Colita's posthumous exhibition recovers her pictures from an iconic e book of feminism within the Transition | Culture | EUROtoday

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Barcelona, ​​1974. Two neighbors meet on the bakery.

—Hey, you will have a variety of photographs of ladies, proper?

-Many! My archive is stuffed with photographs of ladies. I all the time take a look at them.

—And why don't we make a e book?


The two acquaintances had been the photographer Isabel Steva Hernández, colitis, and the author Maria Aurèlia Capmany, left-wing and feminist girls at a time when that assertion normally introduced with it gross insults. The photobook that emerged from that assembly, made with 4 arms and in classes during which they minimize and pasted texts and pictures, was known as Antifemina, printed in 1977 by Editora Nacional. However, with the burrs of late Francoism, the writer itself withdrew it months later because it was thought-about subversive. That publication was not republished till 2021, because of the Barcelona City Council and the Terranova publishing home, and now it has turn out to be a pictures exhibition for the primary time, though its authors are not alive to see it. Capmany died in 1991 and Colita, unexpectedly, on December 31, on the age of 83, when he was exactly making ready this exhibition, which could be seen till May 5 on the Círculo de Bellas Artes and which has the collaboration of the cultural firm Factory.

For the organizers of the exhibition, titled like that quantity, Antifemina It was the primary feminist graphic e book of the Transition, a cult work with photographs which are largely nonetheless related immediately. From the publication, 94 photographs have been chosen from the 176 it accommodates. More fragments of Capmany's texts (“never have my photos been so well accompanied,” Colita would say), to attract a panoramic view of ladies within the ultimate stage of Franco's regime, a lady subjugated in an overtly sexist society.

“It is a critical vision of reality, but Colita portrayed these women with affection, with humanism,” defined the curator of Antifemina, Francesc Polop, her buddy and director of the Colita Archive. Polop has specified that the majority of those photographs—taken between 1960 and 1976—“were not taken for the purpose of the book, but were already in Colita's archive.”

Thus we see older girls, photographs of mourning our bodies who go to mass and convey their loneliness, they’ve been remoted from society “they are anti-feminine, hence the title of the book”; others are younger on her marriage ceremony day (“they were photos that Colita took of her friends, because they were all getting married,” Polop added through the tour with the press). In this sequence there may be an instance of the photographer's irony when she portrays a married couple with their backs turned between the partitions of a cemetery. There can be the working lady, “when the representation of work was the man and the woman had the household chores, but it was not considered work.” They are girls in factories, with unhappy appears to be like, or repairing fishing nets.

On the route there may be additionally room for nuns hanging garments, outdated girls in cemeteries, prostitutes from Barcelona's Chinatown, gypsies within the distress of the Somorrostro neighborhood and exquisite and stylish fashions. “A contact with reality,” within the phrases of Capmany, “because nothing is more stimulating, corrosive and revolutionary than reality.”

Polop, who turned emotional a few occasions through the presentation, talked about “how excited Colita was about this exhibition, for which she had made the selection of images”, and which has lastly turn out to be a posthumous tribute. With her he labored on the earlier technique of finding and restoring the unique negatives for 2 years. She additionally recalled that Colita stated {that a} photographer's archive shouldn’t be “a mausoleum, but rather that it had to be disseminated,” which is why she indicated that there’s materials for future exhibitions. In her intervention she outlined Colita and Capmany as “two vindictive women, who in a difficult time set out to be free.”

Colita, portrayed in her archive in 2021.
Colita, portrayed in her archive in 2021.Francis Polop

In addition to the legacy that Polop retains, “around 30% of Colita's work,” he specified, the remaining is distributed within the National Archive of Catalonia, the Municipal Archive of Barcelona, ​​the Filmoteca de Catalunya (“which made a photo fixed in films”), the archive of the Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC), during which he was a member; and the Reina Sofía Museum, in Madrid, amongst different establishments.

Self-declared “photojournalist” and, with humor, “street dog”, Isabel Steva has left, above all, a glimpse of the cultural lifetime of Barcelona by way of the so-called divine left, the left-wing bourgeoisie of the Catalan capital. Rebellious, with temperament, Colita discovered photographic approach from masters resembling Oriol Maspons, who she launched to Xavier Miserachs, with whom he started as an assistant in 1961. With them he toured Barcelona and obtained nearer to its folks. In parallel, he created a gallery of portraits of tradition in Barcelona. He labored for quite a few magazines, printed greater than seventy books and starred in additional than forty exhibitions. When she was retired, she was awarded the National Photography Award in 2014, which she rejected because of the coverage in direction of tradition of the PP, then in Government.

Portrait of Maria Aurèlia Capmany taken by Colita in 1978.
Portrait of Maria Aurèlia Capmany taken by Colita in 1978.Colita Photography Archive

The Círculo exhibition was prolonged in an occasion held shortly after on the Cervantes Institute, the place Polop, accompanied by the author and journalist Maruja Torres, a buddy of Colita, deposited a legacy that was anticipated to have been delivered by immediately's honoree. It is, exactly, a replica of the reissue of Antifemina and one of many photographer's most vital books, Lights and shadows of flamencowhich Lumen printed in 1975 with its photographs and texts by the poet José Manuel Caballero Bonald.

The director of Cervantes, Luis García Montero, highlighted that Colita “taught us to look at reality knowing that in a democracy freedom is decisive.” Maruja Torres has highlighted that “her work is still very much alive.” And the ultimate shock of the legacy has arrived in a small field from which Polop has taken out a tiny digital camera, a photograph of Colita dressed as a clown, some toy glasses, a bow tie and a false nostril. Small symbols of who she stated about her method of approaching the career of photographer: “I have always been a very serious clown.”

The director of the Colita Archive, Francesc Polop, and the writer Maruja Torres, with a box from the photographer Colita of her 'in memoriam' legacy at the Cervantes Institute, this Thursday, in Madrid.
The director of the Colita Archive, Francesc Polop, and the author Maruja Torres, with a field from the photographer Colita of her 'in memoriam' legacy on the Cervantes Institute, this Thursday, in Madrid.Sergio Pérez (EFE)

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