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Planning 2006 First Symposium - Asturian Presence in the US

 
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:39 am    Post subject: Planning 2006 First Symposium - Asturian Presence in the US Reply with quote

I will post here an email conversation between Alberto Prieto-Calixto and me about a future event: a symposium on Asturianos in the US.

You're welcome to join in and share ideas.

------------

Voy a poner una conversación entre Alberto Prieto-Calixto y yo sobre un acontecimiento en el futuro: un simposio sobre asturianos en los EEUU.

Nos alegría si quieres participar y dar tus ideas.


Last edited by Art on Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Alberto,

You wrote to me last April about your research on the Asturian experience in
the Midwest, the www.asturianUS.org site, and your presentation in Oviedo
last summer. I heard about that via an article in LNE, I think.

You had mentioned a conference at your school. Are there any plans being
made for this? I think several of us would still be interested.

Best wishes,
Art
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hola Art:

I am still planning the symposium on Asturianos in the US, I am just trying to find the best timing, taking into account that I'll be on sabbatical leave next academic year. I already thinking about some tentative dates; the most convenient being sometime at the end of October/beginning of November 2006. I know it sounds far away, but with my sabbatical in the middle there is not much I can do. Besides it would give me enough time to do more extensive research in Asturias--I'll be there most of the time--and also try to get some funding from official institutions (Archivo de Indianos, Principado de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, Consulado español de Miami...) As know you funding is everything.

We have organized similar events in the Department and the way I am forseeing this event would be:

A reception dinner Thursday night
Sessions on Friday and if need be Saturday morning.
"Pilgrimage" to either Centro Asturiano de Tampa or San Agustín on Saturday afternoon.

We can't really have a big number of sessions; but we definitely need a representation of:

Asturianos in colonial Florida (San Agustin)
Centros Asturianos in the US (Tampa, New York and others)
Asturianos in the Mid West, WV area

Any other ideas?

Somebody from Archivo de Indianos to talk about the returned asturianos would be good too--and also some gaitas!

Of course I am open to any ideas or suggestions that you guys might offer. The good thing about planning with plenty of time ahead is precisely that.

Please share this plans with your paisanos.

Un abrazo,
Alberto
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Alberto,

It's good to hear from you!

I've sent your message to Suronda, Bob, and Terechu so they can think about your questions, too.

What target audience would a conference like this have? Who would want to attend? Is it primarily for academics?

Depending on the audience, another topic I can imagine being very interesting would be a discussion of typical aspects of Asturian culture of the early 1900s. I'm thinking of family patterns; attitudes about work, education, social life, government, gender, humor, the church and religion, etc.; foods and other aspects of the physical culture carried over from the old world; and so forth. It might be difficult to get this information from the viewpoint of those who emigrated, especially with the "Celtization" of contemporary Asturian identity. But I can see pieces of the puzzle in the scant reading I've done.

As to music for the conference, there may be a local gaita group, but I know there are a few Asturian bands that travel. I have friends in Brenga Astur and Sabugo Tiente Firme, two bands that do this. If we could catch them during a full tour, that would be great. There is an email list for people in the US interested in the gaita. Most of them are beginners. But we could post there to see if any Asturian gaiteros would be able to play in Florida for the conference. The moderator of that email list (Ana Pinto) is an archeologist who had been working in Arizona, but has moved to Madrid (or will soon).

Best wishes,
Art
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art:

your question about the audience is a good one. I am anticipating a mixture of academics, students and members of the community--mainly of Hispanic descent. It is always difficult to draw big audiences to this type of event, although we'll try our best to make it public by contacting local news, centros españoles and so on. In any case I think that the goal of this specific symposium would be further connecting the Asturian diaspora, and making some sense out of the Asturian presence in the US-- something that your webpage has already achieved in many aspects.

