chapter  6
10 Pages

The aftermath of dictatorship in contemporary Basque theatre

WithArantzazu Fernández Iglesias

The Basque community, or the community of Basque speakers, is divided between the administrations of France and Spain. The chapter focuses on plays performed in Basque, at least in one of their versions. Basque art, including burgeoning theatre, flourished during the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War due to the autonomy achieved within the federal-like state that Spain was at that time. The most important theatre groups at that time were Eusko Iztundea - the Basque Academy of Declamation, Oldargi, and the theatre section of Emakume Abertzale Batza - Assembly of Nationalist Women. Basque theatrical culture suffered a tremendous blow and would not show significant signs of recovery until well beyond the transition to democracy. The transition from dictatorship to democracy entailed the reconstruction of the cultural infrastructures that had been destroyed during the Franco regime, which had pursued the homogenisation of Iberian diversity into one single culture expressed through Spanish.