A Basque in Boise

Open call for Basque artists: Artist-in-residence programs in the polish city of Wroclaw

Credits: AIR Wro

One more year, the call for artist-in-residence programs in the Polish city of Wroclaw, aimed at Basque artists, is now open. Thanks to the collaboration between the Etxepare Basque Institute and Artists In Residence Programme (AIR Wro), two artists will be awarded eight-week artist-residencies for projects based on the civic culture and contemporary identity.

The deadline for submission of proposals is June 19. Projects from different artistic disciplines may be submitted. The selected artists will carry out their residencies from July 31 to September 24 in the Polish city of Wroclaw ‑ which shared European Capital of Culture status with San Sebastian in 2016. This call is part of an ongoing artist exchange program initiated in 2014 in the framework of Donostia 2016 and Wroclaw 2016.

Through this call, artists interested in the urban scene are invited to create a project in Wroclaw. The experience will include a lecture and a presentation of the residency outcome to be held during the international conference “City and Culture” from September 20 to 22, 2017. In addition to travel and accommodation expenses, the selected artists will receive 2000 euros, as well as support in production, promotion and communication.

Applicants must send a portfolio, CV, and registration to etxepare@etxepare.eus. A specialized jury will select the two projects, which will be posted on the AIR WRO and Etxepare Institute websites.

More info available through this link.

IRA 26-2 documentary rediscovers Elbira Zipitria, Basque language advocate and politician

Izaskun Arandia, a scriptwriter and film producer from the Basque Country, is currently producing the IRA 26-2 documentary by Maider Oleaga, which aims to rediscover the figure of Elbira Zipitria, founder of the first clandestine Basque school during Franco’s regime.

A few years back, Izaskun produced her animation film To Say Goodbye,” about the 4000 children who were evacuated from Santurtzi after the bombing of Gernika in 1937.

Filming of IRA 26-2 will start on May 27 in San Sebastian. If you would like to participate in the project, there are several ways:

  1. Donate to IRA 26-2, starting from as little as 5 Euros, by clicking here.
  2. Share the following link through email, Whatsapp, Facebook, or Twitter: www.verkami.com/projects/17904-ira-26-2
  3. Talk about the project with your friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances!

Project description

In 2011, Maider moved to the second floor of building 26 in Fermin Calbeton Street, San Sebastian, where Elbira Zipitria opened the first clandestine Basque school during Franco’s regime. The documentary aims to discover who Elbira really was, a woman who played a very important role in the history of the Basque Country and its language. With her work, Maider wants to make her work and life experiences known, and she hopes it will become a reference for future generations.

Elbira worked to keep the Basque language alive in a time where using it could land you in prison, as she was also a political activist. Elbira was a speaker for Emakume Abertzale Batza and their secretary in Gipuzkoa, thus being one of the first women in the public arena.

The documentary will be filmed at Elbira’s house, the film’s director current residence.


How will your contribution be used?

The money raised by this campaign will help cover part of the post-production costs and commission fees charged by Verkami, Paypal, as well as some prize expenses.


Filming will start on May 27 in San Sebastian, until the end of June. Staging will last 2-3 months and prizes will be sent right afterwards.

The team

Screenwriter: Maider Oleaga
Director: Maider Oleaga
Photography director: David Aguilar
Producer director: Izaskun Arandia
Producer: Loreto Agirre
Live sound: Luca Rullo
Sound design: Jose Luis Rubio
Staging: Pello Gutierrez
Post-production assistant: Maitane Carballo
Movie producers: IZAR Films and REC Grabaketa Estudioa

More information

Twitter: @ira26_2
Facebook: @ElbiraZipitriaFilm
Produced by: IZAR Films and REC Grabaketa Estudioa


¡Feliz Día de la Madre!

Pues aquí estoy, de vuelta en la cama por orden de Maitane. Hoy es el Día de la Madre en los Estados Unidos y algo se trae entre manos en la cocina. Ya empecé a sospechar ayer cuando me preguntó que a qué hora tenía pensado levantarme hoy. A las 7:30 am han empezado los ruidos de armarios y cazuelas, así que he hecho tiempo en mi habitación mirando el Facebook y leyendo no sé qué hostias sobre el gallo de Manel.

Y es que ya lo comenté hace unos años en este mismo blog, en una entrada que dediqué a mi ama para darle las gracias por estar siempre para mi hermana y para mí. Bueno, y no ha cambiado. Sin embargo, mis hijos siempre me dejan a la altura del barro. Vale, ahora tengo la excusa de estar lejos y no poder prepararle el desayuno a mi ama, por ejemplo, pero es que tampoco lo hacía cuando vivía con ella. En cambio a mí, los enanos me tratan como a una reina. No lo cuento, lo demuestro. (Y de paso, me despido, que tengo hambre).

