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2012, year of Unamuno


2012, year of  Unamuno

If you are coming to the city this summer, why not enjoy some of the activities being organised as part of the Year of Unamuno celebrations. The city wanted to pay homage to Miguel de Unamuno (Don Miguel) on this, the 75th anniversary of his death, with a special cultural calendar focusing on the former Vice-chancellor of the University. His life and experiences can be discovered through theatrical productions as part of the Real Life and Fiction (Vidas y Ficciones) series as well as dramatised/theatrical tours that take visitors to the Rectory House, the University where he was the Vice-chancellor, Plaza Mayor ...


The first of the scheduled activities is an exhibition that was opened on 31 December, the date of his death, in the hallways of the City Hall. Through a series of photographs, visitors will be able to see how sculptor,  Oscar Alvariño, was able to make his Miguel de Unamuno Medallion. The exhibition is open for the whole of 2012.

This year Día del Libro (Book Day), which is traditionally held on 23 April, celebrates the life of Unamuno, with posters, bookmarks as well as a commemorative stamp in tribute to this writer. Participating bookshops will focus on disseminating the works of Unamuno and encourage people to read them.

The XXXII Municipal Book Fair also pays tribute with a series of seminars and lectures for readers that portray the life and work of Unamuno, the writer. There will also be lectures and the Municipal Library will be hosting a display of books and manuscripts by Unamuno from its collection to promote the work of this Basque writer. Lastly, a guide to his books and writings are also scheduled to be published.

The Castile-and Leon Institute of Language will hold a lecture at the Liceo Theatre entitled Unamuno visto desde el exilio” (Unamuno, as seen from exile), which deals with the life of this great thinker from the prospective of writers who had to go into exile following the Spanish Civil War. Some of these writers re-edited the works of Unamuno from exile.

El encuentro de poetas iberoamericanos (Assembly of Latin American Writers) which this year is in its XV edition also pays tribute to Don Miguel. The Salamanca Letra Contemporánea writers group will focus its activities on the work of Unamuno.

There is also going to be a “Mi carta a Unamuno” competition making reference to the famous letters wrriten by the author; and a story writing competition  aimed at students from all schools in Salamanca so that younger children can learn about the life and work of Unamuno.

The Municipal Library hosts a reading club on the work of Don Miguel. Also being organised is an Intergenerational Workshop for families based on letters and texts by Unamuno which give an insight into the history of the city.

El cielo de Salamanca” (Salamanca Sky), an activity involving Salamanca poets that this year pays tribute to Miguel de Unamuno.


Theatre, exhibitions, film, music and papiroflexology

            The Salamanca City of Culture and Learning Foundation will co-produce a performance of one of the works by Miguel de Unamuno “Niebla” (Fog) and a theatrical adaptation of “Fedra”. Both will have their premiere at the Liceo Theatre.

            The Santo Domingo Gallery will be hosting an exhibition entitled “Miguel de Unamuno. A photographic portrait”, in collaboration with the Regional Film Archives.

            At the Santa Cecilia Concert next year, the City of Salamanca Symphony Youth Orchestra will be performing a piece by composer, Joaquín Rodrigo, entitled “Música para un códice salmantino” (Music for a Salamanca Codex), which was written in 1953 about the first seven and the final three verses  of Unamuno’s Ode to Salamanca.

Zafra Folk” has created musical adaptations of 17 sonnets written by Unamuno during the time that he was exiled to the island of Fuerteventura and these will be performed on 31 March at the Liceo Theatre.

            One of Unamuno’s most renowned hobbies was papiroflexy, something that he penned “cocotología”. A series of papiroflexology workshops have been organised, structured around the most renowned creations of Don Miguel, the bird, the star, the tea cup and the owl, catering to both young and old and teaching them about this interesting pastime. Then there is the Street Art Festival, which will include a performance by Pep Gómez, a specialist in papiroflexology, who will give a number of performances where the true star of the show is the papiroflexology itself.

            In collaboration with the Regional Film Archives, a film series will also be organised during the final quarter of the year which will include films such as “La Tía Tula” (Aunt Tula), “Nada menos que todo un hombre” (Nothing less than a real man), “Las cuatro novias de Augusto Pérez” (The four brides of Augusto Pérez) and “Acto de posesión” (Possessed). There will also be a number of documentaries about Unamuno such as “El sentimiento trágico de la vida” (The tragedy of life) and “La soledad de un agitador” (Loneliness of an agitator).

            A new documentary about Miguel de Unamuno will also be released, in collaboration with the Castile-and-Léon Broadcasting Corporation.


The “Plazas y patios” (Squares and courtyards) programme will include a number of activities in honour of Unamuno


The “Plazas y patios” programme, which is held during the summer months, includes a number of activities that pay homage to Unamuno, such as a theatrical adaptation of “Abel Sánchez” by the La Chana Theatre group; a dramatised/theatrical walk between Beatriz Galindo (La Latina) and Don Miguel; a dramatised/theatrical tour introducing visitors to the different parts of the cities that have ties to Unamuno (the University’s historical building, the Unamuno House Museum, the actual house he lived in, the medallion in the Plaza Mayor and the City Hall). Music and poetry written by Unamuno will fill the Escuelas and Salina Courtyards, as well as the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea gardens and the courtyard of the Casa de las Conchas during the summer months.


Involvement and participation of Salamanca residents

The City Hall wants this to a be a celebration that involves all Salamancans. In the papirofelxology workshops; in the intergenerational workshops structured around letters and texts that concern the daily life Unamuno, through the “Mi carta a Unamuno” (My letter to Unamuno) competition.

And through the use of new technologies, events such as “Unamuno en 140 caracteres” (Unamuno in 140 characters),a profile on Twitter that will notify people of the programme of activities to mark “Año de Unamuno” and where anyone wishing to take part can simply send in their favourite quote, dedication, thought or suggestion.

There will also be a special edition of a game based on observations called “Salamanca en detalles” (Salamanca in detail) consisting of a specially designed route around the city, featuring many of the architectural details and main monuments that have ties to this great writer.

The “Las llaves de la ciudad” (Keys to the City) programme includes a guided tour of the Unamuno House & Museum and it will be Don Miguel himself, who for so many years was the Vice-chancellor of the city’s beloved University, who will be presenting it.

“2012. Year of Unamuno” will be a moment to reflect on one of the most influential people from the city’s recent history. The poet, playwright, novelist, philosopher and essayist. Salamanca City Hall will be working in collaboration with the following institutions to make all these events possible: the University of Salamanca, the Provincial Council, the Castile-and-Leon Language Institute and the Regional Government of Castile-and-Leon.

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