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Consell orders probe after historical heritage sites vandalised

The Patrimony department of the Consell de Formentera has initiated an administrative inquiry into damages in recent weeks to a number of the island's historical heritage sites. Recent weeks, which have seen vandals paint the outer walls of the can Ramon building, have also come with the theft of pieces of drystone wall in es cap de Barbaria.

As the title-holder of can Ramon, the Consell is planning on taking the case to the Civil Guard so that a criminal investigation can be opened.

The cultural heritage branch of the Consell condemns the events and wishes to offer its support to affected property-owners. The administration also wants to remind all islanders of our obligation to respect, protect and preserve the island's cultural heritage in order for future generations to enjoy it too. Legislation, Decree 12/1998 (21 December), was enacted to protect the historic heritage of the Balearic Islands.

Pursuant to the decree, articles 321-324 of the Penal Code call for punishments of between 6 months and 3 years of prison, and fines of up to sixty thousand euros, for causing damages to any site deemed valuable from a historical, artistic, scientific, or cultural standpoint, or in its service as a monument.

Protected features
Can Ramon is listed with level C protection in the island's catalogue of cultural heritage sites.

Traditional techniques for building drystone (pedra seca) walls are part of Formentera's intangible cultural heritage. In 2018, Formentera joined other regions of Spain and countries of Europe in including them on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Locally, article 63 of the island's Territorial Strategy (Pla Territorial), recognises these walls' value as ethnographic artefacts, and requires that homes built in rural areas include efforts to maintain and reconstruct such walls as well as any building features using stone.

In varying forms and with varying degrees of protection, Can Ramon and traditional drystone walls both form part of the cultural heritage of Formentera.

11 July 2019
Communication department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera hosts Sant Jaume celebration full of all-age activities

festes-de-sant-jaume-2018 ball1The Formentera Council Office of Culture wishes to unveil the St James' Day programme (Sant Jaume, as he is known in Catalan, is also Formentera's patron saint). Calling the holiday “a day for islanders”, culture councillor Susana Labrador described the wide-ranging 11-27 July activities calendar as “offering culture, music and fitness to islanders young and old, and to tourists, too”.

Diada de Formentera
The holiday, dubbed the Diada de Formentera (“Day of Formentera”) and celebrated every year on 25 July, starts with an 8.00pm Mass at the Sant Francesc church. Immediately after, local troupes will offer a demonstration of traditional ball pagès dance. Passersby can then munch on a hometown favourite, orelletes. “There's no better time to honour our home-spun traditions”, quipped Councillor Labrador.

Cultural activities
All of Sant Francesc will don a festive veneer for a diverse spread of happenings and events. The programme kicks off Tuesday July 11 with Fils Roulants and Espai_F's stage production of Piel. What has been described as the piece's “feedback loop of movement, the soundscape and voice” produces an atmosphere that feels suspended in time, and those in the audience can dive right in. Nightly performances take place between 11-18 July (9.00pm, Thursday to Thursday) in the sala de Cultura.

Activities continue on Monday 15 July with the opening of an exhibition from Erwin Broner in the Ajuntament Vell gallery. The display contains works left to Catalina Verdera Ribas by Gisela Broner. To celebrate the opening, violinist Lina Tur will give a performance from 6.30pm in the Sant Francesc church.

The exhibit is split across two spaces: the Ajuntament Vell gallery will accommodate drawings and works of art on paper, and the gallery of la Mola lighthouse will house the artist's paintings. The Erwin Broner exhibit is presented by Espai_F.

July 24 ceremony
Honorary distinctions will be handed out July 24 from 8.30pm in a ceremony at the municipal cinema (sala de Cultura).

Kids' calendar
In Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució from 7.00pm on Saturday 20 July, youngsters will have a ball with Majorcan troupe Mel i Sucre's newest production, De Colors. It's music to dream to, laugh to, dance to ... play, sing, listen, share, imagine, create and be happy to! For all ages!

From 8.00pm in the square, kids can attend a workshop where they can gear up for the Flower Power. Mel i Sucre are hosting the children's party—Flower Infantil—and it starts at 9.00pm.

In Jardí de ses Eres at 7.00pm on Tuesday 23 July, Dudu Arnalot will present Insomni. The wordless production mixing clownery and physical theatre is for all audiences.

