EnFoco. LARA ALBUIXECH
Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am - 8 pm
The exhibitions that make up the EnFoco series are the result of an open competition organized by CentroCentro. The photographers have been selected by a jury for the solidity of their works and their exhibition projects. For all of them, this is their first individual exhibition in a public institution.
In The Interior, Lara Albuixech (Madrid, 1971) reconstructs forgotten memories of her childhood in the Sahara, drawing on family photos and stories told by her parents. The pictures in turn tell the story of the consequences of an incomplete process of decolonization and show the importance of the sense of identity of individual peoples when it is denied to them.
The Interior is an attempt to fill the void of a part of my childhood, lived and not remembered, yet rebuilt through my family album and my travels. After they had been forced to leave Villa Cisneros (Dakhla - Western Sahara), my family never returned. Forty years later, I decide to go back and to reacquaint myself with the landscapes and the people who are the collective memory of those years. I wanted to understand what happened during that process of decolonization through my own experiences and the testimonies of those who stayed behind. Spain’s final departure from the former Spanish Sahara represented the beginning of a violent period of decolonization that was full of tragic events: the Spanish withdrawal, exile in Algeria, families torn apart, the violation of human rights, the onset of war, armed clashes, air raids, etc. In short, a major loss of the fundamental rights of both collectives and individuals, such as the right of Western Saharans to obtain Spanish nationality by their own free choice. In many cases this right has been denied to them, and the procedures to obtain Spanish nationality imply an economic cost that is really hard for them to bear. My encounter with the sons and daughters of the Saharawis who used to work with my father has taught me the meaning of the words strength and loyalty, not to mention the importance of a people’s identity when that identity is taken from them and denied to them. This work began by talking about me, but I want it to end by letting those who stayed behind have their say.