The BritishSpanish Society Magazine | Issue 235 | Summer 2013
Fernando GutiĂŠrrez The graphic designer invites us into his London studio
From the Editor W
elcome to La Revista! I am delighted to be your new editor and I look forward to bringing you the magazine from now on. You may already have noticed that there have been a few changes; these are exciting times for the Society and things have been very busy lately as we go through this period of transition. Firstly, we have a new name: The BritishSpanish Society, which we hope is a more accurate reflection of our mission to bring together the people of Britain and Spain by promoting greater understanding and friendship between the two countries. The Society’s chairman, Jimmy Burns Marañon, brings you up to date with the latest developments on page 5, where you will also find an explanation of the concept behind our new logo and website. As for the rest of this issue, we have our Society News pages, which give an overview of our events over the last few months, organised by our excellent voluntary events team. We already have many more lined up for this year, the highlights of which you will find on page 20, and I look forward to meeting you at some of them. We hear from two of the winners of last year’s scholarship grants awarded by the Society and its principal supporters, demonstrating that this initiative continues to be worthwhile. For our cover story, our deputy editor, Lourdes Gómez, has secured an exclusive interview with leading graphic designer, Fernando Gutiérrez, who was born in the UK to Spanish parents. We also speak to Isabel del Río, writer and linguist, about her new bilingual collection of short stories. Tom Burns Marañon reviews British journalist, Henry Buckley’s, fascinating account of his time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and Dominic Begg rounds up the best cavas to drink in the summer sunshine. Membership is growing and we want La Revista to be relevant to all of our readers, so please let us know what you think of the magazine and if there is anything you would like to read about which is not currently covered. We are looking for new contributors to write in English or Spanish, to illustrate and photograph for us, so please get in touch. And if you’re not yet a member and would like to be, what are you waiting for? Fill out the form on the back page of the magazine and send it to us, or log on to our brand new website for more information. I hope you enjoy this issue and that you have a lovely summer! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next issue of La Revista is due to appear in
Autumn 2013. Advertising inquiries should be emailed to: email@example.com
The opinions expressed throughout this issue of La Revista represent those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the BritishSpanish Society or those of their supporters.
Cover image: Ione Saizar
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The BritishSpanish Society is a registered charity: 1080250
CONTENTS La Revista Executive Editor: Jimmy Burns Marañón Editor: Amy Bell Deputy Editor: Lourdes Gómez Corporate Supporters/Advertising: María A. Jiménez-Riesco, María Soriano Casado Events: Beatriz Gago Vazquez, Lucia Cawdron Membership, Finance, and Website: Virginia Cosano Design: Amy Bell Distribution: El Ibérico
CONTENTS Issue 235 SOCIETY NEWS
Networking event at Hispania
Our annual scholarship awards ceremony
Federico Trillo Figueroa
An evening of classical music at St.Paul’s in Knightsbridge, followed by Q&A with our musicians
Treasurer: Jaime Arranz Coque
Spanish highlights from Sotheby’s recent sale of 19th Century European paintings
‘Spain: A Democracy Has Been Arranged,’ film screening at the Instituto Cervantes
An invitation to the Spanish Embassy: the Society’s annual summer party
‘Managing Reputations in the Modern Age’ - a talk by PR and Communications expert, Patrick Harverson
19 20 21
The Spanish Chamber of Commerce AGM
Published by the BritishSpanish Society Honorary President: His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador
Chairman: Jimmy Burns Marañón
Vice-Chairman: Jaime-Enrique Hugas
Other members of the Executive Council: Fidel López Alvarez, Paul Pickering, Albert Jones, Sara Argent, Julio Crespo MacLennan, María Victoria Yuste Gas, Carmen Bouverat, John Scanlan, Lady Pilar Brennan, Beatriz Gago, Virginia Cosano, José Ivars-Lopez, Muir Sutherland, Sir Stephen Wright, Siobhan Songour, David Hurst, Lucia Cawdron, Amy Bell, Christopher Nason, Javier Fernández Hidalgo 102 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AN www.britishspanishsociety.org
Society update: a word from our chairman on the Society’s new identity plus the concept for our logo and website by Haime & Butler A Note from our Scholars: winners of last year’s grants report on their research projects
Upcoming Society events Obituary: Rod Younger
FEATURES Jimmy Burns Marañón Lourdes Gómez
Tom Burns Marañón
Cover story: Interview with graphic designer, Fernando Gutiérrez
Thoughts on Spanish football
Cava Cavalcade: Which bubbles you should be drinking this summer
Writing in Two Languages: Isabel del Río tells us about her new collection of short stories
A review of ‘The Life & Death of the Spanish Republic’ by Henry Buckley
Catching the Wave of European Multilingualism: the state of second language learning in the UK and Spain
London Life: Handbag designer, Mireia Llusia, reveals her favourite parts of the city Summer 2013 • La Revista 3
Networking Event at Hispania Drinks and tapas at London’s new Spanish restaurant Over one hundred mainly young guests attended the Society’s networking evening at Hispania on the 17th April. For the majority of those attending, this was a first time visit to the recently inaugurated high quality Spanish food venue, and no one was disappointed. Co-owner Javier Hidalgo, his management team and staff were present to ensure that Society members and their friends felt welcome and could enjoy a delicious array of imaginative tapas and wine in Hispania’s ample upstairs facilities with its comfortable furniture, generous spaces, impressive bar, and beautiful decoration.
Both Lucia Cawdron, the Society’s head of events, and chairman Jimmy Burns Marañón expressed their thanks to Javier and all at Hispania, as well as words of encouragement to existing Society members and potential new recruits to keep on supporting the Society and its fund-raising activities. As the chairman said, the evening successfully delivered on the Society’s mission: building bridges, socially and culturally, with a good mix of young Spaniards and British, several of whom met each other for the first time and clearly enjoyed each other’s convivial company. Photographs by the Society’s events team
Beatriz Gago with guest and Diana Carrasco
Silvia Domingo with guests Olivia Cockburn, Rafael Perez Echevarría and guest
4 La Revista • Summer 2013
Javier Fernández Hidalgo and Lucia Cawdron
Riccardo Guido, guest and Beatriz Gago
Guests with Jorge Gallardo
Our New Logo & Website
A word from our chairman, Jimmy Burns Marañón
The concept behind it, by Haime & Butler About Haime & Butler
Dear Reader, I am delighted to welcome Amy Bell, an enthusiastic young member of the British-Spanish Society, as the new editor of La Revista. A graduate in English studies of the University of Nottingham, where she was design editor of the student magazine, 25 year old Amy has lived and worked in Spain as a teacher in Madrid, and, as a volunteer, helping restore and renovate the Covachas Funerias De Montoro as part of a large scale project intended to bring tourism to Montoro in Córdoba. Her jobs in the UK have included working for a public relations firm in London, writing articles and helping design the music magazine MOJO, and for the last three years widening her experience in media and events organisation as Content Editor at the Financial Times. During the last three years I have found it a huge honour to first launch and then edit La Revista with the help of an energetic pool of voluntary contributors and of Steve Bunn of the Royal College of Art, to whom the Society owes a huge debt of gratitude for redesigning the pages of the former Review with such flair. But with my appointment as chairman it seemed appropriate to seek the support of the Board of Trustees for a change in the editorial organisation –and Amy, with her skills and youthful enthusiasm for British and Spanish culture was the ideal candidate to take on the task of editing La Revista as we enter a new and exciting period in the Society’s history. This new edition of la Revista is the first to be published by The Anglo-Spanish Society under its new name of the BritishSpanish Society. This rebrand , which fol-
This rebrand forms part of a reshaping of our organisation lows, a wide consultation, forms part of a reshaping of our organisation to cater for the interests of a growing membership, and deliver improved services to corporate and institutional partners, in line with our central mission and core values. We are in good shape thanks to my predecessor Denise Holt whose three years at the helm as chairman has been an example of sensible and inspirational management, presiding over a period of growth and innovation and laying firm foundations for the future as we approach in 2016 the centenary of our Society’s foundation. We remain dedicated to the task of helping foster positive cultural and social links between the people of Spain and the UK through a varied programme of events. And in the current climate, when many young people are finding it hard to pursue their studies or find jobs, let alone develop the skills that might help bring them fresh opportunities, we are deeply committed to helping where we can. It is a source of some pride that we can showcase our scholarship programme as an example of the positive outcome of our fund raising activities as a charity. It is also an opportunity to honour the talent of Spanish and British post-graduate students who with their research and work are contributing to a better future for themselves and their co-citizens.
We’re an independent branding and marketing communications agency, based in London Bridge. We help our clients gain the competitive edge by applying logic and strong creative ideas across all delivery channels - to get the right messages, to the right people, at the right times. Our clients vary in size and reach but all share a common desire to be the best in their sector. We understand them and try to see things from their point of view, without losing sight of our own objectivity and creativity. We deal directly and responsively and take the long term view - by building solid relationships with our customers, we help them, in turn, to build fruitful relationships with their audiences. We work across all types of media, from identities and printed literature to digital communications, but always with our ethos that ‘the idea is fundamental’ at the forefront of our minds.
Working with the BritishSpanish Society We were recommended to the society through a member and were delighted to be given the opportunity to work with the organisation. The decision to change the name of the organisation to the BritishSpanish Society has created the opportunity for some exciting changes. Foremost was the need for a new identity to reflect the new name. We worked closely with the team at the Society to ensure we encapsulated the nature of the Society: the promotion of friendship and the sharing of cultures of Britain and Spain. The chosen identity communicates a fresh, colourful and approachable logo, integrating the two cultures through their flags whilst subtly representing the ‘B’ of British and the ‘S’ of Spain. Our objectives for the website were to design a modern and dynamic site that better reflects the organisation, offering the user a more interactive experience with content and imagery that is informative and up to date. This will hopefully ensure that members will visit the site on a more regular basis and enable potential members to see clearly what the Society is about and what it has to offer. The homepage is the focal point with regular news and events offering easy access to other parts of the site. The calendar of events is a key aspect, where members can find out about both Society events and those of interest outside of the organisation, constantly promoting a sharing of knowledge and experiences. Social media has been integrated to better effect and there is also now the opportunity for external advertising to promote key events etc. Our primary focus was to deliver a site that not only looks great, but is also easy to update, as we’re aware that all input from the team is purely voluntary. We have ensured that the site is future proof which will allow it to grow and become a tool that people use more and enjoy.
