My friend Joseba Attard moved back to the Basque Country, to a ancient land where his mother, grandparents and ancestors dwelt for millennia. He learned the language, carved out a career as a freelance designer, and opted for life in the mountains near the sea where he shears sheep and seeks out the surf in his vintage van, his young family enjoying the peaceful pace of life. Joseba & his wife Joanna’s hard work and refreshing approach to life inspire me. The Basque media has frequently reported about his commitment to understanding and preserving the Basque language and culture, featuring him on Basque radio, newspaper and television.
Joseba and I love to surf and sit out and chat among the often frosty Atlantic waves. A couple years ago Joseba launched a surf and cultural exchange for youth between the Basque Country and other nations called Cross Culture Surf and last year hosted Derek Rabelo during his Europe film tour. In solidarity with Derek, a group of us surfed blindfolded with both Derek and another blind surfer at Zarautz beach last summer.
He’s also great with a camera, and last week he took his camera up to Anboto Mountain, a scenic kilometer up to the peak, and captured some of the photos above. Anboto is part of a limestone range in the Western Basque Country, situated between Durango and Vitoria-Gasteiz, and for the Basque people, Anboto has always been related to magic and mythology. As the ancient story goes, a mythical woman with light golden hair called “Mari” sits pensively brushing her long hair with a golden comb up near the summit.
Joseba has recently branched out as a free lance designer and brand consultant, bringing projects big and small to life. He is able to create quality brand designs and draw out the unique story through his creative mind and fluid communication in English, Basque and Spanish.
Words by Jonathan McCallum
Photos by Joseba Attard