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Culture and Historical heritage

2017 Guitarres de Formentera

Foto guitarres de formenteraThe Formentera Council's department of culture has announced details about Guitarres de Formentera, a festival set to descend on Sant Ferran this weekend. The gathering, a showcase for blues, jazz and rock music, has become a firmly implanted fixture on the local music scene. It is organised by an eponymous association headed up by Mr Ekkehard Hoffmann, a musician and the founder of Formentera Guitars.

On 15 and 16 September, music will fill the town's church-front plaza. The nightly 10.00pm-to-4.00am programme will include performances by Kozmic Blue, Black Cats, Mateoria, Chimichurri, Litus, Kelly & the Jam Factory, Los Peligrosos Gentlemen, Nacho Perez Group, Sirjo Cocchi Songbook and Monsters of Palma plus a jam session to culminate each evening. For the festival's close on Sunday, 17 September, Sirjo Cocchi Songbook will headline a concert at local restaurant Sa Panxa before opening the stage up for one last jam session.

Formentera's Archive of Image and Sound launches information service

Foto arxiu imatge i soThe CiF patrimony office has announced the launch of a service to give islanders access to the island's library of images and sound, AISF (in Catalan, Arxiu d'Imatge i So). The new service will also provide information about other sound and image archives containing Formentera-related material.

Starting 13 September, the service will be available from 10.30am to 1.30pm at the AISF head office on the first floor of the Marià Villangómez library (carrer de Pius Tur Mayans, 14, Sant Francesc Xavier). Islanders are invited to contact the service by phone or e-mail as well, by calling 971 322 386 or sending an e-mail to arxiuimatgeiso@conselldeformentera.cat.

Individuals are also encouraged to use the office's advisory service for inquiries concerning their own photo, sound and audiovisual collections.

Michel Mouffe's show “Els pelegrins” opens in municipal gallery

Michel mouffe foto oficial 2The Formentera Council's culture office has announced the most recent item on the Sant Jaume/Diada de Formentera events calendar: the opening of “Els pelegrins”. Scheduled for today at 8.00pm in the old town council's exhibition gallery, the show is built around locally-crafted work from the acclaimed Belgian artist—and la Mola resident—Michel Mouffe. The show's curator, Manolo de Oya of Espai Frumentària, calls it a compendium of the constants that populate Mouffe's creative universe. The effect is art that draws the beholder in—not only to art history, but also philosophy.

The show will be open Monday to Saturday from 11.00am to 2.00pm and 8.00pm to 10.00pm until July 29. A portion of the exhibit is on view at sa Tanca Vella chapel during the same hours. Both displays are presented by the Formentera Council.

Formentera Council aims to purchase Sa Senieta plot and home with help from sustainable tourism fund

Foto sa senieta1This morning, the president, vice-president/patrimony secretary and adjunct vice-president/tourism secretary of the Formentera Council unveiled the administration's proposed request for financing under an annual plan to promote sustainable tourism. At 11.30am, the three officials—Jaume Ferrer, Susana Labrador and Alejandra Ferrer—held the presentation at Sa Senieta, a property located on carrer Pla de Rei in Sant Francesc.

The Council hopes to purchase Sa Senieta, a traditional country home, using funds obtained from the so-called “sustainable tourism tax”. The acquisition would play to the first goal of an annual plan to promote sustainable tourism: “purchasing and rehabilitating sites which are either emblematic or of significant value to the environment or local culture”. As the officials noted, the move would be particularly timely given that 2018 has been designated European Year of Cultural Heritage.

Sa Senieta's unique historical value, singular qualities and strategic location in the heart of Sant Francesc Xavier make its purchase and restoration an appealing venture. The administration is looking into turning the building into a public space suitable to its particular level of protection.

Sa Senieta's owners recently contacted the Council and indicated that, despite a listing price of €3 million (m), a reduced figure—€2.5m—would be available to the administration. With an expected €1m to come from tax revenue, the Council would pay for the remaining €1.5m with its own money, or seek funding elsewhere.

Managing the heritage site
The acquisition would meet the demands of Formentera's 2017-2019 plan for administering cultural patrimony. Under that regime, which covers the restoration, conservation and acquisition of properties, priority is given to “sites with the highest patrimonial protections and those in the most advanced state of disrepair”.

Value as heritage site
Sa Senieta is the only site on the island designated historical patrimony under Balearic Islands' law 12/1998, of December 21, clearly marking it as an area of particular cultural interest. First included in the catalogue in 2002, the property possesses AT-C-150 distinction and level B protection in Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites.

