Month: May 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Meet visiting scholar Iñigo Medina from the General Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government

Meet visiting scholar Iñigo Medina from the General Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government!

My name is Iñigo Medina (Bilbao, 1988) and I am the new intern scholar of the Directorate for the Basque Community Abroad of the General Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Basque Government. I will work and research in the CBS, here in Reno, until December 2018 or January 2019.

I earned my BA in Philosophy at the UPV/EHU (Donostia-San Sebastian) and I pursued an MA in International Relations in Leioa after that. A language fan, critical thinker and passionate reader, I consider myself just another holistic, curious person. The main topics I have researched concerned culture, language, technology and the environment, which I mostly approached from a philosophical point of view. I really enjoy playing Basque handball (eskupilota) with friends in an amateur mood, which is why I am planning a potential visit to Elko or San Francisco!

I landed in Reno during the second week of May, although I have visit the CBS before in February, when our Department representatives from the Basque Government were here making an official visit. The CBS group has made everything so easy to me from the first moment, I must say I am so grateful to all them.

Reno shocked me as city and somehow, I said to myself, I liked it. From what I have seen so far, it is a paradoxical place with his gambling tradition on the one hand, and this marvelous University campus with its own Basque Library on the other hand, which amazed me from the first moment. A home to Basque people due to its sheep herding and boarding houses, Reno represents a different narrative elongation of Basque culture, which I never expected before. Reno seems to be mix of natural environment and urban enclave, sheltered by those magnificent mountains which could represent a truly menacing expression of “Physis,” and the oasis archetype engulfed in “Polis” with its vivid downtown and its top academic campus.

My primary duties within the CBS will be helping and assisting the Diaspora Department of Lehendakaritza/Presidency of the Basque Government under the leadership of its Director Gorka Alvarez Aranburu. I will help manage relationships with all the registered Basque Clubs in North America (USA, Canada and Mexico). This includes a close following of the different realities people experience here, and learning about the strenghs and weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the aforementioned Basque Clubs. The will aim to establish a direct communication link between institutions, while also acquiring knowledge and doing research about the Basque diaspora.

Nowadays, the Department which I work for handles different grants and mobility programs aimed for all the Basque Clubs around the world (up to 190 centers and around 30 thousand registered members) mainly related with Basque culture, Basque associationism, institutions, and aiding citizenship matters. These programs pursue the goal of perpetuating and supporting Basque culture overseas, and forging relations between people who share Basque identity, while they live in so different latitudes. Because of its symbolic importance, the Basque Diaspora is well known as the “zortzigarren lurraldea,”the “eight territory” in Euskara, of our historical geography.

As time goes by and if my schedule allows, I would be glad to discover  the city a bit more including its surrounding areas, the Riverside and maybe hiking routes, visit some other towns in the area, meet different people, collaborate with the CBS in any of their research programs, or even participate in some conferences or attend classes at the UNR, if possible.

 

May 22, 1836: Start of Second Battle of Arlaban during First Carlist War

The Arlaban Pass. Image from the Zumalakarregi Museoa.

On May 22, 1836, the second and definitive Battle of Arlaban, fought between Carlists and Liberals, began during the First Carlist War (1833-1840).

During the war, the Arlaban Pass, the main route through the mountainous area that separates southwestern Gipuzkoa and northeastern Araba, was the setting once more for a confrontation between Carlists and Liberals.  The first encounter (January 16-17) had resulted in a victory of sorts for the latter but the Liberals were almost immediately pushed back by their Carlist foes and a stalemate ensued, although with Liberal control of the pass.

On May 22, the Liberals, led by Generals Luis Fernández de Córdova and Baldomero Espartero, attempted once more to engage the Carlists, led by Generals Nazario Eguía and Bruno Villareal, and cross the Arlaban Pass into Gipuzkoa. The Liberals had razed to the ground a Carlist arsenal in Araia (Araba) and the fighting, much of which took place in and around Leintz Gatzaga in Gipuzkoa, continued for four days until May 26. In the struggle, which in many ways came down to a tactical contest between Espartero and Villareal, the Carlists eventually forced their Liberal counterparts to withdraw from the area. As the Liberal forces retreated toward Vitoria-Gasteiz, they burned many of the baserris (Basque farmsteads) in the area of Legutio (Araba). There were around six hundred casualties on each side during the four-day battle, which resulted in the Carlists taking back control of the Arlaban Pass.

The Zumalakarregi Museoa in Ormaiztegi, Gipuzkoa, is a great site–both physical and online–in which to learn more about the Carlist Wars.

Check out, too, the wonderfully evocative first-hand account of what the First Carlist War was like in A Twelvemonth’s Campaign with Zumalacarregui by the military adventurer Charles Frederick Henningsen: a swashbuckling memoir that brings the conflict to life as well as a serving as a unique window onto Basque society in the early nineteenth century.

