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CiF takes Sant Jaume 2016 programme to people

roda premsa sanjaumeToday in press conference, CiF culture councillor Susana Labrador unveiled the festivities programme the Council is organising to ring in this year's Sant Jaume commemoration. Formentera's annual holiday will be marked by a programme extending from July 18 to 29. According to the councillor, organisers “strived to combine homegrown customs —like traditional dance in the church square the day of Sant Jaume— with activities that appeal to all audiences; residents and tourists, young and old.”

Cultural activities:
Sant Francesc will don its finest garb as it plays host to a flurry of special events on and around the Sant Jaume holiday. The programme kicks off on Tuesday July 19 with the opening of Formentera-resident Isabel Echarri's exhibition, Vida y Muerte II, on display at the gallery of the old town hall (Ajuntament Vell) and sa Tanca Vella. Also on Tuesday, at 10.00pm in jardi de ses Eres, the 1933 version of King Kong will be screened as part of Open-Air Cinema (Cinema a la Fresca). Thursday July 21, the symphonic orchestra of the Balearic Islands will present Cornogràfics, a concert interpreted by a trumpet quartet. Tuesday July 26, the theatre group Espai_F will once again put on Perdius.

Official ceremony, July 24:
The Council's official commemoration of Formentera's patron saint will take place at the local cinema, July 24 at 8.00pm. At the ceremony, honorary awards will be delivered to the island's best and brightest, to be chosen at next Monday's extraordinary plenary session.

Activities for kids and teens:
Organisers were sure to include plenty of events for young people in this year's celebration, and first among them is Mr. Parfum, a children's stage production by Festuc Teatre. There will also be a prep session at the library ahead of the Youth Flower Party and a special kids' space set up at jardí de ses Eres (July 23) with a fitness area, face-painting, video games and more.

This year, young music fans are in for a treat with an evening dedicated to rap music. Dacara, Juan Vidal and Jazz will be on hand to oversee the event. According to Councillor Labrador, “the 2016 Sant Jaume programme includes requests made by Formentera youth at the most recent youth participatory council.”

Sports activities:
Sports are on the agenda too, on Sant Jaume. The councillor highlighted tennis and paddleball tournaments next week and a youth synchronised swim exhibition as well.

Music and concerts (July 22-25):
The four central days of Sant Jaume will be marked by musical performances, starting with Formentera's much-loved evening of jazz. That week only, Jazz in the Square (Jazz a la Plaça) will take place on Sunday July 24 in lieu of its customary Saturday slot, making room for the hotly-anticipated Flower Formentera on Saturday July 23. Rounding out the events calendar will be performances by the legendary group of Pitiüsa-natives, Uc, on Friday, and on Monday (the eve of Sant Jaume), concerts by Kiko Veneno and Catarres.

Labrador wished all of Formentera a fun-filled week of Sant Jaume celebrations. Organisation for the event cost 50,000 euros.

Marianet Barber well restored

Foto pou marianetThe Formentera Council's Office of Patrimony has embarked on a restoration of pou d'en Marienet, a stone well given level A protection in Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites. The move came as part of a deal signed by the CiF and the owner of the land on which the well sits. Under the agreement and pursuant to Formentera subsidiary regulations on cultural patrimony, the Council committed to overseeing an archaeological and historical study of the site as well as issuing building permits and executing the well's restoration.

The operations consisted in clearing surrounding vegetation, resetting numerous stone bricks, reapplying lime mortar and treating the wood components of the well. Work crews' guiding principle was to respect the original characteristics of the well and exercise the least possible intervention. Documenting and restoration work was carried out by Antiquarium, specialists in preserving historical heritage sites. The project had a cost of 5,929 euros which was met by the Formentera Council.

Though the well's basic structure was intact, the team that restored pou d'en Marianet was faced with the challenge of erosion and a previous lack of regular maintenance. To avoid continued deterioration, the Council opted to seek preventive action. The administration noted the well's location beside the old la Mola highway (camí Vell de la Mola), a fact which guarantees accessibility.

Agreements between the Council and owners of historical heritage sites is called for under Formentera's cultural heritage site management directive, a two-year pact for 2015-2016.

Open-Air Cinema arrives tomorrow with another summer of films in Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and La Mola

Cinema Fresca Sant FrancescThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture unveiled today its summer Open-Air Cinema programme. Cinema a la Fresca in Catalan, the series brings outdoor screenings of classics and contemporary favourites from Spanish and international film. Culture councillor Susana Labrador spoke at a morning press conference about the summer crowd favourite, which kicks off this week on Tuesday in Sant Francesc, Thursday in Sant Ferran and Friday in la Mola.

Open-Air Cinema's 2006 maiden run consisted of 12 films, all of which were projected in Jardí de ses Eres. Recent years have seen crowds jump to an average of 200 people. In 2009 organisers tacked on an extra day in Sant Ferran and, in 2015, with the help of Espai F, the summer film series arrived in la Mola.

