Title: Contest of bertsolaris basque in Paris
Duration: 32 min., 34 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Concurso de bertsolaris, se escuchan los versos de los participantes en el concurso
The Spanish nationalist project of the Franco regime conceived Spain as a homogeneus reality, that is why it was necessary to eliminate everything except heterogeneity, wheter it was politics, ideological, identity or cultural. Thus, cultures and languages like the Galician, the Catalan and the Basque, were condemned to marginalization. And although between the end of the forties (1946) it began to tolerate the publication of books and later magazines (1959) in which it was defined like “vernacular languages” (in comparison to previous stages, of fierce linguistic and cultural repression), the only official tongue recognised by the dictatorship was Spanish.
On the other hand, the own cultural elements of the different historical “nationalities”, were tolerated only as part of the varied folklore of what, supposedly, constituted the essence of "Spanish”. A folklore, obviously, distorting, manipulated, and deprived of its claiming and identity character, transformed into mass consumer product, and used as a further form of social demobilization, practically comparable (saving the distances) in the Roman panem et circenses.
There were three ways for the development of these cultures and these languages. The first two are evident: exile and secrecy, the third being trying to take advantage of the narrow legal channels. In the Basque Country, where the culture was split between the Basque-Spanish and the Ethno-Basque (FUSI, 1999), the use of the language became a political symbol of resistance, and the inner cultural activity took refuge precisely in certain institutions, associations and manifestations of a cultural and folkloric nature, as well as recreational and even sporty, with strong support from prominent Basque clergy sectors (RIQUER, Borja of, 2010). It doesn't have to forget in that aspect that the talks of Father Olaso (pseudonym of the exiled Basque priest Alberto Onaindía) were one of the main assets of “Radio París” between 1946 and 1957. And in fact, it is stimated that there were a total of 16 Basque priests executed by firearm by the Franco's troops during the Civil War, accused of nationalist political activity.
During the sixties, and under the direction of André Camp, “Radio París” developed broadcasts in Catalan, Galician and Basque. In that context, and with a clear confluence between exile, clandestinity and cultural manifestations “tolerated” by the regime, appeared in “Radio París” a large number of broadcasts, aimed at spreading and strengthening the national identity of the Basque people as a whole (including in the French Basque Country), always in an anti-Franco sense. The program “Irrintzi: from Paris to the Basque people around the world” was one of the clearest examples, but no the only one. Thus, there were recorded broadcasts on both sides of the Pyrenees on:
-The Basque Choral Movement, whose origin goes back to the 19th century: Presentation of the Basque ballet Etorki in Paris, Chorus Etorki, Basque chorus, txistu, Coral Irunesa of Camera, Coral Santa Cecilia of Saint Sebastian, Choral Grouping of Camera of Pamplona. Here we highlight the famous Eresoinka (choir national Basque), created by Gabriel Olaizola Gabarain in 1937 by order of Lehendakari José Antonio Aguirre, which functioned during the war and from exile by way of cultural resistance.
-The Donostiarra Tamborrada, of original military significance: Irrintzi III, gastronomic touristic events of the southwest of France in Biarritz I and II
-Bertsolarismo, a form of traditional oral poetry of improvised character: contest of berstolaris Basque in Paris and bertsolaris in the restaurant.
All of them folk cultural expressions endowed with a great deal of overlapping nationalist political leadership.
In the same way, it was informed in detail of any activity held in France related to the Basque Country, always with a political background identity, such as:
-The fiftieth anniversary of the Euskalduna Society of Paris: 50 anniversary of the Euskalduna Society of Paris I and II
-The fiftieth anniversary of the Basque Academy: 50 anniversary of the Basque Academy
-Celebration of the exaltation of the Basque language and values, which could well belong to any of the previous acts: Festival of exaltation of the Basque language
-Representation of Matalas, Basque pastoral, on the figure of a hero who for Basque nationalism defended interests of Euskal Herria: Matalas
It is necessary to take into account that Julián Antonio Ramírez himself was very tied to the Basque Country. He had been born in San Sebastián, had formed there, had fought on the North Front during the Civil War, and knew the language perfectly. Although he was never identified with the independentism.
University of Alicante. University library. Music Library.