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CULTURAL OCTOBER: EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS 2022

2022/09/21

 The 22nd European Heritage Days in Bizkaia will address Sustainable Heritage through 140 cultural proposals

Under the slogan Ondarea loratuz, gozatu! Sustainable Heritage, a total of 227 events will be held during October in 61 municipalities throughout the territory.

Over 100 organisations are taking part in these events, which will be coordinated by the Bizkaia Provincial Council. These include city councils, museums, tourist offices, nature interpretation centres, cultural and neighbourhood associations, local or regional development agencies, educational institutions, and even individuals. 

The entire programme will be included in a catalogue of activities, most of which are free of charge, with a calendar/guide to facilitate quick searching. In addition, you can see the schedule and book online on the www.ondareabizkaia.eus website.

The Deputy of Basque Language, Culture, and Sport Lorea Bilbao Ibarra announced the programme for the 22nd edition of the European Heritage Days at a ceremony held at Itsasmuseum, attended by representatives of the participating entities. 

 Ondarea loratuz, gozatu! Sustainable Heritage is the theme of the 22nd edition of the European Heritage Days campaign, a theme in line with that announced by the Council of Europe to value, protect, and safeguard our rich and diverse cultural heritage in a context such as the current one with the major environmental, social, and economic challenges that we have to face. 

 

October will be packed with activities. A total of 227 events with 140 cultural proposals will fill the months schedule. These include guided tours, walks, and routes, on foot or by bicycle, family workshops, conferences and talks, meetings and live demonstrations, gastro workshops, exhibitions, concerts, events set to music, audiovisual screenings, video forums, and interactive competitions and contests, among other things. All of this the aim of bringing the public closer to the natural and cultural heritage in a participatory and sustainable way. 

 

Lorea Bilbao Ibarra pointed out that the Bizkaia Provincial Council has been organising the European Heritage Days for 22 years, bringing together over 100 social and cultural agents in each edition of the campaign. Although the celebration is confined to the month of October, preparations take place over several months of meetings and networking in order to explore a new theme in depth and give coherence to the programme of activities.  This year, 61 municipalities in Bizkaia will take part in the campaign and will introduce those interested to the concept of heritage from the perspective of sustainability.

 

The Deputy of Basque Language, Culture, and Sport stressed that “the thematic coherence worked on in each edition and the commitment and involvement of cultural and social agents in the different campaigns have been two of the keys to the success of the European Heritage Days in Bizkaia, which have turned the programme into a leading management model in Europe”. Lorea Bilbao Ibarra also explained that “this year, sustainability is the guiding thread of a programme that has once again been enthusiastically embraced by the organising entities, aligning the proposals with the goals of the 2030 Agenda, an action plan that addresses the three dimensions of development, namely economic, social, and environmental development, through 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The new campaign will again showcase a wide range of activities with a common denominator: the importance of culture and knowledge of history and heritage in human development, traditional ways of doing things from the local level, partnerships and networking to strengthen the community, and the value of innovation, creativity, and critical thinking, all of which are necessary elements to provide solutions to environmental, economic, and social problems.” Bilbao Ibarra added that “the programme presented today is, in short, an inspiring model, which offers a variety of examples of how to address the challenge of the sustainability of heritage. But above all, it is a project that combines tradition, research, and innovation from a local and intimate perspective.”

 

Health, well-being, and environmental awareness

The programme includes itineraries that run through places in the Basque region in which its biodiversity will be promoted, such as Gorbea and Areatza, Gordexola, Galdames, Urdaibai, Gorliz, Orduña, and the Naturbideak circuit in Elorrio. In Berriz, the visit will be complemented with music and live poetry. In Artzentales and Getxo, they will unite art with nature through creative workshops and guided tours. In Dima, the participative workshop “Dima, with all five senses” will take place with audiovisual elements by local artists, professionals, and producers based in the municipality. In Ereño, there will be visits to the museum and the quarry featuring the artistic installation by the artists Rober Garay and Alberto Palomera. And in Muskiz, there will be a tour with the volunteer group of the Integral Steelworkers Foundation (FTSI) through the surroundings of Pobeña and the remains of old mining infrastructures that have shaped a unique landscape.

These changes in the landscape sometimes go unnoticed but have left their mark on the territory. There will be walks with geologists in Galdames, in the flysch of Getxo, and in Fruiz there are unique basalt columns millions of years old that will attract the attention of participants on the guided walk. The Mining Museum is also organising a visit to the Mina Urallaga gallery for visitors to learn about the miners working space as well as geological heritage.

Cultural heritage, identity, and community cohesion

Many towns and villages showcase their tangible cultural heritage and open the doors of their religious, civil, or industrial buildings. This is true of the Abadiño hermitage, with its campa de Juntas, or land used for meetings; the hermitages of Amorebieta, those of Busturia, or the altarpiece of Arrieta, which was salvaged and restored after a fire.  In many cases, the involvement of the local residents in the enhancement and care of the local heritage has been exemplary. There will also be a visit to the Atxispe hermitage in Gamiz-Fika, an enclave that has been occupied since ancient times and was also strategic in the defence of the Iron Ring.

