Cultural actors from Flanders and the Basque Country meet to forge new professional relationships

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

Cultural exchange between the Basque Country and Flanders is now underway. A total of fifteen Flemish cultural professionals from the performing arts, cinema and audiovisual, literature, music, art and language will come together in the various activities meet in Vitoria-Gasteiz, San Sebastián and Bilbao. These meetings, organised by the Etxepare Basque Institute, aim to promote cultural ties between the two regions. The visitors will also take part in various cultural activities.

After meeting with Etxepare Basque Institute Director Irene Larraza, Basque President Iñigo Urkullu received the group on Monday at the President’s Office (Lehendakaritza). Representatives of fifteen organisations from the language, culture and creative industries will take part in professional meetings in Vitoria-Gasteiz, San Sebastian and Bilbao, together with some thirty Basque stakeholders. The meetings are intended to bolster cultural ties between Flanders and the Basque Country and are the first step in creating new opportunities for Basque cultural creation. Flanders will take over from Quebec and Scotland in the Basque cultural exchange programme.

Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon met yesterday with Basque President Iñigo Urkullu at Ajuria Enea, the official residence of the Basque President, to review the traditional areas of cooperation between the two regions. Following the meeting, the two presidents signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which reinforces the Collaboration Agreement signed in 2015.

The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the areas in which the two regions are already collaborating, such as cultural and creative industries, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, climate change and tourism, and to explore new areas of activity. The two leaders also shared their views on the situation revolving around the pandemic and their prospects for the future.

Professional encounters

The Flemish visitors will several sites including the Cathedral of Santa Maria and Artium Museoa (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Tabakalera Centre for Contemporary Culture in San Sebastian, the Chillida Leku Museum, Itsas Kultur Faktoria (the Albaola Museum of Basque cultural heritage), and the Guggenheim Museum, Fine Arts Museum and Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao.

The Etxepare Basque Institute has organised these meetings between Basque creators and cultural actors from Flanders to promote mutual knowledge, foster cultural exchange between the two regions, promote creation and dissemination, and share experiences and know-how.

A total of fifteen Flemish cultural professionals from the performing arts, cinema and audiovisual, literature, music, art and language will come together in the various activities organised in Vitoria-Gasteiz, San Sebastián and Bilbao.

The organisations visiting the Basque Country include: Cirklabo, COMAV / FeBeME-BeFEM, Constant: Association for Art and Media, Cultural Department of the City of Leuven, Curating the Young, Flanders Arts Institute, Flanders Literature, Hiros, LLS Paleis, Mama’s Open Mic, Nadine & BYSTE, Out of Sight, SoundImageCulture – SIC, and the Z V E Z D O L I K I ensemble.

Among the Basque cultural actors joining them are Artekale, ADDE Euskal Herriko Dantza Profesionalen Elkartea, Albaola Itsas Kultur Faktoria, Artium Museoa, Asociación de Escritores de Euskadi - Euskadiko Idazleen Elkartea, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Bitamine Faktoria, Dantzaz, Danzalava, Deabru Beltzak, Duo Olaia & Gilles, Eremuak, Eskena, Etxepare Basque Institute, Euskal Editoreen Elkartea, Euskal Irudigileak, Eusko Jaurlaritza Kultura eta Hizkuntza Politika Saila, Fundación Catedral Santa María, Publishers´ Guild of the Basque Country / Euskadiko Editoreen Elkartea, Mari Zaunka 46, MIE Musika Industriaren Elkartea, Musika Bulegoa, Musikari, Okela, Tabakalera and Zirkozaurre.

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