Author: Ziortza Gandarias Beldarrain (page 1 of 3)

“Ulysses Syndrome” Lecture by Dr. Joseba Achotegui at the CBS

 

Erlazionatutako irudia

Prof. Dr. Joseba Achotegui

Last Monday, September 11, we welcomed the author of the “Ulysses Syndrome,” Prof. Dr. Joseba Achotegui from the University of Barcelona to the Center for Basque Studies. He is the General Secretary of the Transcultural Section at the World Psychiatric Association,  a psychiatrist, and tenured professor. He has also been the Director of SAPPIR (Psychopathological and Psychosocial Support Service for Immigrants and Refugees) at the Hospital of Sant Pere Claver in Barcelona,  and  Director of the online postgraduate course”Mental health, cultural processes and psychological interventions with immigrants, minorities, and the socially excluded” at the University of Barcelona since 1997. The purpose of his visit was to explain the “Ulysses Syndrome,” its consequences and possible solutions.

The Ulysses Syndrome has become more common in the 21st century with the increase in the migration of individuals. He explained how migrating today is becoming a process that is so intense and stressful for millions of people that they are unable to overcome these difficulties. Because of this inability to adapt to their new countries, these individuals are the candidates for the Ulysses Syndrome (with reference to the Greek hero who suffered countless adversities and dangers far from his loved ones). He argued that even though Ulysses was a demigod, he barely survived the terrible adversities and dangers of his journey. Extrapolating The Odyssey to those individuals who enter new surroundings and suffer the difficulties of integration, Achotegui has set out a diagnosis for mental health problems that are not pathological. 

The set of symptoms that make up this syndrome are now an emerging mental health problem in the host countries of immigrants. He described the most important stressors as: the forced separation of loved ones, a rupture in the attachment instinct, the feeling of hopelessness due to the failure of the migration project and the lack of opportunities, and the struggle for survival. He mentioned different steps and ways to help these migrants who go through Ulysses Syndrome, such as breathing and relaxation techniques, physical exercise, eating habits and positive thinking. All these thing can help in their adaptation process.  

Prf. Dr. Joseba Achotegui

Prof. Dr. Achotegui at the Center for Basque Studies by Inaki Arrieta Baro, Jon Bilbao Basque Library.

It was a very interesting presentation for many of us who immigrated to the United States.  Thankfully, the CBS and its team make the transition as comfortable as possible, however, there will always be challenges when facing new situations.  It definitely gave a perspective of how previous and current immigrants struggle for survival and integration in their new host countries.

Electronic Laboa

The group Delorean, from Zarautz (Gipuzkoa), recently reinterpreted the music of Mikel Laboa with an electronic touch at a one-off concert in Bilbao’s Arriaga Theater. Check out this teaser.

According to the band’s Facebook page, while this was just a one-off gig, it is considering doing a whole album covering Laboa songs at some time in the future.

If you’re interested in popular music, check out Jon Eskisabel Urtuzaga’s Basque Songwriting: Pop, Rock, Folk, available free to download here, courtesy of the Etxepare Basque Institute.

Gabriel Aresti’s Life in a Comic

The Basque illustrator Adur Larrea,  has created a graphic novel about the life of Gabriel Aresti (1933-1975), one of the most influential Basque writers and poets: Gabriel Aresti, BioGrafikoa (Gabriel Aresti: A BioGraphic), published by the Erroa press.

Adur Larrea. Photo from uriola.eus

The comic has 90 pages spanning a period  between the 1930s and the 1970s that chart the life of the great writer. Adur combines both Spanish and Basque to offer a natural portrait of Bilbao, Aresti’s home town.

The book goes on sale today,  November 19, and if you want to taste a little bit of this work click here.

The Center for Basque Studies has an interesting selection of books in its Basque Literature and Graphic Novels sections.

Images from http://www.bizkaie.biz/

Amerikanuak: Basques in the New World 40 YEARS!

Amerikanuak (1975), by William A. Douglas and Jon Bilbao, is a cornerstone in studies of Basque emigration and diaspora. Although in the last four decades a lot of research has been carried out on this topic, this book is still essential today.

From October 14 and until December 9, different universities in the Basque Country are honoring this landmark work by holding inter-university seminars on topics related to the book titled “The Basque Country and the Americas: Atlantic Links and Relations.”

October 14: at the University of Navarre, Iruñea-Pamplona: “Navarre and the Americas.”

October 15-16: at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz: “Recovering the North: Companies, Capitals, and Atlantic Projects in the Imperial Hispanic Economy.”

October 23: the University of Pau, in conjunction with Eusko Ikaskuntza (the Basque Studies Society), at the Basque Museum of Baiona: “Research on Basque emigration.”

December 9 at Mondragon University, Arrasate: “The Image and Representation of Basques.”

William Douglass will be in the Basque Country collaborating in these inter-university seminars. For more information about these seminars (in Spanish) click here.

The Center for Basque Studies has more books written and edited by William A. Douglass that you may find interesting, such as: Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean, Death after Life: Tales of Nevada, (edited with Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika) The Basque DiasporaGlobal Vasconia, Essays in Basque Social Anthropology and History, and (with Joseba Zulaika) Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives (free to download here).

There is even a candid and vivid biography by Miel A. Elustondo, William A. Douglass: Mr. Basque, which will be of interest to anyone who has followed Bill’s work over the years.

 

Aitaren etxea, Love in Times of Hatred: The Basque Country in the 50s in a New TV Show

Photo taken from the Eitb website.

Aitaren etxea (The father’s house) is a TV show set in the 50s in a small coastal Basque town that goes by the fictitious name of Etxegi. The idea behind the show is to portray how hard life was in the Basque Country after the Spanish Civil War. The impossible love story between the mayor’s daughter, Irene, and Martin, a country boy, will reflect the open wounds that still exist after the  fratricidal civil war between the “winners” and the “losers” in the conflict.

