Portsmouth Hispanic Society

Don Quixote, here of Spanish culture

¡Bienvenido!

The Portsmouth Hispanic Society offers presentations and discussions on a wide and eclectic range of Hispanic topics.

Something of interest to anyone interested in all aspects of Hispanic culture and life. We welcome visitors to any of our meetings.

The Aims of the Society

  • To further the understanding of all aspects of Hispanic culture and life
  • To provide a meeting point for those interested in the Hispanic world
  • To provide inexpensive tuition in the Spanish language at a range of levels

Society Activities

The main activities of the Society are Spanish language classes and the Monthly Meetings. The meetings are a social evening, with tapas, accompanied a presentation or demonstration followed by discussions.

One or two external social events are also held during the year.

Our Monthly Meetings are conducted in English. Some Spanish may be spoken but will be translated.

Non‐members are very welcome provided they are at least 18 years of age.

There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members to attend any meeting.

Next Meeting

Thu 9th Jun 2022
at 7pm, Fratton Community Centre

Presentation by Dr Deborah Shaw.

The Society is extremely lucky to be able to present a talk by Professor Deborah Shaw to its members. Deborah has spoken at many international conferences, and delivered keynote lectures in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Colombia. She has been an invited speaker at Universities in the UK, Spain, Brazil and the United States.


Dr Deborah Shaw is Professor of Film and Screen Studies at the University of Portsmouth, and Research Lead for the School of Film, Media and Communication. Her research interests include transnational film theory, Latin American cinema, and film and migration. She has published widely in these areas.

She is the founding co-editor of the Routledge journal Transnational Cinemas, and her books include:

  • Contemporary Latin American Cinema: Ten Key Films, (Continuum Publishers, 2003)
  • The Three Amigos: The Transnational Filmmaking of Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón, Manchester University Press (2013)
  • The Transnational Fantasies of Guillermo del Toro. Palgrave Macmillan, co-edited with Ann Davies and Dolores Tierney (2014)
  • Latin American Women Filmmakers: Production, Politics, Poetics, co-edited with Deborah Martin for the World Cinema Series with I.B.Tauris (2017).

In this presentation Deborah will deliver an overview of the work of the transnational Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón before focusing on his Mexican film Roma (2018).

Roma was released on Netflix to huge audiences for a Spanish language art film, winning multiple awards including academy awards for Best International Features, Directing, and Cinematographer, an Ariel award for Best Picture, and a Goya award for Best Ibero-American film, among many other awards.

Deborah will consider what is new about this film in the film industry in terms of a Mexican film in Spanish and Mixtec featured on such a high-profile global platform as Netflix whilst placing particular emphasis on how this Euro-Mexican middle-class director represents an Indigenous domestic servant based on his own nana (maid) and consider the many paradoxes that are presented through this power dynamic.

The evening's entertainment includes the usual light tapas buffet plus a short review of topical news from the Iberian peninsula, and perhaps beyond.

Non‐members are very welcome provided they are at least 18 years of age.

There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members to attend any meeting.

The society does not have a licence to sell alcohol so the provision of wine at such events is dependent on the generosity of members so please, if you can, bring a bottle to share with fellow attendees. The same applies to soft drinks!


Where we meet

Meetings are held at
The Fratton Community Centre
Trafalgar Place.
Off Clive Rd, Portsmouth
PO1 5JJ
at 7.00pm usually on the first Thursday of the month.
Click here for a MAP There is limited free parking. The Centre is twelve minutes walk from Fratton Railway station.
Busses 14 18 21 and 25 stop at St Mary's Church, about 2 minutes walk away.


Membership

Membership currently runs from September 2021 to August 2022

Current Subscription Rates

  • Adult - £12.00
  • Full-time students - £6.00 on production of a student card.
  • One Full Membership, one Student Membership - £18.00
  • Two Full Memberships - £24.00
  • Two Student Memberships - £12.00

Non‐members are very welcome provided they are at least 18 years of age.

There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members to attend any meeting.

You may apply to join the society by using our on-line form, which can be accessed via the drop-down menu.


Society News


Posted: 17th May 2022

Society Members Participate in Language Research Project

The society has been approached by University of York academic Angela de Bruin asking for members to participate in a Spanish-English bilingual language use and switching research project.

Angela is looking for Spanish-English bilinguals who would be interested in taking part in this study, which consists of several online language tasks and questionnaires as well as some recordings with a Spanish-English conversation partner of choice. People could take part from anywhere in the UK and would receive a £40 Amazon voucher.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Angela via email.

Please note that the society is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Click here to view Angela's academic profile

Click here to read more about the study


Posted: 11th May 2022

Tom and Ash

The society welcomed Tom and Ash to May's monthly event. Tom and Ash have been playing together since 2011 after meeting whilst studying music at Chichester University. They are well known in the locality, playing at many venues, restaurants and festivals.

