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Culture and Historical heritage

New exhibit sets out to 'unearth the silence'

foto-desenterrant-el-silenci-1The Formentera Council's culture office announces that at 8.00pm on Friday, Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” will hold the opening of an exhibit on historical memory titled “Desenterrant el silenci”.

Drawing on photos by Sergi Bernal, the exhibit is about uncovering memories of the mass graves left in the wake of the Spanish Civil War. But it is also more than that. It is an attempt to make good on the promise of schoolteacher (mestre) Benaiges to his pupils that once his notebook “El mar” was published he would take them to sea.

The show stems from a teaching philosophy in which the student is at the centre of the learning process. This is also true of the notebooks which the pupils themselves prepared at their school in Bañuelos de Bureba, a small town in Burgos where Antoni Benaiges used the Freinet method (so named for Célestin Freinet).

Since first opening in September 2011 at the civic centre in Les Esmandíes de Mataró, the exhibit has been visited by people in nearly thirty cities and towns across the country.

Day of learning about children, wellness and sport on Formentera

foto nens salut i esportThe culture office of the Formentera Council has selected the department's Sala d'Actes to hold a discussion led by Xavier Cañellas. The gathering will kick off at 9.30am on Saturday October 20, and will focus on the island's so-called “values plan” concerning children, wellness and sport.

Cañellas is a psychoneuroimmunologist, lecturer and professor involved in an array of master's programmes and courses, plus coauthor of “Nens sans, adults sans”.

Often in today's world we're not conscious that our routines and surroundings reflect a fairly stark departure from the natural state of things. Junk food, long days at the office and lack of physical exercise or “sedentariness” are just some of the ways our artificial environment takes a serious toll on our health, often manifesting themselves in the form of allergies, intolerances and mental disorders.

For this Saturday's course, Cañellas will share how to uncover the causes of our ailments instead of merely tackling the symptoms, part of what he calls an “active approach” to healing. Cañellas emphasises the role of dietary and lifestyle changes in restoring wellness and resolving emotional conflicts if real quality of life improvements are desired.

Topics covered during the course will include “Fact and fiction about the food we eat”, “Gut microbiota”, “Sport: a need, not an obligation” and “Children, wellness and sport”.

Culture and patrimony offices move to Sant Ferran

foto-conselleria-cultura1The Formentera Council wishes to announce the relocation to Sant Ferran of the department of education, culture and patrimony; the administration's language advisory service; the office of trade and markets and the bureau of citizen participation.

From today, inquiries related to these offices should be carried out at the new location, carrer Mallorca, 17A, during regular office hours (9.00am to 2.00pm).

The move stems from a proposal that arose during a discussion on the state of Formentera in 2017. Participants called for reëstablishing the offices in Sant Ferran as a way to promote the town as the island's cultural stronghold.

Ambulantes Teatro y Danza present 'Por unos pasitos de ná' to Formentera audiences

foto-por-unos-pasitos-de-na 1The Formentera Council's department of culture welcomes Por unos pasitos de ná, a dance production for children three and up scoring big-time plaudits from critics and audiences in towns and cities across the country.

A blend of flamenco and contemporary dance, Por unos pasitos de ná plays out as an encounter of three dancers/geometric figures. Two are circular, one is square, all three have got a different shape and dance.

Heeding a celebratory call, the dancers make their way towards a door that the circular ones slip through without a hitch. The problem comes when the square dancer attempts to follow suit; the round door leaves her at a loss. Her fellow dancers encourage her to change her identity, her shape, her dance; but, true to her proud flamenco roots, she is adamant about maintaining her identity and shape. The solution, of course, comes with fun-loving and clown-like dance.

Ambulantes Teatro y Danza weave a fun-filled spectacle in the key of clown, and highlight the importance of identity while promoting respect for people who are different.

The production comes to Formentera as part of PLATEA. Launched in 2014, PLATEA is an initiative of Spain's national institute of performing arts and music, an offshoot of the Spanish ministry of education, culture and sport, and aims to bring top-notch nationwide productions to Formentera theatre-lovers.

The troupe
Ambulantes Teatro y Danza's experience in children's productions spans many years. Their start came adapting youth-friendly texts for the stage, in pieces seasoned with the language of dance. The troupe was trained at Albacete's municipal theatre school and Madrid's Sala Cuarta Pared. Past productions include a child-friendly version of Don Quijote, Pulgarcito (or “Tom Thumb” to English-speaking audiences) and Déjate llevar.

In addition to Saturday's production, Ambulantes Teatro y Danza will offer three workshops to students of Formentera's school of music and dance on Friday evening.

Por unos pasitos de ná makes its début before Formentera audiences this Saturday, October 6 at 6.00pm at the cinema (Sala de Cultura). Tickets for the 50-minute production can be purchased at the box office the day of the function for €3.

Findings from exhumation at Sant Ferran cemetery

foto cementeri-sant-ferran3Formentera Council chair Jaume Ferrer was joined today by regional culture minister Fanny Tur, Formentera's secretary of culture and patrimony Susana Labrador, and forensic archaeologist-anthropologist Almudena García-Rubio in unveiling the conclusions of the exhumation carried out in late November and early December 2017 at the Sant Ferran cemetery.

Engineers of the effort set out to recover the remains of five individuals —Jaume Ferrer Ferrer (Jaume de na Morna), Josep Ribas Marí (Pep de Baix), Joan Tur Mayans (Joan de can Pep Damià), Jaume Serra Juan (Jaume de can Mariano d'en Corda), Vicent Cardona Colomar (Vicent de can Fumeral)— who were executed on March 1, 1937 in the Sant Ferran cemetery.

Results of effort
As part of the undertaking, crews performed various targeted digs on and adjacent to the cemetery (six and five, respectively) and analysed skeletal remains found in a charnel house. Probes of the charnel produced three pieces of bone fragments (two skull fragments and one from a humerus bone) with bullet entry holes and marks produced by firearms. Four bits of 7-mm caliber Mauser projectiles used in the killing were also unearthed nearby.

Additional efforts this year involved checking genetic material against DNA of the five victims' relatives. Unfortunately samples extracted from skeletal remains were insufficient for genetic analysis to be conducted.

Scouring causes of death listed in the island's civil registry, researchers were unable to recover any records of death by a firearm. This fact supports the hypothesis that the found remains belong to three of the five murder victims.

“The review of documentary evidence has made it possible for us to certify that the uncovered remains correspond to three of the five individuals killed at the Sant Ferran cemetery wall”, said Tur, which, for the CiF culture and patrimony secretary, helps bring closure to the events of March 1, 1937. “Mass grave legislation and a committee decision to exhume unmarked graves at the Sant Ferran cemetery have meant we've begun talking about this chapter of our past”, said Labrador, “and that families have been able to relate their experiences”.

The Palma and Formentera administrations have left the fate of the unearthed remains in the hands of the victims' families. One suggestion is that they be deposited in an urn inside the cemetery with a plaque commemorating the events of March 1, 1937.

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