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The symposium held in Konstanz provided a forum for reflection on culture and the Basque conflict


Conference roundtable that included Basque writers and conference organizers (photo Etxepare)
Conference roundtable that included Basque writers and conference organizers (photo Etxepare)


The Etxepare Basque Institute and the University of Konstanz, in Germany, were both very satisfied by the results of the “Basque culture and political conflict” symposium which took place this week. The conference provided a forum for reflection on the Basque conflict, on the basis of fields such as literature, linguistics and history. The Basque Government’s Minister of Culture Blanca Urgell and the director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, attended the meeting on Tuesday, having both participated in “Basque Day” the day before as part of Berlinale.

Konstanz, Germany.  The symposium that took place this week in the city of Konstanz was rated very positively by its organizers, according to the Etxepare Basque Institute.  The conference was celebrated on Monday and Tuesday, and gathered Basque and international experts from several disciplines.  More precisely, its organizers appreciated the diversity of opinions and reflections presented as well as how well they were all received. 

On the first day, the theme of the conference was addressed from the perspective of literature, film and photography with the participation of Daniele Bilster, Franziska Bichtele and Pere Joan Tous (University of Konstanz) and Mikel Ayerbe and Izaro Arroitia (UPV-EHU – University of the Basque Country); as well as Mari Jose Olaziregi from the Etxepare Institute.  Next, contact between different languages was addressed by Janinia Honl, Thomas Bergholz and Sophia Buluta (Univ. Konstanz) and Juan Ramon Uriarte, Maitena Etxebarria, Marijo Ezeizabarrena and Maialen Iraola (UPV-EHU).  The perfect end for the first day was a concert given by Ruper Ordorika at the university’s Theaterwerkstatt.

On Tuesday the sessions began with talks by Juan Aranzadi (UNED) and Jesus Casquete and Francisco Letamendia (UPV-EHU), who also participated in the roundtable on the end of violence, with historian Gonzalo Alvarez Chillida as moderator.

The afternoon session began with linguist Itziar Idiazabal and journalist Imanol Murua, followed by the writers Aratxa Urretabizkaia, Harkaitz Cano and Iban Zaldua who reflected on Basque literature and memory.  It was they who ended the symposium, with a reading of current literary texts that are contributing to the creation of a cultural memory that may help build a social consensus. 


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