. In this episode, we'll learn about one of the first social housing projects in Barcelona, the cases barates of the Bon Pastor neighborhood, and talk to grassroots activists from the Platform for Mortgage Victims to understand what can be done today. The Catalan phrase of the week is "com a casa no hi ha res," which translates to "there's no place like home." Presented by Lucía Benavides with Lea Beliaeva and Lorcan Doherty.
This month marks what would have been Catalan biochemist Joan Oró's 100th birthday. His ground-breaking research on the origin of life granted him fame in the 1950s, leading to important collaborations with NASA on the possibility of life on other planets. In this episode, we take a trip back through his extraordinary life to learn about his contributions to science and his investment in academic organizations in Catalonia. The Catalan phrase of the week is "estar a la lluna de València," which means literally to "be on the moon of Valencia," and is used when someone is distracted. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Cillian Shields.
Many of you may have heard the term "Instagrammable," which refers to places that are so beautiful or unique, they'd make for a perfect Instagram photo. As a result, these spots sometimes become famous on social media, drawing hundreds or thousands of travelers - who mostly just want to take a photo there. And Barcelona is no exception. In this episode, we will visit churrerías, bakeries, food markets and hills with panoramic views. The Catalan phrase of the week is "una imatge val més que mil paraules," which translates to "an image is worth more than a thousand words". Presented by Lucía Benavides with Emma Monrós and Lea Beliaeva.
As of September 19, Spanish MPs can address Congress in Catalan for the first time ever - as well as Basque and Galician. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez agreed to pro-independence parties' demands to grant these three languages official parliamentary status. Some see it as a move towards a more plural and multilingual Spain. The next step is the European Union - where Catalan could become the 25th official language there. Oscar Escuder from the Catalan language NGO Plataforma per la Llengua and Vincent Climent Ferrando, translation and language science professor at the Pompeu Fabra University, talk to us about the campaign to get Catalan approved and what this could mean for other minority languages across the European bloc. This week's Catalan phrase is "de mica en mica, s'omple la pica." Literally, it's translated into "little by little, the sink fills up," and it refers to taking things one step at a time. Presented by Lucía Benavides with Lorcan Doherty and Lea Beliaeva.
New animal welfare legislation comes into effect across Spain with increased fines for abuse and new obligations for pet owners, but it hasn't been without controversy. An exemption for hunting dogs divided public opinion and the coalition government, while bullfighting continues to enjoy protected legal status as "cultural heritage." Carlos Sánchez from pro-hunting organization Artemisan Foundation and Brooke Spurling from animal rights group AnimaNaturalis share their thoughts on the new law. This week's Catalan phrase is 'buscar tres peus al gat'. Literally, 'to look for three feet on the cat', it means to make something unnecessarily complicated. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Cillian Shields.
As the real-life case of the murder of a Barcelona police officer is given the Netflix treatment, Filling the Sink looks at true crime stories in Catalonia. Actors Úrsula Corberó and Quim Gutiérrez from eight-part dramatization 'Burning Body' discuss how they blend fiction and reality. Anna Punsí, content director at True Crime Factory explains the appeal and success of 'Crims', Catalonia's favorite true crime podcast and TV series. This week's Catalan phrase is 'la realitat supera la ficció' - 'life is stranger than fiction'. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Emma Monrós and Lea Beliaeva.
Not your typical Sunday regatta - think Formula 1 on water - the America's Cup is coming to Barcelona. Cillian Shields chats to event CEO Grant Dalton of defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand. Enrico Voltolini and Francesco Bruni from Italy's Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team and Stephan Kandler and Quentin Delapierre from France's Orient Express team tell Emma Monrós how their preparations are going. Gerard Escaich Folch joins Cillian to sample the atmosphere at the first preliminary regatta in Vilanova i la Geltrú. This week's Catalan phrase is 'amb bona mar tothom és mariner' - 'in fair seas everyone is a sailor'. Presented by Lorcan Doherty.
Filling the Sink takes the pulse of the political situation ahead of Catalonia's National Day, La Diada, a big focal point for the independence camp. Exiled former president Carles Puigdemont and his party Junts hold the balance of power after July's inconclusive general election in Spain - could an amnesty or referendum be on the cards? Expert analysis from Marc Guinjoan, associate professor at the Open University of Catalonia. This week's Catalan phrase is 'ser un corcó' - to be a pain in the ass! Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Gerard Escaich Folch.