Asturianus is a example to follow; you have provided Asturian Americans with a sense of belonging that probably was close to being lost. Your efforts have been well noticed in Asturias, where from my last visits I can tell you that people there is starting to notice and learn a part of their past that had been forgotten or neglected. I say neglected because, let's face it, the Asturian political establishment is not interested in looking back to their poor grand parents that were forced to emmigrate, specially the ones that ended up in the United States, that "imperialistic evil superpower". They even refuse to admit that there is a younger generation today that is also being forced to leave Asturias.

I hope that Asturianus is making some local politicians feel embarrassed, as they do nothing at all to support Asturian heritage overseas--a perfect example being Centro Asturiano de Tampa--a beautiful building with an impressive history that today hardly survives thanks to the efforts of a handful of Asturian Americans, but with no help whatsoever from el Principado. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Basques or Galicians--not to mention Catalans--had something like El Centro Asturiano de Tampa, their local authorities (Xunta de Galicia, Gobierno Basco) would support it 100 %.

The Basques have indeed created and generously funded Basque Studies Programs at several universities in the Idaho/Colorado area. There is a whole big section devoted to the Basque immigration in the US at the
Museo del pueblo Vasco in Bilbao. All that with a Basque presence in the US that historically is far less relevant than the Asturian one. We should learn from them, but... we really have had bad luck in Asturias with our local politicians for the last 20 years.

Therefore, one of the goals of the symposium would be to embarrass our politicians even more, to the point where they would have no option but to do something.

The Asturian culture at the turn of the century is a very relevant topic and would be a perfect topic for one of the presentations. I have also been interested in the "Celtization" process that Asturias has suffered in the last two decades, something that is no doubt connected with a search for a national identity in a Spanish context where "nacionalismo" play a distinctive role.

Regarding the music, there is a banda de gaitas that always comes to San Agustín during the Menéndez de Avilés Birthday celebration, in February. Maybe I can contact them. I just hope I don't have to play myself, because that would be the end of the symposium.

Now that I think about it, do you think you could post our last two messages and this one in the Asturianus forum? That way we could get more feedback from everyone, and not just the two of us.

Saludos,
Alberto
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hola, Alberto,

I've posted our messages on the forum.

This message has little to do with the symposium, just some reflections on the topics you raised.

I think you're right that the Celtization probably has a lot to do with a perceived need to define a clear Asturian cultural identity, especially given the miserable economy and the continuing emigration of the young people.

I do think that there's a good case that Asturian culture has Celtic roots. When I lived in Madrid in the early 1980s, I bought a tape of what I assume was traditional gaita music. Later when I was playing in a Celtic band, I was struck by how similar the tunes on the tape were to the tunes we were playing. They had different names, but some of them sounded like sisters.

On the other hand, beside the pleasure of association, I'm not sure what is gained by allying with the other Celtic peoples. It strikes me that the specific aspects of "Asturian" culture is likely to be lost whether Asturias is tied more closely to Spain or to the Celtic Atlantic Rim. Just being closely connected across different cultures seems to kill off local traditions.

In previous decades there was evidently a lot of immigration into Asturias for work. Perhaps that led to the dilution of the native Asturian population. I assume that there must be many non-Asturians living in Asturias, or at least people who don't identify strongly as Asturians. Could that explain why Asturian politicians haven't been supportive of maintaining Asturian culture--not even the Asturian language?

As an aside, I was amused by my reaction to the idea that the Asturian government should support Asturian groups in the US. I thought: "Why?" To some degree I like the idea of users paying for services and facilities. (Well, there are institutions that I think need to be funded totally or substantially by the government, including many museums, schools, public
transportation, and health care.) Perhaps this is rooted in a sense that we Americans should take care of ourselves. Of course, it's obvious that many Americans would be happy to accept handouts from the government. We can see that in the way the current Republican government in the US has been diverting funds to the health care industry and other big contributors. I've not heard of any corporations refusing the gift.

Best wishes,
Art
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Trabanco
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Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Queridos paisanos:

Although I have been an avid reader of this forum for a while and also have exchanged e-mails with some of you, this is my first official entry to the forum, so I want to introduce myself and congratulate all of you for the superb job your are doing in order to reconnect the Asturian communities mainly overseas but also at home. I am the same Alberto that you can read down here, although I am using "Trabanco" as my password as a way to pay homage to my favorite sidra.