The guitar duo delivered an astoundingly virtuoso set comprising a mixture of traditional Spanish, classical, jazz, contemporary, and original music. The set list comprised of cover versions including Diablo Rojo from Mexican duo Rob y Gab's 2006 album, Bésame Mucho by Consuelo Velázquez, and Manhã de Carnaval by Luiz Bonfá (written for the 1959 film Orfeo Negro), plus original material such as Ash's Song for Madelaine, dedicated to his wife, and Prelude and Dance (Prelude written by Tom, Dance written by Ash). When approaching cover versions the duo's style is to use the original structure as a base around which they improvise.


Tom and Ash are passionate about their music and ensured the audience were aware of each track's history and the techniques employed during the performance. The society recorded the evening's event and present a short video featuring a cover version of Tico-Tico no Fubá, originally by Zequinha de Abrue, and one of Tom and Ash's own compositions.

Tom and Ash delivered a memorable evening of guitar virtuosity. They play locally on a regular basis so do go along to see them. Their online presence encompasses:
Please note that the society is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Upcoming gigs can be found on their website and on facebook.


Posted: 1st May 2022

Hispanic Society Lunch 12th May 2022 - featuring guitar accompaniment by Andrew and Debra

After a prolonged absence due to Covid the society has planned a Spanish themed lunch at Nicholsons Tapas Restaurant, Southsea, on Thursday 12th May 2022.

We are also pleased to announce that Andrew and Debra will be giving a guitar recital. Many of you will have enjoyed Andrew Richardson's performances for us on Zoom during the Covid restrictions and he will be joined by Debra Adamson-Brattland, a member of the Vivace guitar trio who played at the March 2019 society meeting.

The event is open to members of the Society and their guests.

For further information email the Membership Secretary.


Posted: 1st May 2022

¡Español de paseo!

Un nuevo grupo de conversación - ¡pero con una diferencia!

As advertised another Spanish Walk was held on Thursday 28th April.

Attendees gathered once again by the Victorian fountain in front of Canoe Lake, Southsea, Hampshire. The leader of this excursion was Judith Worley. Her plan was to lead the group east from Canoe Lake to Lumps Fort, highlighting items of historical or cultural interest along the way. Diane Hiley, Chair of the society's committee, had prepared detailed notes in Spanish and English, which were handed out to the group.

Lumps Fort's history stretches back to the Tudor period. Originally a simple redoubt acting as a lookout across the Solent to prevent a beach landing east of Southsea Castle, Lumps Fort has been modified, redeveloped, and finally turned over to more peaceful means.

However, we should not forget the major role the fort has played as part of Britain's vital defenses since its creation.

The fort was reconstructed as part of the "Palmerstone's Follies" project (1859 - 1869) to protect Britain against French Invasion.

At the end of WWI Lumps Fort was abandoned as a military installation before being purchased by Portsmouth City Council in 1932 for public recreation. During WWII the fort returned to military duty as a training base for the Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment, later the Special Boat Service. In July 1942 the fort was used as the base for Operation Franklin, a daring raid on German shipping located in the Gironde Estuary, southern France.

After WWII the moat was filled in with bricks and rubble from bomb sites around Portsmouth and the Rose Gardens were planted in the parade ground, encircled by the remains of the fort. The western portion has become a Model Village. The Rose Gardens are planted with over forty varieties of roses. The periphery of the Rose Gardens' formal layout is bounded by pergolas, which are covered with wisteria and other trailing plants.

The aims of the society's Spanish Walks are to reveal aspects of local history, recent and ancient, and help students of Spanish conversation learn vital elements of grammar and language use in a light hearted and congenial atmosphere. Diane's provision of detailed notes in Spanish and English certainly underpinned the main aim of today's walk.

Many thanks to Judith for arranging the walk and to Diane for researching and compiling the accompanying notes. To view Diane's notes click on the buttons below.


Keep checking the website for the date, time, and location of the next Spanish Walk or contact Judith on judithworley@aol.com for more information.


Posted: 9th April 2022

A Vinous Tour of Spain.

The Portsmouth Hispanic Society's April meeting was a vinous tour of Spain hosted by Bob and Chrissy from Bush Vines, an independent wine merchant based near Emsworth, West Sussex. Bush Vines specialise in sustainably produced wines from smaller producers in Spain, England, Portugal, South Africa and New Zealand. However, their main focus is Spanish wines. Spain offers a terrific variety of grapes and styles. Bob and Chrissy source all their wines from smaller wineries, usually family-owned, that pay attention to detail in the vineyards as well as in the making of the wine.