What are the reasons behind Catalonia's falling birth rate and is it a cause for concern? Analysis with Antonio López-Gay from Barcelona's Centre for Demographic Studies and Dr Ximena Justo from Barcelona IVF. This week's Catalan phrase is 'donar a llum.' Literally 'to give light,' it means to give birth. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Emma Monrós and Cillian Shields.
As Catalonia hosts the first four stages of la Vuelta 2023, "Filling the sink" visits Girona to discover what makes the area so perfect for cycling. Cillian Shields chats to Pro Cycling Outlet's Dave Walsh, Eat Sleep Cycle's Lee Comerford, cyclist-cum-coffee shop owner Christian Meier, and two members of the Kuwaiti national team, Latifa Al-Yassin and Noura Al-Ameeri. This week's Catalan phrase is "anar a pinyó fix". Literally "to go by fixed-gear [bike]", it can be used to describe someone who is inflexible. Presented by Lorcan Doherty.
Success stories from young Catalan entrepreneurs who started their own businesses from scratch. Featuring Bruno Casanovas of fashion label Nude Project, Carla Gómez of microelectronic soldering company The Ker, Nora Vallcorba of Nora Real Food, and Oriol Aldomà of Talkual, who deliver imperfect fruit and veg to households across Spain. This week's Catalan phrase is 'qui no s'arrisca, no pisca,' similar to 'you gotta risk it to get the biscuit' in English. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Gerard Escaich Folch.
Barcelona's image today is one of a modern, European city, but within living memory, a very different Barcelona existed, a forgotten city of shanty towns known as barraques. Cristina Tomàs White joins Lorcan Doherty to look at the hidden history of places like Somorrostro. Today, a popular beach in Barceloneta, it was once home to up to 15,000 people living in shacks and huts built on sand. TV3 journalist and documentary maker Alonso Carnicer talks about the making of the 2010 film, 'Barraques. La ciutat oblidada' (Shanty towns - The Forgotten City), which he co-directed with Sara Grimal. This week's Catalan phrase is 'veure-ho tot negre'. Literally, 'to see everything black', it means to see lots of difficulties, to despair.
Salvador Seguí, known as el Noi del Sucre, The Sugar Boy, was a key figure in Catalonia's impassioned, revolutionary and deadly workers' movement in the early 20th century. 100 years on from his death - he was shot dead aged just 35 - an exhibition in Barcelona's Palau Robert remembers this larger-than-life character's contribution to Catalan society and to the worldwide fight for better working conditions. Cillian Shields chats to exhibition curator Sergi Martín and joins Lorcan Doherty to discuss the life and times of the anarcho-syndicalist who helped bring about the 40-hour working week. This week's Catalan phrase is 'de sucre'. Literally '(made) of sugar', it is used to describe someone delicate or fragile.
Home to architectural masterpieces, luxury brands and very expensive flats, Passeig de Gràcia is celebrating 200 years. Emma Monrós and Cillian Shields join Lorcan Doherty to look at the fascinating history of this street, a place to walk for walking's sake, shaped by feuding families trying to outdo one another by building ever-grander homes. Eva Pomares guides us around one of them, Palau Robert, a former private mansion now owned by the Catalan government and converted into a space for concerts and exhibitions. This week's Catalan phrase is 'escampar la boira'. Literally 'clear the fog', it's used to tell someone to go away.
As Barcelona celebrates Pride, Cristina Tomàs White and Kate Naessens join Lorcan Doherty to chat about the history of gay and trans rights in Catalonia, from the oppression of the Franco regime to this year's so-called 'trans law'. Albert Carrasco, from the Observatory Against Homophobia, explains some of the discrimination still faced by the LGBTQI+ community today. This week's Catalan phrase is 'viu i deixa viure' - live and let live.