¡Feliz día a todas las madres!

Growing pains

My son’s journey into adolescence is well on its way, and it shows. He is no longer that little kid who openly cuddled with me before bed every night. Luckily, he hasn’t (yet) become unbearable or withdrawn. Quite the contrary. The closer he gets to being a teenager, the more questions he has, and he doesn’t hold back. I barely have time to put my computer bag down when I get home from work before he fires at me with his usual opening line: “Amatxu, I have a question.” Shit.

It has been quite the experience to revisit my teenage years as I strive to answer all of Andoni’s questions. Not so much because I’ve had to rescue old memories well hidden under thirty years of new ones, but because I’ve realized how little things have changed (in general and for me specifically) since I was young.

It all started a few months ago when he went to the arcade place with a girl he liked, her grandma and her sister. I dropped him off and asked him to call me when he was done. He did, an hour after the girl and her family had left. He told me once the girl left he was finally able to enjoy himself, and whether first dates were different for adults. Yeah… Nope. First dates are as uncomfortable as a wedgie, so you either suck it up or avoid dating like the plague (works for me).

Then, after breaking up with his first “real” girlfriend of three weeks, he wanted to know why he felt so crappy and is it the same when you get older. That’s right, boy. Breaking up sucks no matter how old you are. And just wait until someone you like breaks up with you. I can’t wait to help him with that one! Hopefully he’ll be twenty-one by then because other than wine, I have nothing to offer him.

There are also questions about testosterone and does that subside (I don’t know!), do I also feel something when I like a guy and how do I go about it, and so on and so forth. I thought I was better at handling this stuff now that I’m older and supposedly wiser, but in (trying to) answer his questions I found that I am only kidding myself. Three decades, two kids and a divorce later and I’m as clueless as I always was. Hopefully, listening and being there for him will help a bit.

Probably it’s just me and other people are super responsible, well-adjusted adults who no longer struggle with these types of things. If that’s you, please email me with the answers. Andoni and I will forever be grateful.




Etxauzia: Euskaldun bat, Euro bat campaign

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we learn about an initiative to save the Etxauzia castle in Baigorri, Lower Navarre.

Euskaldun bat, Euro bat

Etxauzia, or the “Navarran’s home,” is a castle located in Baigorri, Behe Nafarroa, that has a thousand-year-old history, which is currently owned by a couple in Florida. The couple is now interested in selling the property and so this organization was created with the intention of buying it, and preserving it for generations to come. To this end, they have launched the campaign “Euskaldun Bat, Euro Bat,” meaning that if every Basque donates 1 Euro, then enough funds will have been raised. The hope is to purchase the castle and open it to the public, thus promoting the local economy and supporting Basque culture and heritage. Additionally, it will strengthen ties with Basque people around the world, and welcome those from the Diaspora to Etxauzia.

A representative from Etxauzia will be in the states from May 26th till June 4th attending both Bakersfield and San Francisco picnics, in order to present the project and be on hand to answer any questions. For more information on the project, you can visit the organization’s website, Etxauzia, zabal eta bizi or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like to make a contribution to the effort, click here.

To see views of the property, watch this film on YouTube.

If you would like to have Astero, NABO’s weekly bulletin, sent directly to your inbox, you only have to fill out this form.

Get trained to teach Basque language and culture abroad at the summer courses of the UPV

For the seventh consecutive year, the Etxepare Basque Institute, in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country, will offer the Excellence in Basque Studies summer course. The course is aimed at people interested in teaching the Basque language and Basque culture abroad. This seventh edition will take place on the 10th and 11th of July, at the Miramar Palace in San Sebastian.

Sign up now online via this link.

This year the course will focus on analyzing gender studies related with different disciplines such as literature and nationalism. It will also emphasize the international dimension of gender studies.

Professionals from different fields will take part in this course, led by Mari Jose Olaziregi, expert in literature. Enrollment is open to all. The main purpose of Excellence in Basque Studies is to prepare people interested in teaching Basque language abroad. The course is also geared to future readers from the Etxepare international network, covering themes related with Basque culture in general.

The 2017 Summer Courses include a total of 15 different cycles, distributed in 137 courses, workshops and professional working days. There are 20 congresses, 5 open activities and 20 online courses held throughout the year. 24 courses will be taught in Basque, 20 in English and 2 in French (generally scientific congresses).

From this week’s Astero: Gaztemundu

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we will learn about the new edition of Gaztemundu.


The Counsel of the Basque Government approved the 2017 Gaztemundu Program this Tuesday. This year’s edition is scheduled for September 2-17, 2017, and is dedicated to traditional Basque Instruments.

