The EFE Archive grows with the graphic fund on Africa by Cristóbal García

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Jan 23 (EFE) .- As happens to many photojournalists, Cristóbal García (1960-2020) no longer knew how to look at the world if it was not through his camera, not even at the time that each year dedicated to feeling free in Africa. The sum of his two passions gave birth to more than 2,000 images taken in a dozen countries, most of them unpublished, which enrich EFE's archive.

The family of the historic photographer from the delegation of the Spanish news agency in Tenerife, who died on September 2, has decided that his personal collection of images from Africa be incorporated into the EFE Graphic Archive, made up of documents that cover a period of more than a century.

During his 30 years of collaboration and work with EFE, Cristóbal García generated more than 25,000 current photographs available in the repository, plus a number still pending inventory in other formats now in the process of digitization.

These funds are expanded today with images taken with a much more personal approach in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Gambia, Botswana, or Cape Verde, among others, over two decades of shared trips with his partner, Sonia Moreno.

"Although it was not his official job, it was part of his life, he did not know how to look without the lens, he always had to look through the camera. It was how he enjoyed the most. That is why I want that legacy to last and I know that the Agency does. he will take care of, "says Moreno, from whom the idea that these images should be added to the EFE Archive, in an initiative thanked Gabriela Cañas, its president, began.

"The generosity of Cristóbal's widow, one of our great photographers, has made it possible for his personal legacy to enrich the Graphic Archive of the EFE Agency. We are very proud that his photographs, the fruit of his free time and his passion for biology and for Africa, join one of the jewels of EFE, which has more than 23 million documents, the largest catalog of photography in the world in Spanish speech, "says Cañas.

The repertoire of images that Sonia Moreno gives to the Agency is much more than a collection of personal memories; it is, above all, a graphic testimony of the pulse of life in Africa, seen as a trained biologist dedicated to photojournalism knew how to look at it.

Cristóbal García's university career made him feel a special connection with African landscapes, his widow recalls, in which he found "a feeling of freedom and plenitude." But his images are not postcards, but a current portrait of the people of Africa, because with the camera in his hand the author could not stop being a journalist.

"He loved people," says Sonia Moreno, "it is true that he liked nature, the feeling of freedom and fullness that such open spaces give you, but he always wanted to contact people, he loved learning about their culture, his way of life, his needs, his joys and sorrows. He liked the landscape, but his passion was actually the peasant. "

A small selection of the photos that are now incorporated into EFE's Graphic Archive can be seen since December at the Casa África headquarters in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, who wanted to pay tribute to him in the form of an exhibition, coinciding with the delivery of the Saliou Traoré Award for the best journalism in Spanish on Africa.

In that exhibition - and with much greater profusion in the collection of negatives and digital photos that EFE receives - you can see fishing boats in full swing in Senegal and Gambia, young people carrying huge tuna in a fish market in Cape Verde, children of a community Masai or a Senegalese village forging a future at school, Hadzabe hunters in full action, shepherds on infinite horizons, life in a market in Zanzibar, the Islamic influence that permeates everything on that island and bicycles ... many bikes.

Of all the majority of these images, Cristóbal García kept annotations, which served him first to publish a blog on the internet and later to prepare some notebooks from Africa, on which he continued to work even during his hospitalization.

The photographic archive of the EFE Agency has more than 23 million graphic documents. Throughout its 81-year history, there have been many files that it has received as a donation to preserve them, many made up of family memories of the authors, such as the Goitia Archive (life in San Sebastián in 1920), that of Juan José Serrano (glass plates from Seville from the 1930s to 1960s), that of Volkhart Muller (Transition) or that of Manuel López Contreras (EFE photographer from the 1960s).


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