Sunday, October 24

The reality in a town in the Molina de Aragón region: “84 funerals, zero weddings and zero baptisms”


‘Paramo. Earth and Absence ‘. These are three words that today define with almost millimeter exactitude the situation in one of the areas of Castilla-La Mancha that is suffering from demographic bleeding. But it also serves to name a photographic exhibition that is exhibited in the Provincial Museum of Guadalajara and that stars Jesús de los Reyes, a native of Campillo de Dueñas.

“It is an emotional journey through the Señorío de Molina, a part of the province of Guadalajara, close to Aragon and of which when we speak now, the word depopulation immediately comes out,” explains the author.

In total there are 47 snapshots, in color on the one hand – the ‘skin’ of this land – and in black and white on the other, which comes to portray the void, the uninhabited paradise that the area that houses one of the The most important natural reserves in Spain, the Alto Tajo Natural Park.

He talks about the ‘Earth’ to explore the traditions, the monuments, the natural beauties of the area … “It is perhaps the most descriptive part of a beautiful region, as worthy as any other to be inhabited”.

Afterwards, the images reflect the ‘Absence’, with depopulation as the “backbone”. This linked professional photographer explains that “many visitors have told me that it is a very hard part to reflect the absence of man in a region where he lived 40 years ago”.

The photographs were taken between the year 2000 and the present 2021. In the center of the sample a dry elm presides over the room. “I myself transferred it from the region. On its branches I have hung white ribbons with the names of the 80 population centers and their number of inhabitants: we have from zero to just over 200, if we except Molina de Aragón, which has 3,000 “.

De los Reyes explains how the area has been losing population. “And not only that, the average age has also risen a lot.” The photographer tells an anecdote to explain the decline. “The priest of my town had three or four towns and celebrated about 84 funerals a year, zero weddings and zero baptisms. That is the panorama.”

This professional who currently works for the Department of Communication of the Army, has received several awards in his career and is the author, or co-author, of publications such as ‘Cruces y Pairones en el Señorío de Molina ”,’ La memoria captiva. Photography in Campillo de Dueñas (1864-1974 “or” Señorío de Molina. Images and words of a land in silence “.

Guided tours every Saturday until October 23

The exhibition will be open until October 24 and, from this weekend, every Saturday until the 23rd, the photographer himself will offer guided tours of the exhibition at 12 noon. “It is a form of communication between the audience and the author.” It allows them to look through a wide angle, that is, it opens their minds. On the other hand, what they transmit to me is very enriching for me. ”

To participate it will be necessary to book in the email [email protected] indicating name and surname and day of the visit. The composition of the groups will be done in strict order of registration, receiving by email the confirmation or denial of the visit.

The exhibition has been organized by the Tierra Molinesa cultural association and produced by the Castilla-La Mancha Community Board, the Guadalajara Provincial Council and the Guadalajara City Council.

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