Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The relationship between mothers and daughters crossing the prison walls is transferred to words and images

  • Nekane Txapartegi, the Swiss jail and her outsider daughter, sends love messages in a thousand ways. This is the story that the book Zenbat has collected from the editorial Txalaparta, in the words of Iraitz Lizarraga and illustrations by Izaro Lizarraga. In the account of the struggles of the immediate past, they want to put their grain to the void, in a female voice: "I was stung as a Basque and a woman, and as more it hurt me, separated from my daughter and punished with communicating in Basque," says Txapartegi, in the hall of the City Hall of Asteasu. The presentation was made on April 23, Txapartegi's mother's day: "The relations between mothers and daughters are very diverse. He was waiting for us for a long time and it was he when we came back." He explains that the relationships, pains and solidarity they have experienced in fights are "always collective". Izaro Lizarraga said in the same line that "In this country there are many children who live the same situation, who do not have books. I've taken them into account when making the illustrations." The next presentation will take place on Thursday at 18:00 at the Plazida Otaño library in Zizurkil.
"Zenbat lo" album ilustratuaren aurkezpenean, apirilaren 23an Asteasun. Ezkerretik hasita, Iraitz Lizarraga (hitzak), Nekane Txapartegi eta Izaro Lizarraga (irudiak).

24 April 2024 - 09:11
Last updated: 11:05

Nekane Txapartegi was arrested in April 2016 in Swiss jail. "Then we became spectacular," he said, because until then he had explained to the daughter who was born in exile that they had "the life of the pirates." Also in the most raw situations he has claimed that "children should not be lying", that "ways to explain situations" should be sought and that children need "few words to understand": this illustrated album intends to be a tool to dialogue and reflect on different themes. The Swiss prison meant the separation of mothers and daughters who until then lived for 24 hours, and the book "How much" picks up that interval: from the time the mothers were separated from the daughters until they reunited.

"They're not in vain, they won't break our love," Nekane Txapartegi

The hall of the City was filled with people from different parts of Asteasu and Euskal Herria, and Nekane Txapartegi recognized the need to tell his daughter in the first letter he wrote from within the prison: "I have not abandoned you." The prison used motherhood as a punishment against her: "They told me that they would take their daughter home from orphans and the visits she had with her were with a crystal in the middle. Little is said about the struggle of women and they have also directly attacked our children, they are not collateral damage." She has denounced the existence of "social punishment" in society: "Mother in prison, bad mother, who has left her place".

Txapartegi was strictly incommunicado and remembers smiling that in that situation he had drawn artistic expressions he did not expect, remembering the letters, poems, images and comics he sent his daughter. These include the comic stories of a gang of pirates. He said this in a written letter to his daughter, "I'm going to write to the prison director saying he's in disuse, he's not going to get our love turned off."

Although the mother-daughter relationship is personal, Txapartegi has specified that "be collective": "There are many mothers and daughters, there are many pains. These are collective pains which must be given room without representing anyone. People don't do anything, we've all gone the way together. The relationship between the two and the daughter was maintained thanks to the solidarity network that emerged in both the Basque Country and Switzerland. I knew he was well cared for outside, without that it would be harder for me to stay inside." In fact, great solidarity emerged between Swiss society and the Free Nekane campaign was the central axis. "Free Nekane, yes, but mom free. You are also my mother", claimed her place in the collective struggle the daughter who was then 7 years old.

Izaro Lizarraga and Iraitz Lizarraga state that they were clear that the story "did not want to tell the victim from the position, that the two protagonists of the illustrated album would be active subjects".

On the right, microphone in the hand, Amaia Agirre. He sang verses and worked as a guide in his presentation.
Basque and German street

Amaia Agirre elegantly guided the presentation. Verso gave his opinion on the contribution of this book, and sang the moving collection of verses in the melody of the popular song of the child's food, Amaren bularra. The short readings of the book were heard with audio and a video showing the process of creating the illustrations. Aguirre asked the artists Lizarraga and Txapartegi, and one of them was why they brought him out in Basque and German?

Txapartegi said that his "tongue of mines" is the Basque and that making this book in Basque is a "political choice": "As a prisoner my language was politicized. If he wrote in Basque, the letter would arrive later, he had to constantly choose between the two conclusions." This illustrated album is also written in German because the story happens in Zurich and "there it lights up to recognize the movement," but in the words of Txapartegi, "not in German, but in German on the street that we used. We wanted to tell it in children's words. But I realized that the title, "How much, is a very Basque way, very difficult to translate into other languages."

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