Well who would have thought that the subject of lighthouses could be so compelling? Sometime ago I had a photograph selected to appear in a book about lighthouses entitled Lo demás es Oscuridad by Mario Sanz Cruz. Last night (24 April) was the official launch of the book in Castillo de Santa Ana in Roquetas de Mar, about an hour’s drive from San José.
Without knowing what to expect and keeping an open mind, I attended the book launch which commenced with the author telling us a bit about the book and naming all the people who had contributed to the work.
Lo demás es Oscuridad is an interesting collections of facts, poems, photographs, paintings and other artworks paying homage to lighthouses and was released to mark the 150th anniversary of the first lighthouses in Almería. The book is incredibly well put together and designed and tastefully produced. Above all else, Lo demás es Oscuridad is very compelling read!
Following the introduction of the book and a few formal speeches, some of the poets present who had contributed to the book read out their works, including my good friend Germán Guirado.
El Faro del Principio del Mundo by Germán Guirado – reproduced by kind permission of the author.
El mar escupe su ira contra las rocas.
Las rocas emiten su certera llamada al suicida.
El suicida acaricia suavemente
la soga cancerígena
de su incomunicación fetal.
You can look up your own translation of this! I love the poetry of Germán bias as I may be, it is simple, razor-sharp and right to the point. I have his book Escritos de lápiz de labios and although Spanish is not my first language, I find it not only easy to read and understand but also easy to understand the metaphors used. BTW, better to buy the book direct from the author I reckon so… click here for his blog!!
Anyways, back to the book launch event and perhaps I will now say a little bit about Castillo de Santa Ana. The origins of this fortress and its defensive site can be traced back to the Nasrid monarch Yufuf I in the early 14th century. Over the years the castle has seen pirate attacks, the invasion of the Moors, the scourges of earthquakes and of course natural wear and tear which caused the castle to fall into a state of disrepair until 1998 when reconstruction began.
The reconstruction of the fort was completed in 2003 and to date has hosted the works of great artists of national and provincial level. At the time of the visit yesterday, there was an incredible exhibition of photographs from the 1950s taken around one of the oldest zones of Almería known as “La Chanca” in addition to exhibitions including sculptures and paintings. Since its inauguration in May 2003, It has become a great centre of attention in the town of Roquetas de Mar.
The town of Roquetas de Mar is of course not without a lighthouse of its own which I understand to be one of the original lighthouses in the province of Almería. This also plays host to a number of exhibitions including last night, pencil drawings and paintings.