Basque culture has a global impact thanks to artists and creators from different disciplines who have taken their talent all over the world.
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
The recent successes of Loreak, Amama and Handia have allowed Basque language film productions to flourish. Basque cinema has grown over the last fifty years, starting with Ama Lur, an ode to the Basque Country (N. Basterretxea and F. Larruquert, 1968) to the latest generation of film directors (Cobeaga, Garaño, Arregi, Vigalondo, Goenaga, Altuna, Esnal, etc.), the Kimuak short film programme, and acclaimed directors the likes of Medem and Alex de la Iglesia.
Basque literature is fitter than ever. Writers such as Bernardo Atxaga and Arantxa Urretabizkaia are largely responsible for giving Basque language literature a well-deserved boost. Over the last few years, a group of upcoming writers, led by Eider Rodríguez, Kirmen Uribe and Harkaitz Cano, are poised to continue this legacy.
Basque dancers showcase their talent on local and international stages in a rich tapestry of choreographies and performances across traditional, classical and modern Basque dance.
Plastic and visual arts
It would be impossible to understand Basque art without considering the vital legacy of Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida. Apart from the international dimension of their work, the two sculptors exerted an enormous influence on several generations of Basque artists. Nowadays, Basque art can be enjoyed around the world thanks to artists such as Itziar Okariz, Sergio Prego, Maider López, Asier Mendizabal and Jesús Mari Lazkano.
Our theatre culture goes back a long way but few documents have survived to this day. We do know, however, that celebrations in the 15th century included plays in Euskara. Now Basque theatre speaks a universal language that tells stories about ourselves and others. Through a variety of formats, people in theatre have managed to reinvent themselves, turning difficulties into opportunities.
Basque classical music has produced world-renowned figures in the past and continues to do so today. Maurice Ravel is without a doubt one of the greatest composers of Basque origin. Choirs, soloists and instrumental ensembles complete the map of classical Basque music.
Basque songwriting: pop, rock, folk
In these past five decades Basque modern songwriting has served as a platform for almost everything: lyrical as well as social and political statements, fun as well as commitment, recovering old traditions as well as creating new ones, and so on. From the moving lyrics of folk artist Mikel Laboa to the pulsating rock of Berri Txarrak, and electronic wizardry of Belako, Basque music is making its mark.
Architecture and design
Basque architecture and design shape our world. They shape the way we dress, the spaces we live in and our relationship with everyday objects. Basque architects and designers have always looked beyond our borders, mindful of what is brewing elsewhere, and have managed to attract the world to our region. A collaborative approach in architecture, beyond well-known names, is currently gaining momentum.
The world in a Basque kitchen. Basques love their food and can´t even begin to conceive of friendship or family relationships without being around a table.
Bertsolaris invent the world through improvised song. Bertsolaritza refers to both the art of inventing bertsos and the social movement created around it. A bertso is not a simple line in a stanza but the whole stanza itself. Bertsolaritza is a thriving art today and enjoys great social prestige in the land of Euskara.
This is a land of deep roots and unique traditions, folklore, and mythology. Together with the language, they occupy a prominent place in the collective imagination. But more than as a means of interpreting the past, our heritage serves as a base on which to forge our future.