Eñe Festival opens a window on Basque literature

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


The 15th Eñe Festival has opened a window onto Basque literature for the second consecutive year. Held in Madrid every autumn since 2009, the Eñe Festival is a meeting place where writers, books and readers come together. This year´s edition kicked off on 27th October and will run until 5th November. The Etxepare Basque Institute´s collaboration has provided a space dedicated to Basque literature at the festival.

Author Kirmen Uribe curated the window on Basque literature. The programme featured three events held on 27th and 28th October at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. Director for the promotion and dissemination of the Basque language at the Etxepare Basque Institute, Monika Madinabeitia Medrano, presented the Basque Window and highlighted the importance of the space offered to Basque literature and culture in an event like the Eñe Festival. She also emphasized the variety of themes and formats featured in the activities scheduled within the Basque Window. “Events like this Basque Window offer us the chance to witness and appreciate the dedication and labour that non-hegemonic languages exert to endure and thrive,” she explained.

Madinabeitia also wanted to point out the main function of these spaces offered to Basque culture: "Windows can be fragile frontiers between the familiar and the unknown, and they can also be used to look at the world or for the world to look inside."

The show ‘Munduari begiratzeko’ (Looking at the world) kicked off the Basque Window at the Fernando de Rojas Theatre. It combined songs by Mikel Urdangarin and Rafa Rueda with poetry read to music based Kirmen Uribe’s writing and the projection of animations created by Mikel Valverde.

A roundtable discussion titled ‘Mundos Queer en euskera’ (Queer worlds in Basque) addressed the revolution instigated by the queer movement in Basque culture, featuring the contributions of poet Angel Erro, writer Danele Sarriugarte, and sexologist and activist Aitzole Araneta.

To conclude, Basque storytellers Katixa Agirre and Karmele Jaio spoke with author Kirmen Uribe about the recent changes that have taken place in society and their reflection in literature at a roundtable titled ‘De migraciones e identidades’ (Migration and identitie).

The bertsolaris Jon Maia and Miren Amuriza improvised verses following the discussion, commenting on the various things discussed. Jon Maia is a narrator and singer as well as a bertsolari. The fact that he is the son of migrants from Extremadura is very present in his words. Miren Amuriza is a bertsolari and novelist. Her novel ´Basa´ was very well received by critics and the public alike.

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