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Areas Social action Culture and Historical Heritage

Teams begin third phase of push to map Formentera's subaquatic surroundings

foto boatPatrimony and environment department officials in the Formentera Council report that this week operations are under way in the third phase of a project to map Formentera's surrounding waters from below. The effort entails sidescan sonar-powered prospections of the stretch of seaboard from cala Saona to es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse.

Statutory report requirements meant a prolonged permit process and the start date, initially planned for December 2017, was pushed back to April. The Council's governing committee OK'd the campaign and the accompanying “archaeological prospection” after

The campaign and accompanying archaeological probe were rubber-stamped January 22 by the Council's governing committee after having received a favourable ruling, last November 17, of the archaeological committee reviewing the case.

Formentera's underwater archaeological map, or Carta arqueològica subaquàtica, is a project of the Balearic institute for the study of marine archaeology (IBEAM) and the Formentera Council. The document is considered a key part of Formentera's 2017-2019 strategy for sensible management of the island's cultural patrimony.

IBEAM project director Javier Rodríguez Pandozi highlighted fifteen areas of interest the current push had turned up some fifteen areas of interest and said a fourth effort, forecasted for October, is aimed at a more in-depth study of nearby ruins.

In the words of patrimony secretary Susana Labrador, once the five parts of the campaign are complete, the resulting map will be a “valuable tool” for the Council, providing “location information and descriptions of the heritage sites at sea around Formentera”. Most important, however, are the Council's plans for how that information will be used—“to guarantee sound management and ensure the sites are protected”.

Help pinpointing heritage sites
The completed map will be owned by the Formentera Council. However, to safeguard sites against plundering, its consultation will be limited to specialists.

The heads of the research effort asked Formentera residents in general and fishermen in particular to cooperate in protecting sunken archaeological ruins by reporting any found objects to the Council's patrimony office or the GEAS arm of the Guardia Civil.

Music and literature hold spotlight as Formentera celebrates Sant Jordi

Foto Joan miquel oliverFormentera's department of culture, education and patrimony report on the start, this weekend, of some of the key events in this year's Diada de Sant Jordi programme. The day itself is Monday, April 23.

Saturday of Sant Jordi concerts: band roundup and Joan Miquel Oliver

Eivissa's parochial youth band, a group of senior musicians from València known as Unió Musical, and Formentera's own musical group will congregate in plaça de la Constitució this Saturday at 5.30pm.

Then at 8.00pm in jardí de ses Eres, former Antònia Font singer Joan Miquel Oliver will present his latest release, an album the singer-songwriter titled Atlantis.

At the musical roundup, the musicians from Eivissa will perform two crowd favourites: Malson abans de Nadal and Cartoon Symphony. The selection presents a smattering of sounds plucked from cartoons like "The Simpsons", "The Pink Panther" and "The Flintstones".

Unió Musical turn to hometown composers to serve as the through line of their performance. They will wrap up their portion of the concert by débuting an original composition by band leader Joaquin Estal.

Training their focus on pieces composed specially for bands, Formentera's music group will offer a diverse assortment of contemporary pop offerings like the Beatles.

The concert will close with a three-band performance of Aires Formenterencs' song “Visc a Formentera”.

When the bands exit the stage, it will be the turn of Majorcan singer and former Antònia Font guitarist/songwriter Joan Miquel Oliver to take over. Oliver will present his new album, Atlantis, which is a stylistic hold-over from his previous effort, Pegasus. In this more polished, revved-up album, Oliver broadens his scope to include everything from antifolk to electro, funk to rumba, pure pop to absolutely anything else audiences can imagine.

Diada de Sant Jordi

In Sant Francesc, book stands will be set up in plaça de la Constitució by numerous cultural groups on the island. Literature lovers can hawk their used favourites for books recently taken out of circulation by the local library. One new stand will focus on all the publications in which the Formentera Council has collaborated, like Artur Portes and Vicent Ferrer's recently re-released La Cuina de Formentera, the Martí Serra Rivera-penned La segona república a Formentera 1931-1936 (published by Editorial Mediterrània Eivissa) and the Formentera-themed 79th issue of Randa magazine.

One classic component of the Sant Jordi festivities is the award ceremonies, of the Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” bookmark contest and the Robert Lewis Baldon young writers competition. As the two contests turn 19, and in recognition of 2018's designation as European Year of Cultural Heritage, this year's young authors wrote about Formentera and its cultural heritage.