By Nikki Saunders
Summer 2013 • La Revista 5
Scholarship Awards Ceremony On the 13th May at the Spanish Embassy, the Ambassador, His Excellency Don Federico Trillo Figueroa, the Society’s Honorary President, hosted the awards for the sixth year of our Scholarship programme. Over 150 applications, many of the highest quality, made selection of the becarios more difficult than ever. However, those chosen proved themselves well up to the standard of their twenty five predecessors. The acceptance speeches were eloquently given – as is the custom – in the language of the other country and again lived up to the best examples of the past. These Scholarships are funded by the five Principal Supporters of the Society, namely:
Representatives of each of these benefactors attended the event and met their respective becarios. Thanks to the generosity of the Society’s members, the various sponsors of events and Corporate Supporters, the Society was able to award four smaller – nevertheless welcome – bursaries. Special thanks also to Bar & CO and the Spanish Embassy for their help and sponsorship.
6 La Revista • Summer 2013
BBVA’s scholarship this year went to Nicole Crespo O’Donoghue, who is well known to members as a violinist, having played at both our Gala dinners and at two of our classical concerts. Although just completing the final year of her undergraduate study, professional engagements have already begun to come her way with the Royal Opera House and the English National Ballet at their winter production of the Nutcracker. Nicole’s talent makes her an outstanding candidate for a BritishSpanish Society award which will enable her to study for a Master’s in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music. Nicole’s award was presented to her by Mark Flewitt of BBVA, here pictured alongside our Chairman, Jimmy Burns Marañon.
The BUPA scholarship was presented to Carmen Tur Gómez, currently a Neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia, who will be attending the Master’s course in Medical Statistics offered by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her object is to extend her mathematical skills as a tool in her epidemiological research into multiple sclerosis. Carmen’s award was presented to her by Jimmy Burns Marañón, standing in for Yolanda Erburu of BUPA/Sanitas.
SOCIETY NEWS FERROVIAL
Maria Casero of Ferrovial presented their scholarship to Beatriz Mingo Roman to support her PhD studies. Her thesis, entitled ‘Microstructure and corrosion of aluminum and magnesiumbased materials processed via semisolid casting for transport applications’, is being produced in collaboration with other research groups (the University of Manchester and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) as well as with a private research centre (Cidaut) and will allow her to carry out research at the University of Manchester, within the framework of the ‘Light Alloys Towards Sustainable Transport’ programme.
Four bursaries of the BritishSpanish Society’s own bursary scheme were also awarded to: Marcus Davis, who will be undertaking an International Master’s Degree in Reconstructive Microsurgery in Barcelona and the UK.
Luis Juste of Santander Universities presented the Santander award to Gonzalo Velasco Berenguer. Gonzalo is working on a PhD which will provide a reassessment of Philip II’s place in English history, using documents in archives throughout Europe. The project will also consider Charles V and Philip’s thinking on the potential role of England within the global strategy of the Spanish Monarchy. In his fascinating study, Gonzalo will illustrate Charles V’s careful preparation of his son for the role he might play.
TELEFÓNICA Mike Short of Telefónica presented their scholarship to Rodrigo García González. An inventor, Rodrigo seeks “to make the world better” through practical inventions. He was a finalist in the James Dyson Foundation Award in 2012 for ‘Hop! The Following Suitcase’ (a suitcase that follows the signal from the owner’s mobile phone) and ‘Aer, a flying solar desalinator’. He will be pursuing an MSc and MA in Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College & The Royal College of Art.
Elizabeth Rahman, a medical anthropologist and ethnographer who was given the award to support her post-doctoral research on traditional therapeutics in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. Elizabeth was unable to attend the ceremony but the award was accepted by Albert Jones who read her speech of thanks.
Catherine Sillitoe, who is working on a PhD in Modern Romance Languages with an emphasis on Spanish. She aims to study a syntactic detail that is shared by most Romance languages in their oral registers, even if not always acknowledged in their grammars. Catherine’s research has interesting potential practical application both for teaching and for automatic translation. Luis Gonzaga Martínez del Campo, who has already conducted research into cultural exchanges between the UK and Spain in the early 20th century and is now preparing a history of the BritishSpanish Society. Summer 2013 • La Revista 7
Adiós a Chroeso: Spanish/Basque Migration to South Wales from 1900 By Stephen James Murray
irst of all let me express my thanks again to the Society for my award which has greatly facilitated the progress of the work I have been undertaking. The following provides a brief introduction to the work itself: In May 1900, twelve skilled iron workers from the Sociedad de Altos Hornos y Fábricas de Hierro y Acero de Bilbao were recruited by the Dowlais Iron Works in south Wales in order to fill a gap in the workforce brought about through recruitment for the Boer War. The company in Bilbao according to Carr was, “with 7, 000 workers in its ironworks...the largest single concern in Spain” at that time. Within a matter of months, family members joined the group and over the next decade a Hispanic community developed in the Dowlais/Merthyr Tydfil area (see illustration below of Dowlais c.1900). Today, many second and third generation families still exist within the community and, although there is evidence of some moving on, the majority have remained to make a life for themselves. It is these ‘stayers’ that form the basis of the investigation. The research was developed from an investigation into the descendants of Lancastrian cotton workers who had previously migrated to Massachusetts towards the end of the nineteenth century in order to work in the cotton mills. The project there considered the extent to which the current descendants had assimilated to American society and tried to identify what elements of Lancastrian, English or
British culture were still present within the group. Similarly, the current research is looking at pointers of assimilation (or its logical opposite-acculturation) within the Hispanic community still present in Dowlais. Using the term ‘Hispanic’ needs to be explained more fully. It is true that the first migrants left from Bilbao and the easiest term to use to describe them would be ‘Basque’. However, amongst those early migrants there is little evidence of Basque names, which doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, they weren’t born in País Vasco, but does suggest a non-Basque background. From the middle of the nineteenth century in Spain many thousands of people migrated internally and the industrial areas of the north coast proved very popular locations for employment. The men that came to Dowlais were all skilled men in their trades and therefore would have had to spend anything between five to seven years learning those trades at the Altos Hornos company. Additionally, the research has found no evidence of the Basque language ever having been spoken amongst the Dowlais group either currently or previously with the original settlers. But even with this in mind, it is still proving difficult to adopt a suitable adjective, as there may have been migrants from Cataluña, Galicia or Valencia within both the original and subsequent migrants. Before receiving the funding from the BritishSpanish Society a lot of groundwork had already been carried out and a small group of descendants formed the basis of a pilot study. The oral interviews are still being analysed for pointers of any retention of ‘Hispanicness’ still present within
Image reproduced with permission from Merthyr Library
A bird’s-eye view of Dowlais
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FROM OUR SCHOLARS Basque migrants and Spanish guitar: Two recipients of last year’s Society scholarships offer some insights into how these grants have helped to fund research in their chosen specialist subjects the group but at this stage it would be reasonable to suggest that there is very little evidence of any. There is nostalgia of course and pride in their background, but nothing of any substance has appeared to suggest a measurable retention of any Hispanic characteristics. There are a number of reasons for this, including inter-marriage, the desire/ability to learn a new language, geographic concentration of the migrant group etc. But by undertaking the investigation there have been many surprising outcomes including a lady who lived in Dowlais for more than fifty years and who point blank refused to speak anything but Castilian to anybody, including the local Welsh-speaking community. Not the best example of someone with a desire to assimilate fully. Recently, the funding has allowed me to make a trip back to Bilbao and district to carry on the very necessary background work. To fully understand the characteristics of the Dowlais Diaspora today necessitates the fullest understanding of the background of the individuals who nurtured them. To that end I was given access to the Universidad del País Vasco in Vitoria and was able to discuss the whole area of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Hispanic migration with academics there. I am particularly grateful to Professor Oscar Gila, Professor of Migration Studies at the university for his help and support. Furthermore, while there I made a first contact with the chief archivist at the Biblioteca Foral de Bizkaia who is making some enquiries on my behalf regarding the original twelve migrants. The archive is the depository of the records of the original company from which the twelve left in 1900. I am hoping that I can identify who they were (I know some already) and, most importantly, where and when they were born, although this will probably necessitate accessing a different archive. Stephen’s grant was awarded as part of the Society’s bursary scheme
SCHOLARSHIPS la música en sustancia pictórica desde lo hondo de la tierra” Poets of the Generation of ’27 had a good relationship with music and this is reflected in their works. We can find a great number of references to composers and performers. Federico García Lorca, who was also a musician, dedicated to his friend and guitarist Regino Sainz de la Maza, his ‘Seis caprichos’ included in Poema del Cante Jondo. The first one is entitled ‘Adivinanza de la guitarra’:
‘Mandolina y guitarra’ by Pablo Picasso, 1924
The Guitar: An Emblem of Spanish Music By Isabel María Martinez Garrido
would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to Telefónica for their continued generosity in the field of classical music and for supporting my Guitar Studies on the Guildhall Artist Master’s programme. One of my main objectives is to promote the Spanish culture through its ‘classical music’, as Flamenco has done in the popular sense, and what better way to achieve this than through the guitar, also known as the ‘Spanish guitar’ since the seventeenth century, the emblem of Spanish music. I am very interested in music written for the guitar during the Generation of ’27. The 1920s were for Spain a time of great cultural richness and during this period the guitar underwent an important change, emerging from popular circles to the Concert Hall. For the first time, musicians took an active part in artistic and intellectual Spanish society. The guitar used to be, to a certain extent, excluded from musical education because it was only considered a popular instrument. In fact, Albéniz and Granados, representatives of Spanish music in Paris, never wrote for the guitar, but they evoked its characteristics in music for piano and orchestra. As an example we have ‘Evocación’, a work that opens the pianistic series of ‘Iberia’ by Isaac Albéniz which employs a melody with guitaristic accompaniment. The guitar was often used as a point of reference to demonstrate the characteristic musical language of Spain. However, Manuel de Falla was a key person in the development of the guitar during the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Cádiz
but moved to Madrid and later Paris, to continue his musical studies. In September of 1919 – two months after his success with the debut of ‘El sombrero de tres picos’ in the Alhambra Theatre in London – Falla travelled to Granada and there he composed ‘Homage a Debussy’, his only work for solo guitar which is considered one of the most significant works of the guitar repertoire – in fact, the first of the twentieth century. This short piece composed in 1920 and dedicated to Debussy is the key that opened the way to a new era in the history of the guitar. Thereafter everyone started to look at the guitar with new eyes and non-guitarist composers became interested in writing for the instrument. In this way, we have works by composers such as Antonio José, Salvador Bacarisse, Oscar Esplá, Joaquín Turina, Ernesto Halffter and Federico Moreno Torroba, amongst others. In addition, there were transcriptions of Renaissance and Baroque music for vihuela and lute, in particular music by J. S. Bach. We can also see the guitar’s new importance in the period’s fine art and poetry, both of which were often inspired by the instrument. The guitar became a constant presence in the paintings of the Cubist style. These lines were written by the poet Rafael Alberti in honor of Pablo Picasso:
“…las guitarras y flautas de Picasso no se callan. Acompañándolo siempre, seguirán sonando a través de los siglos, y él las escuchará absorto con sus grandes pupilas, transformando
En la redonda encrucijada, seis doncellas bailan. Tres de carne y tres de plata. Los sueños de ayer las buscan pero las tiene abrazadas un Polifemo de oro. ¡La guitarra! Spain, because of its historical, social and cultural character, kept a close relationship with popular musical expression that was always the point of reference in artistic works. Thus the guitar became a recurrent element in the poetry and fine art of the Generation of ‘27.
