Famous Spanish Photographers Call for National Archive 

Thousands of historic photographs are being lost. Pictured, Dolores Ibarruri. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons.

A group of famous Spanish photographers and curators are calling for the establishment of a national photography archive to ensure that photographic works are preserved for future generations.

Spain is one of the few European countries not to have a national centre for photography. In the European Union, 23 countries out of the 27-member block have a visual archive for photography.

The Platform for a Centre of Photography and the Image says the Government must show more interest in the photographic arts.

“Archives are living agents awaiting meaning. Many files have been lost, they have been thrown away and that is a memory of all that we have lost,” said photographer Alejandro Castellote.

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, the 2015 National Prize for Photography winner, said the proposed centre should “not pretend to be simply a museum” but “dynamic, open to collaborations and generating multidisciplinary projects.”

Previous attempts to establish a centre were scuppered by the 2008 financial crisis and a proposal to create a centre in Soria two years ago failed to deliver.

“We need to tell our own story like the countries around us, including Morocco,” said Sandra Maunac, an independent curator.

She added that the creation of a Centre of Photography and the Image has the support of all 17 living recipients of the National Prize for Photography winners.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.