Spain 1952–1953

1952 to 1953
Spain
Alan Lomax's Spanish field recordings, made in 1952 during the Franco regime, bear witness to a time in Spanish cultural history which remains relatively obscure. Made in cooperation with the BBC, the collection was recorded with the assistance of Jeanette "Pip" Bell, and with the collaboration of Eduardo Turner, Juan Uria Riu, Julio Caro Baroja, Antonio Mari, Walter Starkie, and Radio Nacional. It samples the folk music of Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Castile, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Mallorca and Ibiza, Murcia, Navarro, the Pais Vasco, and Santander, and includes vaqueiradas, albaes, desafios, and pig castrators' panpipe melodies.

In 1952 Alan Lomax acquired a used Leica and shot over 700 black and white photos to accompany his audio recordings in Spain. This Spanish collection represents Lomax's first serious attempt to put photography at the center of the documentation process. The collection portrays styles of traditional Spanish folk music and dance with images of performers, instruments, dance styles, and traditional dress, and many in-depth portraits as well. Scenes of agriculture, domestic work, village marketplaces and streets, child-rearing and family life, town-scapes and architecture, and regional customs reveal much about the "lost decades" in Spanish history, obliterated in the fear and silence of the Franco regime during the 1940s and '50s.