Curated by José Caruncho, this exhibition presents a selection of 50 photographs by Alberto Martí on the Galician migrant exodus to the Americas between 1957 and 1963, taken at the Galician ports of A Coruña and Vigo in northwestern Spain.
The exhibition is structured around three clearly dierentiated sections: The Departure, The Return and The Portuguese Passenger Ship SS Santa Maria, which operated the Caracas-Lisbon-Vigo route and was hijacked by the Directorio Revolucionario Ibérico de Liberación (Iberian Revolutionary Directorate of Liberation) or DRIL, in January 1961.
Alberto Martí’s pictures feature anonymous people and their personal experiences, capturing a common reality shared by thousands of Galician families, which has played a decisive role in moulding the nature of the Galician people.
The farewells gave rise to beautiful poems and agonizing love letters, and also sorrowful expression reflected in a white handkerchief waving in the wind while the ship or train begins to part with their loved ones on board. From those farewells, although few in number, memory is engraved on graphic documents. What is shown here, thanks to Martí’s work, is a very specific period of the American migration back in the 1950s.
Alberto Martí Villardefrancos, from A Coruña (March 14, 1922 to September 29, 2017), began working in the photography field at an early age. He started o as an employee of Foto Blanco when he was only 12 and finally took over the business in 1953. His photojournalist passion led him to combine his duty with a regular collaboration with the daily newspaper La Voz de Galicia for over 50 years, for which he received several awards, including the Spain National Photography Award in 1960. Among his works, the series on emigration stands out. More than 200 snapshots taken at the docks of the ports of A Coruña and Vigo come to light in this exhibition.