‘Bikaintasuna Euskal Ikasketetan XI’ examines the concepts of border and movement

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


Like every year, the Etxepare Basque Institute has organised a course on teaching the Basque language in collaboration with the UPV/EHU Summer Courses. Titled Mugimenduak eta mugak euskal kulturan’ (Movement and borders in Basque culture), the course will be held on July 19- 20 at Palacio Miramar in San Sebastián. The event will be both in person and online via zoom. You can choose how to participate in the course at the time of enrolment; the deadline for registration is the 18th of this month. The course aims to provide training for Basque language and culture instructors from the Institute´s worldwide network of lecturers and language assistants, but it is open to anyone who is interested. The entire programme will be conducted in Euskara.

Anthropologist Aitzpea Leizaola will be the first speaker slated for the course. Leizaola, who believes that "limits and borders have been shown in all their solidity in recent years", will analyse the various meanings of these concepts. She will be in charge of deciding on where the course participants will be stationed and will do so from an anthropological perspective. Her talk will focus on border crossings, gaps, junctions and paradoxes in the age of globalisation. How do limits affect us, how do we manage their narrowness, and our ability to move?

Leizaola will talk about political, social, economic and cultural borders. "We see news about the mobility of people every day on television. And now, in the context of the pandemic, other features have been revealed, such as the mobility of viruses, for example. The boundaries that were supposedly blurred are back, and very rigid.

According to Leizaola, these boundaries are also a central element in culture. "We’ve considered cultures as watertight elements, but experts conclude that cultural boundaries are negotiated, constructed and change as the societies that make up culture evolve. There is also mobility in this change of meaning".

Training lecturers and language assistants

The aim of this course is to bolster training for current and future lecturers and language assistants through the participation of experts in different areas of knowledge of Basque language and culture. In addition to Leizaola, these experts include Eric Dicharry Lavie (creator, teacher and researcher), Iasone Parada Garmendia (producer and member of Artedrama), Ismael Manterola Ispizua (art critic), José Mª Muñoz López (Basque Film Archive, Kimuak), Maitena Duhalde de Serra (linguist and lecturer), Nami Kaneko (teacher and translator), Oxel Uribetxebarria Lete (PhD and professor), Paula Motrico San Emeterio (teacher) and Paulo Kortazar Billelabeitia (teacher and researcher).

All of them will discuss limits and movement, and will reflect on how these concepts affect us, as well as the impact of these subjects on the teaching of Basque language and culture. To do so, they will tie these concepts to the fields of language, music, literature and culture in general.

From Japan, in Euskara

Kaneko is one of the most distant voices taking part in the course. She will talk about overcoming different frontiers and challenges. Kaneko will give a talk entitled ´From being a student of Basque abroad to being a researcher and translator of Basque literature: limits and challenges´. She is the only foreign speaker on the roster for this year´s summer course. "That is why I would like to transmit the vision of a person who learns and researches the Basque language and culture from beyond the borders of the language," she explains.

In her lecture, she intends to delve deeper into the transition from student to expert. "I’ll also reflect other limits. I don´t want to go too far ahead, but I would say that those limits, at least for me, were within the Basque Country and around the Basque language, rather than outside."

There are few experts around the world who study Basque culture in Euskara. She also points out that not many translators work in Basque, with all the disadvantages and opportunities that this entails. "In Japan, I’m the only one in the field of literature. Forging a solid and almost unprecedented career is a huge challenge, but also recommended: it can offer greater opportunities.” She therefore hopes that the reflections drawn from her direct experience will be of use to those who teach or will teach Basque language and culture abroad.

Topics discussed by other speakers at the summer course include the relationship between gender and language, the production of Basque short films, historical-anthropological reflections on the movements and frontiers of Basque rap and cross-border cultural production.


Sign up for our Newsletter.