Isabel is currently doing a Master’s degree in Music Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Professor Robert Brightmore. Her grant was awarded by one of the Society’s Principal Supporters:
Summer 2013 • La Revista 9
Annual Classical Concert
t Paul’s Knightsbridge, a Victorian church at the heart of one of London’s most international neighbourhoods, was the setting for the BritishSpanish Society’s annual classical concert last April. Maite Aguirre from Bilbao brilliantly gathered and conducted a diverse group of talented Spanish and British musicians in an inspired repertoire with pieces by Mozart, Bach, Hayden, Tschaikovsy, P.Hindemith, and S.Barber. The musicians are studying at the Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, all learning centres of excellence in the world of arts. The musicians were welcomed by the guest of honour, the Spanish ambassador Federico Trillo Figueroa. The Society’s chairman, Jimmy Burns Marañón, described the concert as a perfect symbol of what the Society as a charity is proud of doing. “We are building a cultural, educational and social bridge between British people with an interest in Spain and Spaniards who are living in London”, he said. “I am delighted that one of London’s most beautiful churches at the heart of this wonderful capital city is one in which British and Spanish young people can find creative space.” The concert, which drew an enthusiastic audience of members and guests, was generously sponsored by the Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy. Many thanks also to St Paul’s Church and Father Alan Gyle, and to the concert’s organising committee: Mrs Lucia Cawdron, Lady Nicky Lindsay, Virginia Cosano, María Soriano, and Beatriz Gago.
Jimmy Burns Marañón and Federico Trillo Figueroa with the concert musicians
Photographs by Kumar Rege Maite Aguirre, Beatriz Cazals and Angela García
St Paul’s, Knightsbridge
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Scott Young and Carmen Bouverat
Guest with Alejandra Díaz and Beatriz Cazals
SOCIETY NEWS PROGRAMME
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1st Movement) by W.A. Mozart Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041) by J.S. Bach Violin soloist: Lucia Veintemillia Cello Concerto N.2 in D major by F.J. Haydn Cello soloist: Alejandra Díaz Serenade for Strings op. 48 (Vals and Elegie) by P.I. Tschaikovsky Trauermusik for Viola and String Orchestra by P. Hindemith Viola soloist: Angela Garcia Adagio for Strings op.11 by S. Barber
Lucia Cawdron and Kidge Burns
Lucia Veintimilla takes the stage
Ruth Sherrat, Alan Gregory, Andrew Wallace and Angela Gómez Florit
Lucia Veintimilla , Lourdes Taunton-Collins, Maite Aguirre with musicians and guests
Jimmy Burns Marañón and Maite Aguirre
Summer 2013 • La Revista 11
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Q&A with our concert musicians Name & Instrument
Where were you born?
Why did you decide to become a professional musician
Maite Aguirre Piano & Conductor
I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life
Which teachers have influenced you the most?
What is your London treasure?
To mention only a few, Guadalupe Lopez, Vladik Bronevetzky and Christina Croshaw
Too many! But Chopin is a constant in my life
Lucía Veintimilla Macián Violin
Alcázar de SanJuan
My love for music was too powerful to ignore
If I had to choose... Beethoven
Angela García Viola
Because it was meant to be!
Claude Ducrocq and Rachel Roberts
Really difficult...Bach, Beethoven
Walking along the riverside
Ana Laura Iglesias Cello
Playing the cello in a summer music course at the age of 16 was such an intense experience that I decided to become a profesional cellist
Lagoba Fanlo, my professor in Madrid, and more recently David Strange
Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Shostakovich
The sunset from the Millenium Bridge
Javier Montañana Violin
It seemed like a very enjoyable lifestyle
Those who see teaching as a malleable and evolving discipline
Any of the big bookshops
Raquel López Bolívar Viola
Because music is my life - it’s the thing I love the most
Josep Puchades, Thomas Riebl and Krzysztof Chorlzelski
Beatrice Cazals Violin
I felt I wanted to live off my passion and share it with others
Robert Papavrami, Aurelia Spadaro, Krzysztof Smietana and Maciej Rakowski
Beethoven and his symphonies!
The South Bank when the sun is out
Irma Vastakaite Violin
To be able to express myself through music and in doing so to influence others is very rewarding
Every single person I have met in my life has influenced me in a unique way
Too many to list
Enrique Santiago Violin
I love music
Alejandro Tuñón and Mahler Tamara Becktemirova
Alejandra Díaz Cello
Music has always been the biggest passion in my life
Plamen Velev, Oleg Kogan, Tim Hugh and Alexander Baillie
I’d have to say Brahms
Guy Button Violin
It gave me the opportunity to do something I love for a living
David Takeno and Erik Houston
The Mug House pub under London Bridge
Rodrigo Moro Martin Double Bass
I cannot imagine myself without music
The Houses of Parliament
12 La Revista • Summer 2013
Sotheby’s Sale: Spanish Highlights
Annual General Meeting Tuesday 15th October 6.00pm Sala Luis Vives at the Spanish Embassy 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB All members welcome!
Are you a Spaniard living in London? Do you have an interest in Spain?
¡APÚNTATE! Become a member of the BritishSpanish Society today Fill in our membership application on the back page of this issue, or visit our website: www.britishspanishsociety.org
Photographs courtesy of Sotheby’s
ur sale of 19th Century European Paintings at Sotheby’s on the 23rd May was led by Joaquín Sorolla’s dramatic masterpiece, ‘Niños en la playa’ (1916) which sold to a private collector for £2,770,500. Its appearance on the market followed the record price we achieved last November for the artist’s landmark painting, ‘Pescadores Valencianos’, of 1895, one of the first major works with which Sorolla made a striking impact on the international art scene of his day. ‘Niños en la playa’ was offered fresh to market, having remained in the artist’s family since the late 1950s, and had been widely exhibited over the years, featuring in the important Sorolla touring exhibition in 1988-89 and most recently in the Sorolla to Picasso exhibition in Lausanne in 2009. It was notably selected to illustrate a special edition of stamps marking the centenary of Sorolla’s birth in 1963. In this work, painted on Valencia’s El Cabañal beach, Sorolla expresses to full effect his emotion at returning to his native city. Returning to Valencia in the summer of 1916 gave Sorolla a welcome break from working on the panels for his Visions of Spain series, the monumental commission destined for the Hispanic Society in New York. Following his efforts that spring on the huge Valencian panel, Sorolla would produce four major paintings of startling creativity, of which ‘Niños en la playa’ is one. We also saw a strong price for a smaller, more intimate beach scene, depicting Sorolla’s two daughters: María, aged sixteen, and Elena, aged eleven. Sorolla painted this work while staying in Biarritz in 1906, following the success of his first one-man show in Paris at the Galerie Georges Petit earlier that summer. The
Atlantic light, and especially the different crowd at Biarritz, required a fresh approach, and the figures in Sorolla’s Biarritz works reflect a more elegant, highsociety clientele than the fishermen and frolicking children which characterise his Valencian works. This wonderfully Impressionistic painting sold for £386,500, on an estimate of £200,000-300,000. Two characteristically harmonious pieces by Joaquim Mir similarly sold for prices over the high estimate: ‘Soller’ and ‘Paisaje Mallorquín con naranjos’, both highly distinctive Mallorca landscapes of the same size, painted circa 1900-01. Mir’s Mallorca period of 1900-04, while the artist was in his late twenties, was the most decisive of his life. He became obsessed with the beauty of the dramatic vistas and distinctive landscape of the island’s coast, ever more drawn to its most isolated and inaccessible areas. The canvases from this period reflect an expressive abandon that abstracts the beauty of the landscape, capturing the wild terrain through an explosive range of brilliant colour harmonies.
