Basque culture will have a special place in Scotland in 2019. In San Sebastian this morning the Etxepare Basque Institute presented the artistic and cultural programme of events to be held this year in Scotland’s most important cities. The activities are designed to raise awareness of Basque contemporary creation and strengthen ties with Scotland through culture, arts and language.
With Etxepare Basque Institute’s support, Basque writer Juan Kruz Igerabide visited Mexico from November 23rd to 27th, where he attended the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL Guadalajara). Besides presenting his last novel Ez Lemaio. La Quema de Mondragón, the autor, recently awarded the Children and Young Adult’s National Literature Award, participated in several literature encounters. Back from the journey, we asked him to share his impression of the fair with us.
This year saw the first edition of Euskaraldia, held from November 23rd to December 3rd. The aim of this collective activity was to foster the use of spoken Basque over 11 days so that the practice would have an impact on society from the 12th day on. The people who took part in this initiative (more than 200,000 signed on) had to choose between two roles: ahobizi (those who would speak in Basque for 11 days to everyone who understood the language, and would initially address strangers in Basque first) or belarriprest (those who would ask people to speak to them in Basque, even if they answered in Spanish).
The Havana Film Festival, held this year from 6 to 16 December, will feature a few Basque films, including Gure Oroitzapenak (Our Memories). Producer Mikel Arredondo will travel to the Cuban capital to present the movie.
The relationship in the field of art between Poland and the Basque Country began in 2014, as the two were readying Wroclaw and Donostia to be the two European cultural capitals in 2016. The relationship continued after 2016, one example being the AIR WRO programme (Artist-in-Residence Wroclaw). Eleven Basque artists have participated in the programme since then. The most recent artists selected to take part in the artist-in-residence programme were Mario Paniego and Amaia Vicente (referred to as M and A below). We caught up with them after their residency in Wroclaw to talk about their projects.
What is bertsolaritza? is a short documentary that sets out to answer the question in the title. The film was created in order to introduce the world to the practice of bertsolaritza. Made possible through a collaboration between Etxepare Basque Institute, Mintzola Oral Workshop and Laboral Bank, What is bertsolaritza? will premiere today in Tabakalera’s Z hall at 6.30 p.m.
Suns Europe will be held this year from November 29th to December 2nd in Udine, in the Italian region of Friuli. The festival gathers diverse artistic expressions from minority communities in Europe, and for the second time, two Basque projects will be invited on the initiative of the Etxepare Basque Institute: the band Rodeo from Zestoa, and the film Amama (Grandma) by Asier Altuna.
On 18 November 1929, an opera titled Die Baskische Venus (The Basque Venus) was released in Leipzig, the only opera written by German composer Hermann Hans Wetzler. Unfortunately, the score was lost and all that remains is the libretto. To mark the 90th anniversary of the release of this unique and fascinating work, Unai Lauzirika, Reader of Basque Language and Culture at the University of Leipzig, has organized a talk to take place on November 29th at 5.15 p.m.
The short documentary What is bertsolaritza? will be presented to the public on 4 December at Tabakalera (San Sebastián). Admission will be free while space is available.
Basque literature will have a voice again this year at FIL, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Latin America’s largest book event, bringing together thousands of booksellers, publishers and authors. To shine a spotlight on Basque literature, the Etxepare Basque Institute is sponsoring Juan Kruz Igerabide (Aduna, 1956) to take part in this year’s festival. The event, which runs from November 24th to December 2nd in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be attended by some of the most relevant names in literature today.