About the symposium, and as you can read below, pretty much everything is open right now, so any input would be welcomed. I think that Florida would be a perfect place, due to the historical connections with Asturias (San Agustín, Tampa...). Not to mention the good weather! I work at a University in the Orlando area, and that could also provide a good setting for this type of event. But apart from that and a few ideas written below we are open to any feedback.

It was funny to read Art's reaction to my claims about a more active role of the Asturian government regarding the Asturian heritage in the US. You have to understand that we Asturians have lived in a culture of subvenciones (government financial help) for years, and we still do in many respects. I know that that can be surprising for an American more inclined to private/individual initiative, but that's the way we've done things for the last decades in Asturias. The results of that proliferation of officially supported entities have been catastrophic, but that would be probably a good topic for another forum.

In any case I do consider that government support is necessary in some instances, and what better case that helping not just promote Asturias abroad, but help Asturians in need, such as El Centro Asturiano de Tampa.

I don't want to divert the topic of the symposium here, because your comments about the "Celtization" of the Asturian culture are extremely interesting, and wothwhile some further discussion but maybe we can continue that specific topic in other part of the forum.
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Mouguias



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 151
Location: Asturies

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art has made a very good point:

>>It strikes me that the specific aspects of "Asturian" culture is likely to be lost whether Asturias is tied more closely to Spain or to the Celtic Atlantic Rim. Just being closely connected across different cultures seems to kill off local traditions

I agree totally. On one side we have Melendi, a young guy from Uvieu who plays some clumsy imitation of Catalan gipsy music, and even fakes Andalusian accent during interviews. On the other side we have pipe bands, playing Scottish music with Scottish pipes along the streets of Asturian towns.
How dissapointing.

>>I assume that there must be many non-Asturians living in Asturias, or at least people who don't identify strongly as Asturians.

I am not so sure of that. Polls show that the sentiment of belonging is higher in Asturias than, for example, the Basque Country (amazing but true). It puzzles that our polititians are so shy, so lame about backing Asturian culture and identity. I can see only two reasons for this:
1 - Our polititians (you can add here the leaders of the unions) have developed a corrupted system where the economy, and even the political structure of Asturias rests on the money that Madrid sends us, as some sort of help to relieve our underdevelopment. Thus, we can`t afford biting the hand that feeds us.
2 - We entered the post-Franco era without a clue of what was going on. Everybody, Basques, Catalans, Galicians, Valencians, everyone was eager to promote their own identities and get promotion out of their being so "special". Meanwhile, Asturian leaders just had an outdated idea on nation, patriotism and belonging. In 1978, and things have not changed a bit since, they just thought Spain was the trend. Hey, we can`t disappoing the Fatherland. If Basques are a bunch of traitors, at least we must save Spain...even if we ruin Asturias forever in the while. Today, the least attempt to promote Asturias is greeted in the parliament and the media as "a dangerous spark of nationalism" and in these days nationalism has been equated with nazism, devil-worshipping and cholesterol.
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Art
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouguias wrote:
Polls show that the sentiment of belonging is higher in Asturias than, for example, the Basque Country (amazing but true).


Wow I'm surprised!

It surprises me, too, that your politicians are so weak because I've met many bright, insightful Asturian intellectuals. You'd think that with all that brain power, something positive would happen.

----------------

¡Vaya, me sorprende!

Me sorprende, también, que tus políticos son tan débiles porque he encontrado a muchos intelectuales asturianos brillantes y profundos. Pensaría que con todo este poder cerebral, algo positivo pasaría.
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Art
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Planning for the First Symposium on the Asturian Presence in the United States is going well.

The symposium is going to be February 24-25, 2006 in Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando.

And YOU are invited!

