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Our association was founded in 2004 by a group of artists and other people interested in contemporary art. It's based in Saint Jean Pied de Port, the capital of Lower Navarre in Basque Country and an important staging post on the pilgrims' route to Santiago de Compostela, organises exhibitions, painting courses and other artistic events and welcomes artists in residence, works with local authorities and schools to organise cultural events. It has no political affiliation or objective and devotes itself solely to cultural matters.

The president of the association is Hélène Larralde, an urban planning specialist. The vice-president is Colette Maitia, a former headmistress. The secretary of the association is artist and graphic designer iF Matxikote, its treasurer is journalist Nicholas Bray, and its lead coordinator is painter Josette Dacosta. Founding members also included painters Felix Anaut and Gonzalo Etxebarria, sculptor Iñaki Olazabal, print-maker Juan Luis Baroja Collet, music teacher Mañolo Espellet, and art historian Carey Good.

What is the meaning of Itzal aktiboa ?

The association's name means 'active shadow'. It comes from a poem (originally written in Spanish) by the Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza. The poem identifies 'shadow' as the active counterpart of light.

Argia argia baino ez zen
deusezetik
Jainkoak ilunpea sortzen du
eta gaueren ilunpetik
eguna jaiotzen da

eta argiaren egunean itzala jaiotzen da

ez baita argi gabezia negatiboa
ezen guretzat
itz.al izatearen ahalmena da
itzal aktiboa
argiaren presentzia bizia
gure betiereko itzuleraren teoria
itzaletik argira itzultzen gara
gauetik egunera
lurraren itzalean igotzen gara
zeruaren gauetan

From the nothing which was light
nothing but light
God created darkness
and from the darkness of night
is born the day
and in the day of light is born shadow
which is not the negative absence of light
since for us
shadow itz.al is the power of being
the active shadow
the living presence of light
theory of our eternal return
from the shadow we return to the light
from the night to the day
in the shadow of the earth we ascend
in the nights of the heavens

Jorge Oteiza: "Existe Dios al Noroeste".

Itzal Aktiboa, Zitadelaren karrika, 22 - 64220 DONIBANE GARAZI - +33 6 71 00 57 23

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