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Beni Trutmann honours nine of 87 participants

1e Premi Blanc i negre Entre Lineas. Jose TomasYesterday at eight in the evening, not only did jurors name the winners of the 14th Beni Trutmann photo contest, the Formentera Council Office of Culture pulled up the curtain on an exhibition of prints from this year's competition. The showing will remain on display from Monday through Friday, 10.00am to 2.00pm, until May 7 at the municipal gallery (Sala d'Exposicions) of the Ajuntament Vell.

Since its inception, the Trutmann competition has focused on Formentera nature in all of its forms —landscapes, flora and fauna, humans in nature— as the reflection of an unwavering environmental commitment. When he died, Trutmann bequeathed more than 30,000 photos to Formentera, all of which show the photograph's deep love for the natural beauty of the island. The idea of a photo competition came about as a way to pay tribute to Trutmann, said CiF culture councillor Susana Labrador.

New category, smart phone

To teach Formentera's youth about this important local figure, this year, organisers of the competition decided to propose a new category to participants: photos taken on smart phones. The category is open to anyone between 12 and 18 and, according to organisers, participants have already taken a shine to it. The Polaroid company signed on to participate as well, offering photo material as prizes for this year's contest.

Eighty-seven people participated in the 2016 Beni Trutmann competition. In black-and-white and colour, 48 photographers submitted a total of 131 prints. In the new smart phone category, 39 individuals sent in 109 photos. All submissions will now become part of the Council's photo archives.

The jury for the competition was formed by a representative from the Formentera branch of the Balearic birdwatching and nature group, a representative from the local arm of Obra Cultural Balear, two individuals with experience in visual arts and one staff member from the Council's Office of Youth Services.

Councillor Labrador congratulated all of this year's winners, listed as follows:

First prize: €500, José Tomás Rojas
Second prize: €300, Federic Vicent Marí Held
Third prize: €200, Ricardo Lamín

First prize: €500, David Hernández Martin
Second prize: €300, Sergi Torres Costa
Third prize: €200, Aleksandra Maria Rozej

Smart phone
First prize: Polaroid SNAP instant camera, Victoria Jiménez García
Second prize: Polaroid Cube action camera, Julia Tur Mayans
Third prize: IF045 sports camera, Randa Ben Hamza Shaim Abja

Ramon Pérez Carrió lays cards on table with 'La Baralla de les Meravelles'

Cartell baralla meravellesThe Formentera Council Office of Culture welcomes to the island La Baralla de les Meravelles. With a title twisted off the Catalan word for the naipes and roughly translated as “the deck of marvels”, the exhibition from Ramon Pérez Carrió opens today as part of the Sant Jordi activities programme. An opening attended by the artist is scheduled for 8.00pm in the old town hall (Ajuntament Vell). It is the first time the exhibit stops in Formentera, though the island features as one of the four suits that comprise the deck of playing cards. The show will run from April 18-24 in the municipal gallery (Sala d'Exposicions) before relocating to the La Caixa gallery for a stint from April 27-May 7.

The collection is composed of 42 gouaches that Pérez has crafted in the colourist tradition. El Llibre de les Meravelles, from universal Majorcan thinker Ramon Llull was a spur for the idea, as were the culture, history and alchemy of the four Balearic islands. The paintings resemble the 40-card naipes deck with two notable jokers thrown in: Llull himself and the famously-hermitic abbot turned saint Felix of Rhuys. Each one of four suits represents a different island of the Balearic archipelago. Clubs stand in for Menorca, gold coins for Mallorca, cups for Eivissa and swords for Formentera. What is more, each number from one to ten coincides with the books that constitute El Llibre de les Meravelles (Llibre dels Elements, dels Metalls, del Cel, de les Plantes, de les Bèsties, de l’Infern, del Paradís, de l’Home, dels Àngels i de Déu).

The symbolism of the images relies on a blend of history, tradition, mythology and the immense cultural wealth of the unique geological and geographic traits of the Mediterranean corridor. Pérez draws on inspiration from the gnostic, alchemistic and cabalistic iconography of the thirteenth century humanist sage's medieval codices. The paintings in La Baralla are also an unmistakeable nod to art history and the Platonic thought that Llull emboldened during his lifetime.

Ramon Llull christened his philosophic technique “Art”, so it is no great surprise that “plastic” is often used to interpret his work. Llull fathered the idea of a language based on binary code, as well as the Lullian wheel and the tree-shaped conceptual diagram. He is also responsible for putting forward the first postulations about play-inciting areas of the brain and something he called “the art of finding marvels”, a technique that included crafting mosaics of possibilities capable of leading us to understanding and absolute knowledge.