Gaztemundu is a training program open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who are members of recognized Basque clubs all over the world. Participants will be given the opportunity to learn about these instruments from expert professors, as well as meet musicians who play them. Over the two weeks, they will also travel, and learn more about the country of their ancestors.

Application information will be made available after it has been published in the Official Bulletin of the Basque Country. If you are interested in applying, please stay tuned to www.EuskalKultura.com as they will publish the criteria as soon as they are made available.

Boise’s Teresa Franzoia, during the 2014 edition of Gaztemundu @ www.irekia.euskadi.eus

If you would like to have Astero, NABO’s weekly bulletin, sent directly to your inbox, you only have to fill out this form.

The Bombing of Gernika: 80th Anniversary Commemoration and Exhibit Opening at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center

For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Basque Museum & Cultural Center
Annie Gavica, Executive Director
Phone: 208.343.2671
Email: annieg@basquemuseum.com

The Basque Museum will mark the 80th anniversary of a Basque tragedy with a survivor’s discussion panel and exhibit opening

Boise, Idaho (April 13, 2017) — The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is opening a new exhibit on April 26. Gernika Gogoratuz – Remembering Gernika will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika, a horrific event that arguably led to the surrender of the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War. The anniversary will be marked by a discussion panel let by David Lachiondo, PhD. and will include survivors and eyewitnesses of the day’s horrific events. They will give their accounts of their time growing up in Franco’s Dictatorship and their experiences during the market day on April 26, 1937.

We will follow up the discussion panel with a commemoration of the 80th anniversary at the Basque Museum (611 Grove Street) with participation by the Biotzetik Basque Choir, Oinkari Basque Dancers, and representatives from other Basque organizations in Idaho. Finally, we will observe a moment of silence to honor all those that perished that fateful day and then open the Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s exhibit “Gernika Gogoratuz: Remembering Gernika”.

On April 26, 1937, the small town of Gernika was busting at the seams for their weekly market day when German aircraft flew overhead dropping incendiary bombs on the quiet town. As people were running for cover, planes came back around and gunned those down that the bombs may have missed. It took more than 50 years for Germany to take responsibility of this devastating event, and it is to be argued that Spain have yet to acknowledge their involvement. The city of Gernika is now a thriving city full of vibrant culture & history and is now home to the Peace Museum & considered by some the Peace Capital. Through the exhibit at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, we will share not only the tragedy & triumph of that small town, but also the impact it had around the world, especially in the United States.

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. The Basque Museum also hopes to educate about the Basque history and culture in the Basque Country as well as their migration and influence on both the sheep industry and the general cultures and traditions of the western states they called home. The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is located at 611 W Grove Street in downtown Boise. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm. For more information, visit basquemuseum.com.

We invite anyone interested in learning more about the bombing of Gernika and the significance to the culture and this Idaho community to take part in this event.

Boise’s Korrika 2017 in images

The 20th Edition of Korrika has come and gone, leaving millions of memories etched in the minds of participants all around the world. From our little corner in Boise, Idaho, we’d like to share with you our celebration in support of the Basque language.

Special thanks to The Basque Museum and Cultural Center for organizing the event and Maialen Goirizelaia for documenting it.


Korrika 20! BatZuk! Boise, Idaho USA

Posted by Basque Museum & Cultural Center on Saturday, April 8, 2017



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Mark your calendar for the New England Basque Club Jai-Aldi

I would love to make it to New England’s Jai-Aldi one of these years. Unfortunately, it’s a bit out of the way from Boise. However, if you are luckier than I am ― maybe you live closer or are travelling through Connecticut in May ― stop by and say hi.

All New England Basque Club members and friends are invited to participate in our Jai-Aldi Celebration on Saturday May 20th at Riki Lasa’s farm in Connecticut.

Where: 426 South Grand Street, Suffield CT 06093
When: May 20th, 11am to 7pm

This year’s program will include a memorial to remember our deceased loves ones, an exhibition of Basque rural sports, a Paella Challenge with the participation of the different chapters of the NEBC, and a Mus Tournament.

Dinner will be cooked and served by the NEBC and it will include bread, an assortment of salads, paella, roasted pork, dessert and coffee. There will be also a cash bar run by the club.

All attendees will be asked to make a contribution of 20$ per person (5$ per child).

RSVP before May 6th to nebasque@gmail.com if you are planning on attending. If you are interested in taking part in the Mus Tournament, drop us a line in a different email.

Volunteers to help out during the event are much needed. Reach out if you think that you can give us a hand.

Thank you very much for your support! Looking forward to seeing you.
Check out the NEBC Facebook page for updates.