Last year, with photographers of different ages, nationalities and aesthetics, we explored the subject of Dreams, which can also turn into nightmares. This edition of GETXOPHOTO coincided with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s renowned speech in Washington on 28 August 1963, and the words I have a dream.
We know what that dream of equality, of the eradication of discrimination and of hope for the future meant and continues to represent for North American society and, moreover, for everyone in the world who yearns for greater justice and equality. It was a dream that was tied to struggle. A struggle for what the Americans called civil rights, human rights. This worldwide fight took the form of demonstrations demanding autonomy or independence, improvements in living conditions, respect for dignity, the end of exploitation or equal opportunities in access to educations. It’s a long and perhaps endless list, because today, too, maybe more than yesterday or in more internationalized, more globalized ways, there continues to be inequality in the world.
In the 20th century, when photography triumphed as historic documentation or as a repository of the memory of circumstances and actions, the imagery of these struggles was forged. The images are not mere documents; they reflect, often through a heroization of the protagonists, the ideologies they are rooted in. It is disturbing to see in images how close is the visual resemblance between a worker in the USSR and a peasant in Mussolini’s Italy, or the proximity of the bodies of miners or workers from the Soviet steelworks to the nudist adulation of German youth during the years of the rise of Nazism. All this visual historiography, which runs through the century of the two devastating world wars, of the camps of the final solution, the ensuing genocides, the collapse of entire sectors of industry, the concentration of the population in the cities and the relative desertification of the countryside, among many other things, was recorded by photography and fundamentally disseminated by the press.
The world has still not improved, but the conditions and modalities of image production have changed. The rapid circulation of pixels on the Internet and the immediacy of the transmission of information, sound and movement have left their mark on the role of photo-journalism, although the sources are often impossible to discern, and their reliability is increasingly shaky. But we are in the era of the image.
And this is the context in which we approach the question of struggles. On one hand, those that take place on the ground—often interrelated— for peace, independence, freedom, health, education, life; and against violence, destructive contamination and humiliation without limit. But then there are the decisions taken by some photographers to join a fight-back or place themselves on the side of those who are in the thick of it, from their homes and in all parts of the world. The geographical origins of photographers are as international as they always were, and their aesthetic proposals are becoming ever more heterogeneous: encompassing strict documentary photography and symbolic staging, colour and black and white, snapshots or pictures that are skilfully lit and deftly composed, employing textual resources, with recognizable mechanisms and producers of meaning… So we are now faced with a panorama of photographic practices that stretch from the use of archives to amateur images, taking in satellite image recovery on the way.
If —and we in no way claim to be exhaustive here— we evoke current situations, it would be illusory to ignore the millenarian and original reality of struggle. It begins with the instinct for survival, which naturally translates into a fight to the death and for the subsistence of species. Mak Remissa illustrates the Cambodian proverb «When the water rises the fish eat the ants; when the water falls the ants eat the fish», taking us splendidly close to that reality. When we observe this situation in the animal world and learn the lesson therein contained, we night expect humankind to do everything in its power to avoid destructive discord and, well, become more sensible than the ants and the fish. Best not hold our breath though.
About Christian Caujolle
GETXOPHOTO is a thematic festival that sees a change of curator at the end of each three year period. For the first three editions, the independent Madrid-based curator Alejandro Castellote was in charge of the programme. He was followed by the young boundary-breaking Catalan Frank Kalero, and the torch was taken up in this seventh edition by the world-acclaimed French curator Christian Caujolle. A recognised critic and eminent curator, Caujolle has made an enormous contribution to the world of photography. He collaborated with and was a pupil of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and Roland Barthes. He was the graphics editor of Libération, founder of the Agence VU´, artistic director of Les Rencontres d´Arles and curated international festivals such as the Foto Biennale in Rotterdam and PhotoEspaña.
Since 1983 he has organised several exhibitions and edited monographs on artists including Jacques Henri Lartigue, William Klein, Anders Petersen, Raymond Depardon, Michael Ackerman and Cristina García Rodero. Caujolle has participated in workshops and conferences in many countries in Europe and Asia and served as a jury member for World Press Photo and other prestigious international competitions. Currently he is the director of PhotoPhnomPenh in Cambodia and in 2013 he took over as curator of GETXOPHOTO Photography Festival.Authors 2014Gallery 2014Activities 2014Book 2014
On sale at our online shopWORK: Workshop
Walter Astrada: The methodology of a graphic report
This workshop provided a general view of the different ways in which a graphic report can be approached. It allowed participants get into a discussion about the right ways to create a story. Through some examples, extracted from his own work, Walter shared advices and techniques to improve the production of reports, their edition and the distribution of the project. Participants addressed those questions that we all have had in mind at some point: How to gain new assignments? How to approach personal jobs, or those for media or agencies? How to work as a freelance in a country in conflict? How to organize our archive? How to sell the photographs?
The workshop based, fundamentally, on his long-term work about violence against women.
Walter Astrada was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1974. He started his career as a photographer in the newspaper La Nación. After a training trip through South America, he joined The Press Association of Bolivia; later he joined the ones in Argentina, Paraguay and Dominican Republic. From March 2005 till March 2006 Walter worked as a freelance for France Presse in Dominican Republic and he was represented and distributed by World Picture News.
Later, he moved to Spain, where he lives nowadays. He is currently working on a long-term project about the violence against women and the Under Pressure Project, about the multiple sclerosis in Europe. Among others, he has been awarded with World Press Photo and he is a member of his training team. His images have been published all over the world, in publications like El Tiempo, The New York Times, Newsweek, Le Figaro Magazine, Le Monde, The New York Times, GEO and Stern, among others.Lock-in Vol.4
Lock-in is a format that reviews and challenges the conventional uses and consumption of photography. It lasts one day, packed with informal talks and dialogues, including lunch. Friendly atmosphere. At a remote place, so there is no easy escape for speakers or for attendees!
9:30 – 10:00
10:00 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 11:45 am
Culture and Economics. Two worlds frecuently too distant
Verónica Fieiras (photographer and editor)
Roberto Gómez de la Iglesia (economist and arts manager)
Jon Uriarte (photographer and critic)
11:45 – 12:00
12:00 – 1:00 pm
From touchable to untouchable
From collecting to new narratives
Enrique Ordóñez (Ordóñez Foundation’s president)
Mónica Allende (graphic editor and curator)
Jokin Aspurur (director and curator of GETXOPHOTO)
1:30pm – 4:00 pm
lunch, coffee and transfer
4:00pm – 5:30 pm
A giant who gobbles down us?
Rosalind Williams (curator)
Jon Uriarte (photographer and critic)
5:45pm – 7:15 pm
Photography and movement get married
To a new cross sectional language
Albert Corbí (photographer and image theorist)
Koldo Almandoz (filmmaker)
7:15pm – 8:00 pm
Beers, aperitif, family picture
**Introduces: Jon Uriarte