Barcelona, Catalonia. Another edition of Literaldia began on April 30th organized by Barcelona’s Euskal Etxea, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona (UAB)), the University of Barcelona (Universidat de Barcelona (UB)) and the Official Language School. During four weeks this event will offer a luxurious showcase of Basque literature in the Catalonian capital.
A bertso-afaria was held to inaugurate the program with participation by bertsolaris Eneko Lazkoz and Jon Elizetxe, and Alaitz Rekondo serving as presenter. On Thursday May 5th, cartoonist Hedoi Etxarte presented the comic book “Ihes Ederra” (Great Escape). The comic book tells the story of a photographer and a professor in an imaginary Basque Country that has been part of the French Republic for 200 years. It has been published in Catalan entitled, “La bella fugida.”
“Ez donk armairu”
On May 6th, Kattalin Miner, Rikardo Arregi, Mikel Ayerbe, Ibon Egaña, Angel Erro and Juanjo Olasagarre participated in a round table entitled, “Queer irakurketak (euskal) literaturaz” (Queer Reading in Basque Literature.) The discussion addressed such issues as the treatment of gay characters in Basque literature. The next day they delved deeper into this topic with a poetic recital based on the book Desira desordenatuak: Queer irakurketak (euskal) literaturan (Disorderly Desire: Queer Reading in Basque Literature). The recital, presented at the Euskal Etxea, promised “poetics, humor and metaphysics,” and was entitled “Ez donk armairu.”
On May 11th the poetic figure Gabriel Celaya will be the feature of the day, as part of the celebration of his centennial. The writer from Donosti, Jose Andrés Alvaro Ocariz will present his book “Celaya esencial” (The essential Celaya) and will recite some of the author’s poems. Ocariz Alvaro's book defends the view that reading Celaya is essential in order to live in today’s society.
“To Speak Basque is to spit”
On May 12th, the author Koldo Izagirre will stir consciences with his talk “Soc blanc i em diuen speak white” (I’m White and I say Speak White.) Izagirre will present the talk at both the UAB and the Euskal Etxea. Izagirre ensures us that every time we speak Basque we are telling a story of repression. His provoking reflections will make more than one think: “To speak Basque is to spit. It is to dirty what is clean, and to break from what is normal,” he says. “Basque gives us consciousness and proof of what it is to be a people; proof that we are alive.”
The next date unites poesy, music and painting by the poet Oier Guillian. This will take place on May 13th with a poetic recital based on his book, Eskuen Sustraiak (Roots of our Hands). Also joining Guillan will be Asier Sarasola, musician Ander Fernandez and painter Idoia Beratarbide.
Uribe and Muguruza
On May 17th and 18th the poet and writer Kirmen Uribe will give three recitals based on the book Bitartean heldu eskutik (Meanwhile Take My Hand). This will take place at the UAB in the Parcir de Manresa library and also at the Euskal Etxea. Uribe’s work has gained international recognition and the aforementioned book Bitartean heldu eskutik has been translated into Catalan (Mentrestant agafa’m la mà) by Laia Noguera and Jon Elordi.
On May 25th the musician and writer Jabier Muguruza will present the book Encuentros con alma (Encounters with the Soul). The book is comprised of a collection of interviews done by Muguruza for the informative group Noticias with fellow artists Luz Casal, Bernardo Atxaga, Jaume Sisa, Helena Taberna, Xabier Lete, Pablo Guerrero, Martirio, José Ramón Soroiz and Kiko Veneno. The book includes the thoughts of each on creation and their works reflecting the complicity and the closeness of their friendship with Muguruza.
The Imaginary Euskal Herria
On May 26th the writer, Anjel Lertxundi, will present his latest work at the Euskal Etxea. His talk is entitled, “Dirty Rags.” Finally on May 27th, the philosophers Jon Jimenez and Andoni Olariaga will participate in a round table on nations and nationalism entitled, “L'Euskal Herria imaginària: totes les nacions són invents, pero no per aixó falses” (The imaginary Euskal Herria: all nations are inventions, but are not false).
-All information is available on the Euskal Etxea’s site