This evening's tasting menu comprised of three white wines and four red wines from widely differing areas of the Spanish Peninsula. Before tasting began the geographical areas from which the wines were sourced was shown on a map. The regions included Galicia, Aragon, Rioja, La Mancha, and Valencia and Murcia. The effect of the geography, geology, and climate would become apparent as the tasting progressed. For example, Bodegas Altolandon is located in a mountainous region 135 kilometres west of Valencia. At a height of 11,000 metres the temperature fluctuates significantly during a 24 hour period. The vineyard's soil contains a significant proportion of large stones, which protect the vine's roots by absorbing heat during the day and warming the soil during the night.

With the geography lesson out of the way it was time to start tasting. Bob and Chrissy's passion for their subject was evident from the presentation that accompanied the tasting. They had visited each vineyard, could talk in detail about each location, the families that grew the grapes and produced the wines, their production values and methods, with supporting photographic evidence. The following section includes nuggets of interesting information from the evening.

Vines can be grown using one of two methods; trelllised and bush. The latter method allows the vines to grow naturally as a bush. Trellised vines produce more grapes but bush vines survive longer. The Merayo bodega's bush vines are 80 years old. Wines from the Aragon area, which is close to the French border, have a strong French influence. The Dominio de Puntum vineyard produces its wines using the Biodynamic method where viticultural activities are regulated by the lunar phases and the astrological calendar.

Bob and Chrissy discussed each wine, helping tasters to identify and enjoy its unique flavours and appreciate production methods. Bob related an amusing story where vineyard proprietors had taken Bob and Chrissy to a far flung area of their vineyard for an al fresco tasting only to discover that a corkscrew had not been packed!

For more information about biodynamic wine production visit the Biodynamic Association's website.

Visit Bush Vines' website by clicking here.

Please note that the society is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Bush Vines delivered a really enjoyable tasting experience by supplying an eclectic range of red and white wines produced by small family run wineries located in vastly differing regions of Spain. Feedback from our team of intrepid tasters has been overwhelmingly positive so thank you Bob and Chrissy.


Posted: 28th March 2022

¡Español de paseo!

Un nuevo grupo de conversación - ¡pero con una diferencia!

As advertised another Spanish Walk was held on Thursday 24th March.

Attendees gathered in the early spring sunshine by the Victorian fountain in front of Canoe Lake, Southsea, Hampshire. The leader of this excursion was Tony Spender, a longtime member of the society. His itinerary was to lead the group west from Canoe Lake to Southsea Rock Gardens highlighting items of historical or cultural interest along the way. Tony had prepared detailed notes in Spanish and English, which were handed out to the group.

After a short walk the first point of interest was a D-Day memorial sited just to the north of South Parade Pier. The memorial commemorates the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord, June 6th 1944. The actual memorial stone is an artefact retrieved from anti-submarine defenses constructed to protect Portsmouth Dockyard during WWII.

Tony then led the group the short distance to South Parade Pier. This historic building, constructed in 1878, has had a long and varied history. Twice destroyed by fire, once in 1904 and more recently in 1974 during filming of the Ken Russel film Tommy. In fact Tony, our guide, was working close by on that fateful day and witnessed the disaster unfold. He stood alongside Oliver Reed, watching the structure as it was engulfed in flames.

The walk continued along Clarence Esplanade to the Rock Gardens, taking in the glorious Victorian architecture of the seafront houses. The Rock Gardens comprise of 1.35 hectares of landscaped ornamental parkland with a rich horticultural diversity and history dating back to the 1920's.

The aims of the society's Spanish Walks are to reveal aspects of local history, recent and ancient, and help students of Spanish conversation learn vital elements of grammar and language use in a light hearted and congenial atmosphere. Tony's provision of detailed notes in Spanish and English certainly underpinned the main aim of today's walk.

Many thanks to Judith for arranging the walk and to Tony for researching the route, compiling the accompanying notes, and leading the group. To view Tony's notes click on the buttons below.


Keep checking the website for the date, time and location of the next Spanish Walk or contact Judith on judithworley@aol.com for more information.


Posted: 9th February 2022

Galician poet joins Spanish Literature Group on Zoom

The Spanish Literature Group were very pleased to be joined by Conchi da Silva, a Galician poet, at one of our recent zoom meetings.

We had found Conchi’s poems on the website of Paul Archer, a poet and translator. We were pleasantly surprised that Paul also joined us from Mallorca and discussed some of the issues in translating poetry.

Conchi’s poetry is both personal and universal. Her language is direct and her poetry very accessible. To quote Paul Archer: 'her poems are daring and dangerous, examining the vicissitudes of life with an unflinching honesty and inner strength.'

It was very interesting to be able to share some of the poems we had read and discuss our interpretations with the poet.

Click here to see author's notes and poem 'Vestidme de colores' from Conchi's book 'fisuras' in a new tab

Conchi’s book has recently been published and is available from her via info@shellyart.com

Paul is also a poet and his book is on his website paularcher.net
Please note that the society is not responsible for the content of external websites.

The society's Spanish Literature Group meets throughout the month either face to face or over Zoom. Click here for more information and joining instructions