By Marta Enrile
Summer 2013 • La Revista 13
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‘Spain: A Democracy has been Arranged’ A special film screening at the Instituto Cervantes
Dr Julio Crespo MacLennan’s welcome remarks
Panellists: Jimmy Burns Marañon as moderator, Emily Buchanan, Walter Oppenheimer and Borja Bergareche
n enthusiastic audience gathered downstairs at the Instituto Cervantes on the 11th June for an exclusive screening of this ground-breaking British documentary about post-Franco Spain and the beginnings of the move towards democracy. The BritishSpanish Society Chairman, Jimmy Burns Marañón introduced the film, having worked as a researcher and producer on the documentary, which was written and narrated by the late journalist and historian, Robert Kee. The film, which was made in 1976, clearly reflects the period of uncertainty which immediately followed the death of General Franco the previous year. On one hand there was a sense of relief and optimism in the air, reflected by a greater permissiveness in society, more freedom in the press and the early stages of women’s liberation. Scenes of demonstrations in the streets showing long-held tensions being released were indicative of this, and footage of the newly crowned King Juan Carlos’ speech to Spanish citizens expressed a new hopefulness. However, there was still significant apprehension
Before we retired for drinks upstairs, several questions were taken from the floor among some parties as to what the future would hold, which was clearly shown in the film. A glimpse into a congress meeting held prior to the first democratic election planned in 40 years was a clear depiction of how many senior govern-
Walter, Borja, Jimmy and Emily with Dr Julio Crespo MacLennan and Fidel López
ment figures had not relinquished their support for the General. Indeed, many were sceptical of the imminent elections, and at one point a group of young intellectuals were shown on camera, expressing their cynicism for the future of the proposed democratic government. In some ways, things had not yet changed much: continued violent suppression by the police of peaceful protests was an example of this, while interviews with insiders gave a clear insight into the inherent struggle of the move towards democracy. After the film, there was a highly informative panel discussion with the participation of Borja Bergareche, the London correspondent of ABC, Walter Oppenheimer of El País and Emily Buchanan, the BBC World Affairs Correspondent. While the panellists were in agreement that the Spain depicted on camera is very different from its present state, there was recognition from Mr Oppenheimer, in particular, that there are still some similarities, such as the calls for self-government from the Basque and Catalan regions and problems with unemploy-
ment. Ms Buchanan commented that the transition to democracy is still a very relevant theme today and drew comparisons with the political unrest in Libya and Turkey. There was some debate regarding the Spanish political system, with Mr Begareche observing that although the government model put in place at the time was designed to be a solution, it could now be seen as part of the problem, contributing to the current widespread disillusionment with politics in Spain. Before we retired for drinks upstairs, several questions were taken from the floor, allowing audience members to be fully engaged in the discussion. Some vividly remembered their own experiences of this period of history while others commented on the differences between politics and government at the time compared with now. All seemed to be in agreement that the film should be shown to a wider audience in order to raise awareness of this part of history and to provide some context on how Spain has developed since then to become the country it is today. By Amy Bell
Summer 2013 • La Revista 15
Annual Summer Party
he Society’s annual summer party was a great success. Following tradition, the party was hosted by the Spanish ambassador, Federico Trillo Figueroa, who warmly welcomed guests into his residence at the Spanish embassy in Belgravia. It was a sell-out event, excellently organised by the Society’s volunteer events committee, with guests filling the expansive drawing rooms of the embassy building. Delicious Spanish wines and cava flowed and an exquisite array of tapas and canapés was on offer, bringing a taste of España to the evening. There was even a full leg of jamón Serrano being freshly carved and served to guests on the spot, courtesy of Hispania, one of the event’s sponsors. Additionally, thanks to the dry weather, guests were able to make use of the terrace, chatting and drinking as the
sun went down against the backdrop of the embassy gardens. In his welcome speech, the ambassador praised the continuing work of the Society and noted the important role that it plays in bringing the people of Britain and Spain together. Following this, our chairman made a few remarks, announcing that the Society is stronger than ever, demonstrated by the huge number of both younger and older members present. Throughout the evening guests were treated to wonderful live music from singer and songwriter, Siilhouette and her band, who made sure the party went with a swing. With special thanks to Hispania and Currencies Direct, our event sponsors, and also to González Byass and Wines of Spain for providing the drinks.
Juan Pablo García Denis with María Cid
Photographs by Richard Barker
Guest with Lord Brennan, Carmen Bouverat and Iñigo Rubio
SiiLHOUETTE with Roland Perrin, Emmanuel Oladokun & Hammadi Valdes
Ana Matilla, Andrew Velasco, Eduardo Velasco and Mavi Yuste
16 La Revista • Summer 2013
Luis Sanz, Beatriz Santiago and Jacobo Roa
Borja de Pedro, Alba Menéndez, Carolina Posse, Elisabeth Alberola and Geoffrey Taunton Collins
Jeffrey Bromheim, Elvira Borroso, Almudena Jordá and Mila de Campos
Javier Fernández from Hispania with Lady Brennan
Jason and María Heeg
Felicity and Richard Raines
Jimmy Burns Marañon and Federico Trillo Figueroa
Natalie Fudge and Sarah McCartney
Nel Martins Melero and Amy Bell
Eva Gil, María Soriano Casado, María Cid, Francesca Zanni and Maite Aguirre
Blanca Ereño, Sra. de López, Mamen Ruiz Koop and Sra. Juste with guest
David Hurst and Lynn Parotti
Fidel López and Federico Trillo Figueroa with guest and Luis Juste
Summer 2013 • La Revista 17
‘Managing Reputations in the Modern Age’
A special talk by Patrick Harverson, PR and Communications expert
he upstairs private conference room at Hispania, the City’s best appointed Spanish food place, and our sponsor for the evening, was the setting on the 2nd July for a fascinating talk to members and friends by the PR and strategy guru Patrick Harverson. A former FT journalist whose career also spans working as a communications strategy adviser for Manchester United and the British Royal family, Harverson drew on his professional experience to share some useful insights on the UK and Spain, with an audience which included diplomats, bankers and company executives. In addressing the subject of managing reputation in the modern age, Harverson said a quote from Aristotle came to mind:
“While everything changes, everything remains the same.” What has remained the same, Harverson argued, was the basic principle governing the building of a reputation - that reputation remains largely defined by your behaviour. “It is what you do that counts. No amount of clever communications work will disguise the reality of your conduct and character”, he suggested. What has changed , he went on, was that the arrival of the internet and digital media has created this most accessible, transparent and public of all ages. Individuals and institutions with public reputations to manage have to operate in an environment where technology has created a universal, permanent, instantly available memory. Harverson then
quoted from the 17th century writer and satirist Joseph Hall : “A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” Thanks to the internet, the “crack” is visible and accessible to all, and for all time. Harverson was appointed Communications Secretary to the Prince of Wales in 2004. In May this year he left Clarence House to set up a consultancy, Milltown Partners with D-Jo Collins, the former Director of Communications for Google in London. Milltown advises companies, individuals and families on strategic communications, reputation management and privacy protection. By Jimmy Burns Marañón Photographs by Richard Barker
Jimmy Burns Marañón and Patrick Harverson
Questions were taken from the audience
Jaime-Enrique Hugas, Patrick Harverson, Enrique Ruiz de Lera and José Antonio Zamora
With thanks to our sponsor: Guests were served top quality jamón from Hispania
18 La Revista • Summer 2013
The Spanish Chamber of Commerce AGM The 126th Annual General Meeting in London
n Wednesday 26th June, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce held its 126th Annual General Meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane in London. The event, which is one of the most important in its calendar, gathered numerous guests who represented several of the Spanish Chamber’s member companies. The AGM afternoon meeting started with the presentation of the financial statements of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the activities and events held through the previous year. This edition of the AGM was also important as half of the members of the Executive Committee of the Chamber had to be renewed. Members could cast their vote by post or on the day at the electoral table set up at the entrance of the AGM. The members of the electoral table were in charge of registering the received votes and counting them in order to ensure the smooth running of the process. The Spanish Chamber of Commerce congratulates the companies that have been elected to the Executive Committee, and which are as follows below in alphabetical order:
Aqualogy Solutions & Technologies UK Banco Santander Caixabank Colman Coyle LLP H10 London Waterloo Iberia London & Partners Meliá White House NH Hoteles Rodanto Unicaja After the meeting, attendees and the rest of the guests enjoyed themselves at the drinks reception. This was followed by the traditional dinner presided by H.E. the Ambassador of Spain, Mr. Federico Trillo Figueroa. Once speeches began, the President of the Spanish Chamber, Mr. Javier Fernández, opened the proceedings to highlight the achievements made by the Chamber since the Annual Golden Award in April. He then gave the floor to H.E. the Ambassador, who introduced our Guest of Honour. This year the Spanish Chamber of Commerce was honoured to have Mr Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner for Marca España, as its Guest of Honour. During his speech Mr. Espinosa de los Monteros made clear that it is more than worthy believing in Spain as a provider of quality products and services. As he showed through different examples, there is a growing number of Spanish companies leading innovative and modern projects worldwide across different sectors. He went on explaining that supporting and developing the talent pipeline will result in growing businesses, improved economy and enhanced life quality in the long term for Spain. The Spanish Chamber thanks all attendees for their commitment and participation one more year in the Annual General Meeting and for sharing with the Chamber such a remarkable evening. Last but not least, the Chamber was also thankful to Bodegas Protos for having kindly provided the wines for the event.
The AGM in progress, chaired by the Ambassador
Networking drinks reception
Guests enjoying the dinner
Mr Espinosa de los Monteros during his speech
Votes being cast at the electoral table
Summer 2013 • La Revista 19
UPCOMING SOCIETY EVENTS
Key dates for your diary September - December 2013
Visit to Eton College with Guided Tour Date: Saturday 14th September Itinerary & Ticket Price: E-mail email@example.com or telephone 07903 801 576 How to book: Please reserve your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Event Description: Through the six centuries Eton has been educating boys much has changed, but the essence of school life has remained as described in the mid-nineteenth century by William Cory, an Eton Master. He wrote that at a great school it is not just knowledge that is acquired, nor even the ”shadow of lost knowledge” that later protects you from many illusions, but most importantly the “arts and habits” that last for a lifetime. The guided tour of takes you into School Yard and the Cloisters, Lower School, College Chapel and the Museum of Eton Life and on to College Dining Hall and Upper school. The Chapel is a fine example of fifteenth century Perpendicular Gothic architecture and is basically very simple — a single unit of strikingly satisfactory proportions. The wall paintings are among the most remarkable mediaeval wall paintings in northern Europe, and the stained glass windows in the east end are equally remarkable. This event has kindly been arranged by Sra. Mercedes Porcel Martin MA, Spanish Department, Eton College.
One Day Visit to Cambridge University
Including a lecture and visit to the exhibition, ‘Wrongdoing in Spain in the Long Nineteenth Century’
Curated by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Cambridge, in co-operation with Cambridge University Library and the British Library
Date: Saturday 9th November Itinerary & Ticket Price: E-mail email@example.com or telephone 07903 801 576 How to book: Please reserve your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Pliegos sueltos Diego Corrientes (S743.1.c.8.2), reproduced by permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library
Event Description: Before the days of the internet, television and widespread daily newspapers, how did people find out about acts of wrongdoing, or get access to entertaining stories about crimes and criminals? Ephemeral publications known as broadsides and chapbooks were the equivalent of the modern popular press, and the examples in this exhibition were intended both to inform and to entertain two dramatically different audiences from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century.
