The «Eresoinka 1937-1939» exhibition arrives at the Basque Museum in Bayonne

The «Eresoinka 1937-1939» exhibition arrives at the Basque Museum in Bayonne

The Basque Museum in Bayonne will host the “Eresoinka 1937-1939”exhibition from 4 March to 30 April, after passing through San Sebastian and Sara.

The aim of this retrospective is to pay tribute to the Eresoinka cultural embassy, for its work spreading knowledge about Basque culture throughout Europe.


San Sebastian 2016, European Capital of Culture, remembers the Eresoinka cultural embassy by means of the exhibition, which can be visited starting from tomorrow, 4 March and until 30 April, at the Basque Museum in Bayonne. The exhibition, part of the Corale project by DSS2016EU, includes the participation of Inesfera, Sarako Ondarea, Eresbil, the Basque Confederation of Choirs and the Dantzaz company, as well as the collaboration of Obra Social “La Caixa”.

After the bombing of Gernika and the fall of Bilbao in 1937, the Basque government moved to Santander. There, Basque president José Antonio Agirre wrote a letter to Basque musician Gabriel Olaizola, asking him to prepare a cultural project in order to preserve the Basque people’s cultural identity and to inform of the atrocities that were about to take place.

Olaizola gathered in Sara the best Basque traditional dancers, musicians, singers and plastic artists from the period, featuring, among others, Luis Mariano and Pepita Embil, and prepared a show to be performed all over Europe. The group’s success was reflected in the performances it carried out in different parts of Europe such as London, Brussels or Paris. World War II started in 1939, just when the group was travelling on a transatlantic ship to America. The ship had to turn around and return to Europe. That same year, Eresoinka came to an end.


The «Eresoinka 1937-1939» exhibition can be visited at the Basque Museum in Bayonne from 4 March to 30 April, after passing through the Okendo Cultural Centre in San Sebastian and the Luberri room in Sara.

Based on the research carried out by Philippe Regnier and using photographs taken by Eresoinka member Jesus Elosegui, this exhibition shows us how these exiles experienced those two years of successful touring all over Europe. By means of graphic documents, audiovisual material and articles from the period, they will talk about the life in exile of the Eresoinka cultural embassy, that is, the life of exiles during those years of conflict.


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