Onintza Enbeita, bertsolari and journalist.
Different disciplines will come together to work on the Humanity at Music project. Among them, bertsos, these live examples of the age-old Basque tradition of improvised verses to be sung solo, will have a special place at the table. Onintza Enbeita, besides singing bertsos herself, has coordinated the participation of all the bertsolaris (bertso singers).
What does the Humanity at Music project mean to you?
It’s an effort to express the values of the cooperative movement through art. We’re very happy that the project is making room for bertsos. Words are effective tools to pass on values and the bertsolari world, working with Bertsozale Elkartea (the Bertso Supporters’ Society), has created and passed on values that are useful in any work environment.
As a cornerstone of Basque culture, what importance do bertsos have in the project?
The cooperative movement has been prominent in the industrial fabric of the Basque Country, and if it is going to be honored or an effort is being made to open it up to the world, bertsos need to be part of that effort. The bertso tradition, like the cooperatives, is one of our distinguishing characteristics as we open up to the world.
What have you tried to communicate?
Values. Working in cooperation is the foundation of the cooperatives, as it is in singing bertsos. The promoters of the project gave us the themes, but many of the values they reflect are important in our work too.
Effort is being put into the participative nature of the project. What would you say to cooperative members to encourage them to participate?
If they believe in what they’re doing, then it’s worth the effort to promote the idea. It helps all of us to show others what we do through different means of expression.
The book, a treasure to save and to give
As Maite Mutuberria, the project’s illustrator, says, the book is like a treasure, to be read unhurriedly, to be kept forever. It brings together the past, present and future of the Basque cooperative movement, but above all, it’s an inspiring work of art. A book that belongs in the home of anyone who has experienced the cooperative movement from the inside.