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Homegrown Catalan campaign extends to Eivissa. Next up: Menorca and Mallorc

Foto presentacio Histories del CatalaEarlier today in the conference hall of the Formentera Council's Office of Culture, local and regional elected officials gathered for a presentation of a Catalan language campaign that has recently experienced a revival: Històries del Català. CiF councillor of culture Susana Labrador was joined by her opposite number in Eivissa, David Ribas, the director general of the Govern Balear's language policy division, Marta Fuxà, and local councillors from various Eivissa ajuntaments (village councils). Representatives of Eivissa village councils included Marivó Mengual, from the education and language office of the Ajuntament d'Eivissa; Ana Costa, from the culture office of the Ajuntament de Santa Eulària des Riu; María José Guisado Costa, from the education office of the Ajuntament de Sant Josep de sa Talaia; Raúl Díaz Guerrero, from the community involvement office of the Ajuntament de Sant Antoni de Portmany; and Santiago Marí, from the culture office of the Ajuntament de Sant Joan de Labritja.

The creative minds behind the campaign set out to “represent the stories of people who have come to live on the island and are studying Catalan,” said Councillor Labrador. She recalled that the first campaign took place in 2011 under the aegis of the Formentera Council's language advisory service, or SAL. This year, the CiF office reached out to administrations on the larger Pitiüsa island and ultimately received interest from a host of ajuntaments. Having decided to hop on board as well, Menorca will also oversee filming of its own set of stories this summer. The SAL says the response from Mallorca was positive too. The Eivissa reps and Ms Fuxà offered congratulations regarding the initiative's success and thanked the Formentera SAL for engaging with them on a project like Històries del Català.

The project focuses on the story of 12 individuals on Formentera and 13 on Eivissa. They are people who, in addition to living in this corner of the Balearic archipelago, share the added particularity of having studied Catalan. The protagonists represent an array of differing origins; one hails from Madrid, another is a native of the Canary Islands and others represent Italy, Russia, Galicia, Slovakia and Morocco. The first part of the project involved creating the graphic and audiovisual material, which was unveiled today. Henceforth, each ajuntament and island council will be in charge of promoting their 'Catalan stories'. The Councils of Formentera and Eivissa came together to create a website to host a compilation of stories and videos from both islands: www.historiesdelcatala.cat.

Each village council assumed the production costs of filming històries in their area. In the end 25 stories were filmed at a total cost of 3,000 euros. The website, which receives funding from both island councils, has so far had a cost of 800 euros. The stories are also being picked up by the media, proof that Catalan remains a vibrant language used even by recent arrivals in their day-to-day life. 

'Revelaciones' by Álvaro Mendoza

Foto expo Alvaro MendozaYesterday, local artist Álvaro Mendoza pulled back the curtain on his latest exhibition, Revelaciones. The sampling of work includes 13 paintings completed over the last year, paintings which Mendoza quips are “somewhere between expressionist and abstract”. The exhibit, which is on display at the municipal gallery of the old town hall (Ajuntament Vell), can be visited Monday through Saturday, 11.00am to 2.00pm and 6.00 to 9.00pm.

Council and Baleària's social arm clinch renewed cultural partnership

CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Ricard Pérez, head of Fundació Baleària, have renewed a partnership agreement to sponsor cultural activities on the island.

Cultural councillor Susana Labrador, also present at the signing, explained that the agreement, first struck in November 2015, is “the driving force behind the increase in cultural programming on the island”. According to the councillor, thanks to the partnership a number of homegrown Formentera acts also been exported.

For Baleària, the agreement —and promoting exhibitions and concerts from other Balearic artists— is a sign of its commitment to Formentera. Another example of this is La Baralla de les Meravelles, an exhibit by Valencian painter Ramon Pérez Carrió currently at La Caixa bank's gallery space.

Last year the Fundació Balear, the Formentera Council and Obra Cultural Balear programmed a series of musical acts under the banner Un mar de paraules. The series included performances by Andreu Valor, Estellés de má en má, Pau Alabajos, Meritxell Gené and others.

Formentera's got culture on the agenda

palabras-de-miguelThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture unveiled today its spring calendar of musicals and stage productions. According to department head Susana Labrador, it's a programme with “something for everybody”. “From opera to theatre and kids productions to musicals, the variety of styles and formats on this season's cultural agenda points to one thing: culture is back at centre stage on Formentera”.