The BritishSpanish Society Christmas Party One of the high points of our social calendar. Fun for all ages! Join us for festive cheer, fabulous tapas and wine and great raffle prizes. Our thanks go to the Instituto Cervantes for hosting the event this year following the closure of Canning House. Date: Thursday 12th December, 7.00 - 9.00pm Location: Instituto Cervantes, 102 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AN. Tickets Available from 1st October: E-mail email@example.com or Tel 07903 801 576 How to book: Please reserve your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t miss...
elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food
In partnership with Estrella Damm and with the collaboration of Generalitat de Catalunya and Institut Ramon Llull 5th July–29th September 2013, Somerset House
A major retrospective dedicated to the world famous Catalan chef, Ferran Adrià, which takes a fascinating behindthe-scenes look at the creative process behind El Bulli’s success.
20 La Revista • Summer 2013
Goodbye to our friend ROD YOUNGER 1962-2013 Anglo-Spanish publisher, dedicated to the cause By Jimmy Burns Marañón
od Younger, who died suddenly at his home on the Costa del Sol on June 29th, aged 51, was a passionate Anglo-Spanish follower of Spanish culture, and dedicated to the cause of promoting a better understanding of it among British visitors and residents in Spain. Despite his British nationality, English accent and sense of humour, Rod was also proud of his Spanish roots, and always happy to share that his real name was Rodrigo Manso de Zuniga Domenech. His father changed it when he went to live in UK in the 1950s. Younger was his mother’s maiden name. As Rod once wrote of himself: “People frequently ask me how I have such an English sounding name, Roderick Younger, with Spanish parents. The answer is relatively simple: my father’s name was Rodrigo Manso de Zúñiga Younger, i.e. his mother was a Younger (though born in Spain too) and when he emigrated to the UK in the 1950s he decided the British might have trouble pronouncing Rodrigo Manso de Zúñiga and so changed Rodrigo for Roderick and dropped the Manso de Zúñiga, hence he (and I) became Roderick Younger. My mother was Catalan and was called Maria Josefa Domènech Peypoch so in reality my name is Rodrigo Manso de Zúñiga Domènech – but you can call me Rod!” His mixed roots (Scotland-JamaicaSpain), bi-cultural education and thirty years of business experience in Spain led to the realisation of his dream: the founding of Books4Spain. In recent years he focused all his creative, and commercial energies in developing from his
base in Marbella this online bookshop which marketed and traded a rich variety of fiction and non-fiction about or set in Spain, mainly by non-Spanish writers and in the English language. As he told me once: “I established the business in response to the explosive growth in online mass market “soulless” book retailers, such as Amazon, and the continuing decline of the traditional independent bookshop with knowledgeable staff and an interesting collection of books.” Rod had a Scot’s passion for adventure while the conduct of a perfect English ‘gent’- cultured and well mannered. He was also muy simpático, not just with friends but with people he met for the first time. He rarely showed in public the stress he suffered as result of developing Books4Spain in the midst of a major economic crisis. He struggled to get people to read, let alone buy books, and to get the finance to help him do it. Often he must have felt he was tilting at windmills, but, like Quixote, or indeed Shakespeare, he always tried to keep on dreaming, and was quietly persuasive in drawing people into his project. He did not easily give up, or show himself defeated. Always upbeat and optimistic, Rod never let chronic pain from a medical condition interfere with his heavy work schedule or endless reading list. Rod was an enthusiastic supporter of the Anglo-Spanish Society, along with other institutions such as the Cervantes Institute and the Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy in London, contributing to the Society’s magazine La Revista, encouraging literary talent among our membership, and helping sponsor cultural events whenever he could. The last time we were together was in London last December at the hugely successful event at the Cervantes Institute where I shared a table with the author Marian Dueñas. As chairman of the Society, but also as a personal friend who hugely enjoyed Rod’s convivial and uplifting company, I will hugely miss him. May he rest in peace. Que en paz descanse.
Summer 2013 • La Revista 21
CULTURAL PROGRAMME SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2013 OFFICE FOR CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS EMBASSY OF SPAIN
12 September 21 December 16 September 20‐22 September 27 September 6 October 27 September 10 October 6 October 8 October 8 October 17 October 17 November 24‐26 October 25 October 28 October TBC October 29 October 30 October 1‐7 November 2 November 3 November 11 November 13 November 14‐17 November 19 November 25 November 1 December
The Spanish Golden Age Season Theatre Royal Bath, Arcola Theatre (London) and Belgrade Theatre (Coventry) Book launch: What everyone needs to know: Spain, by William Chislett Instituto Cervantes Londres Exhibition: Made in Spain ‐ Creating Fashion for the World Residence of HE The Ambassador of Spain Spanish Digital video artist in Deptford X, Contemporary Art Festival Deptford IX London Spanish Film Festival Ciné Lumière and Instituto Cervantes Londres Bristol Guitar Series 2013: José Torres with quartet and dancer Melisa Calero St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol Nobel Prize in Literature in Spanish: José Echegaray and Jacinto Benavente Instituto Cervantes Londres London Guitar Series 2013: José Torres with quartet and dancer Melisa Calero Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London Spain NOW! Various venues Symposium on the Treaty of Utrecht Luis Vives Room, Embassy of Spain London Guitar Festival: Antonio Rey Trio with singer and dancer Mara Rey Kings Place, London North East Guitar Festival: Antonio Rey Trio with singer and dancer Mara Rey The Sage Gateshead Cunninghame Graham Lecture 2013: Antonio Muñoz Molina University of Edinburgh Bristol Guitar Series 2013: Antonio Rey Trio with dancer Mara Rey St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol London Guitar Festival: Rafael Aguirre Bolivar Hall, London Peers Visiting Writers: Virginia Cantó University of Liverpool North East Guitar Festival: Duo El Tango: Carles Pons and Orlando di Bello The Sage Gateshead North East Guitar Festival: Rafael Aguirre The Sage Gateshead Symposium: III Centenary of the Real Academia Española Oxford Nobel Prize in Literature in Spanish: Gabriela Mistral Luis Vives Room, Embassy of Spain Luz Interruptus at Lumiere Light Festival Durham Pérez Galdós Lecture 2013: Prof Elisa Martí López University of Sheffield Spanish participation in Robot Zafari (Science Museum and EUNIC) Science Museum, London
Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on our latest news and events www.spainculturescience.co.uk 22 La Revista • Summer 2013
DESIGN IS ALL EMOTION
The award-winning graphic designer, Fernando Gutiérrez, has worked on a wide range of prestigious international projects. Here he speaks to Lourdes Gómez about his current work and explains how new technologies have opened up even greater possibilities for design. Photography by Ione Saizar
Summer 2013 • La Revista 23
ernando Gutiérrez has returned to his roots in West London. He has anchored his award-winning graphic design studio in the Bayswater area where he was born in 1963. As a child of Asturian and Galician immigrants he grew up in both cultures, moving from an English school in the daytime to a Spanish one in the evenings. In History classes at both institutions, he soon learnt the “contradictions” of two different views of the world, which have influenced him ever since. He assimilated those contrasting perspectives of the world with the same ease as he now develops design and corporate projects for Spanish, British and other international clients. Examples of Gutiérrez’s work fill the walls and desks of his HQ in Great Western Studios, a peculiar building that stands just underneath the Westway and is sandwiched between Regent’s Canal and the railway access to Paddington Station. Red wine from Galician and Catalonian bodegas, a stylish bottle of oil produced from the olive groves of Vicente Todolí, former director of the Tate Modern, are on view in two connected rooms that look onto a patio. A café on the ground floor functions as a social venue for the independent art and craft enterprises of the enclosure. On the shelves of the studio are columns of art books that he has designed over the years, first as partner of the highly influential Pentagram international design firm and since 2006 as head of his own Fernando Gutiérrez Studio. On the walls hang posters with distinctive company logos and there are leaflets of old and recently opened exhibitions, such as ‘Estuary’, that marks the 10th anniversary of the London Museum Docklands. Gutiérrez is now working on the catalogue ‘raisonné’ of the late Spanish artist, Juan Muñoz, while also researching designs and structures for a forthcoming show on Italian fashion for the Victoria and Albert Museum. But first of all he switches on his iPad to explain the flow and mechanism of a new application for the Prado Museum, in Madrid. He has acted as image consultant for the home of Velázquez and Goya for over a decade and has lately designed a digital version of its collection for tablets and mobile phones, that was launched a few weeks ago. “It is Apple’s favourite app”, he says with tremendous pride. Do you feel British, Spanish or both? I definitely feel Spanish by blood. I am very grateful to my mother for forcing me to go to Spanish school as a child, which 24 La Revista • Summer 2013
“A swimming pool of ink is dearer in price than a pool full of champagne”
Co-operation with fellow artists and long term relationships with clients are two aspects that define your studio. Any reasons for this method of working?
gave me a great curiosity to later discover Spain. As a profession I chose graphic design very early on - when I was 13 years old I already knew what I wanted to be - and had a very good education in design in London. I moved to Barcelona when I was 27 years old and was able to put into practice everything I had learnt here. I had a very romantic idea of Spain at that time and it was a great journey of discovery. It was 1989 and there was genuine excitement about the Olympics that were held there in 2012. Design is about preparation, about the future, about seeing things and I could see what was being prepared and how everyone was on the same page, from product designers to architects, photographers and planners. They were all talking about a new city and a new country.
Graphic design is always about working with people. You get a commission, normally to sell or communicate something. It is not about me but about making that thing look beautiful and good. Other designers do it themselves. I prefer to work with good photographers, illustrators, programmers… I always hire different people because for me the relationships are what matters most. You nourish one from the other. At the same time, it is important to establish long relationships with clients. You improve and the job gets better and better. The Prado is a good example. When it all started in 2002 I didn’t think that I would still be working with them today. We have built a very nice relationship. I have helped them establish a very strong identity that works culturally and commercially for the museum. It’s an identity that reflects integrity, clarity and an attitude. The Prado is an historic museum but it is bringing the past into a contemporary context as well.
