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Improvised verse singing from women's eyes

In relation to the improvised verse singing universe, the lectures today have addressed the gender perspective in the cultural movement and humour.

The third day of Europa bat-batean initiative has focused on gender perspective and women’s voices have been at centre stage in the academic conferences today. Jone Miren Hernandez researcher in UPV/EHU has discussed about the emotional aspect of bertsolaritza from the gender perspective. Among other issues, Hernandez was wondering why bertsolaritza can tear the dichotomy between bertsolari and spectator and cannot do the same between woman and man. Making reference to John Foley’s work about the audience, she has pointed out that usually audience, in its role as receptor, goes against women. 

Afterwards, we have learnt about itkuvirsi from Elizabeth Tolbert. Itkuvirsi is an improvised verse singing from Karelia – region in the north of Finland and west of Russia - which is only performed by women. She has explained the vocal techniques of this improvised verse singing and the imagery and figures related to it such as the land of death Tuonela and the path which leads there. Besides, she has shown several recordings of this type of singing. 

American Treva Lindsey has brought the movement of hip hop to the conference: starting our way from the visual art and dance, she has driven us to the rap and beatboxing. She has underlined the power that hip hop has to connect with people and reinforce the collective identity. 

British stand-up comedian and activist Kate Smurthwaite has described the image of woman reflected in the comedies. She has also talked about the situation of women in the improvised comedies, departing from her experience. 

Show in Tabakalera

Today the performance by the improvisers will be held in Tabakalera. Improvisers will be all women since the topic today is gender perspective. The performance will be at 19:00 and the entrance tickets will be available in the ticket office for 15 euros. 

The improvisers participating in the show has also taken part in the colloquium at the end of the academic session this morning. Led by Ainhoa Agirreazaldegi, Karen Owen from Wales, Maria Isabel Servera from Majorca, Mexican Rebeca Limon “Tesy”, Lourdes Yunet Lopez from Cuba and the Basques Maialen Lujanbio and Miren Amuriza have formed the round-table. They have explained the problems they need to address in their disciplines due to their sex: "Glosa has traditionally been a male activity as it has been carried out in atmospheres where only men were present: in bars, at night, women didn’t have a place there. In comparison to Majorca, in Catalunya glosa has been totally renewed: the handing down to new generations has started from zero and as a result the balance between men and women is equalized", said Servera. Lopez from Cuba has pointed out the great number of women who joined the repentismo workshops, but she expressed her sorrow because many women quit the activity as they get older. Lujanbio has turn attendants’ attention to the context: "Is it heard in the same way what some people sing and others? Do some people have the same self-confidence as others? All these aspects cannot be understood out of their context since the difficulties that women have to cope with are not related to their capacity but to their context". 

Tomorrow lecturers will talk about the presence of improvised verse singing in the world.