Few things attract more attention to this little country of ours than its ability to attract international attention. This constant feature throughout its history has allowed a small community settled in a poor land (save for a few years of iron extraction), to have an influence and a visibility far beyond what the logic of figures and its population would suggest.
The world’s opinion about us is a combination of curiosity, contempt, sympathy, antipathy, confusion, complicity, fear, admiration, stereotypes, ignorance or prejudice. I imagine the same applies to how any society feels in terms of the perceptions and comments of “others” on “us”.
But in the case of the Basques, there are a number of issues that make us “special”: The existence of a national identity predicated on the existence of a society and a language whose history is lost in the mists of time; a “conflict” that extends for more than 150 years and that, over the last 20 has acquired dramatic dimensions; its straddling of two nation states that, in different but very categorical ways, deny its existence or its right to self-determination; the will of a significant part of Basques to decide their future; their ability to create a highly-developed society, capable of transforming a territory lacking in resources (besides training and proactivity) into an international benchmark in economic and industrial terms; a disproportionate influence on the history of many places around the world in relation to size of the Basque population of the time…
All these elements attract significant media coverage. This small territory located on the sides of the Pyrenees is talked about across the world; but often what is written is so far from the actual reality that it and it seems that they refer only of different reality, but to a different world.
This blog will speak little of its own accord (Note: Ultimately, I could not help but accompany posts and links with some personal commentary on the issue, which I hope you will excuse). Rather, it aims to present the world’s view on the Basques; its goal is to gather information on how the international media describes the reality of our country. This point of departure for this blog is its author’s conviction that Basques themselves (individuals, institutions and companies) are not aware that the world speaks so much about “us”. Also, the information conveyed is not always firsthand, but filtered through the lens of the mass media, Spanish and French news agencies, or information provided by the governments themselves. Not to mention the preconceptions that most of the journalists who come to the Basque Country to get to know it “first hand” bring.
In this blog, the presence of “Spanish” and “French” media speaking of the territories under their state governments will be residual, for the simple reason that we are not interested in it. The reason is that we think that the comments and “information” on certain Basque issues published by many media outlets in the Kingdom of Spain or in the French Republic call for a deep psychological analysis of their authors.