Just a quick reminder to all our readers in the Basque Country who may be thinking of attending this year’s Azoka in Durango, the great book and record fair that turns into one huge celebration of Basque culture in general (with just a wee bit of good old-fashioned partying involved as well), this year’s publications by the Center will be at our stand. This is the 51st year of the Azoka, taking place this time round between December 2 and 6. For full details check out the official website: http://durangokoazoka.eus/eu/
New 2016 Releases
Part of the Center’s Migration Studies Series, Basques in Cuba, edited by William A. Douglass, is an ambitious attempt on the part of a variety of scholars from different disciplines and countries to chart the impact of Basque immigration in Cuba, and the effect of this back in the Basque Country.
The Basques by Jacques Allières, part of the prestigious Classic Series, is a work originally intended as an introduction to Basque history and culture, with a special focus on the Basque language, for a Francophone public. It is published here for the first time in English and serves as a unique perspective on the Basque Country by the renowned French linguist.
Multilevel Governance and Regional Empowerment by Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka is a timely addition to the growing scholarship on the multiple layers of government within the European Union. In an age marked by the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, the movement in favor of a similar vote in Catalonia, and the Brexit referendum of 2016, this work reminds us of the importance of understanding such multiple power structures.
Iban Zaldua’s This Strange and Powerful Language is a must for anyone interested in a general and accessible introduction to Basque-language literature. Zaldua’s easy-to-follow and often humorous prose guides readers through the decisions that writers make to publish in the Basque language, while offering a general introduction to the major literary work in the language.
If you can’t make it to Durango, don’t forget that you can shop for all our books online here: http://basquebooks.myshopify.com/
So the 2015 Azoka has been and gone, and once again it’s time to take stock of what it all means to us at the Center. Here are a few pictures and thoughts.
The art of letters
This year’s Azoka was marked by dry sunny weather, which is great when it comes to lugging books to the venue although some Azoka veterans say that the good weather actually keeps people away, with many other activities to make the most of in the great Basque outdoors, but that’s not the impression we had as a steady stream of people visited the Center’s stand each day.
People checking out the Azoka. And this is downtime!
The young woman in traditional Basque dress was handing out free stuff for kids outside, and yes, that really is a cloudless blue sky, in December, in the Basque Country!
It is worth pointing out, though, just how beautiful and dramatic the setting is for the Azoka – certainly tempting enough to combine a little outside activity with a visit to the epicenter of the Basque cultural world during this short, intense period.
A panoramic view of the limestone mountains that embrace Durangaldea, the Durango region of Bizkaia
And if you are lucky enough to be able to venture out and about during Azoka time, these are the kinds of views you’re treated to.
A light cloud cover hugs Mount Anboto
For more images of the varied and multiple events that took place at the Azoka, check out its own website’s day-by-day pictorial account here.
In an interesting interview with our good friends at EuskalKultura.com, Nerea Mujika, president of the Gerediaga Association that organizes the Durangoko Azoka (the Durango Book and Music Fair), explains how the Azoka is keen to develop relations with Basque diaspora communities. She also mentions the prominent place that the CBS has enjoyed as a forerunner in developing these transatlantic links with its stand at the fair, as well as the fact that both Jon Bilbao and Bill Douglass were presented with the fair’s own prestigious Argizaiola Award.
Read the full interview here.
If you haven’t already done so, take a look at our Basque books editor’s very personal take on what the Azoka means to him here.
And don’t forget to check out Part II of our 2015 Books Round up, coming later today…
The CBS stand at the Azoka with a selection of its publications
Under the slogan Topa Gerediaga! (Cheers Gerediaga!), the Gerediaga Association celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the Astola neighborhood of Abadiño (Bizkaia) on June 7. Gerediaga is an association promoting social and cultural activities in the Durangaldea district, the area in and around the town of Durango, and the organizing body behind the Durango Book Fair, which provides a welcoming home to the CBS and its books every year. Indeed, this year will also see the fiftieth anniversary of the book fair, and the CBS hopes to plan some extra special celebrations to mark this major achievement. So cheers Gerediaga from everyone at the CBS!
To see a report on the event (in Basque), with accompanying photos, click here. And there’s a video interview (in Basque) with Gerediaga members Jose Luis Lizundia, Jon Irazabal, and our especially good friend Antton Mari Aldekoa-otalora about the association here.