In 2003 Fundació Baleària commissioned Ramon Pérez Carrió for this project and offered a luxury-format of La Baralla for the maiden voyage of the transport company's Ramon Llull fast ferry. The originals were displayed in Terminal Drassanes of the Barcelona port before embarking on an art tour of the Balearics. Hoisted aboard a freighter called Illa de Botafoc, the collection made its way across the ports of our island community. In 2004, when the foundation launched Fundació “Baleària-4 Illes”, a reduced version of the deck was rolled out and the originals were placed on permanent exhibition in Cura, Mallorca, in a hall which is dedicated to Llull inside the Santa Mkaria monastery. Both of the two editions of the card decks are now out of print.

Llull is considered the father of cult Catalan prose. History recognises him for the lexical solutions he found for describing philosophical ideas in a language still short on resources. That explains why the exhibit has been employed by a poets' encounter called Un mar de paraules, a gathering of vocational Catalan hikers and as a background for spaces like Espai Comunicacional Ramon Llull, which symbolises regional unity. With the sea travel connections it offers, the Baleària company makes communication possible between territories that share a language and culture. The company's foundation, Fundació Baleària, has also signed on to commemorate the seventh centennial anniversary of Llull's death with the dissemination of La Baralla de les Meravelles.


Next week Joan Marí Cardona conference series returns

Presentacio jornades fotoEarlier today the CiF Office of Heritage announced the specifics of the department's upcoming round of conferences titled Joan Marí Cardona Jornades d'Estudis Locals. As explained by department head Susana Labrador, the series, now in its fourth year, “began in 2011 as a way to promote field research on subjects relevant to Formentera's cultural heritage”. The seminars will run from Monday April 11 through Friday 15 and be held at 8.30 pm in the Sala d'Actes of the Formentera Office of Culture.


First up, a presentation by Maria Bofill Martínez, PhD candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, concerning her study of lithic and osseous artefacts left by the prehistoric communities of Formentera. A specialist in archaeology, Bofill was awarded the CiF's research grant in 2014.

Next, Javier Rodríguez Pandozi and Sebastià Munar Llabrés present their study of the S'Espardelló remains in Formentera's surrounding waters. On Wednesday, historian and Formentera-native Santiago Colomar will present his research concerning the smaller of the two Pitiüsa islands as a “forgotten frontier”, describing the island's use from 1571 to 1650 as a base for North African pirates, or, as they were once commonly known, “corsairs”. Next day, Dr Olga Cardona Guasch will lead a conference on the use by easement of local roads. Finally, on Friday, Enric Ribes Marí will present an approximative look at local toponymy.

Labrador reported that this year for the first time, Formentera's teacher resource centre (CEP) has opened up participation in the Joan Marí Cardona conference series to local teachers. Attending staff from educational centres will now have the possibility of receiving credit from the Govern Balear's Regional Ministry of Education. CEP head Ariadna Soler pointed to the interest local educational staff have already showed in the series. The morning presentation of the Joan Marí Cardona Jornades d'Estudi was also attended by Jaume Escandell, a staff specialist at the Formentera Office of Heritage.

Saturday 'Parasceve' takes stage in Formentera

parasceve 2 copiaThis Saturday at nine pm in the Sala de Cultura (Cinema) the Office of Culture of the Formentera Council will host Blai Bonet's Parasceve, the author's only production written for the stage. Included on the events calendar for the Sant Jordi holiday, the evening of theatre is also part of the programme Illa a Escena.


Though poet, storyteller and Mallorca-native Blai Bonet (Santanyí, 1926-1997) is celebrated for the universality of his reach, in his lifetime he would only produce one work of theatre: Parasceve. The play is a portrait of the people, families and whole societies held prisoner by war. Bonet focuses on his characters as individuals rather than political figures to convey the familiar quality of this emotional tale.


Based on the story of the Skiud household, Parasceve stands as a psychological family-portrait in a time of war. Faced with a tale that is so intensely personal, those in the audience are hard-pressed to remain safe sideline spectators. The message, then, becomes timeless and one that is unbounded by time. Before the transversal commonality of war, any other barriers fade into the periphery. Faithfully representing the playwright's original text, the company guides the audience through the cleansing process that must accompany any tragedy. Hence, the theatre and stage are transformed into ritual ground.

The current production of Parasceve is an unmissable opportunity to see Blai Bonet recoup human form. What T-SHOCK manages to convey scenographically with Parasceve is the savageness inherent in the choices we make; a representation of nothing less than devastation itself. Though purely symbolic, the universe created becomes a scene of conflict for truly dark forces.

Brought to the stage by the T-SHOCK company, Parasceve is directed by Jeroni G.Obrador and includes acting by Marta Barceló, Guillem Juaneda (from the film El perfecto desconocido) and David Pérez. Parasceve is involved in Circuit Talent IB, a talent circuit for music and stage productions that is promoted by the IEB and the Balearic Islands Regional Ministry of Culture. Circuit Talent IB is aimed at promoting cultural exchange between Mallorca, Menorca, Eivissa and Formentera. It has already brought to the island Fràgil (from Eivissa group Clownidoscopio) and is behind performances this month from Mallorca theatre group Circ Bové (Es Cirquet) and Menorca singer-songwriter Leonmanso.

