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Consell de Formentera helps publish look at life experiences of local seniors

llibre-2-The Department of Patrimony and the Consell de Formentera are backing the publication of De qui venim (“Who We Come From”), an exploration of the life experiences of elderly Formentera residents directed and coordinated by Dr Josep Maria Garcia-Borés i Espí. Garcia-Borés is a full professor at the psychology department of University of Barcelona, and the study was awarded the Consell de Formentera research grant in 2012.

De qui venim is the first in a collection titled Formentera en estudi (“Studies of Formentera”). The collection was devised as a showcase for recipients of the Consell's grant as well as, pointed out department head Raquel Guasch, other important projects and research probes. Councillor Guasch added that the studies and publications seek to “dig deeper into our understanding of local history and heritage, and leave behind a written trace that won't fade with time”.

De qui venim is being put out by the Josep Massot i Muntaner-directed Abadia de Montserrat publishing house—a big name in science-related publications concerning humanities in Catalan-speaking territories.

Written by Garcia-Borés i Espí and Hermínia Gil i Canales with help from Rita Cardona Ribas and Raquel Gonzàlez Cardona, De qui venim is a “psychocultural study” of traditional Formentera. The project's engineers enlist oral history as they seek to hear elderly islanders talk about lifestyle, community and identity in Formentera before the arrival of tourism. The study touches on questions like subjects' emotional health, intergenerational rifts and efforts to protect culture, identity and language.

Five hundred copies will be produced in a €4,800 publishing effort that included design, layout and printing.

12 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

This weekend, Formentera Guitars Festival returns to heat up the Sant Ferran night

festival-guitarres-de-formente1The Department of Culture of the Consell de Formentera reports that the Formentera Guitars Festival will run from Friday to Sunday, 13-15 September. As has become customary, musical performances will take place from 10.00pm to 4.00am Friday and Saturday night in the church-front square in Sant Ferran. Performers include Cesar Crespo, Kelly & The Jam Factory, Glassford & The Providence, Litus, Chimichurri, Alex Schultz & los Peligrosos Gentelmen, Bobby Alexander and Monsters of Palma.

As ever, each evening will conclude with a jam session with the festival's attending musicians. On Sunday 15 September, a 9.30pm jam session at the restaurant Sa Panxa will mark the end of the festival's eleventh year.

A mixture of blues, jazz and rock, Formentera Guitars Festival has evolved into a crucial part of music lovers' September programme. The idea for the on-stage happening hit Formentera Guitars' director, Ekkehard Hoffmann, in 2008, as a way to celebrate the eponymous association's 20-year anniversary. In the words of culture and festivities councillor Susana Labrador, the Consell-backed event is “a not-to-be-missed signpost on Formentera's calendar of cultural events that will strike a chord with tourists and islanders alike”.
11 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

La Mola lighthouse's freshly minted cultural space logs nearly 12k visits in opening month

foto-2019-far-la-mola-31Today the Formentera Council Culture Department shared figures for the first month of public visits at the cultural space that the Consell has operated out of la Mola's lighthouse since 1 July.

The building received some twelve thousand visitors in July. Roughly ten thousand people came in the first week alone as part of the open days and free admission to commemorate the site's opening. The remaining 1,973 visits were recorded during the final three weeks of July.

In celebration of World Lighthouse Day today, culture councillor Susana Labrador had a message for locals who hadn't yet stopped by for a visit. “Come see it”, she said, “and learn how Formentera's history is entwined with the sea and lighthouses”.

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.

Exhibit from Erwin Broner
Since 19 July, the temporary gallery has hosted an exhibit from Erwin Broner—Obres del llegat de Gisela Broner a Catalina Verdera Ribas—that will continue through 12 October.

Visiting hours and admission
The far, or lighthouse, as well as the display, are open to visitors from 11.00am to 2.00pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and evenings from 5.00pm to 9.00pm on Wednesdays and Sundays. General admission costs €4.50. Admission is waived for Formentera residents, youth under 18 and the unemployed, and pensioners and students pay €2.50.

7 August 2019
Communication Department
Consell de Formentera

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

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