06 june, 2018
Paulo Catrica considers that photography cannot be dissociated from the history of Fatima
The photographer guided the second thematic visit of the year of the temporary exhibition “As Cores do Sol – A Luz de Fátima no Mundo Contemporâneo”
The second thematic visit of the temporary exhibition “As Cores do Sol – A Luz de Fátima no Mundo Contemporâneo” (“The colours of the Sun - The Light of Fatima in the Contemporary World”) was led by the photographer Paulo Catrica, and 13 exhibited photographs of the 13th of October 1917 were used as a starting point for the visit, they all illustrate the Miracle of the Sun and were taken by Judah Bento Ruah.
The well-known photographer and researcher had already collaborated with the Shrine of Fatima on several occasions, notably for an article published in the November 2017 edition of the cultural magazine of the Shrine, Fátima XXI, in which he analysed the work that was the base of this thematic visit and explained that, in the beginning of the century, illiteracy was around 80% and that, for this very reason, photographs “had a fundamental importance and role.”
“Avelino Almeida was not a common journalist, and his articles played a major role as their emphatic tone allowed the public at large to access, for the first time, what was happening in Fatima,” explained the photographer referring to the articles published in the newspaper O Século, which was then printed at an average of 80 thousand copies, and was therefore the first newspaper of that time, with a “strong political connotation.”
In 1917, the large-format newspapers used to include photographs on the “first and last pages.”
According to Paulo Catrica, “Today, the relationship between the image and the text is still to be invented as the weight of the words is facing a lot of challenges, we can observe so many exaggerations due to the gap between words and images.”
“At that time, the illustration with photos was really important, the event was seen precisely where and when it took place, as well as its significance with regard to Fatima,” he underlined, explaining that through these 13 photographs, including two unpublished ones, it is possible to “see a part of what happened.”
“History is a memory written on the base of an event and photography reveals and guarantees that it really happened,” he explained.
Paulo Catrica remembered that “these are the only photos of this moment, which gives them a lot of weight,” and in our days “there is no event without images.”
“These photographs cannot be dissociated from the history of Fatima, because they bear a variety of symbolic meanings and respond to different expectations and contexts,” he insisted.
The photographer and post-graduate researcher at the Institute of History of the Universidade Nova in Lisbon was also part of the jury of the Centennial of the Apparitions at Fatima Photography Awards.
Since 1997, the work of this recognized photographer has been regularly published and exhibited in Portugal and across Europe. His photographs are scattered among private collections in Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Brazil and Canada.
This was the second thematic visit of the year of the exhibition “As Cores do Sol – A Luz de Fátima no Mundo Contemporâneo” (“The colours of the Sun - The Light of Fatima in the Contemporary World”). The first one took place last month and welcomed the theoretical physicist Henrique Leitão who lectured about faith and sciences.
Until October, four more thematic visits are planned: 4th of July, Sandra Costa Saldanha will lecture about “The Rhetoric of Sacred Arts in Modern Times” on the basis of the 16th to 18th century sculptures and paintings that are part of the exhibition; 1st of August, Ana Rita Santos will talk about “The Challenges of an Exhibition, the Conservation of the Historical Heritage” based on the organisation of the exhibition; 5th of September, Laura Castro will make a speech on “The Work of Irene Vilar” and analyse the sculptures “Esta árvore tem dois mil anos” and “Imaculado Coração de Maria”; and the last one, on the 3rd of October, will be guided by Isabel Roque, who will talk about “The Role of Museology in the Presentation of Contents”.
The temporary exhibition “As Cores do Sol – A Luz de Fátima no Mundo Contemporâneo” is organized by the Museum of the Shrine and will be open to the public until the 30th of October, from 9 am to 7 pm, in the Convivium de Santo Agostinho, in the lower level of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity.
Since its opening in November 2016, the exhibition already received 353,133 pilgrims.