Victor Hugo once responded to the question "Who are the Basques" by saying, "The people who sing and dance at the foot of the Pyrenees". While recognizing the subjectivity of this definition, interaction with Basques through cultural events has been the entry point for many who seek to understand this unique culture. This program would combine elements of Basque music using instruments such as the accordion, txistu (Basque flute) and tambourine (pandero) to illustrate the different Basque musical traditions. In addition to traditional fandangos (jotas) arin-arins (porrusaldas) and bribilketas (serpentine Basque street dances) there will be sea ballads, children's songs and lullabies as well as a variety of work songs. In addition to the main presenter, Dave Lachiondo, other Basque musicians may join in to enhance the listening experience.
The Spanish Civil War from 1936-1938 was a conflict with every known political ideology known to man represented by significant groups within Spain. Basque Nationalism was one of these ideologies. Since it was first articulated by Sabino Arana in the late 19th century, many Basques sought a separate Basque nation. This presentation addresses the political, cultural, historic and economic forces that pushed some Basques in the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia to embrace the Republican (Loyalist) cause in the civil war while others in Alava and Navarra joined the rightest forces of Generalissimo Franco.
Central to the cultural identity of the Basques are several assertions about archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, history and geography. While many of these assertions have a basis in fact, many are myths promulgated to further political and economic agendas. Sabino Arana based his ideology of Basque Nationalism on the racial purity of the Basques. While this designation has been discredited, the essence of the Basque identity is still the focus of debate both in Euzkadi and in the Basque Diaspora. This presentation seeks to articulate different ways of determining "Basqueness" and to ascertain what the future holds for the retention of Basque identity.