Cultural tunnel

Here are some pictures from a subway in Azpeitia, Gipuzkoa, listing different cultural activities. Arkeologia, artea, dantza, musika and zinema aren’t too difficult to understand, but it could be mentioned that antzerkia means ‘theatre’.




Here are a few murals made and photographed by the artist MuralesLian (earlier featured at this blog with the improvement of the gaztetxea in Zarautz). Many thanks for letting us publish the pictures! We start off with this super hero child:


The text says utz diezaiogun printzesa hauskorrak eta matxito biolentoak hezteari, that is ‘let’s stop raising fragile princesses and small violent male chauvinists’.

Next is this wolf with the text ez ixildu, altxatu eta ohiukatu, meaning ‘don’t be quiet, stand up and scream’:


Here’s another gaztetxea facade (with a small lauburu, Basque cross, next to the stop sign to the right):


A grand mural from Eibar:


One from Beasain:hands1hands2

And finally this beautiful painting:


For more murals made by MuralesLian, please visit the artist at Facebook and WordPress.

Juan de Bilbao Kalea revisited

Here’s a pair of new photos from Juan de Bilbao Kalea. The first one is protesting against the development in Donostia / San Sebastián, where increased tourism and the backwash of the economic crisis have begun to change the character of the old town. Many locals can’t afford to stay when landlords can earn more money on renting the flats to tourists. You can read more in this English article in the Basque magazine Argia: A wave which may drown us.


The second is another one about the ETA prisoners, calling for a transfer to the Basque Country and amnesty. On the top, the green sign encourages people to bizi euskaraz, ‘live in Basque’.


Azkoitia & Azpeitia

Here are a bunch of photos of walls in the two Gipuzkoan inland towns of Azkoitia and Azpeitia (same shit, not very different names). Starting off with this happy child and well nourished cat:


Here are three versions of the same stencil, stating that a place to live is a human right (etxebizitza eskubidea). The one to the right is signed with the symbol of the banned Basque socialist youth organisation Segi.


A pair of photos from a subway with people canoeing and biking:



These dancing figures:


Decoration next to a outdoor fronton:


A wall for Orkatz, a herriko taberna, that is an establishment run and visited by affiliates and sympathisers to the Basque left-wing nationalist movement. The equivalent for the Basque bourgeoisie is called batzokia. Read more about these phenomena at Spanish Wikipedia: Herriko taberna and Batzokia.


A stencil with a Jewish version of Sabino Arana (here called “Rabino Arana”), founder of the Basque Nationalist Party back in 1895. Don’t know whether it’s just a bad word play or also something antisemitic about it.


The facade of a textile store with two lauburu, Basque crosses:


A mural proclaiming Nafarroa – gure estatua, ‘Navarre – our state’, reflecting that many Basque nationalists want to see Navarre, the neighbouring region of Euskadi, as a part of the Basque Country. The symbol to the left is the Navarrese shield, while the one to the right is the arrano beltza, a black eagle.


And finally some random photos:


Head and heart


This mural in Azkoitia, Gipuzkoa, is about incineration plants and rubbish dumps. The text, burua ondo daukanak ez ditu etxe ondoan nahi, bihotz ona daukanak besteen etxe ondoan ere ez ditu nahi, means ‘the ones with a good head don’t want them next to their houses, the ones with a good heart don’t want them next to the houses of others either’.

Lilya Brik as well


The 2016 mural from the neighbourhood festival of Santa Klara, Azken Portu and Aritzbatalde in Zarautz had a Russian futurist theme. Furthest left, there’s a pastiche of a poster featuring Lilya Brik, the muse of Vladimir Mayakovsky:


The Basque Lilya shouts nik ere bai! ‘me too!’, referring to nik ere buelta, the theme of that year’s festival. (The original Russian Lilya, shown to the right, shouted for knigi, ‘books’.)



Other texts on the wall include ez da EZ, meaning ‘no is NO’, “refugees welcome”, and this poem below:


lehenagokoak dira ibaiak eta mediak
aspaldikoak lurra eta bidea
jendearekin lotzen ditut galderak nire kaleetan
nork erabaki zuen hau zela tokia?
nork jaso zuen aurreneko babeslekua?
nork eman zien harriei jendetasuna?
nork egin zuen trenbidearekin muga?
nork izendatu zuen azken portua?

In this Google photo album, there are several photos from when the mural was painted and of the artists behind it.

Free, not afraid

A mural from Azpeitia, Gipuzkoa, showing the Little Red Riding Hood holding the wolf’s tail. The text, Etxerako bidean aske, ez ausart, means ‘on the way home, free, not afraid’:


Beach landscape

By the beach in the area of Iñurritza (Zarautz), there’s a painting with a few people and a mountainous landscape in the background. However, the sand has risen a meter or so since the mural was painted, so for the moment all you can see of it is a piece of the sky and the top of a mountain.


Nothing to do whatsoever with murals I’m afraid, but at least it connects to the earlier post on Basque-Swedish connections: The American Boga – Basque Studies Consortium Journal has just published an article of mine about Euskadi-bulletinen, a Swedish journal published in 1975–76 in solidarity with the Basque independence movement. The text is freely available at the web page of Boga.

Below is a bilingual illustration from Euskadi-bulletinen, with the Basque eguŕa, literally meaning ‘wood’ but here it’s short for eguŕa eman which could be translated to ‘strike hard’ (nowadays it would be spelled egurra). Then the Swedish stöd det baskiska folkets kamp för frihet och socialism means ‘support the Basque people’s struggle for freedom and socialism’, while Basuqe askatasuna at the end means ‘freedom’ (which was the name of the organisation that published Euskadi-bulletinen).


The same issue of Boga also contains an article by William A. Douglass on calculating Basque ethnicity in the US census, another one by Jexux Larrañaga Arriola on bertsolaritza, and a feature on a newly found piece of cave art in the Armintxe cave.