On the evening of Friday the 26th, the island's younger music-buffs have Nit Jove (Youth Night) to look forward to. Staged at Sant Francesc's central plaza, the event will feature the sounds of MCKea and Musica urbana, the dance moves of Zoocreative and Danscape, a performance by Tio de la Careta and plenty of rock, funk, ska and reggae to close out the night.

Sport looms large in the island's patron saint celebrations, too. Take for instance the tennis and padel tournaments on the municipal pitch from 18-21 July, or a demonstration, by participants in the island's synchronised swim camp, before spectators at the Poliesportiu Antoni Blanc pool on Saturday the 27th.

Live music and concerts (20, 24, 25 and 27 July)
As ever, music is at the heart of Sant Jaume celebrations. The highly anticipated Formentera Flower (the “Power” familiar to English-speaking audiences is typically dropped) will take over Sant Francesc's central square on Saturday the 20th. Then, on Wednesday 24 July, globally renowned Majorcan indie-rock band The Prussians will perform in concert. Next up is rumba group Gertrudis. Over the last fifteen years, these natives of la Garriga, in Catalonia, have been working their way to the top of Spain's fusion music scene. Sidonie Dj set will wrap up the evening set with dance music tunes from the sixties to today.

Sant Jaume's true headliners come through the nit (“eve”) of the holiday, Thursday 25 July. The Andrea Motis Trio is the jazz ensemble of trumpeter-singer-songwriter (and titan on the Spanish scene) Andrea Motis. Sopa de Cabra are scheduled to wind things down. The group is headed by Gerard Quintana has been performing since 1986. They are currently preparing for a stint in the studio.

On the 27-July edition of Jazz a la plaça, audiences will get to hear Oh no Trio!, with Gerard Gusé on guitar, Geovanny Perez on bass, and Luis Amado on drums.

Sant Jaume, sustainably
This year's Sant Jaume celebrations are more sustainable. The Formentera Council has teamed up with Plastic-Free Formentera to help islanders cut their use of single-use plastics. Two locally-sourced water fountains will be installed on the premises so revellers can get water at no charge and at no cost to the environment.

The councillor also talked about a push to educate islanders about recycling and reusing drinks glasses made of plastic. A poster reading “Recycling is in your hands” will be placed at each bar where reusable glasses are sold—said Councillor Labrador, “to encourage people to take their glasses home or to dispose of them in recycling bins, so we don't generate more waste”.

Labrador thanked Plastic-Free Formentera and other groups working to put an end to plastics. She also thanked the event's other sponsors, particularly Trasmapi, for the transport company's support of festivities and local culture.

9 July 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

On 1 July, la Mola lighthouse reboots as full-service museum

visita-far-de-la-mola1The president and councillor of culture of the Formentera Council, Alejandra Ferrer and Susana Labrador, paid a visit today of the cultural and educational spaces of the newly retooled lighthouse in la Mola. President Ferrer announced the building's public opening was scheduled for 5.00pm to 9.00pm on Monday 1 July, coinciding with a world holiday promoting assistance for maritime navigation. Entry will be free on Monday and all through the week—a way to celebrate, according to Ferrer, “the rebranding as a cultural space of this important symbol of our maritime heritage”.

La Mola lighthouse
A monument to civil engineering, la Mola's lighthouse was designed by Emili Pou Bonet and completed in 1861. Today the building houses a space which is devoted to culture and to showcasing Formentera's maritime heritage. It is divided into two clearly distinct exhibition spaces. The permanent exhibition explores its main focus—the sea—from a variety of angles: the marine environment, natural resources management, navigation and light signals. A second space is dedicated to temporary art exhibits.

Councillor Labrador hailed the launch of a space “where islanders and visitors alike can appreciate the depths of the maritime heritage of an island like Formentera, and get a sense of the history of its lighthouses”. Now through October, the building will open 11.00am to 2.00pm Tuesdays to Sundays (plus Wednesday and Sunday evenings from 5.00pm to 9.00pm), and will be closed on Mondays but for the 1 July kickoff. General admission is €4.50, though Formentera residents, youth under 18 and unemployed individuals enter free (pensioners and students get in at a reduced rate of €2.50).