Am I right to think that El País newspaper’s youth supplement, Tentaciones, launched in the early nineties, was your big break? Yes, Tentaciones was the beginning for me. I wanted to discover Spain and what better way to reach my dream than through a youth cultural publication. I still love magazines but I was obsessed with then at that time. I was very lucky; I had worked in a project in London that never happened with an amazing man, Bruce Bernard, the then picture editor of The Sunday Times. He wanted to do a magazine about the beautiful things that happen in this planet. He showed me how to work on the presentation of a magazine, why and how we were doing a special publication. There was no money, I was a student and didn’t get paid. But he gave me something better. He paid me with a passion for the image, the editorial world and the power of communication that has never left me. So when the El País project came along I was so hungry and had so much knowledge of magazine design that I got the job in the first interview. What was it about the design of Tentaciones that made it have such a strong international impact? Immediacy and directness. It was not pretentious and it was pure communication. It had no style to begin with but of course that became a style at the end.
How do you face the challenge of the digital world? Is it a big change? Not really. For me the transition is even more fluid. Digital is about intuition, fluidity and naturalness. You don’t need anything complicated. In fact, the more uncomplicated the better. New technology has to be and feel natural. It’s got to flow and that’s what I do with my graphics. Whatever I work on has to be a natural flow. Sometimes it is a physical flow as in a book or an exhibition where you have to move effortlessly through the pages or the rooms. A bottle of wine is still a natural flow for me because you have to open the box and get the capsule out before you take out the cork. All these steps have to flow nicely. The labels, on the other hand, have to inform or to stand out. They are graphic and commercial flags that have to compete.
“I have helped [El Prado] to establish a strong identity that works culturally and commercially. It reflects integrity, clarity and an attitude”
COVER STORY So basically just the tools have changed?
The tools and the technology have changed but the feeling remains. Design is all emotion. There is a basic emotion that we respond to as human beings. Man needs to express himself, needs to mark his territory, needs an identity… and the beauty of graphic design is that it is all about identity. It surprises me that you work for potentially competing companies within the same sector. Isn’t that a problem? I don’t think they should mind because I transmit what the client is and what they are thinking. I re-filter it but essentially it’s them, it links to their character, to what they are proud of. The character of each client comes through in each job we do.
It must be a difficult task to evaluate. It is very hard to evaluate. For me, graphic design is a service. We are not artists, we are commercial artists. We get asked to work on something and we are not free. My talent in the studio is to communicate clearly whatever that service is. Would it be the same whether it were an orange or an exhibition? 3
It requires thinking, an idea first. It is thinking graphically about how to sell the product and how to make it look beautiful. The work varies a lot in corporate identity but essentially each company has very clear values and also very clear aspirations. You often talk about an exhibition as being like a book in 3D. Can you expand on this concept?
Examples of past projects
Tentaciones, El País newspaper’s youth supplement
An advertisment for the Museo del Prado’s Manet exhibition in Madrid
3 Paella, a recipe book for Phaidon 4
Telmo Rodriguez As Caborcas red wine
An exhibition is like a book that you go into and discover things. If it is well done it is memorable and stays with you forever. I love exhibitions. It allows me to take things into three dimensions, which is very exciting. With online I feel the same; it gives me more possibilities. 2D is very dangerous today as it requires good printing, good binding and transportation, whereas in digital you do it and it is there on screen for everybody to see. You avoid a lot of steps that we worry about in the 2D arena. A client might like a design for a book catalogue, for instance, but that does not make me happy. At that stage we’ve only reached half way through the project. It makes
me happy when the book arrives and it is perfect. That’s when I celebrate. Paper is a luxury and will become more of a luxury. I don’t think we can afford to print on paper so often. It would soon be finished, so everything on paper is very valuable. What about newspapers and magazines? How do you see the future of the printed media? All that just goes online, onto the screen. We can’t afford paper. It’s not only that we can’t go on chopping trees, but mainly that we can’t afford people and that ink is the most expensive liquid in the world. A swimming pool full of ink is dearer in price than a pool full of champagne, wine or whatever liquid we might choose. Ink is the big rip-off at the moment. It is where the greatest expense goes. The other problem is the human side. Binding is finished. Good binding is like a handmade suit and only certain people can buy a bespoke suit. A good book is almost impossible to get nowadays. Have you ever felt an outsider in the professional sphere? No, because I’ve always been in two cultures. At home we spoke Spanish but I went to an English nursery and had to learn another language. In graphic design the beauty is the same. There is something new to learn in every job. And not only the language. Language is not a problem. We’ve just done an exhibition in Qatar, with the layout in Arabic. Is there a cultural difference between Spanish and British companies? Yes, there is a big difference. They work in different ways, have different ways of being, of etiquettes, of protocol. It’s all done to culture. There are differences but essentially they all are cultural. LR
Summer 2013 • La Revista 25
THOUGHTS ON SPANISH FOOTBALL A brief history of Spain’s favourite sport by Jimmy Burns Marañón
panish football managers and players remain much in demand in the international transfer market, not least in the English Premier League. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid retain a huge global following, and Spain’s popular national team, La Roja, is preparing for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, as defending champion. The history of Spanish football, from its early days as pupil of the British to its modern success story as the most admired globally, is the subject of De Rio Tinto a La Roja (ContraEdiciones), the just published Spanish edition of my latest book already available in the UK and the US as La Roja (Simon & Schuster.) There follows an abridged version of some comments I made during an interview I gave this June to the Spanish magazine football literary magazine, ‘Panenka’, before the book’s presentation in Madrid and Barcelona. ES A los ingleses les ha costado aprender de los mejores extranjeros de la Premier. En cambio, en España se ha asimilado bien la aportación del fútbol sudamericano (Di Stefano) y europeo (Cruyff).. EN It’s taken the English some time to
start learning from some of the foreigners who play in the Premier; Spanish football by contrast long ago successfully assimilated the influence of South Americans, like Di Stefano and (northern) European footballers, like Cruyff... Soy madrileño de cuna pero admirador culé y siento que puedo hablar con objetividad del Real Madrid y el Barça. Siempre han sido los equipos dominantes en España pero si algo ha cambiado recientemente es la explotación cínica de su rivalidad...
As someone who was born in Madrid, but who admires the way that FC Barcelona play, I think I have an objective view of both clubs. They have always been Spain’s two top clubs but these days their rivalry is a subject of cynical exploitation...
De Franco se pueden decir muchas cosas, salvo que fuera tonto. Era muy oportunista y vio la posibilidad de convertir una victoria futbolística sobre la URSS en un triunfo propagandista... desde luego le habría encantado presidir el Mundial de 1982 en España…
Nací en Madrid, en el paseo de la Castellana, en 1953. Evidentemente mi primer impacto futbolístico fue Di Stefano. Subconscientemente quedé marcado por ese jugador, ese equipo legendario y esa catedral que era y sigue siendo el Bernabéu, especialmente de noche. Más tarde, cuando empecé a veranear en Catalunya y Euskadi, me di cuenta de que existe otra faceta de España y de su fútbol…
About Franco one can say a lot of things, but not that he was stupid.; he was very opportunistic and saw the possibility of turning a football victory over the Soviet Union into a triumph of propaganda... he certainly would have loved to have been around for the World Cup in Spain in 1982...
I was born in Madrid, on the Castellana, in 1953; evidently my first football sensation was Di Stefano. Subconsciously I was deeply moved by that player, by that (legendary) team, by that cathedral which was and is the Bernabeu stadium, particularly illuminated at night. Later, when I took my summer holidays in Catalonia and the Basque Country I came to discover that there was a different side to Spain and its football... Pertenezco a una escuela literaria junto a Simon Kuper, John Carlin y Nick Hornby que empezó a hablar del fútbol como un punto de encuentro entre el deporte y la cultura….Yo he aprendido mucho de la historia de un país a través del deporte… I belong to a literary school, along with authors like Simon Kuper, John Carlin, Nick Hornby - which began writing about football as an encounter between sport and culture….I have learnt a lot about the history of a country through its sport...
De un espía nunca conoces su identidad ni para quién trabaja. Eso no se puede decir de Vicente Del Bosque ni de Pep Guardiola . En cambio, Mourinho no solo parece existir para sí mismo, sino además es un misterio porque no se sabe de dónde viene ni a dónde va. Algunos le consideran bastante conservador pero su estrategia me resulta casi marxistaleninista. Cree en la confrontación creativa… The thing about spies is that you never know who they are or who they work for. You can’t say that about Vicente Del Bosque or Pep Guardiola. On the other hand, Mourinho is not only someone who seems to only exist for himself, he is also is a mystery as to from where he comes from and to where he is going. Some people say that he is quite conservative but his strategy strikes me as almost Marxist-Leninist. He believes in creative confrontation... ¿El gran logro de Mourinho es haber evitado que Guardiola se convirtiera en el Ferguson del Barca? Quizá... Was Mourinho’s greatest achievement in Spain to have prevented Guardiola from becoming the Ferguson of Barca?... Maybe... • Spanish Edition De Río Tinto a La Roja (ContraEdiciones) • English Edition La Roja (Simon & Schuster)
Photography by Jimmy Burns Marañón
26 La Revista • Summer 2013
CAVA CAVALCADE After 35 years in Catalonia, wine-enthusiast Dominic Begg lists 20 of his favourite sparkling wines
hen I was a student in the late 60s, before supermarkets sold alcoholic beverages, I used to buy my wine at Peter Dominic, a chain of popular high-street off-licences. In those days they stocked just one sparkling wine from Catalonia, a Perelada. Fastforward to 2013, by which time most people in the south of England will have bought or tasted supermarket cava when wishing to celebrate or alegrar el ambiente. The rise of cava is a success story, largely a result of advances in technology: the introduction of stainless-steel tanks, temperature control, canopy management, soil analysis, etc. In the UK, cava is reckoned to be cheap and cheerful, which is all very well, but there is a superior echelon of Catalan sparkling wines that are rarely seen, even in the best British supermarkets. Add to that the numerous small growers and producers in the Penedés, and it’s clear that most UK wine-drinkers are missing out on the Real McCoy (or Real McCava)… As for the domestic Spanish market, it’s instructive to go back more than 30 years, to when I attended the first Mostra dels Vins de Catalunya in Barcelona. This was in 1980, with marquees stretching the length of Rambla Catalunya. Alongside innumerable whites, reds and rosés, 13 vins escumosos were presented, including Gramona, Masachs and Torelló. A year later that number had risen to 21, with Parxet and
“There is a superior echelon of Catalan sparkling wines that are rarely seen, even in the best British supermarkets” Raimat joining the party. By 1982, these sparkling wines were being described in Catalan as caves. The cava boom had begun. In 1992 our family moved from Barcelona to Sitges, partly in order to be closer to the Penedés vineyards, according to my wife! Anyway, here are some of the cavas I’ve enjoyed over the last 4 decades. I usually choose brut or brut nature; occasionally I opt for a gran reserva.
