Simona Levi

Simona Levi is a multidisciplinary artist born in Italy and established in Barcelona since 1990. She is the Director of Conservas, a cultural activity centre. Since 2000, she has directed the arts festival INn MOTION which takes place at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of the city of Barcelona. She is an outstanding activist in European social movements in the area of free circulation of knowledge and the right to housing. She is also involved in several artistic and activist platforms. She is co-founder of EXGAE, a civil organization that defends from the abuses of the cultural industry trade groups.

Artistic career

A stage director, actress and dancer by training, Simona Levi studied performing arts in Paris, where she worked as a programmer in the squatted 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 Barcelona's Raval, a venue that promotes local, innovative, independent performing arts based on a self-production paradigm.

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. At the end of the show, audience members could take home a CD-ROM with the texts, videos, music and images used in the show. 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.

Since 2001 Simona Levi has directed the Performing and Applied Arts Festival InnMotion, which is held at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona.


Simona Levi is one of the founders of eXgae (now La-EX), a non-profit association created in 2008 which explores alternative models for cultural diffusion and royalties management. Since 2008, La-EX, with the support of Conservas, has organised the annual oXcars 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 La-EX, she is 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, a citizen platform created in January 2010 [6] to fight against the introduction of the anti-download legislation known as the "Sinde Law" in Spain, and to defend Internet rights.

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 intervention, she offered an overview of some of the omissions in the legislation and suggested possible solutions set out in the Charter, such as the abolition of Spain's levy for private copying or "canon digital" and the need to restructure copyright collecting societies, claiming that they "hinder the free circulation of knowledge and sustainability for authors." In recent years, she has participated as a speaker and observer at national and international events, where she talks about the La-EX project, the current royalties management situation and possible alternatives to this model. She has spoken at the Ministerial Forum for Creative Europe (The Czech Republic),[9] Transmediale (Berlin), Economies of the Commons (Amsterdam) and at the Sustainable Economy Law and the Internet seminar at the Telecommunications Technical Engineering Faculty at UPM. As a representative of the FCForum, she is a lobbyist at the European Commission.