The awards ceremonies, which begin at 5.30pm in the cinema, will include entertainment by artists Ruth Delgado and Nacho Rivas and Improibiza.

Trasmapi and the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' Talent IB programme collaborate in celebrating Sant Jordi day.

Collective Signatures hits Formentera

Exposicio collective signatureFormentera's departments of culture, education and patrimony are backing Collective Signatures, a cultural initiative with the subtitle Letters from Formentera.

Collective Signatures and the “itinerant residency” it proposes artists and curators descend on Formentera for two weeks from April 11. Devised as a way to promote reflection on the cultural questions facing contemporary society, the programme is also aimed at encouraging the individuals who decide to write and create art, alone or as part of a group and in ways that are creative or experimental.

Participants in the geographically-themed and concept-driven project will be tasked with shaping a new, unique and creative map of Formentera and producing a genre-spanning body of text focussed on the island.

Pooling experience
On Friday, April 20, at 10.30pm, a final evening of readings and performance will take place at Sa Panxa, giving participants the opportunity to share lessons and reflections arising from the residency.

One final undertaking involves sharing some of the texts and audiovisual materials produced over the course of the project. The accompanying material will serve as the basis for a range of print and online publications, exhibitions and academic research projects which are on the horizon.

Balearic high court confirms: es Campament is heritage site

foto es campament 2The high court of the Balearic Islands has confirmed the designation of es Campament as a site of exceptional cultural value. In so doing, the court rejected a suit brought by the owners of es Campament appealing the Formentera Council's decision to characterise it as such.

On November 29, 2013, the plenary assembly of the Formentera Council voted to begin the process of ascribing the status of “Asset of Cultural Interest” or BIC (Bé d'Interès Cultural) to la Savina's erstwhile prison. The designation also included special mention of the site's historical value.

The measure cited a text adopted in plenary by the Eivissa-Formentera island council in 2002. Dated September 30, that text held that “the former prison of la Savina (es Campament) was declared historical BIC”.

Responding the 2013 declaration, es Campament's owners undertook the contentious litigation rejected earlier today by the court when it upheld the publication of the BIC designation in the official gazette of the Balearic Islands and its inclusion in Formentera's catalogue of historical interest sites.

Culture and patrimony secretary Susana Labrador welcomed the court's ruling, noting it would “help ensure this treasured historical heritage monument receives the recognition proposed by the Council”. “Today's climate is favourable to efforts to recuperate historical memory”, she asserted, and called es Campament “particularly important in that sense”.

Formentera Council's commitment to historical memory
The ruling reaffirms the Council's commitment to recovering historical memory on Formentera. On March 1, celebrated as Dia de les Illes Balears, administration officials unveiled a plaque commemorating the five Formentera residents that were killed by supporters of Francisco Franco in 1937. The plaque is the first of its kind in our community.

Formentera welcomes Nuria Varela's 'feminism for beginners'

Nuria varela feminismo para principiantesThis Monday, the Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare will host a presentation of Nuria Valera's book, Feminismo para principiantes. At the event, Valera will lead a discussion of contemporary feminism and the contradictions pervading our society's relationship with it.

An expert in feminism, Varela got her bachelor's in information technology, works as a writer and holds two master's degrees—one in interdisciplinary gender studies and another in gender and gender-equality policy. On her current trip to the island, Valera presents a freshly-minted comic-book version of Feminismo para principiantes (“Feminism for beginners”, TN), first published as an essay in 2008. In its current iteration, the book uses updated language and a heady dose of illustrations to take feminism to a broader audience.

To hear CiF social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada tell it, the Formentera Council rejects the idea that “feminism is for women”. She contends that finding ways to apply feminist thought in society at large is “essential to making the world a better place”. Parellada also urges “progressives in power enable broad access to these ideas” and equates feminists' contributions with “public service”. As such, Parellada encouraged all islanders to come out for the event.

The discussion and book presentation are scheduled for next Monday, April 16 at 8.00pm in Biblioteca Marià Villangómez in Sant Francesc.

Included in the Diada de Sant Jordi activities programme, the event is supported by Institut Balear de la Dona and will be attended by that agency's director, Rosa Cursach.

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Ràdio Illa

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