On July 23, Spain goes to the polls again, this time for a snap general election. Guifré Jordan joins Lorcan Doherty to chat about what the polls say, the potential coalitions, who might end up in La Moncloa and what impact the far-right in government could have on Catalonia. Emma Monrós and Gerard Escaich Folch look back on the last term. This week's Catalan phrase is 'tocar el dos.' Literally 'to touch the two,' it means to leave or to flee.
Buckle up! Filling the Sink goes on a roller coaster ride through Catalonia's theme parks and water parks. We venture into 'Uncharted' territory at PortAventura, checking out the park's new dark ride, based on the hit video game and movie of the same name. Plus, a guide to various parks, past and present, and a look at how water parks are coping with the ongoing drought. This week's Catalan phrase is 'fer dentetes.' Literally 'making small teeth,' it means to make someone envious. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Kate Naessens and Gerard Esciach Folch.
Bona revetlla! Saint John's Eve, June 23, is a noisy, all-night affair of food and drink, music and dancing, fireworks and bonfires. Emma Monrós and Guifré Jordan join Lorcan Doherty to chat about the magic of the shortest night of the year (almost!) - midnight swimming, watching the sunrise, jumping over bonfires, eating coques, drinking cava and setting off firecrackers. This week's Catalan phrase is 'posar més llenya al foc' - to put more wood on the fire.
Catalonia is one of the world's water polo hotspots. Catalan clubs are among the top teams in Europe and dominate the Spanish league. Atlètic-Barceloneta's Felipe Perrone, four-time Olympian and captain of the Spanish national team, chats to Gerard Escaich Folch about how Barcelona became a mecca for the sport and the recent successes of his club and Spain's men's and women's teams. This week's Catalan phrase is 'anar peix.' Literally 'to go fish,' it means to be unprepared for something. Presented by Lorcan Doherty.
The most comprehensive investigation into primate genomes, recently published, shed new light on features of primate evolution, human disease and biodiversity conservation. Filling the Sink chats to some of the researchers in Catalonia that played their part in this groundbreaking international study: Tomàs Marquès-Bonet from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at Pompeu Fabra University, and Ivo Gut, director of CNAG, the National Center for Genomic Analysis. This week's Catalan phrase is "fer el mico". Literally, "to do the monkey" it means to act silly, horse around, monkey around. Presented by Lorcan Doherty with Cristina Tomàs White and Kate Naessens.
Festival season kicks off in Catalonia with the biggest of the lot, Primavera Sound. Gerard Escaich Folch heads to Parc del Fòrum and talks to music lovers attending from around the world. Up-and-coming Catalan artist Ven'nus performs live and explains how writing songs is like music therapy for her. Cillian Shields and Alan Ruiz Terol join Lorcan Doherty for a rundown of the big concerts and festivals to look out for this summer. This week's Catalan phrase is 'sobre gustos no hi ha res escrit,' or, 'there is nothing written about tastes.'
Guifré Jordan joins Lorcan Doherty for analysis of the local election results. The Socialists surge to top spot in Catalonia but are edged out in Barcelona by former mayor Xavier Trias, while left-wing Ada Colau slips to third. The People's Party double their vote share and far-right Vox make breakthroughs across Catalonia. This week's Catalan phrase is "estar amb l'ai al cor." Literally, "to be with the "oh" in your heart," it means to have your heart in your mouth or to be holding your breath.
Barcelona is Europe's busiest cruise port, with around 800 cruise ships carrying more than 3 million passengers a year. Cillian Shields joins Lorcan Doherty to discuss the cruise industry's economic impact, environmental issues and its role in the debate on tourism. Featuring contributions from Alfredo Serrano of Cruise Lines International Association, Marta Ribera of the Observatory Desk NGO, Misael Alerm of Stop Cruises Tarragona and Fernando Pacheco of MSC Cruises. This week's Catalan phrase is "arribar a bon port." Literally, "to reach a good port," it's used when something ends well.
Catalonia goes to the polls on Sunday, May 28, with voters in almost 1,000 municipalities set to choose the new makeup of their city and town councils and ultimately their new mayor. Cristina Tomàs White and Guifré Jordan join Lorcan Doherty to look at some of the most hotly contested council battles, including an unprecedented four-horse race for mayor in Barcelona. This week's Catalan phrase is "estar com gat i gos" which means "to fight like cats and dogs."