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The Jon Bilbao Basque Library at UNR commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika with an exhibit

05/31/2017

Ruins of San Juan Church in Gernika after the bombing
Ruins of San Juan Church in Gernika after the bombing

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On the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika, the Jon Bilbao Basque Library at the University of Nevada, Reno is hosting an exhibit that aims to give a voice to those who suffered in the tragedy, and its aftermath.  “Gernika Voices after the Bombs,” will be on display through October 2017 at the library’s entrance in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. 

Reno, NV.   As many around the world, the Jon Bilbao Basque Library at the University of Nevada, Reno felt it was important to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika.  Uniquely placed, with a wealth of material already in its archives on the subject, the Library has put together the exhibit “Gernika: Voices after the Bombs,” that includes six testimonials of survivors, that were then translated by Basque Library intern, Irati Urkitza Ansoleaga, and Center for Basque Studies Ph.D. student, Edurne Arostegui.  These testimonies are available in text form, and a loop of their audio is also part of the display.  The testimonials are accompanied by several panels creating a mural of the ruins of Gernika.

In the words of Basque Librarian, Iñaki Arrieta, “The 80th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika served as an opportunity to raise awareness related to what happened there, and helps tell a story of why this historical event matters today.” 

William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies Director, Xabier Irujo, is also an expert on Gernika, and has recently published a book entitled, Gernika 1937: The Market Day Massacre (University of Nevada Press, 2015). As such, Dr. Irujo also collaborated on the creation of the exhibit and this is what he had to say about the emotional experience of the exhibit, “If we study in-depth how people suffered and the ways the victims died we can begin to understand the impact of these types of bombings. When we feel something we really learn it. If we don't feel it, somehow our brain catalogues the information, but it has little effect on our behavior." 

The exhibit will be on display through October 2017 at the entrance of the Library and the Center for Basque Studies on the third floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.  To read more about the exhibit, and for directions, click here.



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