 

Txakolina Fest at Craft Wine and Beer

Mural design and photo by Erik Burke

I like to think of myself as an unofficial ambassador for the Basque wine, Txakolina. Apart from making it a chapter of my dissertation, which demonstrates how Euskara is used to market locally produced foods, I also just love drinking it. So, when this libation is celebrated right here in Reno at Craft Wine and Beer, it’s time to make some noise!

This year, Craft Wine and Beer’s Txakolina Fest will be on Friday, May 25th from 5-9pm. Ty Martin and his crew put on this Basque-inspired event, and seem to amp it up every year.  Here is his sneak preview of what is to come this Friday:

Between graduation parties, the first BBQ’s of the season, and all the yard work (so much yard work), we also cram in a bunch of seasonal events, and my favorite event we do might just be TXAKOLINA FEST! It’s always a hustle to get the fresh vintage of our favorite Basques wines to Reno before everyone checks out for summer, but the stars aligned this year. For your sampling pleasure, we’ll be pouring AT LEAST six Txakolina from Bizkaia, Getaria, and Alava alongside various Basque ciders. Glasses can be had all evening on Friday, May 25th, from 5pm until close with a more formal(ish) flight offering from 5p-7p. We will also smoke some chorizo from Villa Basque down Carson way. Rumor has it that some dancers from Zazpiak Bat may be just loose enough by the evening to cut a rug and show you a few steps. Lastly, in the spirit of Basque competition, we’ll have a “Best Porron Pouring” contest and lots of dancing as the night wears on. Ladies, bring your best war cry!

For the oenophiles and foodies out there who would like to learn more about this Basque wine, check out the headlines that list several must-try “Txakolinak“:

Decanter’sTxakoli: The Spanish wine style you need to try in 2018

Food and Wine’sThirty Roses to drink this summer

Forbes’ Txakoli: The Choice Wine for Spring Sipping

Hope to see you all at Craft Wine and Beer this Friday for some Txakolina sippin’!

 

 

Gaztemundu 2018 Applications Now Available!

By Kate Camino for Astero:

Gaztemundu 2018

The Resolution for Gaztemundu 2018, was published this week in the Official Bulletin of the Basque Country. This publication triggers the application period for the program that will run September 1-16, 2018 in Vitoria-Gasteiz aimed at individuals between the ages of 18-35 from officially recognized Basque clubs around the world. This year’s Gaztemundu will focus on traditional Basque dance. Eligible applicants will have knowledge of dance instruction and Basque dance, will be of age by January 1, 2018, and will not have participated in a prior edition of Gaztemundu since 2003. See basic requirements here. Applications require submitting a video recording of dance instruction to determine the capability of the individual to interpret, as well as explain the significance of a chosen dance. The jury will also take into consideration other points that are included in this article found on EuskalKultura.com. The deadline to apply is June 18th, and the Resolution is available herein both Basque and Spanish. For clarifications in English, please email: Iñigo Medina. Iñigo recently arrived at the Center for Basque Studies in Reno and will be carrying out a Basque Government internship, from the Directorate for Basque Communities Abroad, through January 2019. Iñigo has a wonderful command of the English language and so for questions about Gaztemundu, or any other Basque Government related issue, feel free to contact him. On behalf of everyone at NABO, we would like to extend a very warm welcome to Iñigo!

May 13, 1890: First major general strike in Bizkaia

On May 13, 1890, two hundred miners at the Orconera Iron Ore Company Limited walked out in protest over the firing of five colleagues (and socialist activists) for their part in organizing protests over working conditions to coincide with international May Day that year. News of the walk out spread quickly to other mines and thousands more eventually went on strike. It was the first major strike in the “new” industrial Bizkaia, and set a pattern for labor protest that would extend until well into the twentieth century.

Nineteenth-century miners.

By midday on May 13, the ranks of the miners had swelled to some 4-5,000 men. gathering in the hilly terrain rising up from the left bank of Greater Bilbao in which they plied their trade, the miners then descended to the industrial satellite towns of Ortuella and Gallarta, where they were joined by a further 2-3,000 factory workers. By day’s end, production throughout the whole left-bank mining zone–the area at the heart of Bilbao’s spectacular industrial transformation process in the nineteenth century–had come to a complete standstill.

Mine workers in Gallarta, Bizkaia.

The strikers then planned to march on Bilbao itself the following day, with the addition of thousands of other workers from the riverside cities of Barakaldo and Sestao. By some estimates, some 20-30,000 were now on strike from both mines and factories and they were intent intent on marching toward Bilbao. The authorities in turn perceived this as a real threat and by the afternoon of May 14 placed the army on standby to counter any such march. What’s more, the activists coordinating the protest were arrested.