We've posted some information on it here:
http://www.asturianus.org/simposio/

The program for the symposium is listed here:
http://www.asturianus.org/simposio/simposioPrograma.html



La planificación para El primer simposio sobre la presencia asturiana en los Estados Unidos va muy bien.

El simposio ocurrá febrero 24-25 2006 en Winter Park, Florida, cerca de Orlando.

¡Y te invitamos participar!

Hemos puesto más información aquí:
http://www.asturianus.org/simposio/

El programa del simposio aparece aquí:
http://www.asturianus.org/simposio/simposioPrograma.html


Last edited by Art on Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Terechu
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those rare events that no one should miss. I can barely imagine the amount of work and effort that goes into organizing such a symposium. I know a lot of forum members and their relatives will be in attendance and just the thought of getting to know them personally would make it worthwhile for me, so those of you on that side of the Atlantic should really make it a point to be there, it might not be repeated in your lifetime.
Good luck to all participants and I look forward to seeing a summary on this web site in due time.
-------------------------------------------------------
Este es uno de esos acontecimientos excepcionales que uno no se debería perder. Apenas puedo imaginarme la cantidad de trabajo y esfuerzo que conlleva organizar un simposio de estas características. Sé que van a ir muchos miembros de este foro y sus familiares y sólo de pensar en poder conocerles ya hace que merezca la pena, así que para los que estáis a ese lado del Atlántico, creo que deberías hacer lo posible por asistir, puede que no se repita más en vuestras vidas.
Mucha suerte a todos los participantes y quedo a la espera de ver un resumen en esta página en su momento.

Un abrazu
Terechu
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jomaguca



Joined: 18 Nov 2003
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:07 am    Post subject: Re: Symposium on Asturianos in the US Reply with quote

http://www.lne.es


La asociación coral Avilesina va a San Agustin de la Florida y va a participar en el foro de Asturianos Americanos, espero qué os guste la noticia.l Viaje a San Agustín
Un muy interesante proyecto de corte musical es el viaje que la Asociación Coral Avilesina, entidad que preside Nardo Villaboy, realizará entre los días 23 y 26 de febrero a la ciudad hermana de San Agustín, entre otras localidades del estado de La Florida, para ofrecer varios recitales al público estadounidense.

La invitación fue hecha por el Ayuntamiento de San Agustín y la Universidad de Rollins, según confirmó ayer Nardo Villaboy. Dicha Universidad organiza un simposio sobre la presencia de asturianos en Estados Unidos. El día 23 llegarán a San Agustín, y al día siguiente actuarán en Orlando, en este simposio. El día 25 los avilesinos participarán en los actos del «Día de Pedro Menéndez» en la primera ciudad norteamericana. Y por la noche cantarán en la cena de gala. Para el último día está previsto que, gracias a la mediación de Emiliano Salcines, este coro avilesino actúe en la sede del Centro Asturiano de Tampa.

En los pasados meses de noviembre y diciembre, la Asociación Coral Avilesina celebró en el auditorio municipal su exitoso certamen coral «Villa de Avilés».


Last edited by jomaguca on Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Terechu
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: Symposium on Asturianos in the US Reply with quote

jomaguca wrote:
http://www.lne.es


La asociación coral Avilesina va a San Agustin de la Florida y va a participar en el foro de Asturianos Americanos, espero qué os guste la noticia.


-----------------------------------
Transl. Terechu

The choir "Asociación Coral Avilesina" will be going to Saint Augustine, FL, and will also participate in the Asturian-American symposium. I hope you enjoy this news.
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Trabanco
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Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 25
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Simposio on the news Reply with quote

The online paper Asturies.com has released this short article in asturian about the conference:

http://www.asturies.com/noticia.php?cod=25082

It significant that the first relevant piece of news about the simposium comes from an all asturian publication such as Asturies.com.


El periódico online Asturies.com ha publicado este breve artículo sobre el simposio:

http://www.asturies.com/noticia.php?cod=25082

Es significativo que la primera reseña detallada sobre el simposio provenga de una publicación íntegramente en asturiano
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