Early morning view of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Photo by PA, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The Arts section of the online BBC news site recently published an interesting article by William Cook on the changes experienced by Bilbao in the last twenty years. Cited in the article, Sir Norman Foster, the world famous architect behind the iconic metro system in the city, recalls: “Of all my memories as an architect, going to sites and seeing buildings, nothing compares with my experience in Bilbao.” He continues: “There was something almost religious about my experience in Bilbao, and I will never forget it.”
Check out the full article here.
When it comes to Bilbao, it goes without saying that we can’t recommend our very own Joseba Zulaika’s award-winning book, That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City, highly enough. But the CBS has also published other works that explore the impact of the Bilbao transformation and related issues in many different ways. See, for example, Building Time: The Relatus in Frank Gehry’s Architecture by Iñaki Begiristain, Transforming Cities: Opportunities and Challenges of Urban Regeneration in the Basque Country, edited by Arantxa Rodríguez and Joseba Juaristi, and Building the Basque City: The Political Economy of Nation-Building by Nagore Calvo Mendizabal.
“Joseba Zulaika’s book, recent Euskadi Prizer Winner in Essay, is a powerful song that tracks the conscience of a generation.” [Side bar text]
The Spanish edition of Joseba Zulaika’s The Old Bilbao Moon
continues to make waves after taking home the 2015 Euskadi Prize for Essay. In the Catalonia edition of major Spanish daily newspaper El País
, Mercé Ibarz glowingly reviews La vieja luna de Bilbao
. Ibarz writes, “its best quality is for me is its expressive and compositional liberty. It is a book of memories and at the same time a an urban psychogeography of the sustained collective desire to change one’s life and one’s city that reads like a novel.” Great praise for a great book!
Congratulations on this great review, and if you haven’t picked up your English copy (or Spanish) you should and you should read this terrific book!
November 19: We are so proud to share the news that Joseba Zulaika received the Euskadi Prize for an Essay in Spanish at the Europa Conference and Exhibition Center in Vitoria-Gasteiz for his Vieja luna de Bilbao. Crónicas de mi generación.
Joseba was awarded the prize by Cristina Uriarte, the Basque Government Minister for Education, Linguistic Policy, and Culture in a ceremony that also included the prizewinners in several other of this year’s categories: Literature in Spanish (Martín Olmos, Escrito en negro), Children’s and Young Adult Literature in Basque (Yolanda Arrieta, Argiaren alaba), Literary Translation into Basque (Juan Garzia Garmendia, Sonetoak, by William Shakespeare), Illustration in a Literary Work (Ana G. Lartitegui, El libro de la suerte), and Essay in Basque (Joxe Azurmendi, Historia. Arraza. Nazioa).
Listen to Joseba speak about the work (in Spanish) on Radio Euskadi (at approximately 5 minutes 30 seconds) here.
Check out the English language version of Joseba’s book: That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City.
Zorionak Joseba from everyone at the Center!
The great architect Frank Gehry, whose Guggenheim Bilbao Museum became the landmark building of the turn of the century and turned Bilbao into the worldwide paradigm of a city recreated by architecture, has designed a second work for the city: a bridge connecting Zorrotzaurre with Deusto that will be named after him: “Gehry Zubia” (literally, Gehry Bridge). Gehry has never shied away from expressing his “love” for the city that made him internationally renowned as the master artist and a household name. The bridge was opened to pedestrians at its official inauguration yesterday, September 14 (with traffic access scheduled for next year, upon completion of work on the Deusto Canal). For more information on the inauguration, click here.
Aerial shot of the Deusto Canal (2010), with the future islet of Zorrotzaurre in the center, by Fernandopascullo, via Wikimedia Commons
Recently Joseba Zulaika published his ethnography/memoir about Bilbao entitled That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City, in which he discusses at length the impact of Gehry’s masterpiece on the city and turns such a glorious “shipwreck” (as Gehry described it) into the emblem of his generation.
Maialen Lujanbio’s final song in the 2009 Bertso championshop after winning the txapela.
A section from Joseba Zulaika’s That Old Bilbao Moon, entitled “Maialen’s Bilbao Song,” was published in its Spanish version in Bertsolari (n.96:6-16) the journal of the association of bertsolariak. The text was based on the singing championship that took place at the Bilbao Exhibition Center on December 2009 in which Maialen Lujambio was declared “txapeldun” (winner). It emphasizes the role of the troubadorial singers in redefining Basque identity and in promoting euskera in Bilbao as a most decisive aspect of “the miracle in Bilbao.”