Se llama Jasmine SallayCarrington, es de Vancouver y está haciendo un apasionante viaje por Europa que, pasando por Islandia, le ha llevado a tierras vascas. Resulta curioso pensar que esta joven poeta ha realizado el viaje que durante siglos hicieron los vascos y el euskera, pero en sentido contrario: de Canadá a Euskadi, pasando por Islandia. Es verdad que vive en el otro extremo de Canadá, muy alejada de las costas de Labrador que es donde, durante siglos, los vascos convivieron con los habitantes originarios de esa parte del continente americano . Pero curiosamente, en una ciudad donde existe uno de los Centros vascos en Canadá, el Centro Vasco Zazpiak Bat.

Jasmine ha pasado por Pamplona a principios de julio, y desde allí ha realizado visitas a diferentes puntos del País del que Pamplona, Iruña, debería capital (si la historia, las invasiones y esa extraordinaria capacidad de los vascos de sentirse “independientes hasta de ellos mismos”, no habría llevado a esta nación a su triste situación actual). De allí  se ha desplazado para visitar Biarritz, Donostia y Bilbao.

Una joven exploradora, fotógrafa y poetisa canadiense, en "El País de los Vascos"
Nos ha costado mucho escoger una fotografía de las que ha realizado Jasmine Sallay Carrington en su viaje por Euskadi. Al final, nos hemos decidido por esta que nos ha parecido que refleja el espíritu de su visita

De esas visitan han quedado unos magníficos textos y unas extraordinarias fotografías. Luego, ha seguido su recorrido a lo largo de Europa, sin darse cuenta, seguramente, de que había abandonado la tierra donde siguen viviendo los descendientes de los “europeos originarios”.

The Pieces of life – 1/7/2014 – Canadá

Cafe Iruña

Stepping from between the streets of the old town in Pamplona, you emerge onto the Plaza del Castillo. In and around this area, the buildings had a particularly strong historic power. I glanced into a shuttered window, a black railed balcony and narrow buildings squished into colourful lines. I could see long dresses and fancy hats, music and dancing. I really didn’t know what era I was looking at, or what date was pulling at my fingertips, but I let it pull me in. Pamplona’s power to seduce has been carried and strengthened by its people and the traditions that they have upheld. Lining the streets and cafe walls are pictures of historic events, as well as coloured copies of the black and a white originals. Wait! Actually… That second picture was taken last year!

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The Pieces of life – 12/7/2014 – Canadá

Pamplona part 1

Over the past couple of weeks I have circled around Pamplona, stopping in 4 different cities. With stays that were short and sweet, the memory of each city is a rich, warm flash of experience. I realize now that my impressions of each place are but a response to how much of myself I chose to give. With nothing to hold on to, nothing to grasp and lead and mold, there is nothing new to create. It’s hard to give yourself to a person, to trust them and expose yourself, and for me, giving myself to a place is just as challenging. During the last leg of my trip I didn’t have to take on this challenge alone. Olivia, Liz and I helped each other to unlock pieces of ourselves and allow for rounded experiences. Acknowledging, appreciating and utilizing each other’s strengths was key in our travels together, but I can feel those experiences drifting away in the absence of adequate time to reflect. Not still fresh on my skin, the air and the sounds, the tastes and textures of each place linger only in the pictures that I’ve managed to snap. So let me begin in Pamplona.

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The Pieces of life – 16/7/2014 – Canadá

Fairy Tales

The rhythm of time is relentless. It’s knees do not weaken in the face of beauty and it’s mission is not to externalize. Every stroke, each tick and tock adds wear to what used to be. This is the destructive path that winds towards modernity. In Biarritz, there are places where time has no power. Such places are rare, but here you can count them on two hands. Shining wax across a page, each wash of time is repelled while colour and texture hold strong. Time controls everything that was born of this world, it warps the places that sit in the confines of history. Branded as ancient, this areas are free realms for ghosts to wander. In Biarritz, look for the places that are controlled only by belief. They play a part in History, but they cannot house the dead. These are places of fairy Tales, marked eternal by the magic of story and dream.

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The Pieces of life – 16/7/2014 – Canadá

Biarritz – Gallery

Biarritz – a place of fairy tales

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The Pieces of life – 16/7/2014 – Canadá

Bilbao

Bilbao-a city with curves. Nothing sexy, nothing feminine, but a mesh of glass and brick. Rounded streets of the old town mimic a curved ravine. The guggenheim flows with the roundness of a spaceship and juts like the jagged edges of crumpled paper. New age takes from the old while original structures seem to mimic a historic ideal of the future. This concept stood out while I watched Metropolis – a film about a futuristic city, filmed in 1929. Metropolis uses metallic hints and rounded shapes to emulate robotic forms and new age technology while still having the feel of something grounded in time. Both film and city have similar shape and material sprouting from their historic roots and both are somehow interchangeable I my mind. So cool!

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The Pieces of life – 18/7/2014 – Canadá

San Fermin

On July 6th and 7th I celebrated the first two days of San Fermin – a festival held in Pamplona’s old town. Elevated by the hospitality of three beautiful sisters, Liz, Olivia and I experienced one incredible event after another. You have to be fashioned in white and red for the festival, but anyone who takes part in the first day will learn that their pearly tunics and bleached shorts are doomed for a future of muted red. On that first morning we giggled and ran away playfully when someone sprayed Sangria on us, only to have the equivalent of a vat of sweet wine dumped over our heads. My clothing will never look or smell the same.

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The Pieces of life – 18/7/2014 – Canadá

A day in San Sebastián

Upon arrival, I was swept up in the city. San Sebastian’s Basque culture was familiar after out trip to Bilbao. The pxintos, old town, and inviting local energy drew us in. The city stood out as being very clean, bright, and beautiful, but my senses may have been swayed by the scent of ocean air. It sparked something within me and I could feel the smiles spreading across my senses, leaving a grin that refused to shake.

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