Basque Country

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  • Basque Country
    • The conflict of independence started in the 19th Century, but the violence did not begin until the ETA were created (1949).
      • The ETA are an extreme Basque separatist group. They were formed in 1949 and have caused more than 800 deaths since they began. In the Basque country they are seen as martyrs by many. Their main aim is self-determination in the Basque Country. 
    • NE Spain and SW France. Population of 3 million people who speak a language of their own (Basque).
      • Speaking basque at home was forbidden during Franco dictatorship (1939-1975), therefore their desire to regenerate the language was only fuelled more.
        • A Language Policy was put into place after the Franco Dictatorship to assist education and social emancipation and development amongst the Basques. The Policy's aims were: transmission, usage and quality. The language was so important to develop as it brought a sense of national identity to many.
      • An important discovery for the Basque culture and history was the discovery of the Urtiaga Skull in the Urtiaga caves. The skull has similar measurements to its modern day Basque counterpart.
        • Vasquistas (Basqueists) wree obsessed with the idea that, alone among Europeans, their Basque ancestors may have evolved  into homo-sapiens in their native  place.
    • The three Carlist wars between 1833-1878 lead to an abolition of the fueros - rules that granted Basque country specificity within Spain
      • Robust industrialisation attracted immigrants from all over Spain - threat to Basque culture and language.
        • Sabino Arana (1865-1903) was the founder of the Basque Nationalist party (PNV). Arana´s ideology was imbued with racism, but he based it on pride for their own culture and  that Basque people needed not to let themselves be fully absorbed by Spanish culture. Arana founded the PNV in 1894, and in a few decades it became the majority party in elections in the provinces of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba.
        • The PNV stood with the Republicans against Franco. The Francoists won and the Basque country underwent strict cultural and political repression (1939-1975). The ETA was born as a reactio to this and the ETA became armed due to even more repression.
          • In response to the ETA the Spanish gvmnt organised a counter terrorist group called the GAL, which killed over 30 people - mostly relating to ETA.
            • In 2000 the Spanish government insinuated that many nationalist organisations in the Basque country were part of the ETA. This lead to Batasuna being banned.
              • Since 2007, ETA have given up arms and negotiation between gvmnts has been suggested but not taken action upon.
    • Batasuna was a political party in Spain, originated in the Basque region. It gained many votes in elections within the Basque country because it's goal as a party was to gain independence for the Basque country. However in 2003 it was banned because it was found to have links to the ETA due to the fact the ETA shared the same aims as the party.
      • Regina Otaola is the mayor of Lizarza (In Basque Country) and leader of the ‘Partido popular’ in this area. She identifies with a 'crusader against terrorism' which for the Basques was seen as a direct attack on ETA. Her offices are in a secure location and she has bodyguards. In one interview she
      • After 2003, when Batasuna was banned as a party, the 'Nationalist Basque Action' or 'ANV' took over. This party is still said to have ETA links.
        • One journalist 'Gorka Landaburu' was sent a letter bomb by ETA and lost 5 fingers because he wrote an article against the Basque Country Nationalists.
      • Political Parties
    • Woodworth's interpretation
      • “If Basque nationalism is sometimes visceral, irrational and intolerant, so is its much more powerful Spanish counterpart.” 
      • “The origins of the Basques, and of their language, Euskera, are at once enticingly mysterious and politically contested.” 
        • The mystery of their origins allows to think of Basques as A UNIQUE PEOPLE: “If the Basques really were a unique people, then their case for carving out an independent state was that much stronger.”- After their discovery of the skull, their yearning for uniqueness was that much exemplified.
      • Woodworth states the Basque languages and dialects as "“could barely communicate with each other” 
      • Woodworth shows that there are reasons to believe both interpretations: There is no clear-cut definition of what Basqueness is BUT there is no point in denying that Basqueness is a distinct reality
        • Reality is a subjective matter on which we can only interpret other people's ideas on it. A distinct reality cannot exist because everything is subjective. The answer to what Basqueness is, is subjective.
    • Language and nationality: a link?
      • “One of the most prevalent language ideologies is that there is—or should be—a link between a given language and a people. But this "nationalist ideology of language" is a European convention, which has become globally hegemonic through colonization […]” 
        • “Basque-medium schools routinely graduate students with high levels of Basque proficiency, whereas Spanish-schooled students are often unable to "make any instrumental use" of Basque […]” 
      • ethnolinguistic pedagogy - the premise that a Basque person is "one who has the Basque language" (Euskara)
        • “But even Basque-schooled students were more likely to speak Spanish than Basque when outside the purview of their teachers.” - the students did not feel the need to speak Basque to be Basque, therefore ethnolinguistic pedagogy is flawed.
          • Today there is an increasing number of bilinguals amongst younger people. Should Basque (Euskera) be saved? Is it an inherent part of national identity?
            • Number of Basque speakers in Basque country has increased recently (55% in 1991 and 62.3% in 2011).
              • After Franco: Demanded it obligatory to know Basque for efficient language revival.
      • Euskara is the Basque language

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