Are changes taking place in the Basque ethnolinguistic mobilisation? The case of Korrika
Are changes taking place inBasque ethnolinguisticmobilisation? The case ofKorrika?Adriano CirulliUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”Are changes takingplace in the Basqueethnolinguisticmobilisation? Thecase of KorrikaDr Adriano CirulliUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”
Since the second half of the 1950s, inthe context of the Francoist regime,Euskara, the Basque language, becamethe core value of Basque nationalism(Tejerina 1992 and 1996; Conversi1997).Language as a cultural marker ofBasque national identity
Research hypothesesBasque Cultural activism is partially(just partially) detaching itself frompolitical alignment. There is anincreasing ‘fuzzy’ relationship betweencultural and political activism in theBasque case (Sanchez Carrión 1987;Urla 1999 and 2003).
Theoretical framework (I)• political and cultural nationalism areautonomous, although interconnected,moments of every nationalist mobilisation(Hutchinson 1987)• The grade of autonomy reached bycultural nationalism vary depending onsocial, cultural, or political factors• Changes in cultural nationalism affect theevolution of political nationalism
Theoretical framework (II)• Political Opportunities Structure (POS):the formal, as well as informal variables,such as the existence of a decentralisedor federal state structure, electoralrealignment, intra-leadership conflicts,availability of new alliances, that facilitate,or obstruct, the political participation ofgroups and movements, (Kriesi 1995;Tarrow 1994; McAdam 1996).
Presentation Structure• The situation of Euskara: data,actors, conflicts• Insights from my ‘participantobservation’ during the lastKorrika (Spring 2009)• Final remarks
30,00%41,08%0,00%5,00%10,00%15,00%20,00%25,00%30,00%35,00%40,00%45,00%1991 2006Knowledge of Euskara in the Basque population aged 16 ormore (1991-2006)Source: Government of BAC, Dept. of Culture http://www.euskadi.net
32,60%48,48%0,00%10,00%20,00%30,00%40,00%50,00%60,00%1991 2006Knowledge of Euskara in the BAC population aged 16 ormore (1991-2006)Source: Government of BAC, Dept. of Culture http://www.euskadi.net
0,00%10,00%20,00%30,00%40,00%50,00%60,00%70,00%80,00%90,00%1983-84 1995-96 2007-08Model A + X Model B Model DEnrolments for linguistic model, students aged 3-18, BAC(1983-2007)Source: Basque Institute of Statistics (Eustat)
14,13%18,67%0,00%2,00%4,00%6,00%8,00%10,00%12,00%14,00%16,00%18,00%20,00%1991 2006Knowledge of Euskara in Navarre Foral Community (NFC)population aged 16 or more (1991-2006)Source: Government of BAC, Dept. of Culture
7,15%19,98%75,77%52,11%16,83%25,58%2,34%0,00%10,00%20,00%30,00%40,00%50,00%60,00%70,00%80,00%1990-91 2008-2009Model A Model G Model D TILStudents enrolment for linguistic model (aged 3-16), Navarre(1990-2008)Source: Government of Navarre, Dept. of Education
40,15%31,10%0,00%5,00%10,00%15,00%20,00%25,00%30,00%35,00%40,00%45,00%1991 2006Knowledge of Euskara in French Basque Country populationaged 16 or more (1991-2006)Source: Government of BAC, Dept. of Culture
The situation of Euskara in Basque territories: diffusion,actors, and conflictsTerritory Diffusion Main Actors ConflictsBAC 48,48% (2006),increasing trend- AutonomousInstitutions (HABE)- AEK (radicalnationalism)- HABE Vs AEK- Socialist (i. e. nonationalist) regionalgovernment (sinceMarch 2009)Navarre 18,67% (2006);moderateincreasing trend- RegionalGovernment- AEKAEK (and culturalactors in general) VsUPN and regionalgovernmentIparralde 31,1% (2006),Generaldecreasing trend- Seaska,- Ikastolak- ICB- AEK- Quest for strongerinstitutional action- Cultural / politicalnationalists
Korrika: what is• Korrika is a colossal footrace run in relays of 1kilometre, in which thousands of runners, menand women of all ages, pass through the sevenBasque territories carrying a symbol identified asthe testigo, or ‘witness’. The race is organisedeach two years since 1980 by AEK (TheAlfabetatze Euskalduntze Koordinakundea -Coordination of Education and Literacy in theBasque Language), an organisation close to theradical abertzale nationalism.
Korrika: aims (Del Valle 1994)• publicising the work that AEK carries outin its task of developing and empoweringEuskara in Euskal Herria, maintaining asits ultimate goal the implantation ofEuskara as the principal language• encouraging the learning or perfecting ofEuskara, principally among adults• acquire through economic contributionsthe necessary support for continuing theirwork
Korrika as case study: why?• During Korrika many of the discontinuities,conflicts and contradictions that exist inBasque society, related mainly to thelanguage, the territory, and theresponsibility for the transmission of thelanguage, are represented and performedin the symbolic and public field providedby the event
Participant Observation during the last KorrikaWhen: 27-29 March 2009 (4 weeksafter the Basque regional elections)Where: Pamplona/Iruna (Navarre),and Donostia/San Sebastián (BAC)
The “presence of absence” (Del Valle 2004)Korrika revives the memory of significantpeople who were associated in life withthe Basque cultural or political cause.Also incorporated is the presence ofthose who for political motives are inexile or in jail, or who are considered‘disappeared’.
Concluding Remarks• Basque ethnolinguistic mobilisation ascatalyser of nationalism - cultural as wellpolitical - (broader nationalist support; newalliances in order to face the new POS)• cultural and linguistic activism risks tobecome more politicised• Need to develop a research agenda onthe current relationship between culturaland political nationalist mobilisations in theBasque case