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Formentera welcomes first round of local history seminars held away from Mallorca

molivellmola 2013The Formentera Council's Office of Patrimony has announced that on November 18 and 19 the centre for regional studies in the Balearics (IEB) will hold the first ever Jornades d'Estudis Històrics Locals away from its normal home base on Mallorca. The round of seminars, which focuses on recent research concerning local history, is hosted by the IEB and the Formentera Council and is part of a broader programme known as Novembre Folk. The talks, now their 34th year, will take place Friday and Saturday in the Council's plenary hall (sala de Plens) and the conference room of the CiF Office of Culture.

The project coordinator this year is Andreu Ramis, chair of the Balearic Islands' advisory council on popular and traditional culture. Growing concern for preserving intangible heritage in the archipelago has made certain issues —appropriately up-to-date ideas and policy framework— increasingly pressing. Using its time-tested model of conferences and publications by specialists and researchers, IEB (or Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics) has decided to use this year's programme to tackle intangible heritage from a land standpoint, split into four subsections.

First, participants will address the work of documenting, inventory making and cataloguing such intangible heritage. Jaume Mascaró of Institut Menorquí d'Estudis will speak about Menorca's intangible cultural heritage as an opportunity for what he calls “sociocultural dynamics”. Another seminar, by Joan Vallès of Universitat de Barcelona, will centre on the interrelation between plants and mankind, a field known as ethnobotany.

Language as an expression of heritage (understood as ethnopoetry and ethnoliterature) will also be discussed, in this case by Jaume Guiscafrè of Universitat de les Illes Balears. Guiscafrè will focus his discussion on folklore, ethnopoetry and the heritage process”. Finally, Josep Martí of Institut Milà i Fontanals and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, will lead a seminar where underlying concepts of stagnation and transformation inform discussions of intangible heritage.

Crowning the lecture series, a round table talk also turning on the topic of stagnation and change will provide grounds for a debate between guest experts, public administration officials in Balears and Catalunya, lecturers and seminar attendees.

Heritage site visits
Participants are invited to take part in a visit of la Mola's landmark windmill, el molí Vell. For the twenty-plus individuals visiting from locations further afield, the Formentera Council has made accommodation available at Sant Francesc's Casa de Colònies.

All those interested in being a part of this free series can sign up before Tuesday November 15 by sending an email to publicacions@iebalearics.org.

Formentera's rescue and lifeguard service conclude summer operations

foto socorristes 2016The president's office of the Formentera Council, the administration in charge of the island's rescue and lifeguard service, has announced that last week marked the end of active summer supervision, which runs May 1 to October 31.

During the service's six-month period of operations, fifteen lifeguards, three beach supervisors, one area supervisor and one service coordinator were tasked with keeping Formentera's beaches safe. Department chair Bartomeu Escandell thanked the service's team for its “immense dedication and professionalism”.

The service logged 1,255 cases in which assistance was given, 488 more than in 2015, due in part to an extended season, and also to an increased presence of beachgoers in May and October — “when lifeguard interventions doubled,” according to supervisor Sergi Martín. Another 1,321 individuals were treated for jellyfish stings, 267 fewer than the previous year.

A total of 49 people were rescued from dangerous situations in the water. “Such assistance,” Martín pointed out, “is normally necessary at yellow flag times when swimming is allowed but caution is advised.” Ambulances took 34 individuals to hospital, one individual suffered a stroke and still another died on a beach between Es Ministre and Es Trucadors.

Accessible beaches
Councillor Escandell highlighted the beaches at Arenals and es Pujols which are adapted for people with reduced mobility. This year 37 beachgoers used the service. The Council's adapted swim service at these beaches is available not only to visitors but to any Formentera residents who might require it.

Es Ca Marí desalination plant to boost production capacity

visita planta dessalinitzadoraEnvironment councillor Daisee Aguilera, accompanied by the Govern's director general of water resources, Juana María Garau, and the director of Abaqua, Antoni Garcias, paid a visit to the Es Ca Marí desalination plant to observe the progress of works currently under way there.

María described the current project as one of “expansion and improvements” at the plant that, until recently, supported two production lines and boasted a production capacity of 1,000 cubic metres of water per day. Following the changes the plant will have two additional lines with a daily capacity of 2,500 m³ each. The plant is also equipped with an additional line, able to produce 2,000 m³ per day, which will be overhauled and reserved for emergencies.

