By Humphrey Carter

THIS Summer a major arts and literature festival is going to be held in Deya to remember the village's golden age of art, poetry, prose and music.
The Deya Heydays festival is being organised by Oona Napier and Jackie Waldren whose late husband William founded the Deya Archaeological Museum, among many other things.

Oona, who like Jackie has lived in Deya for many years, said that the idea for a festival to revive the “spirit of Deya” came to her when her father died. “It's something he would have wanted and I think it's fitting,” she said this week.

While Deya's golden era flourished from 1960 to 1980, both feel that Deya has lost some of its essence and soul today and that it would be an interesting lesson for some of the village and the island's new residents to learn and experience what Deya was really like during its heyday. “When it was extremely hard for artists to make a living, when vanguard musicians, writers and artists, many struggling to make a living, used to congregate in the village from all over the world,” said Jackie Waldren.

Most of the original Deya group, including the great writer and poet Robert Graves who lived and died in the village, have now gone but their names, Jakov Lind, Fred Grunfeld, Claribel Alegria, William Waldren and Mati Klarwein, live on and the organisers believe that their era and its impact and influence on Majorca and the global arts scenes should be remembered and celebrated.

The festival is due to take place during the first two weeks of August and a preliminary programme of a wide variety of events has been drawn up. However, the organisers are still looking for extra help and funding and also items dating back to the golden era.

Napier and Waldren have managed to gather together a wide range of works of art, photographs, music, film, documentaries and writings by many of the Deya group and also artists, writers and poets who also passed through the village during the period and spent some time in Deya. “But, we're still searching both here in Majorca and overseas for people who were inspired to paint, write or compose during their sojourn in Deya to see if they will submit some of their work to one of many retrospective exhibitions we are organising,” said Napier. “We also have collated some old posters advertising Deya, postcards and other items like old Vespas etc. We plan to transform Deya, take it back to the 60's and many of the bars and restaurants have agreed to participate and serve the drinks and food enjoyed during that time... in Pesetas, so if you have any left, bring them along,” said Napier.

Concerts, poetry and prose reading, art and photography exhibitions, a street market, and an open air cinema screening films and documentaries about Deya are just some of the events being organised and leading writers and artists from all over the world will be attending and participating in this inaugural tribute to Deya's golden era and which, it is hoped, will be staged every two years.

The organisers have also launched a competition for local artists to design the logo for the festival. It should capture the feel and atmosphere and anyone wishing to enter has a month to submit their work to the organising committee.


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