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Daughter of Reinald Wünsche shares father’s photographic endowment with Consell

foto 2021 conveni wunscheConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and the daughter of photographer Reinald Wünsche, Alma Ajna Wünsche Matilla, have signed a deal to promote cultural heritage by securing new images for the Image and Sound Archive of Formentera (Arxiu d’Imatge i So, AISF). Staffer Xavi Oliver and Raquel Guasch, head of the island’s heritage department, which oversees AISF, were present for the signing as well.

Under the arrangement, Alma Wünsche will grant local government use of 34,000 negatives and 271 slides. Shot between 1970 and 2007, the images depict scenes from Formentera and Wünsche’s life.

The Wünsche material is noteworthy from both a historical and artistic standpoint, and it is indexed in the island’s Inventory of Documentary Heritage.

The deal grants Formentera’s government access to digital copies of what will be known as the “Reinald Wünsche Holdings”. After digitising the negatives and creating back-ups, AISF will make the images freely available for any endeavour furthering conservation, research, education or cultural dissemination as per the archive’s charter. Neither party will receive financial gain as a result of the hand-off.

Reinald Wünsche
Reinald Wünsche was born in Berlin in 1943 and lived on Formentera from the 1970s until his death in 2008. His black and white photographs are imbued by a commitment to the island of Formentera.

7 July 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

With help of new plaque, Formentera remembers when ‘Constitution Square’ was ‘Republic Square’

foto 2021 constitucio BTop Consell de Formentera official Alejandra Ferrer and heritage chief Raquel Guasch were on hand today as a plaque went up to commemorate the rechristening, ninety years ago today, of Sant Francesc’s Plaça de la Constitució. On 14 April 1931, six weeks after proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic, decision-makers at the local plenary assembly agreed to change ‘Plaça de la Constitució’ to ‘Plaça de la República’.

Today, municipal archivists and the Formentera Department of Heritage have uncovered meeting minutes from 1931 in which members of the municipal council approved the renaming.

President Ferrer believes the Second Republic-era document can shed light on an important chapter of Formentera’s past. She described it as “a curious and thrilling find from a hugely significant period for democratic and social growth. On Formentera in particular, islanders hailed improvements in education and progress towards a more egalitarian society, and agitated for a government not subordinate to power holders on Eivissa. Trade unions and local civic organisations of the day were extremely active as well. We hope the efforts of our archivists keep illuminating the secrets of our past. It’s crucial we continue to recuperate this historical memory”.

Councillor Guasch said the moment underscores the “values, the true pillars of democracy —freedom, justice, equality, education and secularism— that permeated the Second Republic”. She insisted, “We must remember the historical moment when the aspiration for modernity was cut short by a coup, war and dictatorship under Franco”. And Guasch praised “the recent work by the archivists that resurfaced this document”, and highlighted a fragment now available for viewing.

Name change
The rebranding had been proposed by a man named Pedro Juan Ferrer. A sailor and a member of the Aliança Republicana party, Juan was Formentera’s first deputy mayor when the republican town council was formed on 19 April 1931. (The island’s mayor was Joan Colomar Escandell.) Self-taught in the systems of thought and anarchist praxis of social organisation, Juan was described by teacher Vicent “Blai” Serra Ferrer as one of the “authentic anarchists”.

“Plaça de la Constitució” had been so baptised in 1812. On 14 August of that year, a royal decree set out that “the main square of all the towns in Spain henceforth be called ‘Plaza de la Constitución’”. The designation appears in assorted documents until 19 May 1931, when the square became ‘Plaça de la República’ until the end of the Spanish civil war. Accounts of the new name under Franco are elusive, although some documents do refer to a “Plaza de la Iglesia”. In 1981, at a full-house gathering of Formentera’s municipal authority, socialist councillors led a successful push for “a commemorative plaque in the Sant Francesc square reading ‘Plaça de sa Constitució’, the plaza’s name for many years now”.


4 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Summer hours at heritage sites extended from June 1

cartell 2021 far horari ampliatThe local offices of culture and heritage report that from next Tuesday 1 June, extended summer hours will take effect at Far de la Mola, Molí Vell de la Mola, Torre des Pi des Català and the Formentera Ethnographic Collection.

During the summer high-season, the cultural and educational space at La Mola’s lighthouse will open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 2.00pm and, dovetailing with market days, Wednesday and Sunday evenings from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. El Far will close on Mondays. General admission is €4.50 and reduced entry is €2.50. Formentera residents and certain other visitors get in free.

Molí Vell, Torre des Pi des Català and the Formentera Ethnographic Collection
For questions about opening hours and visits at other heritage sites, or to reserve a visit, the heritage office has unveiled a new e-mail address, coneixpatrimoni@conselldeformentera.cat.

El Molí Vell will open from Wednesday to Sunday, 5.00pm to 8.00pm, from 1 June to 30 September. Torre des Pi des Català will open Saturdays from 9.00am to 11.00am. The Formentera Ethnographic Collection will open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 1.30pm

26 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Applications now accepted for €8,500 research grant from Consell de Formentera

cartell 2021 beca investigacioThe Formentera Department of Heritage is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Consell de Formentera’s 2021 grant to promote research in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Terms of eligibility for the €8,500 grant have been published in the regional gazette (BOIB) and proposals can be submitted until 25 June.

Eleven years in, with a newly-expanded award package of €8,500 and top-quality proposals apparently the new rule, local heritage chief Raquel Guasch described the grant as “an entrenched feature of the local landscape” and “the perfect opportunity to deepen what we know about the island”.

Once the application period closes, a multi-person panel will evaluate the projects presented based on scientific interest, coherence, methodology and the curricula of the researchers. Research must be carried out within twelve months from the day grants winners are announced.

Last year, the Consell’s research grant was awarded to “Paleoformentera—History of the landscape and management of plant resources among Formentera’s first settlers”. In May researchers and coordinators Pau Sureda and Jordi Revelles started collecting sedimentary sequences from Estany Pudent and Estany des Peix to reconstruct its environmental and climatic history.

20 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Paleoformentera’s unprecented look at island’s first settlers and the history of the Formentera landscape

foto 2021 paleo CThe Formentera Department of Heritage is pleased to announce that the winners of local government’s 2020 research grant —Dr. Pau Sureda, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Heritage Sciences (INCIPIT-CSIC), and Dr. Jordi Revelles, postdoctoral researcher at the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES-CERCA)— started work this week on ‘Paleoformentera—History of the landscape and management of plant resources Formentera’s first settlers’. Sureda and Revelles have set out obtaining sedimentary sequences in order to piece together the environmental and climatic history of Estany Pudent and Estany des Peix.

Pioneering research in Pine Islands
The unprecedented effort has seen geologists from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC) partnering with colleagues from the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT). “In the coming months samples will be processed and studies will aim to reconstruct the history of vegetation, fires and climatic fluctuations over the last millennia”, said Sureda, asserting the data would offer “key insight into natural dynamics and prehistoric populations’ relationship with the island environment”.

Funding increase
FDH chief Raquel Guasch welcomed the news: “The study will shed light on the history of our island, and help us better understand the footprint of Formentera’s natural heritage”. At €8,500, the 2020 grant constitutes a €2,500 increase on previous years’ amount. Guasch insisted the change was crucial given the importance of the proposed study. Six applications were received in 2020, two more than 2019.

Paleoformentera received additional support from Trasmapi.

15 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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