The revamped plant's production —5,000 m³ from the two new lines plus 2,000 m³ from the existing line— stands against a peak summer demand of 4,000 m³ per day. According to Councillor Aguilera, it is hoped the overhaul will furnish a margin large enough to cover population growth and potential breakdowns. She gave thanks to the other visitors for joining her in the task of evaluating the remodel work.

The project, priced at €1,600,000 (without VAT) and slated for completion in March, includes plans for a new well, energy upgrades, improved salt water extraction and filter replacements.

Kids in the Pityuses get a chance to catch MARCEL GROS clowning it up in “La gran A...ventura”

marcel gros1With La gran A...ventura, the CiF Office of Culture stages an original, family-friendly production by Marcel Gros, a clown with rave reviews from crowds and critics alike. The show takes the stage at 5.30pm, Saturday November 12 at Formentera's municipal cinema, and Sunday at 6.00pm at the Palau de Congressos of Santa Eulària des Riu.

The production comes to the Pityuses via PLATEA, a 2014 programme of INAEM, Spain's education, culture and sport ministry's institute of performing arts and music, which aims to bring high-calibre national productions to Balearic audiences.

In La gran A...ventura (Història d'un Pallasso), Marcel Gros infuses his characteristically poetic vision with tones of humour as he takes us on a joyride through his own private universe. Top-class performances are given by a cast comprising a strip of aluminium foil, a trash bin, a spin atop a capital letter, a dress shirt, a mime, a fakir...The show is suitable for all ages.

Going back 35 years, Marcel Gros got his start as a founding member of Teatre Mòbil. In 1991, after receiving his clown and circus education at the hands of teachers Willi Colombaioni, Pierre Byland and Philippe Gaullier, Gros set out on a solo path of self-produced and absolutely unique stage productions that has earned him numerous accolades, including, for La Gran A...ventura, Castilla la Mancha's top prize for the stage. The production will now come to Formentera's municipal movie theatre and Eivissa's Palau de Congressos de Santa Eulària.

Tickets for the sixty-minute Formentera production go for six euros (the kids' rate; accompanying adults get in free) and will be available at the box office the day of performance. For Sunday's function, eight-euro entries can be purchased at Holidays on carrer Sant Jaume in Santa Eulària and at Holy Sport on avinguda Ignasi Wallis in Eivissa or for ten euros (the same day) at the Palau de Congressos box office.

Photo exhibit: Looking back at a year of Farmland Reserve

foto inauguracio expo un any de cens de terres de cultiuYesterday, Tuesday, November 7 at 8.00pm, the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture hosted the opening of photographer Eva Parey's exhibition looks at the past twelve months of a local project to revive deserted plots of land. Present at the launch of Un any de Cens de Terres de Cultiu (Farmland Reserve: a year in photos) were CiF culture councillor Susana Labrador, rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, Formentera Farmers' Cooperative director Carlos Marí, the photographer herself, other officials and local residents.

Comprised of thirty-some photos, the collection documents the first year of an initiative called Cens de Terres de Cultiu. The project is backed by the Formentera Council and the Farmers' Cooperative, an organisation of farmers dedicated to reviving the local primary sector and conserving Formentera's natural landscapes.

With the arrival of tourism in the 1960s and 1970s, many fields in the Formentera countryside fell into disuse. Now, with the help of the initiative and thanks to the generosity of landowners who have handed over property to the reserve, many fields are once again being tilled. The initiative helps revive a vocation unique to Formentera, the work of the “pagès” (farmer), at the same time that it protects the area this work takes place, the countryside, with its stone walls, mowed fields and fig trees with their long, propped up branches. Another aim of the project is for local livestock, another keystone feature of the Formentera landscape, to once again have pastureland.

Farmland Reserve is now one year old. Eva Parey, a specialist in photo journalism, has documented the 12 moons that have come and gone in that time, the phases of a year spent farming, clearing shrubbery, tilling fields, sowing seeds, working the land and harvesting to begin sowing once again ... A selection of photos that reflects this laborious work, the process and its protagonists.

Screened during the premiere was a video capturing the work done over the last year. The event also included poetry from Marià Villangómez and music from UC and Aires Formenterencs.

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