The Asturian Issue

Vol. IX
Fall/Winter 2020-2021

Asturias provides its green landscape with the smell, and the sea with transcendent density. Its almost intact nature makes of Asturias a unique place to preserve traditions that fuse in the dawn of times and that have been transmitted almost intact until recent times.

Nowadays, the origin of its name keeps being a mystery. Nevertheless, according to Enrique Cabrejas, History of the Language researcher, Asturias, in the contemporary Spanish language, would mean “estuaries”, meaning “Sea’s arms”. It is an expression whose origin may be Iberian and of Hellenic ancestry. The term might have already been used since the Bronze Age and it is the result of combining the words “aster” and “rías” -estuary-. The towns belonging to the Cantabrian Ledge have always been resistant to any invasions.

It was because of its wild orography that Roman and Muslim people could not subdue the towns. Asturian people were widely known for being courageous. Not many written references have arrived to our days for the Roman people destroyed every source that may be previous to their arrival and one belonging to Geographica 1 .

The Cross of Victory

‘La cruz de Victoria’ is an impressive piece. Either because of its size or because of the care it offers in its forms. In goldsmithing it could be described at the levels of ‘early medieval goldsmith’. It is a gold cross with precious stones and its history is not less than its appearance: it was commissioned by King Alfonso III during the 10th century and a meaning is hidden in it. This cross can be read, it speaks to whoever has learned to handle the code with which it was devised. A language that is attributed to a symbolic code common to all religious goldsmithing of the time. A code that its creators used well in the High Middle Ages and that is common in all religious goldsmithing of the time. The specialists in pre-Romanesque art already affirm that it is not easy to read, and much less, for the eyes of contemporary humans. Nobody handles the continuous references to the Scriptures that appear when one learns to read the Cross, nor the correspondence of certain theological truths with certain numbers or colors. However, in it was inscribed a Latin text that said: “with this sign the pious is protected. With this sign the enemy is defeated ”. An inscription that is directly related to the victories won in wars, specifically when King Pelayo won the Battle of Covadonga. Hence it is called ‘La cruz de la Victoria ’. […]


Rodrigo Cuevas

Rodrigo Cuevas is much more than a multidisciplinary artist, he is a restless, unstoppable mind that defies logic and all the senses. This Asturian artist is revolutionising the national and international music scene with a reinterpretation of folklore and traditions most deeply rooted in the land with explosive, captivating mixtures and images.

In a post-confined world we sat down virtually to get to know this artist who has a lot to say.

Photo by Kristijan Vojinovic
Photo by Gloria Silva


Federico Granell

They turn on their heel sorrounded by a thick blue and gray haze, but they don’t leave aside the audience. The characters portrayed by Federico Granell (Asturias, 1974) become the indisputable protagonists of a film scene without having to face the viewer, creating a common thread distinguished by its introspection and meditation.

The painter, who has also experimented with sculpture and photography, prefers unknown corners, freeing himself from the worldly noise. Self-confessed lover of Rome, a key city in his pictorial education, the multidisciplinary artist claims the extraordinary wealth of the national heritage, recording its magnificence in his work. From making notes of his dreams until drawing songs, Federico goes directly to the canvas to recreate the scenes loaded with feeling, inviting the public to complete the piece individually. After having exhibited in France or the Dominican Republic, he turns his head to Cangas del Narcea (Asturias), the city where he was born, to place value on its incomparable artistic value.

The Asturian Issue

Vol. IX Fall/Winter 2020-2021