March 29th, 2016

Basque-American News Outlets, Buber, and the Wonderful Articles of Vince Juaristi

IKURRIÑA Y AMERICANA

We want to take a minute here to talk about Basque and Basque-American news sources available in the U.S., where they are, and how far we’ve come.

It’s become obvious that we’ve entered a phase of unprecedented access for the Basque community to news from the Basque country and other Basque communities throughout the country and the world. Truth is though, it’s kind of shocking to look at the scale and breadth of Basque media available considering what was available just five, ten or fifteen years ago. Clearly, the advent of the internet has radically altered and expanded access to information and advanced the reality of cultural equity for all types of communities, ideas, opinions and possibilities. That said, and since we have always had our eye on that particular corner of the internet concerning anything Basque, we thought it would be nice to share with you at least some of the Basque oriented news sites and blogs that we regularly read.

         Here is a brief list with links of the (English language) stuff we are reading:

New PictureA Basque in Boise This is a blog written by “a girl from Bilbao who calls Boise her home”. She sometimes aggregates and translates news stories, posts interesting original stories and is an especially great source for goings on in the Basque community of Boise, Idaho.

About Basque Country This website has been around for a while in Basque and Spanish and recently launched an English version last May. These folks have a big presence on social media, send out a daily newsletter, do a very thorough job of aggregating all types of Basque related news stories in the media, and following through with their stated goal which is “to present the world’s view on the Basques… to gather information on how the international media describes the reality of our country.”

The Center for Basque Studies Blog The blogging arm of The William A. Douglas Center for Basque Studies at The University of Nevada, Reno. Their pages “provide a wealth of research, interesting stories, and complete up-to-date information about what is going on here at the Center.” Always really interesting stuff.

Euskal Kazeta This is a news website based out of Los Angeles, the brainchild of Nancy Zubiri, the author of A Travel Guide to Basque America a book we highly recommend. They specialize in “covering stories on Basque events, issues and personalities across the U.S.” But they cover Basque stuff from all over the world as well. They also have some pretty impressive archives, research, and community specific news sections published.

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Euskal Kultura This is definitely the premier website for news about the Basque diaspora worldwide. Their website and daily newsletter covers “Basques, Basque clubs and Basque culture outside the geographical limits of Euskal Herria” They also offer a huge and really diverse set of resources including a daily events listing for Basque events around the world, resources for learning Basque online or in person, tools for those interested in Basque genealogy and a host of other things.

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Irekia is a website run by the Basque Government. It specifically points out that it “does not seek to be a news portal” but rather a tool for transparency in government. They disseminate news about the government both on their website and in their newsletter.

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NABO or the North American Basque Organizations is an organization that has other Basque organizations as members. Their goal is to help them “assist each other in the pursuit of the same objective: the perpetuation of “Basqueness”” They also put out ASTERO, a weekly news bulletin we always read.

Hats off to all these purveyors of Basque news and the many more like them that we haven’t mentioned here. Basque centered news outlets and the representation of diaspora communities in media occupy a very important place in the landscape of awareness and self-perception of Basques in the United States and indeed around the world.

We would be remiss if we went any further without mentioning Buber and his website, Buber’s Basque Page. I cannot overstate how important this website is.

Now that there are several Basque and Basque diaspora themed publications sometimes with teams of full-time employees dedicated to their maintenance and daily newsletters, one might overlook Buber. There was a time though, not too long ago when it was just Buber. Before any of the aforementioned and omitted websites or bloggers, before you could read El Diario Vasco , Deia or Gara or access Eitb from your computer, before social media, before Wikipedia, there was Buber. If you had a Basque related query or if your question was simply “What is Basque?” more likely than not you’d end up at Buber’s page pretty quickly.

imageedit_1_7253896411Buber’s Basque Page was built by Blas Uberuaga in 1994 when he was just 23 and a graduate student. It’s often cited as the first website dedicated entirely to The Basque Country and Basque culture. For several years it remained the authoritative online compendium of all things Basque. Today Buber’s work is recognized by having the annual awards for best Basque website named in his honor, the Buber Sariak. On the homepage of his website he describes it as a page that

“…attempts to compile information about the Basque people. The pages contain many contributions from volunteers from all over the world. The topics span history, language, sports and games, folklore, politics, and genealogy, among many others.”

There’s really so much stuff in there that I can’t list it all here. What I can say is that for a long time I believed Buber was somehow going to catalogue the entire Basque universe. Part of me still believes that. At the time of this writing the most recent article posted was an interview with Christine Bender an author whose work we’ve recommended in the past.

We encourage anyone who has some free time to check out Buber’s page. If you don’t have time to do a lot of exploring and want to choose one thing, we recommend looking at a series of articles Buber is reprinting written by Vince J. Juaristi in the run up to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival  to be held in Washington D.C. this summer and which will celebrate Basque Culture.

Vince J Juaristi

Vince Juaristi, a native of Elko, Nevada and author of Back to Bizkaia, was asked by the Smithsonian to write a series of articles that highlight how the Basques have crossed paths with the United States throughout the years. The series of articles they have named Intertwined are being published in the Elko Free Daily Press and they highlight “how the Basque history has “intertwined” with that of the United States”.

We’ve been reading these articles and absolutely love them. Mr. Juaristi will publish one article of the series monthly through June of 2016. Here are links to the first three.

The Work of a Generation

Intertwined: John Adams Encounters the Basque

Intertwined: The Tail of the Comet

Reading these stories, we are struck by how profoundly emblematic they are of the type of community and identity building that media can help create and how valuable places like Buber’s Basque Page are. Twenty years ago it would have been incredibly unlikely for us to have come across a series of articles published in Elko. Today, thanks to the growth and accessibility of Basque American news outlets we can say that these are some of the most satisfying newspaper articles we’ve read in years.

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