According to the catalogue, the site comprises “two buildings; one main dwelling (dels senyors) and another dwelling intended for the farm's keepers (dels majorals)”. The main dwelling is composed of both upper and lower stories; the dwelling for the farm's keepers consists of one storey alone. The main dwelling possesses a porch area that measures a considerable height, so much so that it is nearly flush with the ceiling of the rooms on the upper-level. One difference, according to the catalogue, “is that the rooftop of the upper-level rooms is tiled, while the porch rooftop is flat.” The catalogue describes the layout thus: “One room is located at the rear of the porch, with another sitting at the front. The latter juts out forming a right angle. To the left of the porch there is a long, low room with a door leading outside, as is common in cellars. One of the dwellings is situated overhead; another is atop the rear lower room. To the right of the porch is a door which provides access to the kitchen.” (Cardona-Escandell, 2000:76)

Unique qualities
Sa Senieta presents a unique example of traditional local architecture for a number of reasons. First, it comprises two dwellings, each reasonably large, with layouts that are more complex than what is customarily found on Formentera. Second, it is reasonably well conserved and has not been modified subsequently. Hence, the building's original characteristics, materials and finishes are unchanged. Third, current historical assessments of the building and the plot it occupies situate construction in the eighteenth century.

Es Pujols works projects
Last year, with revenues from the sustainable tourism tax, a comprehensive renovation was conducted of public services in Es Pujols. Those works included sanitation (rain water and sewage), water supply (fire hydrants and street cleaning), burial of overhead utility cables (lighting and telecom) and a repaving of the town's waterfront promenade.

The upgrades cost €2.4m, of which 20% was paid for by the sustainable tourism tax. The remaining sum was covered by the Formentera Council.

From next week, Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and la Mola welcome back summer outdoor film series

Foto cinema a la fresca 2017 presentacioThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture unveiled details today about the eleventh Cinema a la Fresca—a series of outdoor film screenings dropping in at Sant Francesc on Tuesdays, Sant Ferran (Thursdays) and la Mola (Fridays). A mainstay of local summer entertainment that encompasses silver-screen classics and contemporary favourites from Spain and abroad, the series was the topic of discussion at a press conference held by culture councillor Susana Labrador, the series' director, Veronique Landy, and Espai Frumentària spokesman Miquel Costa.

From 2006, when the fledgling film series brought 12 titles to maiden audiences at jardí de ses Eres, the programme now draws averages of 200 spectators to every gathering. In 2009, organisers tacked on extra screening site, Sant Ferran. Then in 2016, with help from Espai Frumentària, Cinema a la Fresca arrived in la Mola.

Backed by the CiF Office of Culture and under the artistic guidance of Veronique Landy, the programme presents a wide array of films from all over the world. Councillor Labrador described it “a heavy-hitter on Formentera's summer calendar” and “just one more reason to follow Formentera's cultural initiatives very closely”.

Thirty-seven art-house favourites from the nineteen-thirties to present will be shown with subtitles and in their original language. To Veronique Landy, together, the selected movies “provide a glimpse of the world, its history, human beings, our wealth and our complexity”.

Cinema a la Fresca begins Tuesday, July 4, in jardí de ses Eres with Paco de Lucía, Curro Sanchez's magnificent documentary vision of his mother. On Thursday, July 6, crowds in Sant Ferran's central square will get a chance to rediscover Eva no duerme, Pablo Agüero's quest to piece together the story of Eva Perón. Next up, on Friday, July 7, at la Mola's Casa del Poble it's Plácido. An impeccable costumist comedy from 1961, it is Berlanga's chef-d'oeuvre. Miquel Costa heralded Friday screenings in la Mola as a success, citing weekly crowds of between 40 and 50.

Younger film fans will get their turn, too—first with the Steven Spielberg big-screen classic E.T., followed by Los niños lobo, an authentic work of animated art. There will also be a projection of Ang Lee's The life of Pi and the second instalment of the Star Wars prequels, Attack of the Clones. After that it's Hayao Miyazaki's My neighbour Totoro, though that's still just the start. Plenty of other films are on the programme too, such as the all-ages Tarzan and King Kong.

Councillor Labrador credited Cinema a la Fresca's natural, open-air backdrops (jardí de ses Eres, plaça de Sant Ferran and Casa del Poble in la Mola) with providing “just the tranquility that a cinema series requires”. She also took a moment to recall the initiative's underlying impetus: “to promote international cinema among tourists and residents alike”.

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