By surprise, without knowing what had been prepared, because it was not announced, the photographer Pablo Juliá received a simple and emotional tribute on Friday Photographic Encounters of Gijón, who are celebrating their XV edition. Juliá (Cádiz, 1949) worked between 1979 and 2007 for EL PAÍS, first as a collaborator and later participated in the creation of the delegation of this newspaper in Andalusia, where he became his head of Photography. He left journalism after being appointed director of the Andalusian Center of Photography (CAF), in Almería, by his predecessor, Manuel Falces. There he held the position until the summer of 2016. On Friday, almost at the other end of the Peninsula, he had the recognition of Gijón meetings and colleagues such as Miguel Oriola, Eduardo Momeñe, Miguel Trillo, Ricky Dávila or Paco Junquera.
"Being able to play with photography is already a tribute," said an excited Juliá, who searches through his archives to select the images that will allow him to retrace his career in an exhibition he prepares for March at the Diputación de Cádiz. "Even if you're retired, a photographer looks at the stains, the walls, the people and sees photos," he added. The organizer of the Meetings, Esther Maestre, highlighted not only Juliá's work as a photojournalist, but "his support to many Spanish colleagues from the CAF, so that they could expose, and the young people who start in the trade with their advice and experience" , as it happens these days in the Asturian city.
Photojournalist of the Transition, Juliá is always remembered by the famous photo of the tortilla, although she did not press the trigger to take that image, nor was there an omelette to eat. That snapshot, from 1974, portrayed members of the PSOE in Andalusia, then in hiding, in some pine forests of La Puebla del Río (Seville). Some of the photographed would star in Spanish political life soon after: Felipe González, Alfonso Guerra, Manuel Chaves … Juliá has told numerous times that he placed the camera, adjusted the diaphragm, distance … and told Manuel del Valle (who would be mayor of Seville) to shoot. The image shows Juliá himself who, as he recalled, "there was no tortilla, but a box of beers that Felipe González had and some oranges." That famous photo returned to the present in the current election campaign in Andalusia, when the candidate of the PP, Juan Manuel Moreno, It was portrayed with a copy of that image, claiming that spirit of renewal.
Julia tells that her first photos were made with a Yashica that left her a priest at school, although at that time what she really liked was watching movies. Self-taught, he played in secrecy during the Franco regime, collaborating in the newspaper The Socialist. Later he passed other means, including EL PAÍS, where he organized his delegation in Andalusia in 1983. However, today he likes little "the graphic stain" he sees in the newspapers. "Everyone seems the same, it's very expensive to send photographers to the sites, photojournalism is dying". Juliá is no stranger to social networks, especially active on Facebook, where she uploads her black and white photos of a distant Spain, because she wants "to have a good account of that time, to remember that story".
The Meetings of Gijón, organized thanks to aid from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education of the Principality of Asturias, have as their claim on this occasion "the complicity between veteran and younger photographers", Maestre highlights. Among the first, Ricky Dávila and Miguel Oriola, who exhibit work at the Barjola Museum until January 31. Among the seconds, Jorge Fuembuena, Elena Plaza or Paco Torres. On Saturday, the 24th, it is the turn, in the Laboral City of Culture, for conferences. In addition, Dávila will show their photos and explain their work Dionisio González, Joan Fontcuberta and Miguel Trillo.
As usual in this event, which ends on Sunday, 25, there are also book presentations, workshops, portfolios and, as a novelty, the Photobook Encounter is held, in which amateurs and professionals can find photobooks of their favorite authors.