Sonia

TINDOUF_EN

The desert has gone a long way in its love of the sun. And so it has been burned.

A sordid, cruel conflict lies beyond the dunes.

Thirty years in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a bleak terrain, waiting for what is there is to be returned to them the land they yearn for, where they will finally be able to rest.

The Saharawis are the native population of the Western Sahara. There are approximately 250,000 of them, 155,000 of whom live in the Tinduf refugee camps.

The temperature in the summer exceeds 50ºC in the shade and in winter, the cold hits freezing. Only thanks to their solidly organised structure and their great solidarity, so characteristic of these people, were they able to build an organised society in this desert.

The Saharawis tell their stories through song, the spoken word, drawings and paintings which perpetuate their traditions and their history among younger members.

 

The Saharawis.

The Saharawis are the native population of the Western Sahara. There are approximately 250,000 of them, 155,000 of whom live in the Tinduf refugee camps.

The temperature in the summer exceeds 50ºC in the shade and in winter, the cold hits freezing. Only thanks to their solidly organised structure and their great solidarity, so characteristic of these people, were they able to build an organised society in this desert.

The Saharawis tell their stories through song, the spoken word, drawings and paintings which perpetuate their traditions and their history among younger members.

The birth of the Saharawi State is a cultural fact of historical dimensions in that it means that Saharawi cultural and spiritual values have been rescued and returned to their rightful owners and creators: the Sahar awis.

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Mongolia_EN

A man without a horse is like a bird without wings.

The sound of a people in motion.

Mongolia is somewhere this project has to visit, the quintessential nomadic country.

Mongolian wisdom pays attention to the earth’s cycles and will make us see the green steppes surrounding the chaotic Ulan Bator in a new light.

Mongolia is the country with the lowest population density in the world, A country on horseback, the ultimate nomadic country.

Ulan Bator means «red hero»; a relic from its Soviet days. The city is an exaltation of concrete, but turns out to be quite pleasant. We see a clean, modern, urban city, a vision to break the clichés. The outskirts are a mass of gergs. The outskirts are where the families of those from the countryside live, having arrived in the city defeated by the dzud: an extremely cold winter.

But half of the population is still nomadic. We reach the heart of the steppe by jeep. An almost uninhabited, green, desert landscape. The plains and then the horizon. An overwhelming, cyclical landscape. The horizon and then the plains. Time and landscape here are cyclical. We meet the horse farmers. We play the txalaparta for them and then we leave.

 

Mongolia 

The Mongols live on the huge central steppes, in the south of the Gobi desert or in the boreal woods and the mountains in the north of Mongolia. They withstand one of the harshest climates in the world. In the winter, temperatures reach 50ºC below freezing and in the summer, the thermometer rises to 40ºC above. Nomadic farmers and hunters, their lives centre around sheep, horse and camel breeding.

Mongolia is a true example of man’s ability to adapt. It is a constant test of his ingenuity and intelligence. It is an unceasing struggle against a hostile environment, which leaves no room for error.

To speak of the Mongols is to speak of horse riders. There are an estimated eight million horses in Mongolia. although small, they are the toughest horses in the world. The Mongols are the archetype of nomadic warriors: born on horseback, untiring, cunning and, above, effective.

The Mongol nomads, always on the move with their herds, do not just wander. Nomads move in an exact, precise direction: towards other pastures, towards another well or spring. Their territory is not a void, but rather a detailed map which clearly shows the routes to follow each season of the year.

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MOROCCO

Many are forced to leave their home and risk their lives on fishing boats crossing over to Europe, becoming nomads by necessity.

From time to time, behind the heat devoured by the light, we wee Bedouins wandering over the dunes surrounded by brown tents with their herds in the middle.

The Sahara is a conglomerate of nomadic peoples: Tuaregs, Berbers, Saharawis and Nawjas, tirelessly wandering through these arid lands. Since time immemorial, generation after generation, the survival of those who travel taking all their possessions with them has been a hymn to the endeavour and the triumph of men who, having found fire, still live in search of water.

Further south, we reach Merzouga, where the Nawja nomads live. Algiers is 30 km away, but the land is mined. A sordid, cruel conflict lies beyond the dunes.

Tindouf. The Saharawi refugee camp. A desolate, Dantesque place, like all refugee camps. The nomads, banished, are forced to live here. It is the desert in its crudest state. There are no beautiful sand dunes, only rocks, wasteland and desperation.

 

Berbers. 

Isolated on Morocco’s High Atlas, the Berbers who live in the mountains are proud of having maintained their own language and traditional culture.

For a long time, the Berbers were nomadic tribes and some groups still wander through the mountains, but most gradually settled down.

The word “berber” comes from the Latin “barbarus”. The pejorative meaning of the term “berber” has led some to use their own word, “amazigh” (free man).

 Their economy is mainly based on livestock and agriculture. They rely on transhumance and make carpets and tapestries which they sell at regular markets and regional festivals.

