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Mintzola presents the World Improvised Verse Singing Map

The presentation of the map brought an end to the fifth day of the Europa bat-batean academic workshops. Previously, experts from all around the world had discussed the general situation of orality and improvised song.

Mintzola presented the World Improvised Verse Singing Map, created by the Xenpelar Dokumentazio Zentroa. To do this, he made full use of the scope of the Europa bat-batean academic workshops being held in the Miramar Palace in Donostia/San Sebastian.

The World Improvised Verse Singing Map is a database that brings together different forms of improvised song and shows its great diversity.  This was mentioned by Ruth Finnegan, an imminent researcher who is working to get greater recognition for oral literatures.  Alongside Finnegar, Jon Zarate, representative of the University of the Basque Country, John Zemke, the chairman of Oral Tradition and Iñaki Arrieta, representative of the Reno Basque Library, took part in the presentation.   To finish the event, the bertsolari Andoni Egaña and the Mexican trio, Las Alondras, both sang.

Before the presentation, other presentations were made in the Baroja room at the Miramar Palace.  The Vice-Counsellor of Culture for the Basque Government, Joxean Muñoz, member of the Mintzola Board of Trustees, Adoni Egaña and a cultural development technician from Unesco Etxea, Begoña Guzman, spoke about intangible heritage and the possibility for Bertsolaritza to be declared part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

After that, Ruth Finnegan spoke about the oral nature of poetry, using examples from African and English literature.  Then, in his talk, Anthony Judge spoke about the different ideas or “voices” that control the construction of discourse creation.

Finally, he paid tribute to Oral Tradition and the man who founded it, John Foley.  An audio-visual display was shown, telling the story of the Foley’s relationship with Bertsolaritza and then the chairman of Mintzola, Iñaki Murua, gave a memento to the current director of Oral Tradition, John Zemke.

Tomorrow will see the last of the Europa bat-batean academic workshops in the Miramar Palace and the key theme of the talks will be minority languages.

The World Improvised Verse Singing Map, available to everyone 

Just as Andoni Egaña mentioned in his bertso, the World Improvised Verse Singing Map is a valuable tool “for anyone to be able to find out about it, wherever they are.”

The map can be found at the following link: On the map one can see what language each artistic expressions uses by the different colours.  It also includes information about each of the oral expressions, both what can be found online, as well as articles, recordings and documents available in the Xenpelar database, BDB.

This database has been created by bringing together contributions from researchers and enthusiasts. As more contributions are received, the World Improvised Verse Singing Map will be expanded. 

Afternoon Performance on the streets of the Old Town

Starting from the Boulevard at 7:00pm, Europa bat-batean will travel around the streets of the Old Town. The bertsolaris, Manex Agirre, Andoni Egaña and Ane Labaka will sing alongside improvisers from Austria, Wales, Cuba, Majorca, Mexico and Cyprus.