Agustí Torelló Mata High-quality cava. You’ll need an ice-bucket for their gorgeous, lozengeshaped Kripta bottle, as it cannot be placed upright. Can Feixes Their white wines have always represented excellent value in restaurants. Huguet remains their quality cava, but it can be hard to find, given the small output. Gramona Respected for making cava the traditional way. Their reasonably priced Imperial brut is recommended. Llopart Their brut nature is excellent. Raventós i Blanc Historic cava house. Recaredo Their gran reserva is one of Joan-Manuel Serrat’s favourite cavas. Highly regarded. Torelló Their brut nature has been a delight for decades. Vilarnau Part of the González
Byass group. Their brut impressed me in London (June 2013). Pale, well-balanced with perfect small bubbles and crown. Colet Listed under the ecological D.O. Penedés denomination, this small producer scores highly on the quality/price ratio. While their top sparkler, Assemblage, has echoes of champagne country, ultimately I gravitate towards the younger Vatua!, which I buy by the case. Mas Tinell This good-value cava was controversially chosen for a royal wedding reception. When the second Infanta got married, the top cava producers ended the squabbling by getting together and providing a joint blend. Perelada Waitrose offers a decent Perelada, which I tasted in June 2013. Visit the ancient town and its winery if you’re travelling north from Barcelona.
They have some fine reds. Raimat They were among the first in Catalonia to add chardonnay to the cava mix, while the bottle’s pale-green neck made it easy to pick out on the shelves. A regular favourite.
the continuation of the legendary De la Serra, ranked as the top xampany in Franco’s day. Whether or not that is true, their Brut de la Familia has become a benchmark for cavas. A good option when shopping in airport departure lounges.
Félix Massana Reliable wines from beautiful vineyards around St Pau d’Ordal, where you also find some of the best peaches in Catalonia.
Maset del Lleó Originally a mailorder business, they now have shops and a winery that you can visit. Their top cavas are good quality.
Sumarroca They make so many cavas it’s hard to keep up. Recently I tried their Insitu extra brut, which comes in a dramatic dark-pink bottle. Refreshing summer sparkler.
Segura Viudas Always reliable since I first moved to Barcelona in 1978. Recent competition means it has become less ubiquitous.
Rexach Baqués This cava house is based in the village of Guardiola de Font-rubí. While there, maybe pick up some of the local olive-oil, made by the dedicated Lluch family since 1770. Juvé i Camps I was once told that this company is
Anna de Codorniú Its sensible price makes it ideal for parties and airport impulse buys. Some chardonnay in the mix. Freixenet Cuvée D.S. This fine cava is a world away from their humble Carta Nevada, which is strictly for verbenas.
Summer 2013 • La Revista 27
28 La Revista • Summer 2013
WRITING IN TWO LANGUAGES - A PLOY OR A PLOT?
Isabel del Río is interviewed by Santiago Díaz-Bravo about her latest book, ‘Zero Negative - Cero Negativo’. It was originally recorded in Spanish and then translated into English by Isabel and her daughter, Julia Sukan del Río
sabel del Río, a writer and linguist living in London and a long–time member of the BritishSpanish Society, has just published ‘Zero Negative – Cero negativo’, a bilingual book of 16 short stories in both English and Spanish (Araña Editorial, Valencia, 2013). Published under her full name, Isabel del Río Salvador, the book is both a literary and a linguistic exercise, described on the cover as a “journey of no return”. Here she is in conversation with Santiago Díaz–Bravo, the Spanish writer and journalist.
Your literary career has run parallel to your work as a journalist and as a linguist. Was your path as a writer paved by your interest in languages, or, should I say, your love of languages? Yes, love is the right term to use; in order to write one has to be obsessive with words. I suppose you write using everything that you have at your disposal. In my case, this includes my two languages. The temptation to use both English and Spanish in my writing has always been irresistible. Having dedicated a considerable part of my life to translation, with this book I decided to take poetic license and rewrite the stories instead of just providing a translated text. In some cases, I diverted completely from the original (whether it was Spanish or English, that is immaterial), and yet I produced two stories that are inextricably linked. Bloodshed, even death, appears to be the recurring theme throughout the stories. The main theme of the book is bloodshed, but of course I cannot avoid talking about death when exploring the subjects of war, murder, martyrdom, torture, and
so on. The book is an indictment against anything demanding bloodshed: from the story of an artist who practices his art by bleeding to death, to the old soldier from the civil war who refuses to talk about his tragic experiences, to the deranged character solely aspiring to take someone’s life, to the biblical massacre of the innocents.
a universe based on my book, and then they suddenly become creators in their own right –that is their contribution. For my part, I perhaps can contribute fresh ideas, new emotions, a solution to a problem that had been perhaps unresolved for a long time. I could even plant the seed of doubt or dissent.
Some of your stories seem to finish with an open ending. Could we then say that your stories are unfinished?
Are you present in any of these 16 magnificent stories?
Perhaps the endings in the stories are more rounded and complete, we could say, if the story is read in both languages. Sometimes the endings in the stories in English are very different from the Spanish endings, and sometimes the clue to a story in Spanish is provided in the equivalent story in English. And even though the book can be read solely in one language or the other if the reader is not bilingual, reading it in both languages reveals a completely different narrative. An example of this would be the piece about Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville. In the story in English, I talk about how they came to write their first film script. But the equivalent Spanish story is the script itself, telling the reader about an unintentional killing (or was it unintentional…?)
The temptation to use “both English and Spanish in my writing has always been irresistible
I can attest that ‘Zero negative – Cero negativo’ is a piece of writing that could affect the reader emotionally. Was that your goal when faced with a blank sheet of paper? I did not set out to disturb anyone, I can assure you. But I do know that sometimes I tend to draw the rug from under people’s feet. It may be an act of rebelliousness in my case, you never know! There must definitely be a before and an after when reading a literary text. The reader cannot remain indifferent, and so there needs to be a transformation. Writing is a twoway process: without a reader there is no writer and vice versa. I would like to think that the relationship with the reader is a kind of barter. Readers might imagine
When writing, everything you have ever lived and experienced comes into play. At the same time, other people’s emotions and experiences are taken on board because writers need to be empathetic to causes and problems outside their own private realm. It is as if the writer has been entrusted with matters that no one else can or wants to speak about. Thus, writing is an act of humility, because we are at the service of others at the end of the day, but it is also tinged with our egos as we are convinced that our views need to be taken into account, and perhaps even believed. But if you are referring to being physically present in my book, the answer is yes. I am present in one of the stories, not with my name but with my profession. And it is for the readers to find out in which story I appear… Isabel was born in Madrid, but spent her childhood and adolescence in London. She has a five–year degree from Complutense University, and has extensive experience as a journalist, a broadcaster and a translator, both in Spain and the UK. She has worked for the BBC World Service, and for over the past two decades for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN specialized agency in London, where she is head of the Terminology & Reference Section, part of the Translation Services. Isabel is a Fellow of both the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL), and member of many professional associations. She has published fiction, language courses and poetry in both English and Spanish (or in both languages at the same time, as in ‘Zero Negative–Cero negativo’). Her collection of short stories ‘La Duda’ (published by Tusquets, Barcelona), was shortlisted for two literary awards. She is currently working on ‘Zero Negative 2’ and on two novels, one in English and the other in Spanish. Photograph by Julia Sukan del Río
Summer 2013 • La Revista 29
‘The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic’, by Henry Buckley An eyewitness account of the Spanish battleground, reviewed by the Madrid-based author and journalist, Tom Burns Marañón
Henry Buckley with his driver during the first few months of the Spanish Civil War
osted by Reuters to Spain as a trainee correspondent in 1974 I found that the presence of Henry Buckley, who had died two years earlier, loomed large in the cramped office. My mentor was a one-armed telex operator called Pedro: when I was doubtful about a story Pedro would tell me how Señor Bookli, whom he worshipped, would have approached it. Henry Buckley had retired in 1966 to Sitges, the home town of his wife Doña María, after seventeen years as Reuters Madrid bureau chief. But hardly a day went by without Pedro telling me something about him. What most fascinated me was his talk of a book that never was: Buckley’s account of the ten years he spent in Spain, 1929 – 1939, writing mostly for the Daily Telegraph. Published by Hamish Hamilton in 1940, ‘The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic’ was ready for distribution when a German bomb hit the London warehouse where it was stored and destroyed the entire edition. One of the very few who possessed a copy of this extremely rare book was the historian Hugh Thomas who in his path-breaking ‘The Spanish Civil War’ gratefully acknowledged the “essential information” provided by Buckley’s memoir. A Spanish edition of ‘The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic’ appeared some years back and now, thanks to I.B. Tauris, it is finally available for English readers with an introduction by Paul Preston. “Every reporter,” Buckley explains towards the end of his account, “loves to feel that he is right up against the moving finger that is writing history.”
30 La Revista • Summer 2013
Buckley, on the left, interviewing an observer from the League of Nations
Numberless fingers have followed Hugh Thomas’ early lead and the bibliography of the Spanish Civil War is now huge. But, for obvious reasons, not one of them can match the humane intimacy and the informed immediacy – “so and so told me this”, “I saw that”, “I felt the other” – that Buckley confined to his notebooks and tapped out on his typewriter.