By May 15, there was a stalemate: production had been dramatically reduced in the principal mining and manufacturing area of Bizkaia, yet the strikers were unwilling to confront the armed forces. This in turn encouraged some mines and factories to return to work. That day, too, the jailed strike leaders issued a series of demands that were flatly refused by the collective mine and factory owners–for them, nothing short of complete defeat and humiliation of the striking workers would be acceptable.

General José María Loma Arguelles (1822-1893).

Yet just at that moment, a conciliatory figured appeared in the shape of one General José María de Loma–a native of Araba and head of the armed forces controlling the situation. He actually threatened to withdraw his troops if the owners did not sit down and negotiate the demands of the workers. This they were forced to do, and the result was the so-called Loma Pact in which many of the original demands, regarding basic working hours for example, were met. By May 17, the industrial zone of Bilbao was back to normal and a larger-scale crisis had been averted.

For a more detailed account of the strike, see Ricardo Miralles, “La Gran Huelga Minera de 1890. En los Orígines del Movimiento Obrero en el País Vasco,” Historia Contemporánea, 3 (1990): 15-44. Free to download here.

Interview with Eneko Tuduri on Medieval Painting in Navarre

Interview by Xabier Irujo

How did you start studying Navarrese Medieval paintings?

I was at a Aranzadi Society of Science workshop in 2014 in the village of Gallipienzo (Navarre) when I learned about the paintings for the first time. The workshop was called Erdi Aroko mugak Nafarroan (Middle Ages borders in Navarre), and it focused on archeology and history for university students. Then, I was studying art history at the university of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and I already had several courses about Medieval art and iconography.

The church of San Salvador, where part of the paintings are, was being restored at that time with scaffoldings. Thanks to the permission of the mayor, Carmele Iriguibel, I could visit the paintings with some other students, and took good detail photos of them.

Later, back at the university, I started studying these paintings (lineal gothic style paintings painted around 1360-1380), because they were not studied deep enough, and finally I turned the project into the TFG (final degree paper), under the guidance of Soledad de Silva y Verastegui, Professor of Medieval Iconography.

Why is it relevant to study these paintings, and what is their artistic significance?

Well, in the case of San Salvador de Gallipienzo paintings, there is a double problem. First, part of the paintings, the ones in better condition, were striped off the walls in 1949 with special techniques, and moved to the Museo de Navarra in Pamplona. The rest of the paintings, which were in worse condition, were “abandoned” in the church. These paintings were barely studied, always under the higher quality wall paintings of the same period from Pamplona and Olite, capitals of the old Kingdom of Navarre.

When I studied the paintings I realized that it is important to study them as a whole, not fragmented, or decontextualized from the source. Also, it is important to give the same importance to all the artistic and historical heritage, regardless of their beauty or importance, and focus on the small villages as well, not only on the capitals or cities.

You published a book last year on this topic. Can you tell us about it?

After finishing the final degree paper about the topic, I kept researching about these paintings, trying to publish it in some academic journal. Then, in 2016, when I was an intern in the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, I thought of the possibility of publishing the research as a book with Ekin, the Argentina based Basque publishing house since 1942. After almost two years of work it turned into a beautiful 200-page book with a lot of pictures, which makes it very helpful for an art history book.

What are your next projects? Are you planning to write a new book?

Right now, I am curating a temporary exhibition in the Carlism Museum in Lizarra-Estella, Navarre. The exhibition will feature how the Carlist movement was pictured in cinema. I think it could be very interesting, because most of the times historical cinema doesn´t reflect historical reality. Rather, it reflects the spirit of the time when the film was shot, creating myths to justify the present.

May 6, 1463: Jacob Gaon, king’s tax collector, killed in Tolosa

On May 6, 1463, Jacob Gaon, a tax collector for King Henry IV of Castile, was killed in Tolosa (Gipuzkoa) over a dispute involving rights relating to the foruak/fueros (the charters governing Basque fiscal and institutional relations with central political authority).

Gaon came from a prominent Jewish family in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Araba) and like several relatives worked as a tax collector for the Kings of Castile, to which the province of Gipuzkoa belonged. Indeed, since 1256, Tolosa had enjoyed its own foru/fuero regulating its independent fiscal status within the Castilian political orbit (the result of its strategically important position on the border with the rival Kingdom of Navarre); an agreement that was amended in both 1282 and 1290 to exempt inhabitants from numerous royal tributes.

