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Room 415 Humanism and Subjectivity. Documentary Photography in Spain

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Following a troubled post-war period in Spain characterised by deprivation, exile, repression and propaganda, the start of the 1950s saw a new type of photography begin to gain momentum, drawing inspiration from international trends in Neo-realist documentary and humanist reportage. Barcelona, Almería and Madrid were the main centres of activity in this new approach to photography, which was constructed through individual practices that shared a commitment to the reform of and experimentation with photographic language. Its aspirations were not a political attempt at social transformation; the photographers at the time made do with portraying reality that was both diverse and imperfect. The Spanish photography from that period, which entered into dialogue with cinema, both Spanish and international – particularly from Italy and Hollywood – took an interest in the everyday, in looking into and acknowledging the lives of ordinary people.