Under the artistic direction of Veronique Landy, the Council-backed initiative will run three months (July through September) and bring a diverse selection of silver-screen gems to the island's public squares. Alluding to the film initiative's burgeoning draw, Councillor Labrador spoke about “the exceedingly large spot Open-Air Cinema has carved out for itself on Formentera's agenda of cultural events.”

Open-Air Cinema is the CiF culture office's bid to showcase original versions of independent films with Spanish subtitles. This year's programme includes 41 pictures, from the 1930s and present day, from a variety of countries around the world. According to Landy, the 2016 movie list was conceived as “one possible way to understand our world, its story and human beings themselves — a rich and complex bunch.”

Among the series' heavyweights is the original version of the fantasy classic, King Kong. A spectacular reading of the beauty/beast myth, this 1933 class will be screened Tuesday June 19. Other greats included in this year's programme are Luc Besson's Le grand bleu, the story of a man's fascination with the depths of the sea, and Salt of the Earth, a project by documentary filmmakers Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro about the life and work of the esteemed Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado.

Open-Air Cinema kicks into gear Tuesday June 28 in Jardí de ses Eres with Roman Polanski's film noir masterpiece Chinatown. Thursday June 30, Sant Ferran audiences will get to see Mis hijos, Eran Riklis's surprising take on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Then, on Friday July 1, crowds at la Casa del Poble in la Mola will be treated to the Commedia all'italiana classic La armada Brancaleone (released alternately in English as For Love and Gold and The Incredible Army of Brancaleone) by filmmaking great Mario Monicelli.

In the words of Councillor Labrador, the open, natural surroundings chosen for the film series —Jardí de ses Eres, the Sant Ferran square and the front patio of la Mola's Casa del Poble— “make Open-Air Cinema the perfect chance for crowds to enjoy a relaxing evening of film.” “And,” she continued, “if we manage to promote some of the seventh art's most enduring international jewels in the process, all the better.”

Formentera takes steps to designate drystone wall building techniques as protected heritage

parets panoràmica alfredo monteroFormentera's patrimony secretary, Susana Labrador, will take the floor before representatives at tomorrow's plenary assembly to unveil a proposal to give protected status to the traditional techniques used in building drystone walls.

Labrador's presentation will follow the announcement by Palma's directorate general of culture that it will seek inclusion of drystone wall building on the register of humanity's “intangible cultural heritage”.

The secretary added that Council officials planned to join a group drystone wall candidacy which links several of Spain's autonomous regions and is headed up by the central government's secretary of state for culture.

Labrador described Formentera's designation of the building techniques as intangible cultural heritage (or BIC, for bé d'interés cultural) as a “necessary first step if we want our campaign to be successful”.

Homegrown Catalan campaign extends to Eivissa. Next up: Menorca and Mallorc

Foto presentacio Histories del CatalaEarlier today in the conference hall of the Formentera Council's Office of Culture, local and regional elected officials gathered for a presentation of a Catalan language campaign that has recently experienced a revival: Històries del Català. CiF councillor of culture Susana Labrador was joined by her opposite number in Eivissa, David Ribas, the director general of the Govern Balear's language policy division, Marta Fuxà, and local councillors from various Eivissa ajuntaments (village councils). Representatives of Eivissa village councils included Marivó Mengual, from the education and language office of the Ajuntament d'Eivissa; Ana Costa, from the culture office of the Ajuntament de Santa Eulària des Riu; María José Guisado Costa, from the education office of the Ajuntament de Sant Josep de sa Talaia; Raúl Díaz Guerrero, from the community involvement office of the Ajuntament de Sant Antoni de Portmany; and Santiago Marí, from the culture office of the Ajuntament de Sant Joan de Labritja.

The creative minds behind the campaign set out to “represent the stories of people who have come to live on the island and are studying Catalan,” said Councillor Labrador. She recalled that the first campaign took place in 2011 under the aegis of the Formentera Council's language advisory service, or SAL. This year, the CiF office reached out to administrations on the larger Pitiüsa island and ultimately received interest from a host of ajuntaments. Having decided to hop on board as well, Menorca will also oversee filming of its own set of stories this summer. The SAL says the response from Mallorca was positive too. The Eivissa reps and Ms Fuxà offered congratulations regarding the initiative's success and thanked the Formentera SAL for engaging with them on a project like Històries del Català.

The project focuses on the story of 12 individuals on Formentera and 13 on Eivissa. They are people who, in addition to living in this corner of the Balearic archipelago, share the added particularity of having studied Catalan. The protagonists represent an array of differing origins; one hails from Madrid, another is a native of the Canary Islands and others represent Italy, Russia, Galicia, Slovakia and Morocco. The first part of the project involved creating the graphic and audiovisual material, which was unveiled today. Henceforth, each ajuntament and island council will be in charge of promoting their 'Catalan stories'. The Councils of Formentera and Eivissa came together to create a website to host a compilation of stories and videos from both islands: www.historiesdelcatala.cat.

Each village council assumed the production costs of filming històries in their area. In the end 25 stories were filmed at a total cost of 3,000 euros. The website, which receives funding from both island councils, has so far had a cost of 800 euros. The stories are also being picked up by the media, proof that Catalan remains a vibrant language used even by recent arrivals in their day-to-day life. 

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