June 6, 2023

The Provincial Council of Huelva has been named Honorary member of the Spanish Athenaeum in Mexicoin recognition of their collaboration in bringing to Spain the exhibition ‘Mirada y presencia’, which has served to create ties between Spain and Mexico and so that the history of the thousands of Spaniards exiled in the sister country is known, among them more than fifty onubenses from all over the province.

The president of the Spanish Ateneo de México, Ernesto Casanova, has thanked the Diputación de Huelva and the interest of its president, María Eugenia Limón, in making it possible to bring this exhibition to the Province Hall, which has crossed the ocean for the first time to the Sala de la Provincia thanks to the Commissioner for the Democratic Memory of the provincial institution. Casanova has presented the title that accredits the Provincial Council as an honorary member to the coordinator of the Commissioner for Democratic Memory, Antonio Rus.

The exhibition ‘Glance and presence’which has received a magnificent reception during the months of January and February, is linked to the historical and democratic memory of Spain and is made up of forty of the three hundred works by Republican exiles kept by the Spanish Ateneo de México, with the support of the Ministry of Democratic Memory of the Government of Spain, the Kaluz Foundation and the Ateneo itself.

The forty works exhibited in the Sala de la Provincia are watercolors, oil paintings, photographs, notes, illustrated books and letters, as well as other documents of artistic and historical relevance that belong to the Athenaeum’s own archive. The exhibition also includes a special section dedicated to the many exiles from the province in Mexico, as well as exiled women writers.

‘Mirada y presencia’ reveals the work of 26 artists who were forced to abandon their land by Francoism, including names such as Lucinda Urrusti, Ramón Gaya, Teresa Olabuenaga, José Bardasano, Josefina Ballester, Xavier de Oteiza, Cristóbal Ruiz, Fidel Cuesta Ruiz or Loty de la Granja. Some of them were, in addition to being painters, architects, poster designers, illustrators or teachers.

Parallel to the exhibition, the Provincial Council organized a series of talks: “Painting, writing and memory: the legacy of the Spanish exile of 1939”, by José Luis Mora García, emeritus professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid; “The Republican exile from Huelva in Mexico”, by Jesús Ramírez Copeiro, Doctor of Mining Engineer and passionate about historical research; and “From exiled to transplanted: Spanish writers in and from Mexican exile”, from “From exiled to transplanted: Spanish writers in and from Mexican exile”, by the researcher doctor in Spanish Literature Mª Luz Bort.

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