Formentera viu l'Òpera picks up again this May with one of the world's most beloved ballets: Giselle. With music from Adolphe Adam and choreography from Yuri Grigorovich, Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre brings this evening of dance to the Formentera cinema (Sala de Cultura) at 8.00pm, Saturday May 7.

The Formentera viu l'Òpera series was borne of a desire to bring this magnificent art form to Formentera audiences. Organisers have compiled a well-known selection of operatic productions for HD projection at the CiF cultural hall.

Another event that shouldn't be missed is Palabras de Miguel, a production of Nona Teatro. Scheduled for 9.00pm, Saturday May 14 at Centre Tur Gabrielet, this free show combines the acting of José Manuel Garzón with music from pianist José Galiana in a heartfelt rendering of the lifelong correspondence between poet Miguel Hernández and wife Josefina Manresa. First, we see the couple's relationship in its earliest stages, during a season spent by the artist in Madrid. Then, with the onset of the Spanish Civil War, Hernández eventually finds himself on the front lines of combat. Later, he is arrested and held in Spanish prisons until, in Alicante, he ultimately passes away. Through a series of letters, the audience is presented a rarely seen side of Hernández, as a father and husband. Palabras de Miguel combines texts and poems with the accompaniment of a piano.

For the kids

Kids will have a time with Safrà i Serafí, a puppet show by the Catalan company Txo Titelles about the strength and value of friendship. Safrà and Serafí, two field mice, are next-door neighbours with consummately different interests in life. Their story is a reflection of the power of diversity to enrich us and a reminder that friendship and cooperation make us whole.

Safrà i Serafí, for audiences two and up, will be held Saturday May 21 at 6.00pm in the cinema (Sala de Cultura). Tickets are five euros and one adult per family can enter for free.

Formentera, at centre stage

As this summer winds down the island will just be warming up. Performances of two productions are scheduled on Formentera as part of the regional ministry of culture's programme Platea. In October, the company Titziana Teatro will present islanders with their most recent show: Distancia siete minutos, a touching mixture of acting and dramatic writing by Pako Merino and Diego Lorca. Hailed by critics, this production will be in the cinema October 1.

Marcel Gros, one of the most loved and recognised clowns on the Catalan stage, will bring his most recent production to Formentera just in time for November's World Children's Day. Having honed the craft now for more than thirty years, Gros is thrilled to be back presenting audiences with La gran A... ventura [història d'un Pallasso]. Gros's ability to get entire audiences smiling is certifiable. Come to the cinema, Saturday November 12 at 5.30pm, and watch as he “combines multi-comic and mini-media” for a production that is “absolutely, exclusively for everyone”.

Lastly, Circuit Talent IB, the jointly run initiative by Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics and the Govern Balear's ministry of culture, will soon be back for a new round of musical and performing arts productions. According to Councillor Labrador, next season's programme will be published this June.

This Saturday, Leonmanso performs at Casa del Poble in la Mola

leonmanso 1For lovers of singer-songwriters, the Formentera Council (CiF) Office of Culture is pleased to announce a performance by Leonmanso this Saturday, April 30, in promotion of the artist's newest CD, Jardins de brutes basses. The Minorcan performer's sound is described as a mixture of folk pop and singer-songwriter traditions, while still distinctly reminiscent of typically American sounds.

The private universe of Llure Marquès (aka Leonmanso) is made up of magical anecdotes, intimate experiences and universal reflections. In this, his second disc, the ensemble is tied together in a package of multicoloured craft paper. Autobiographical stories (Com ells, Sa mamà cuida ses flors o Com tronc corrent avall) appear alongside dreamworld jaunts (Es tren and the hit Darrer intent) and even the odd nightmare (Es vell malalt). To be sure, the sound is bare bones, very well steeped. The dry brand of folk harkens back to Marquès' own youth where both grunge and traditional Minorcan performers like Joan Fandango were present.

Jardins de brutes basses was recorded and produced by the artist's friend (and former Spectrum rival) Quim Torres, himself a member of music group Delên. The album was recorded in a house in the Minorcan countryside with the benefit of simmering pots of home cooking, friends, shaggy pets and family. Jardins is the first offering from Velomar Records, a fledgling Minorcan record label that is already teeming with bright ideas and exciting projects.

The concert will take place Saturday April 30 at 8.30pm in la Casa del Poble in la Mola. The event is part of the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' initiative Talent Ib. For more information, head over to: http://velomarrecords.com/leonmanso/

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