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  • Writer's pictureFogar Mozárabe

Summer of '77

Some time ago we received an unexpected call from a certain Jesús, who told us that he had taken advantage of a few days at his home in Madrid to develop some old slides that he had almost forgotten. Among those photographs appeared images, kept for decades in a drawer, of a village lost in the mountains south of El Bierzo. Unpublished images, almost intimate, of an ordinary day in Peñalba more than forty years ago.

Jesus visited Peñalba on two occasions; the first one, many years before our first childhood memories. It was in the summer of 1977, with an old Penthax in hand and making his way along that road of dizzying curves and of course without asphalt.

They are images of muddy streets, of those that remind us so much of Amalio Fernández's photographs, of a rural life, simple and without filters.

It is inevitable to think about how much life has changed since then. It was a hard life, that's for sure, but it's also inevitable not to feel a certain nostalgia for all that progress, constant and relentless, has taken with it.

Forty years is really a blink of an eye. Still, the change between these images and life today is a giant leap.

And therein lies the true magic of our beloved Peñalba. The magic of being able to preserve the magnetism of a past life between mountains, where time stands still and beauty becomes eternal.

Time changes almost everything.

Photographs b/w: Jesús García (1, 2, 3, 4, 9) and Amalio Fernández (5, 6, 7, 8).


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