 

 

Berbereak.

Marokoko Atlas Handia mendikatean isolaturik, mendian bizi diren berbereak beraien hizkuntza eta kultura tradizionala mantendu dituztelako harro daude.

Berbereak tribu nomadak izan ziren denbora luzez, baina, egun, mendiko talderen batek nomada izaten jarraitzen badu ere, gehienak gutxi eta gutxi sedentario bihurtu dira.

“Berbere” hitza latineko “barbarus” hitzaren eratorritakoa da. “Berbere” terminoak duen mesprezu kutsua dela eta, pertsona batzuk nahiago dute bertakoen terminoa erabili: “amazigh” (gizon askea).

 Beraien ekonomia artzaintzan eta nekazaritzan oinarritzen da batez ere, transhumanteak izan ohi dira, eta aldizkako merkatuetan eta eskualdeetako jaietan saltzen jartzen dituzten alfonbra eta tapizak egiten dituzte.

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País Sami_EN

The Sami Country is a territory which does not feature on maps.

This is a more intimate journey than the one we did in India.

The scenery is minimalist, the only raw material is ice, the acoustics are also special;

We form part of a tough environment which has marked Sami culture for centuries and now affects Nömadak Tx. Six thousand years of nomadism cannot be forgotten easily.

“Change is the essence of the world, something which does not change is dead”

Permanence and change are like life and death, one cannot exist without the other. Change within permanence is a recurring theme of all journeys, in villages, in the landscape, in culture and in ways of life.

Lapland is a territory which does not feature on maps. It covers lands in the north of Scandinavia shared out between four states: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. We zigzag over the borders of these states, jumping from one to another.

In Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, we arrive at the Ice Hotel, where we make txalaparta out of ice. A txalaparta which belongs to its place of origin like no other instrument we have made on our travels. The change of state of water into ice makes for an instrument which only survives in these latitudes. As we learnt in India, we give back to earth what belongs to it. And to the lake, what belongs to the lake.

The vast landscape widens the horizon of our instrument. To meet the Sami, the reindeer farmers, we ski along the Kungsleden, the Royal Road, at 30 degrees below zero. And so we reach Kautokeino, the most populated Sami settlement in Lapland.

 

The Sami peoples

The Sami are one of Europe’s few remaining indigenous peoples. Proud of their past, they continue to display their identity before XXI-century travellers. They live in the north of the Scandinavian peninsula between Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and are traditionally a nomadic people.

Although no longer nomads, nut the inhabitants of small villages, today as in the past, the Sami conserve a way of life which respects the nature which spreads in vast stretches above the Artic Circle.

Their traditions pay homage to their history, maintained through the oral tradition, singing without accompaniment their “joik”, songs which narrate their memory and legends, around a fire. Songs which do not appear to have a beginning or an end, but whose monotonous cadence is hard to forget.

Although there are still issues to be solved concerning the rights of the Sami peoples over the natural resources of Lapland, they now enjoy a certain degree of official recognition and the Sami language and culture are taught at several Scandinavian universities.

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India_EN

India is the course of a river which awakens the senses

“…When Bagu sings, light flood the movements and faces of his brothers and sisters, by the time we have our say and take over the discourse, night has fallen over India. We bring light to the darkness. Rhythms marry, they become one.”

Nomadak Tx is a journey of encounters with others and with ourselves through the txalaparta. The journey is a path and India is the course of a river which awakens the senses.

In Bombay, we discovered a magical place, the washing place. The sun beats down and steals the strength of the men who work there. Amidst the clothes and the water, a beat, the sound of clothes being beaten. A damp, multiple, hollowed, at times flat sound.

We arrived by train in the heart of the Indian state of Gujerat. There we found a fronton (Basque pelota court) built by a missionary from Navarra. The adivasis, an accursed, alienated people, live in a rural area apart from the rest of the world. They are the casteless and we play a game of pelota with them. They teach us a lesson, in pelota and life. The smile of the poor man, of the extremely poor makes us poor, speaks to us of renunciation.

With them, we discover the sonority of India’s sacred wood.

Ahmedabad is a large, chaotic, crowded city. Night and day, because it never rests. A night ride by taxi shows us people sleeping in the streets, people on the lookout, walking, carrying burdens, looking.

Ahmedabad is home to the recording studio and the theatre. We manage, with no little difficulty, to unite the rhythms which we have brought with us on our txalaparta which those we have found along the age-old course of Indian culture. The studio is an austere, white space. The theatre is large and comfortable on the banks of a huge river.

The adivasis

The adivasis live in the most isolated parts of India. The caste system denies them health, education and the ownership of lands to farm.

They are approximately 8% of the Indian population.

The adivasis’ wealth of cultural traditions is replete with myths and legends which have been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. The adivasis do not worship supernatural deities.

Although education and other features of the developed world are gradually reaching them, the survival of the adivasis and their way of life is currently under serious threat.

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