Museum collection
Visitors to the site come upon the first displays outside; information covers about the island, salt, Formentera's coastline and local history. At the entry there are panels giving insight into the undersea-scape, nature and posidonia seagrass. Farther along in the exhibit, visitors learn about the history of lighthouses and la Mola lighthouse's Jules Verne connection. The tour continues with explanatory texts about Formentera's relationship with the sea, sundry watercraft, naval constructions, a model llaüt rowboat and fishing tackle. Video displays retrace the stories of figures involved in navigating. There's also a place at the museum for gastronomy. Tours conclude with a display that urges reflection about our lighthouse and maritime heritage and the importance of conservation.

28 June 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Formentera welcomes return of Cinema a la Fresca

foto-1-The Formentera Council Office of Culture presents the thirteenth Cinema a la Fresca, a series which, according to CiF culture councillor Susana Labrador, is aimed at bringing the classics and contemporary hits of Spanish and global cinema to local audiences.

A 34-film programme of selections—independent, un-dubbed and produced in a wide range of countries between the fifties and today—will be screened from July to September. The gatherings will be staged Tuesdays in Sant Francesc, Thursdays in Sant Ferran and Fridays in la Mola.


Cinema a la Fresca starts 28 June in la Mola with Atraco a las tres. In this mythical production, José María Forqué succeeded in skirting censors and delivering a biting critique of Spanish society of the day—its shortcomings, miseries and hierarchy—cloaked in black humor and crowned with a sickly-sweet and naïve climax that is very much a product of the times.

Tuesday 2 July, as part of the activities calendar in support of World Pride Day, Transamerica will be screened at jardí de ses Eres. The film spotlights a transgender woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she learns that she had fathered a son prior to gender reassignment surgery—a boy who whiles away his days roaming the streets of New York. The film kicks off the Sant Francesc cycle of Cinema a la Fresca.

Thursday 4 July in Sant Ferran's church-side square, film fans can catch Ohayo (Buenos días). Through the story of the relationship between neighbours, Japanese director Ozu shines a light on the perils, kindness, and everything in between, that words can carry. Enveloped in a customarily unhurried pace and breathtaking landscapes, a subtle brand of humour takes root—that of two children who decide to go on a hunger strike until they get what they want: a television set. Warm, unique and appropriate for all audiences.

Young ones have plenty to choose from in this year's programme, like Isla de perros, Mary y la flor de la bruja (Mary and the Witch's Flower) and Bienvenidos a Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville). Set for a 18 July screening in Sant Ferran, Isla de perros is the latest gemstone from Wes Anderson: a stop-motion feature with voices from a cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton and Bill Murray. At the screening of Mary y la flor de la bruja (Mary and the Witch's Flower) on 13 August, audiences can see the big-screen version of Mary Stewart's The Little Broomstick, a British classic of youth literature that traces Mary Smith's departure on an unforgettable adventure. Then on Friday 23 August, it's Bienvenidos a Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville), Sylvain Chome's surprising darkly humourous animated feature.

Spectators can enjoy all these films, together with outstanding selections like Tres anuncios en las afueras (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Green Book, Mi obra maestra and Un funeral de muerte (Death at a Funeral), in the open, natural spaces of jardí de ses Eres, the Sant Ferran square and the front steps of la Mola's Casa del Poble. Councillor Labrador calls them “ideal sites to enjoy an initiative which, under the artistic direction of Veronique Landy and Espai F, is all about connecting tourists and islanders with cinema”.

27 June 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Music and dance school reaches out to day centre users on pathbreaking 'dance therapy' project

actuacio---centrededia escolad1A group of students from the Formentera Escola de Música i Dansa headed a year-end celebration including users of the dependent care facility, or “Day Centre”. Artists-in-training put on a show which not only spanned classical and modern dance and flamenco and included traditional musical performances; it also received a healthy dose of audience applause. The end of the gathering came with a group dance—“dance therapy”—in which students, Day Centre service users, teachers and monitors all took part.

The performance and workshop marked the culmination of a pilot project in dance therapy, launched two months ago, which saw the involvement of the 36 seniors and individuals with disabilities that make up the service users of the Formentera Day Centre. At weekly sessions with EMD teachers and a physical therapist from the Day Centre, participants set out to fine tune mobility and boost their “sensory enrichment” with, among other things, music.

The project came together thanks to collaboration between the EMD and the Day Centre—two arms of the Formentera Council. The results will now be studied and, if positive, the project will continue next year.

26 June 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

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