Farmhouses also have their place in the programme. They are vernacular structures located in rural settings, which have guaranteed a balanced relationship between the inhabitant and nature. Some of the oldest, such as Landetxo Goikoa, have been restored and refurbished for municipal use. The 16th-century Kadaltso farmhouse and its future sustainable use will be the subject of a guided tour and round table discussion in Zamudio.

The visit to the Patxikobaso farmhouse in Mañaria will provide an insight into the production model, which is based on organic farming. There will be visits to a community garden and a demonstration of how bread is made with organic flour and sourdough starter. In Elorrio, the Zeniktaldekoa farmhouse will promote the Belaze project through an experiential and interactive workshop.

Cultural and social diversity, functional diversity, and sustainable development will be addressed through activities organised by groups such as Agiantza, which works in the area of social exclusion and is organising a multicultural meeting, with an exhibition and discussion in San Francisco. This is also the case with the “Diversitours” guided tours organised by the San Francisco 34 group, which connect visitors with the history of the neighbourhood and the resident community, with experiences that do not form part of the usual circuits.

The Bizkaia Coordinating Federation of People with Physical and/or Organic Disabilities, Fekoor, organises an itinerary through Zorrotzaurre to explain its past and present and to reflect upon a sustainable future.

Getxo offers a wide range of activities and many of them are aimed at giving visibility to women such as Francisca Labroche or Elvira Larrazabal through guided and dramatised visits. Others will delve more deeply into place names in the municipality. There will be workshops such as the one organised by the Andrés Isasi Music School to make instruments from recycled materials as well as an educational concert. Also gymkhanas related to the SDGs and photo contests, to name but a few.

Museums, spaces for research and debate

The museums will offer the public a programme that includes lectures and debates such as the one that will take place at Arkeologi Museoa as part of the exhibition “Egypt in Bilbao on the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamuns tomb”. The lecture by Professor Agustín Azkarate will provide a critical analysis of the archaeology deriving from colonial violence and will propose more inclusive and equal ways of practising the discipline.

The El Pobal Ironworks in Muskiz is organising three interesting proposals that combine research and the enhancement of its heritage resources. These include the thematic guided tour of the ironworks led by Jesús María Esteban, president of the Association of Mineralogy and Palaeontology of the Basque Country and the lecture organised in collaboration with the Muskiz Library and the Equality Department of Muskiz City Council on the role of women in centres of power in the Middle Ages, which will be given by the researcher Isabel Mellén.

At Muñatones Castle, there will be a talk by the art specialist Ana Prestamero based on a canvas by the painter Pablo Uranga, which will be restored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council and that depicts scenes from Bienandanzas y Fortunas by Lope García de Salazar, a large-scale copy of which will be present during the talk.

In the Durango Museum of Art and History, the memory of the women of the washing places will be revived in a round table discussion.

The Arrantzaleen Museoa in Bermeo will use this source of knowledge provided by the European Heritage Days to raise awareness of responsible consumption. Through its workshops, the participants will learn about sustainable fishing systems, the world of canned fish, and will prepare and sample a snack with local products.

In the Euskal Herria Museoa, there will be botanical visits by the biologist Iñaki Gonzalo and an interesting show by the actor Jon Ander Urrezti from Bermeo, who takes us to a 700-year-old family farmhouse through the play “Tribiz. Baserri galdue” (“Tribiz, the lost farmhouse”).

Old buildings, new uses

Sustainability can also apply to buildings and structures that have significant heritage value, not only from a historical and artistic point of view, but also because of the value that links them to the people themselves when these buildings are reused for public use. This is the case with former hospitals, palaces, factories, converted into educational centres and museums, among other things.  In this context, visits will be organised to La Encartada fabrika-museoa in Balmaseda and its collection of textile machinery, which has been preserved and restored to be put into operation, as well as the Emilio Campuzano Vocational Training Centre, the former Atxuri Hospital in Bilbao, where visitors can tour the building and see works of art and furniture that explain how the centre has evolved throughout its history. Other examples of reuse include the former Casa Cuna (nursery), a century-old modernist building by Ricardo Bastida in Urazurrutia, now converted into the “Casa de los ODS”, or “House of the SDGs”, a space for social innovation.

The old Dolomite factory has been converted into a museum and the ore crushing station is now the Parketxe de Armañón, a space for environmental education.

In short, all these activities and many more will be offered in a catalogue of activities, most of which are free of charge, with a calendar/guide to facilitate quick searching. In addition, you can see the schedule and book online on the www.ondareabizkaia.eus website.

 

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