The Basque Language Week is an extravagant series of events based in Machynlleth early in the new year and will celebrate and promote the smaller languages of Europe.
Basque Language Week from January 7-13 will focus first on Euskara, the language of the Basque Country. Events will include film, poetry, music, visual art, schools workshops, eating and drinking, and lively discussions.
Centred in Bro Ddyfi, the festival will also spill over into Pen Llŷn, Tywyn and across Ceredigion. In an initiative led by students from Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, people in Machynlleth who ask for goods in Euskara during this week will be given a discount in selected shops and cafes. Translation facilities are already being manufactured at the school under the guidance of the French Department.
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen will also host a two-day arts workshop led by Juan Gorriti, one of the Basque Country’s most famous artists and Luned Rhys Parri from Caernarfon.
On Saturday, January 7, the opening of Gorriti’s 50-year retrospective exhibition in Y Tanerdy, the beautiful new gallery wing of Y Tabernacl, will be followed by a second, an exhibition of Basque rural life in Canolfan Owain Glyndwr.
These will be followed by a grand evening concert in Y Tabernacl, featuring the Basque musicians Birartean and Mixel Ducau, Welsh musicians Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Osian Morris, with bertzolariak (performance poets from each country) and films too.
Other events in the week will include a bilingual film night, intxos, wine and discussions in Caffi Alys. a Basque cider feast in Caffi Alys and a green tourism day.
The festival is a partnership between Celtic Neighbours, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, Menter Maldwyn, Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Y Tabernacl Trust and Canolfan Owain Glyndwr in Wales and Plazaola Lekunberri and Etxepare in Euskal Herria – the Basque Country. It has been generously supported throughout by the Arts Council of Wales.