Echoes and Ecologies. A poetic and political approach to the Guillermo Zúñiga archive

Guillermo Zúñiga (1909-2005) was a biologist, photographer and pioneer of scientific film in Spain. A defender of film as a tool for science and education, he was linked to republican educational institutions like the Pedagogical Missions and the School Institute. During the Spanish Civil War, he produced extensive photographic documentation and helped to film republican newsreels. His position close to the Communist Party led him into exile in France and then, in 1949, to Argentina, where he was to work in the San Miguel film studios, as well as on different documentary projects that linked science to indigenous culture. In 1959 he returned to Spain, where he was to work as head of production at UNINCI and in 1969 founded ASECIC, the Spanish association of scientific film and image. He strove throughout his life to defend and promote scientific film. Despite the historical importance of his work and his archive, up to now these have been little known or appreciated.

 An unfinished film about the Yrupé flower, an Amazonian water lily, made during his exile in Buenos Aires, is the starting point for a poetic and political approach to the Zúñiga archive; it includes extracts from films, photographs, letters and other fragments of a collection that runs through 20th-century history, but also hard-to-find images, lost films, uncertainties and controversies; before finally perhaps today continuing his efforts in the areas of transmission, documentation and recreation, political commitment and care. The aim of the residency at the Centro Huarte since 2018 has been in-depth research in order to make a documentary film, as well as seeking new creative ways of sharing the process of work, offering an open reflection on the status of documentary images in the relations between art and science, memory and forgetting, nature and politics.

Catarina Boieiro (b. Lisbon, 1991) is an independent curator, producer and researcher. Her work focuses on the documentary image and contemporary creativity off the dominant film circuits. She recently co-curated the exhibition "Résistance Visuelle Généralisée. Livres de photographie et mouvements de libération en Angola, Mozambique, Guinée-Bissau, Cap-Vert" (Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris and Galerias Municipais de Lisboa, with Raquel Schefer. She was the editorial coordinator of Doc’s Kingdom. Seminário internacional de cinema documental [International Documentary Film Seminar] in 2021, and worked with Stenar Projects, a production and distribution platform for artists' films, between 2020 and 2022.

Candela Sotos (b. Madrid, 1986). Holder of a master's degree in photography and contemporary art from the Université Paris VIII, she was part of the Artists' Programme at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires. Her work explores forms of official historical discourses and memory through different media: botanical practice, archives and moving pictures. She has received creative grants from the Madrid autonomous region, the Argentine national arts fund and the Matadero artistic residency centre, and has presented her work at MUAC-UNAM, the Mexican art, design and science laboratory, Medialab Prado, Sala de Arte Joven, Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti and the Carlos Thays botanical garden in Buenos Aires. She is currently in the process of editing her first film, Yrupé, and co-directs Lacalor, a graphic art studio in Madrid.

Program produced in collaboration with Centro Huarte

Echoes and Ecologies.  A poetic and political approach to the Guillermo Zúñiga archive
Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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