The infinite footprint of Ramón Acín in his native Huesca, where he was a teacher and artist until his execution at the beginning of the Civil War, continues to expand today. Now, through the most intimate and family aspect through the exhibition ‘El Cajón de las Fotos’, which collects photographs of the family, Ramón and his wife Conchita Monrás that the daughters, Katia and Sol Acín, kept after the execution of his parents in 1936. The exhibition, organized by the Huesca City Council with the collaboration of the Ramón y Katia Acín Foundation and the Ibercaja Foundation, will be open until January 21 at the Ibercaja Huesca-Palacio Villahermosa Center.
Ricardo Compairé, the ‘portraitist’ from Alto Aragón who walked through the Pyrenees with a 40-kilo photographic equipment
It is not a photographic collection of professional material but rather a private collection, which was mainly generated and collected by those closest to him. The photos come from boxes, bags, from family friends. Most of anonymous authorship, but there are also images from local photographers such as Ricardo Compairé. With this exhibition, modest in its staging but intense in its experiences, visitors are offered fragments of the warmth of lives, short but lived freely.
As the Ramón and Katia Acín Foundation point out, synthesizing the figure of Ramón Acín “is a difficult matter.” His life forges the trajectory of a humanist born at the end of the 19th century, with an extensive culture and a particular way of seeing art. The humanist and polygraph Acín dedicated his life to pedagogical renewal and built a life and a coherent practice in all its areas. The personal, the pedagogical or the artistic intermingle in his performances, in his works, in his journalistic writings and in his intense anarcho-syndicalist work.
“Leader of the Huesca CNT, with a projection that led him into exile after the frustrated Jaca Uprising, was not a typical politician. His extensive pedagogical work was not limited to the school environment. He believed that society would be freer with more culture and with a means of survival that would humanize the life of the working class. The intolerant people knew that their enemy was in pedagogy, in freedom of thought and action. That is why he was one of the first assassinated in Huesca after the fascist uprising of 1936 “, they explain from the Foundation.
Most of the collection is “anonymously authored”, these sources add. “Perhaps they could be from Ramón, others from Conchita, from friends. It is not known. A few are from qualified photographers such as friend Ricardo Compairé. Those same photos in Compairé’s hands enjoyed good protection and today they are improved in the indispensable Photo Library of the Provincial Council of Huesca. But we did not want to go to them, but to the copies of the Acín family “.
“Although we have restored very serious problems in some cases and minimally corrected almost everything, we have maintained the unity of a non-negotiable criterion. These are the photos that the family had in their home, which we offer to visitors who want to feel fragments of the heat of some lives, short but lived with the sap of freedom, “they add.
The exhibition opened on December 22, a symbolic date in the life of Ramón Acín. That same day in 1932, he was one of the people from Huesca who won the lottery jackpot, which made Buñuel’s film about the Hurdes that Acín financed possible. His influence transcends time and is very present in the city. The most representative and enduring image, the sculpture Fuente de Las Pajaritas installed in the Miguel Servet Park in Huesca since 1928. Since the 90s, the libertarian athenaeum of the capital of Huesca bears his name. In 2005, the CNT of Huesca honored him with a commemorative plaque at his home located at Calle Las Cortes number 3, known as Casa Ena. The Aragón Pedagogical Museum dedicates a section of its permanent exhibition to Ramón Acín and his pedagogical projects. And he appears as a character in the comic ‘Buñuel en el labyrinth of the turtles’, by Fermín Solís, and in his homonymous film adaptation.
The Acín Monrás family has been vindicated from memory. Also from the art and culture that they helped to spread during the first decades of the 20th century in Huesca, before Ramón Acín and Conchita Monrás were assassinated in the first days of the Civil War. In a space of just over two weeks, Katia, born in 1923, and Sol, who came to the world two years later, were orphaned. Both, attached to the family legacy, expressed themselves vitally and artistically with the humanism and sensitivity inherited from their parents. Sol passed away in 1998 and Katia would do so in 2004 after leaving behind in poetry and art, respectively.
The Ramón y Katia Acín Foundation came up as an idea in 2005, shortly after Katia passed away. It was an idea of Katia’s daughters and sons that was taking shape and that ended up crystallizing in the summer of 2007, when it was formally established. Behind the initiative to create the Foundation is the will of the descendants of Ramón and Katia to keep alive the spirit and memory of these exceptional figures. The Foundation also assumes responsibility for the promotion, management and authentication of Katia’s important graphic work.