Henry IV of Castile (1463). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In May 1463 Gaon went to Tolosa with the aim of demanding the so-called pedido tax, which, the locals claimed, they had never paid before on account of their foral privileges. After threatening them, several inhabitants killed Gaon, beheaded him, and put his head  on top of a pillory for all to see. On hearing the news, Henry IV, who was at the time in Hondarribia, also in Gipuzkoa, stopped at Tolosa on his way back to Castile in search of the culprits. Unable to locate them, having been informed that they had taken refuge in a nearby mountain “on the other side of the river,” he settled instead for demolishing the house in which the crime had taken place.

Subsequently, however, on receiving documents demonstrating that the inhabitants of Tolosa had never paid the pedido tax on account of foral law,  Henry acknowledged the exemption and issued a pardon.

For an excellent introduction to the Basque foral system, see The Old Law of Bizkaia (1452): A Critical Edition, edited and annotated by Gregorio Monreal.

CBS Graduate Student Edurne Arostegui Receives Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship

CBS graduate student Edurne Arostegui receives Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship!

The Graduate Student Association offers the Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship to outstanding, full-time graduate students. The scholarship is judged based on a faculty recommendation letter, a personal statement, scholarly work, and extracurricular activities completed during enrollment in a degree program as a University of Nevada, Reno graduate student. The Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship is for $1,000. Applicants for this scholarship must be registered, full-time graduate students in good academic standing at the time of application. Applicants must be enrolled for the upcoming Fall semester in order to receive the scholarship.

Edurne also just completed her Comprehensive Exams, and as ABD, ready to go for fieldwork, and write her dissertation. Zorionak Edurne!

 

CBS Student Kerri Lesh receives Bilinski Fellowship

This semester Center for Basque Studies student, Kerri Lesh, was awarded a Bilinksi Fellowship for 2018-2019 by the College of Liberal Arts. She has been the first student from the Center for Basque Studies to be awarded a Bilinski Fellowship. A reception was held for the eight awardees who were announced May 3rd. Associate Dean Jane Detweiler presented the awards after a short welcome speech provided by Dean Debra Moddelmog. The previous year’s recipients were present to share their work with a poster presentation as they noshed on cookies and fruit.

Kerri was awarded $30,000 to support her in writing her dissertation, which focuses on the use of Euskara alongside the marketing of local gastronomic products of the Basque Country.

Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski’s goal in life was to be independent and challenged intellectually. They strongly believed in people being self-sufficient, ambitious, and above all, responsible. Both Russell and Dorothy were true intellectuals, as well as being adventuresome, independent and driven. Russell was a researcher, academician, and an entrepreneur. Dorothy was an accomplished artist and patron of the arts. Russell and Dorothy believed that education was a means to obtain independence, and this is the legacy they wished to pass on to others.

In furtherance of that goal, when Russell and Dorothy died, they left a significant gift for the formation of a nonprofit corporate foundation. The Bilinski Educational Foundation seeks to fulfill this legacy by providing fellowship funds for post-secondary education for students who have demonstrated, and are likely to maintain, both the highest academic achievement and good moral character, but who lack the financial resources to complete their post-secondary education.

 

April 29, 1784: Death of Basque soldier and New World politician Agustín de Jáuregui

Agustín de Jáuregui (1711-1784). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

On April 29, 1784, shortly after leaving his post as viceroy of Peru, the Basque soldier and politician Agustín de Jáuregui y Aldecoa died in an accident in Lima.

Born in Lekaroz in the Baztan Valley of Navarre in 1711, he entered into the military at the age of twenty-five and crossed the Atlantic to , fighting at the British siege of Cartagena de las Indias in 1740, and rising to the rank of lieutenant general. Later, he also saw active service against the British in Cuba and Honduras and in Spain’s siege of the Portuguese city of Almeida in 1762.

In 1772 he was appointed governor of what was termed at the time the Captaincy General of Chile. While governor, he promulgated a series of administrative reforms, including establishing a postal service and overseeing the first census there. He also carried out reforms related to public order, reorganized the tax-collection system, and created a militia to serve as a kind of rural police force as well as a reserve military unit.

In 1780 he was appointed viceroy of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Almost immediately, he had to deal with the Túpac Amaru rebellion of 1780, an uprising of native and mestizo people against the so-called Bourbon reforms in Peru: changes designed to strengthen Spanish royal power there by giving more power to royal officials. Jáuregui succeeded in defeating the leader of the revolt, Túpac Amaru II (José Gabriel Condorcanqui) in 1781, and he was subsequently executed. Other rebel leaders were killed or executed in the period 1781 to 1783.

Shortly after leaving his post in April 1784, Jáuregui died in an accident in Lima. There were rumors that he had been poisoned beforehand as revenge for crushing the Túpac Amaru rebellion so brutally, but these remain unsubstantiated.

 

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