Donostia-San Sebastian. The project entitled "Emigration from Bizkaia to the United States in the Twentieth Century from an Ethnological Perspective," presented by anthropologist Zuriñe Goitia and the philologist Asier Barandiaran, was awarded the 2021 José Miguel de Barandiaran Foundation scholarship as reported this morning by the Foundation itself. The scholarship is endowed with ten thousand euros and the winners have the period of one year to carry out their project.
The scholarship winners explain the characteristics of the newly-awarded proposal:
"The objective of our project is to investigate the emigration from Bizkaia to the United States throughout the twentieth century. We want to select a representative sample of emigration from all over Bizkaia to analyze. Individual stories have a lot in common, but each one also has its own peculiarities. That is why our intention with this scholarship is to investigate the subject qualitatively. It is only a matter of time before we are faced with the impossibility of collecting testimonies, because of the advanced age of migrants, some residing in the United States and others having returned. This has prompted us to provide a joint answer to this issue."
What do you plan to contribute?
"We will look at the subject from an ethnological point of view, and that will be our main contribution. We will apply José Miguel de Barandiaran's research methodology, so that first-person interviews are the main support of research and rely on the diversity of Biscayan migrants to obtain a meaningful sample. We would also like to dedicate a special section to women, expressly collecting their voice and testimonies. On the other hand, we will focus our attention on the cultural changes and innovations that occurred as a result of this emigration in both the society of origin of migrants, and the destination society, as well as changes in customs, language, conception of the world and ideas."
With regard to fieldwork, COVID.19 is expected to persist through a good part of 2021...
"Although the main source of material will be provided by interviewees themselves, we will visit documentation centers, archives and other information points for additional material. We have divided research into two areas, one in Bizkaia and one in the United States. Our intention is to travel to America during the summer to explore archives there and conduct personal interviews, but if the situation generated by the pandemic persists, our intention would be to carry out the second phase virtually, for which we have contacts, people and resources that will be of great use to us."