A Basque in Boise

Our Stoves: Reconstructing the history of Bilbao La Vieja through cooking recipes

Our Stoves

Nere Lete, Assistant Professor and Basque Section Head, Department of World Languages at BSU, always keeps me in mind when interesting news related to Basque culture come across her email. This time, I learned about a transmedia project that will try to reconstruct the history of Bilbao La Vieja through the recipes of older women in the area. Neighbors, people from Bilbao and other people linked to the neighborhood will be able to participate through a website, with their photos, videos and memories.

The project is being produced by Izaskun Arandia, a scriptwriter and film producer from the Basque Country, who not so long ago worked on the animation film To Say Goodbye, about the 4000 children who were evacuated from Santurtzi, Bizkaia, after the bombing of Gernika in 1937.

In order to obtain funding for the project, a Crowdfunding campaign has been put in place. Izaskun and her team will really appreciate any assistance you can offer; simply spreading the word and sharing this post among your friends and family would be a great help.

Project description

“Our Stoves” is a transmedia project, created and directed by Itxaso del Castillo, a film-maker from Algorta, Bizkaia, made up of a website, a documentary, an event and a mobile phone app. Its objective is to reconstruct the history of a deprived neighborhood in Bilbao.

San Francisco and Las Cortes streets were the first settlement in Bilbao (circa 1300). With the start of the industrial revolution mines, workers, political claims and prostitution arrived.

Las Cortes has always been a street full of clubs, cabarets, music halls and other entertainment until the 90s; while its paralell, San Francisco, was dedicated to commerce, it was referential for the whole city and obligatory stop for ‘txikiteros’ (wine drinkers)

The neighborhood nowadays is not even a shadow of what it used to be. Drugs, immigration, closed businesses; the “happy” street is in decay, with cheap street prostitution and bad conditions.

Do the new generations know what the neighborhood used to be like and what it meant for the city? Can memory be recovered? Can it be integrated in the present time to reconstruct an identity that links the locals, mostly old people, to the immigrants, the gypsies and the young people attracted by cheaper rents?

“Our Stoves” wants to do this from where we believe everyday live is constructed, and the hidden fight for survival and progress takes place: the kitchen. We want to give these old women a voice, whatever their profession or origin, and ask them to cook a dish for us, a dish that wakes up an important memory in their lives. The one their aunt from the village taught them; the one their late husband loved; the one they cook at Christmas etc… those dishes that make us feel at home and carry life stories in every ingredient.



PREPRODUCTION: November 2013 – December 2013 (this would be the documentary pre-production. The website will be created during these 2 months)

PRODUCTION: January 2014 (the website will be ready in January. With the contributions, material we receive and with what we film, we will put together the documentary in May-June)

POSTPRODUCCION: July – August 2014

Thanks for passing by: ↓

Amado maria jesus jimenez

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