Annual Manuel Irujo Lecture in Basque Studies

3:00pm - 4:00pm / Wednesday 20th March 2019 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 5, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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From Bilbao to Liverpool: A Basque sea captain’s journey through times of peace, conflict and exile.

With the recent commemorations in the Basque Country to mark events that occurred during the Spanish Civil War many stories are being told about the experiences of individual Basque people and the impact the conflict had on their lives.

This presentation will focus on the life of one such person, Joaquín de Eguia, a professional seafarer born in Bilbao in 1903 whose life was dramatically changed by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The talk will include the impact of the war on Captain de Eguia, his role as head of the Basque Navy in the defence of the newly formed Basque Autonomous Country, his struggle to preserve his Basque culture and identity and his life after the fall of Bilbao in June 1937. His exile took him to France, Ireland and eventually England where he also served in the defence of a country he later called home.

Unable to return to his native country after the war, his final destination was Liverpool: a melting pot of cultures with a long tradition of maritime history and a well-established community of Basques who had settled here over the years and where Joaquin would now form part of the Basque diaspora.

Biography on Miren de Eguia

Miren de Eguia was born in Liverpool to Basque parents who settled in England after the Spanish Civil War. After attending Liverpool University and graduating in 1979 she lived for a short time in Bilbao. She then returned to Liverpool and taught in the F.E. sector and subsequently at Liverpool John Moore’s University from where she has now retired. Her interests lie in minority languages and while she was working at LJMU she completed an M.Phil on the status of Basque and Sami. In 2014 Miren enrolled on a Basque language course at the University of Liverpool and studied Basque for three years in the department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Miren is currently collaborating on a book about the life of her father with Jesús Etxezarraga, a Basque language writer and retired journalist who has worked in press, radio and television in the Basque Country.

There will be time for discussion and refreshments available after the lecture.