Buckley was a tireless newsman...and his “I was there” account is a treasure trove for historians Journalists, diarists and letter writers are an academic´s prized source material. Buckley was a tireless newsman, as well as a considerate and generous press colleague, and his “I was there” account is a treasure trove for historians. His report of a huge rally organized in November 1935 on a vast expanse of wasteland in the western suburbs of Madrid by Manuel Azaña, the most prominent of the Republic’s politicians (he was prime minister and later president), is poignant. Buckley says that tens of thousands had travelled overnight in open trucks from all over Spain to hear the great man and describes how, in a matter-of-fact and uninspiring voice, Azaña talked to the mass of workers and peasants about international relations and monetary complications. The huge crowd wanted him to announce action – land for the peasants, industrial reorganization, education for all and so on – and to promise short shrift for
all who stood in the way of essential minimum reforms. Instead it got “what would have been an excellent address for a Rotary Club luncheon.” What most interested me about ‘The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic’ is how Buckley instinctively understood that the well-intentioned middle class intelligentsia that in 1931 booted out Alfonso XIII and ushered in the Republic was utterly incapable, clothed as it was in its 19th century liberal values, of delivering a New Deal to a society afflicted by what he calls “the sordid beastliness of poverty”. Buckley had a more than a sneaking respect for the “benevolent” dictator General Primo de Rivera who in the 1920’s launched a succession of public works programmes and liked his son Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera who created the fascist Falange movement with the intent of turning privilege inside out. Although a catholic, he reserved his unswerving admiration for the communist icon Dolores Ibárruri, La Pasionaria, for Enrique Lister, a former quarryman who became the most fearsome of the communist party’s generals and for the wartime premier Juan Negrín who was Moscow’s pawn. Buckley exemplifies the radical conscience of the 1930’s that stuck up for the underdog and that, all too aware of the pervading rottenness, warned of the gathering storm. He brilliantly illuminates how Spain came to be the battle ground of that low and shady decade. Photographs courtesy of Arxiu de l`Alt Penedés in Spain.
‘A clear-headed, humane assessment – with an almost unbearable immediacy – of hopes raised and dashed. One of the best books ever written on the Spanish Civil War in any language.’ – HELEN GRAHAM, author of The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction Hardback | 448 pages | 216 x 135mm | 9781780764290 | April 2013
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CATCHING THE WAVE OF EUROPEAN MULTILINGUALISM
Why we should all try to learn another language
By Amy Bell
am just so annoyed about you English people…why should I have to learn your language to get a job in my country? You all come here expecting everyone to speak English and I’m sick of it...” This is a part of a conversation I had a few years ago, during a student volunteer programme in Córdoba, with Jesus, a fellow volunteer from Valencia who was studying to be a journalist. Feeling mildly offended, I tried to explain that I was in Córdoba at least partly because I actually wanted to learn Spanish, but he wasn’t having any of it. While his attitude may have been unfair, I couldn’t help feeling a small amount of guilt on behalf of my compatriots for our collective lack of enthusiasm for learning languages. It is not difficult to see why we have such a poor track record. English is the most dominant language in business and one of the most widely spoken globally, which is why many would argue that native English speakers do not really need to learn another tongue. It is certainly not seen as a priority in the UK and this is clearly reflected in the school curriculum; learning a foreign language only becomes compulsory once students reach secondary school, and since modern languages became an optional subject at GCSE in 2004, they must continue with it only until the age of 14. The number of students taking French, German or Spanish at A-level has also dropped.
The Spanish education system has been overhauled in the last decade to prioritise second language learning Elsewhere in Europe, initiatives to improve second language learning have showed an opposite trend. According to a report produced by the European Commission last year English is by far the most taught foreign language in nearly all European countries with children learning it from an increasingly younger age. Undoubtedly there is now greater recognition, particularly following the economic downturn, that language learning is key as it increases career prospects abroad and in companies with a global presence. Things have certainly changed significantly in Spain since that trip to Córdoba and my conversation with Jesus. While
in the past English teaching in public schools may have been pushed to the sidelines, with students entering the workplace with little more than “Hello, my name is”, the Spanish education system has been overhauled in the last decade to prioritise second language learning, with a particular focus on English. Students now start learning a foreign language in the second part of pre-primary education, and as early as the age of 3 in most Autonomous Communities. Additionally, as one of many who have taken the TEFL route as a means of living and working abroad, I can testify to an increased awareness among Spaniards that English has become a necessary skill for those wanting to get ahead in business, with companies and individuals investing time and money in improving their English abilities. So why are so many people in both the UK and Spain still monoglots? A greater emphasis on foreign languages in the Spanish curriculum is encouraging as it should lead to younger generations growing up with stronger language skills than previous generations, and we can only hope that the UK will follow suit. But for those who have long since left school, it is still worth the effort. Everyone can benefit from learning a second language: it gives you a deeper knowledge of another country and its culture, while in turn helping you to understand your own, it can increase career prospects by providing more opportunities to work abroad and in multinational companies, and it gives you a greater appreciation
and respect for those who speak your language as non-natives. Of course, learning a language is difficult and perhaps the problem is that we don’t like to fail. No one likes to feel incompetent at something, and the feeling of trying out your new conversation skills only to have the other person respond to you in your own language can be discouraging. That said, challenges are there to be overcome and learning a new skill can not only be hugely rewarding, it also makes us more outward-looking and aware of the world around us. According to a report in El Mundo, the number of Spanish immigrants officially registered in London at the end of 2012 was 73, 659 (an increase from 57, 350 at the end of 2009), although since registration is not always compulsory the real number is estimated to be closer to 150, 000. For the younger generation in particular, the reasons for moving here are not only the lack of employment options in their own country, but also because they are serious about learning English. In such economically fragile times, language is a universal skill which can always be depended on to set you apart on an individual level. And on a global scale, perhaps the UK should take note: when the whole of Europe is investing in foreign languages, the British would do well to keep up. We live in a multilingual continent and should embrace any opportunity which can bring us closer to understanding each other. Illustration by Amy Bell
Summer 2013 • La Revista 33
ondres es una ciudad que alberga a un gran número de españoles y Mireia Llusia-Lindh, es uno de ellos. Nacida en Barcelona se siente hija adoptiva de esta gran urbe, ya que lleva viviendo en ella más de diez años. Hace dos decidió dar un giro a su carrera y crear ‘Milli Millu’, una marca de bolsos exclusivos que se caracterizan por dos razones: La primera, que son fabricados en España, concretamente en Ubrique y la segunda, que son sofisticados en su exterior y muy funcionales en su interior (contienen diversos compartimentos para ordenador, papeles, móvil… Todo está cuidado al detalle). En poco tiempo, ha conseguido ampliar su campo de venta a multitud de países de Europa, entre ellos España y EEUU, y ya cuenta con fieles seguidoras de la talla de Kate Moss, Pippa Midelton, Eugenia Silva o Paula Echevarría. Hemos estado con ella en su boutique-estudio de Belgravia para que nos cuente qué es lo que le gusta de esta ciudad y de paso, nos haga una guía con sus rincones favoritos. Si alguien busca buenos lugares para hospedarse, les recomendaría dos hoteles boutique: el Blakes y Number Sixteen. Ambos están situados en una zona céntrica muy residencial y se caracterizan por tener mucho encanto y personalidad. Uno de los puntos fuertes de esta ciudad es la amplia oferta gastronómica. Puedes degustar comida de cualquier región del planeta, sin necesidad de desplazarte. Entre mis favoritos destacan el restaurante Launceston Place, ubicado en una pintoresca calle de Kensington. Sirven comida inglesa exquisita (tiene una estrella
34 La Revista • Summer 2013
ver tiendas con encanto nada como ir a la zona donde Sloane Avenue, Brompton Road, South Kensington, Mayfair o Westbourne Grove en Notting Hill. Cualquiera de estos rincones es perfecto. Igualmente me apasiona el multiespacio Bluebird en Kings Road donde puedes comprar las últimas tendencias en moda, tomarte un café o llevarte un plato delicatessen para cenar. ¡ Es genial!
Londres en una ciudad increíble, después de 12 años aun me tiene enamorada
Michelin) así que, para los escépticos que dudan sobre la cocina de este país, seguro que les sorprenderá con alguna de sus delicias. Cuando busco comida francesa, mi lugar favorito es “La Petite Maison” en Mayfair. Aquí vas a encontrar suculentos platos en un ambiente casual muy parisino. Igualmente me gusta mucho el restaurante Asia de Cuba (supervisado por el restaurateur internacional Jeffrey Chodorow), que ofrece cocina de fusión para morirse. Un consejo: las porciones son grandes, ¡es perfecto para compartir! Otra de mis pasiones es la comida japonesa y, para eso, el mejor lugar de la ciudad es el restaurante Zuma en Knightsbridge. La comida es un 10 y el ambiente muy ‘chic’, sólo tiene una pega: es necesario reservar con mucha antelación. Si busco algo rápido y de calidad, me encantan dos cadenas: Por un lado, Busaba Eathai de comida asiática dónde sus calamares fritos y su pai-tai están deliciosos y por otro, Ping Pong perfecto para los amantes del
dim sum. Si queréis hacer un brunch mi favorito es Tom’s Kitchen en Chelsea, recomiendo los huevos benedict y el pancake de arándanos - ¡los mejores de la ciudad! Otra oferta que abunda en Londres es la cultural, ¡no te acabaras los museos y galerías que hay repartidos por toda la ciudad! En mi caso, no me canso de ir al Victoria & Albert Museum y a la Tate Modern. Creo que en ambos sitios, tanto el espacio como las exposiciones, son inmejorables. Además, debo decir que la Tate es un gran lugar para que los niños entren en contacto con el arte. PD: En la cafetería de la azotea se descubren unas de las mejores vistas de la city. Si os gusta ir de Shopping, Londres no os decepcionará, la oferta es inagotable. Si buscáis bolsos exclusivos, podéis venir a vernos a nuestra boutique-estudio de Milli Millu en el corazón de Belgravia, en 14 Grosvenor Crescent. Para
Los mercadillos también se han convertido en señas de identidad de la cuidad. Hay millones, tal vez el más famoso es el de Portobello en Notting Hill, pero os recomiendo el más emergente, el de Spitalfields. Es el lugar perfecto para descubrir deliciosos alimentos, nuevos artistas y nuevos diseñadores. ¡Aquí encontrarás grandes tesoros escondidos! Por último no quiero terminar este tour londinense sin aconsejar hacer una de mis pasiones: perderse por sus calles. Me encanta la combinación de su majestuosa arquitectura de época con maravillosos jardines escondidos. Entre mis calles favoritas están The Boltons, Bramham Gardens y Cheyne Row, en Chelsea. Y recientemente he descubierto Meard Street, llena de arquitectura georgiana increíble, escondida justo en el centro del Soho… Sólo puedo decir que ¡esta ciudad nunca deja de sorprenderme!
Cuatro cosas más de Mireia: -Su último descubrimiento: el ilustrador de moda David Downton. -Una Película: ‘El Piano’ por sus metáforas, su escenografía y su música. - El libro: ‘La ciudad de la alegría’, de Dominique Lapierre - La canción: ‘Somebody’ de Depeche Mode.
Interviewed by Estefanía Ruilope
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