Month-long activities programme marks Sant Jordi holiday

sant jordi2015 2The Formentera Council office of education and culture has announced the activities programme for this year’s Sant Jordi holiday. With events running from April 6 to May 6, Susana Labrador, councillor of the department, described the Diada de Sant Jordi as a favourite “not just for students, but for the entire island as well”. Kicking things off is a sampling of shorts from the 17th Short Film Festival of Soria, put together by the group Espai_F with Formentera Film Festival providing additional help. Screenings will take place Wednesday April 6 through Friday May 6 at 8.30 pm in the Casa del Poble and be presided over by festival director Javier Muñiz.

Friday April 8 at 5.30 pm in the Marià Villangómez library, Lídia Clua will lead a storytelling session for the island’s youngest. With a title that cleverly flips the Prince Charming idea on its head, Princeses Blaves i prínceps encantadors is the story of brave, dragon-slaying princesses and faint of heart princes. Then, on Thursday April 14, the little ones of the island are encouraged to take part in a Sant Jordi button-making workshop at the Sant Ferran library.

Saturday April 9, the T-Shock acting company will put on their production of the Balearic author Blai Bonet-penned show, Parasceve. With stage direction by Jeroni Obrador, the group pays tribute to a truly great poet. The production lasts 50 minutes and starts at 9.00 pm in the Sala de Cultura (Cinema).

Friday, April 15, Formentera residents will be treated to a presentation of what has been dubbed “the cultural observatory for the Balearic Islands”. Formentera l’Arxipèlag was born of a desire to create a space for content production while also lending support to community movements and actors on the regional stage. Programme director Andreu Carles López Seguí will be on hand to explain all the details behind the Formentera l’Arxipèlag project. The presentation will begin at 8.30 pm in the Casa del Poble in la Mola.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, the kids will once again have their turn when the circus group Circ Bové pulls into town. With stops planned in Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and la Mola, Es Cirquet is a bite-size spectacle full of magic, juggling and experimentation.

Monday, April 18, the municipal gallery of the old town hall will host Ramon Pérez Carrió’s pictoral exhibition La Baralla de les Meravelles (“The Marvellous Playing Cards”). Comprising 42 separate pieces, the show represents a round of the game naipes and is based on Ramon Llull’s literary work Llibre dels Meravelles. The exhibition starts at 8.00 pm and will be attended by the artist.

The action keeps coming on Thursday, April 21, with the premiere of Espai_F’s latest stage production, Perdius (“Partidges”). Employing a number of the different “languages” common to the stage, Perdius offers a microperspective of war and savageness as “local products”. The small-scale production will be performed Thursday April 21, Saturday 23 and Tuesday 26 in the Sala de Cultura (Cinema).

Friday April 22, Eivissa-native Ben Clark returns to Formentera to present his book Los últimos perros de Shackleton. Though originally released in Mexico in 2013, the book had remained unpublished in Spain until now. The author describes his current collection of poetry (which preceded his award-winning La fera) as a 70-page love story written from a multitude of different perspectives. The book presentation will take place at 8.00 pm in the Marià Villangómez library.

Book stands

The morning of Sant Jordi day, April 23, stands will be set up at plaça de la Constitució and stocked with free books donated from the library and other cultural associations on the island. Likewise, old books that are brought in will also be accepted as trades.

At 12 noon in the Marià Villangómez library, awards will be handed out to winners of the 17th Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” children's bookmark and Robert Lewis Baldown children's literature competitions. The event is a way to ensure the lasting, vibrant memory of two important local figures; one who left Formentera with a grand artistic legacy and the other to whom we owe thanks for his contribution to the island's international library. “The competitions were created to foment literary creativity and promote reading among young people,” the councillor said. Every year organisers set a different theme to inspire submissions, often letting current events guide their choices. This year's theme is «Music and me» («La música i jo»).

Fans of singer-songwriters can look forward to the event on Saturday, April 30. Hosted by the Talent Ib talent circuit and the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics, Leonmanso's approach to the craft is a unique one: he deftly skips back and forth between unmistakeably American sounds and the familiar stylings of traditional singer-songwriters, the result being a blend of folk-pop that smacks undeniably of...Menorca. In his songs, he narrates the commonalities of day-to-day living, snapshots of memories and emotions that evoke the experiences of Llure Marqués. He is scheduled to take the stage at 8.30 pm in the Casa del Poble (la Mola).

Friday, May 6, València's own Feliu Ventura will close out the Sant Jordi 2016 events calendar. A guitarist and singer-songwriter, Ventura has recently released a novel for younger audiences. Com un record d'infantesa (“Like a childhood memory”) has illustrations by Daniel Olmo and a story built around the figure of Ovidi Montllor.

All the events of Sant Jordi 2016 have been organised by the CiF office of culture with help from Formentera libraries. The Council wishes to highlight the special involvement of the island's early-childhood and primary schools, as well as help from the group of friends of Formentera's international library, Obra Cultural Balear de Formentera, Espai_F, Ràdio Illa and the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics.    

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