If you want to see the first episode (in Basque and some Spanish) click here. 

On a related theme, War, Exile, Justice, and Everyday Life, 1936-1946, edited by Sandra Ott, explores the impact of war over a decade in Europe (including the Basque Country) in the 1930s and 1940s.

 

 

The Humboldt-Basque Connection

Sheep on Humboldt

Sheep graze along the Humboldt River in this historical photo

Northeastern Nevada Museum

Iker Saitua, PhD student at the Center for Basque Studies, recently published another amazing story in the Elko Daily Free Press. A terrific article combining history, family stories, and his own personal experience. The main protagonist of the article are the Humboldt brothers.  Because, did you know that the state of Nevada was almost called Humboldt? Click here to read it!

You may also find the following book interesting: Selected Basque Writings: The Basques and Announcement of a Publication

 

Cartel Loreak

Photo from the official website of the film http://www.loreakfilm.com/es/

Loreak (Flowers), a Basque-language film directed by Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga, has been selected to represent Spain at next year’s Oscars. But before being finally selected for the Oscars, the film must still pass two more shortlists. We will follow its progress closely.

Synopsis:

Ane’s life takes a turn when, week after week, she starts getting a bouquet of flowers at home. Always at the same hour. And always anonymously. The life of Lourdes and Tere is also affected by some mysterious flowers. Every week someone deposits a bouquet in memory of someone who was important in their lives. This is the story of three women, three lives altered by the mere presence of a few bouquets. Flowers will sprout in them feelings that seemed forgotten … But after all, are nothing but flowers.

 

If you want to know more about the Basque Cinema, click here.

See also this article at the Guardian.

Basque Lecture Series, here we go!

Last week the students and professors of the Center for Basque Studies once again started the Basque Lecture Series. This tradition, which began some years ago, is one of the most entertaining events during the fall semester.

With these lectures the students learn confidence and skills for future conferences and symposiums. The feedback between the professors and students make these lectures something genuine.

Through the last Thursday in November, every Thursday at 5.15 pm in the Center for Basque Studies (Basque Conference Room, 305, Third Floor), students and professors will give a lecture on a topic that they are researching.

You are all invited!

Last year’s flyer, designed by Iker Saitua

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2015 in Bilbao, Basque Country.

Saturday, September 26, witnessed the grand finale of the 50th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Bilbao. Relive the event here.

 Video taken for YouTube

If you want to know more about Bilbao or the Guggenheim Museum, check out That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City, Building Time: The Relatus in Frank Gehry’s Architecture, and Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim, available free to download here. In relation to the event itself, see also Playing Fields: Power, Practice, and Passion in Sport.

An interview with Edurne Arostegui: Visiting Scholar from the University of the Basque Country.

  • What brings you to the Center for Basque Studies?

I was very lucky to have received the Begoña Aretxaga Travel Stipend this year, and the best part was that I got the email on my birthday, making it by far the best present. I’m currently a doctoral student at the UPV/EHU and the opportunity to have access to the library here was something I couldn’t miss out on. It certainly hasn’t disappointed me.

I initially came with the idea of putting myself through a sort of academic boot camp: non-stop reading, note-taking and writing. The CBS is the ideal place to study because of the diversity of materials housed in its really accessible facilities. What I didn’t realize till I arrived is the atmosphere CBS faculty, students, and staff have created along with the ongoing interaction with other visiting scholars. Besides working hard and getting good work done, I’ve had an engaging and worthwhile experience.

  • Can you tell us what the goal of the project is?

My dissertation deals with the construction of Basque-American identity in the American West through the analysis of the stereotypes and imagery presented in works of western fiction and non-fiction, specifically, cowboy dime novels, and the stories of migrants. Although I am a historian through formation, I believe that the use of literary sources contextualized with events in migration history, both from the Basque and American perspective, help shed new light in the understanding of Basque-American identity. The aim is to understand how American society perceived and stereotyped Basque immigrants, and how in turn, second and third generation Basques turned these same stereotypes on their heads in order to create markers of a new hybrid identity.

The Basque migration experience and integration, or lack of, into the host society shaped their identity, not only within their community but also in its outward representation. Once Basque-American identity was assumed, what relationship did these migrants maintain with their homeland and how has it changed up to present? Migration obviously changes identity, while identity marks representation and recognition from both a political and socio-cultural standpoint. Therefore, the study of this process of identity creation helps us understand the actors and forces that change history.

  • Would you say that this research, is quite unique?

Well, I think as academics, we all think our research is unique, or else we wouldn’t be doing it! However, much attention has been given to literary sources, I guess it’s a sexy topic. I’m interested in how American society perceived Basques and how they became a part of the history of the West. Instead of solely focusing on the migrant experience, I aim to understand identity through the lens of the spectator, trying to look past the rose-tinted glasses of pastoral romanticization. Surely, once I get further along in my research it will become more unique and distinctive, or so I hope.

  • What have you accomplished since you arrived?

I’ve read, a lot! I came with a list of sources that I wanted to check out before coming, but it’s always interesting to see what you come across by chance and what other people are doing. My stay has given me the chance to become immersed in all things Basque. I’ve met great people and have probably spoken and listened to more Basque here than in the Basque Country!

  • Are you enjoying the U.S.?

I’m from California so of course I enjoy coming home to the States. That being said, Reno is a completely new experience for me and I like what I see. It’s amazing to be surrounded by the landscape of the places that appear in my research. I never realized how tranquil and inspiring the desert could be, especially its vast and colorful sunsets. Reno has surprised me in many ways and I can’t wait to get another opportunity to return.

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