Jorge Represa

When you turn the page, close your eyes tightly

NOTE: Prologue of the book ‘1Day 1Photo’ (Triangle Editorial).

When you turn the page, close your eyes tightly. There you will see Zulma, Uruguayan, 70 years old, displaying a poster in front of her chest: “Looking for work.” There you will see a rock, upright, pierced by the force of the waves, the inspiration for the Dali’s The Great Masturbator. There you will see Mudassar, a Pakistani cashier, praying in the doorway of a supermarket. There you will see 97-year-old Ana, in a housecoat, huddled in the bosom of her daughter Maria. There you will see fourteen keychains in a row, hanging from hooks, labelled with the initials of the political parties. There you will see Isabella, 6, shaved, prostrate in bed, laid low by cancer. There you will see Anna, exhausted, in the delivery room giving birth to Ariadna. There you will see Felip, a bull, the protector of a family of cows, threatened with extinction. There you will see the spontaneous embrace of one woman and another, who are both members of the Abraçades Gratis (Free Hugs) movement.

Now, when you stop on these two pages, open your eyes wide. There you will see thirty-one photographers and a dog: Julieta. If you count them, two are missing. Nevertheless, they are there, in their own way. Even if we can’t see them because they were somewhere else on that day. We are everyone, and we are all able to portray what we see. Photographers, real ones, professionals, also have a talent: with their camera, they are able to capture what the rest of us don’t see. Where we see portals bathed in light in luxury buildings, they see a woman asking for work sitting on a windowsill. Where we discover a rough sea, they see a rock carved into marvellous shapes. Where we see decrepitude, they see how an entire lifetime is concentrated in one single person. Where we popularize a group of keys, they see the political game in Parliament.

That is where the magic lies. Being able to reveal to us this bit of reality that not everyone sees. Making light (photo) into writing (graphics) and composing a previously untold story. That’s why this book is so valuable. Because it talks about a people, its aspirations, its sufferings and its joys, with surprising honesty.

You’ll be wondering – what’s Julieta the dog doing here? I don’t know exactly what to tell you. Photographers are like that. One day three of them meet up in a bar, they share an idea over a few beers and in the blink of an eye thirty-one of them are traveling all over Catalonia. Easy? Not at all. These pages condense 8,660 hours of work – more or less a year’s work – and thousands of kilometres of petrol, underwritten with their own effort. From 1 January to 31 December, every day, month after month, one photographer a day explored the territory with complete freedom to show us what many of us do not see. You could say that this book-urn says what happened in 2014 – a crucial year for everyone.

It includes some undoubtedly historical events. There is the abdication of the king. There is the parliamentary hearing because of the massive fraud by an ex-president. There is the silencing of the referendum of the 9 November. But what is most in evidence are everyday events. That is the apparent triviality containing the magic of 1Day 1Photo. This cadence of anonymous voices that speaks to us of an entire community. Here, now and forever.

Yes, I know, you’re still asking: What’s Julieta the dog doing among all these prodigies? She is part of the other world that not everyone sees, and when a photographer captures it, it is revealed with a wonderful obviousness. Hence the collective portrait on the previous page. If we had taken the photograph, it would never have worked out properly. That’s what makes a photographer different. It’s as simple as that. Their talent is vital to us.

Now you only have to open your eyes and enjoy the pages of 1Day 1Photo. Thanks to everyone for having made it possible. And to Julieta as well.

Ines Martinez Ribas, journalist and sociologist

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