THE WAYS OF CARLOS CASARES.
The exhibition The Ways of Carlos Casares contains 40 photographs by Xurxo Lobato based on a series of texts by Carlos Casares about the Camiño de Santiago and, more generally, about the experience of the journey. The exhibition, which is part of the "O Teu Xacobeo" (Xunta de Galicia), will travel through five Galician municipalities on the Camino de Santiago, in its second tour, for the enjoyment of pilgrims, tourists and the general public.
The Carlos Casares Foundation participates in the Erasmus+ ALLURE European project (Liberating Literacy: Universal Accessibility in Cultural Resources for Permanent Education) in order to grant greater accessibility to its cultural activities.
2022 EXHIBITION TRAVELLING.
1) TOWN OF MAZARICOS (from 22th to 30th August 2022)
The town of Mazaricos, located in the region of Xallas (A Coruña), is part of the Camiño de Fisterra, already close to the sea and the end of the destination for those who want to conclude their Jacobean journey in the Atlantic Ocean. Megalithic elements abound in the area (such as the mounds of Eirón, the dolmen of Parxubeira and the necropolis of Monte de Embaixo). Whether you're doing the Camino or an occasional visitor, don't forget to stop by the chapel of Santa Leocadia. In addition to being a good place for rest and contemplation, its circular courtyard also serves as an anteroom to the waterfall of the same name.
Place: Casa da Cultura de Mazaricos (Rúa Castelao, 1).
Dates and times: From 22 to 30 August 2022, from Tuesday to Saturday 9-14 h. Sunday, from 17-22 h.
Link: PDF document accessible using CIMA app (Cultural Information Made Accessible) of Erasmus+ ALLURE project.
Link: Mazaricos Town Council website.
2021 EXHIBITION TRAVELLING
1) TOWN OF MONDOÑEDO (from 15th to 30th May 2021)
The town of Mondoñedo, located in the interior of the Mariña of Lugo and over the Valley of Masma River, is the largest historical complex that pilgrims who journey along the Galician Northern Way could ever find. This is a small town that treasures a huge legacy, the perfect starting point for the inauguration on 15th May.
Place: Centro Comarcal Pazo de San Tomé de Mondoñedo (Rúa Julia Pardo Montenegro, 13)
Dates and times: From 15 to 30 May, 2021, from Monday to Friday, from 9h to 15h and from 18h to 20h.
2) TOWN OF A FONSAGRADA (from 4th to 29th June 2021)
Known as town of Burón until 1835, A Fonsagrada is one of the key points of the Primitive Way. This place name derives from the “holy” old fountain, located in the centre of the built-up area. The Fons Sacrata is connected to the Xacobeo phenomenon through several legends related to the care of pilgrims.
Place: Museum of A Fonsagrada (Praza do Museo, s/n)
Datas e horario: From 4 to 29 de June, 2021, from Tuesday to Friday, from 12h to 14 h; Saturdays and Sundays, from 12h to 14h and from 17h to 19h; Mondays closed.
3) TOWN OF CATOIRA (from 1st July 2021)
Located 37 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela, Catoira is the place where the mouth of Ulla River and the Ría de Arousa are met. Between them, we can find the shrine consecrated to the Apostle Saint James, whose body, according to legend, went across that place on its way to Santiago de Compostela.
4) TOWN OF CORCUBIÓN (from 16th July 2021)
The Xacobeo myth, where the Apostle Saint James arrived at our coasts in a stone vessel, has its origin at Costa da Morte. It stands to reason that the Xacobeo pilgrimage extends to the Costa da Morte today. From Santiago, we can follow the Way, which is divided in Dumbría and, from there, you can head to Fisterra or Muxía. The last stage of the Way following the Fisterra track starts from Corcubión.
5) TOWN OF BAIONA (from 1st August 2021)
Baiona is a historical town which conserves the splendour of the past and is one of the key points of the Portuguese Coastal Way. We can find the Castelo de Monterreal, whose tough defensive walls resisted the Francis Drake attack on the 16th century. Currently, it is a tourist hotel. Furthermore, this town got the arrival of the La Pinta caravel the 1st March 1493, with the information about the discovery of the Americas.
XURXO LOBATO, CARLOS CASARES AND THE WAY
Casares completed the ritual of the pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle in 1992, walking the Galician part of the route from O Cebreiro to Compostela from October 8th to 12th. He was part of a varied group of fifteen pilgrims, of different ages, with different occupations and origins, and some of them did not know each other before the start of the journey.
Despite his habit of sharing anecdotes in his daily column in La Voz de Galicia, the writer did not leave any reference to this pilgrimage, even though “Á marxe” still appeared punctually along the journey, with other stories and protagonists. In this way he respected the chronicles that Isabel Suárez sent to the same newspaper, illustrated by Xurxo Lobato, the author of this exhibition.
Casares loved Santiago de Compostela with a natural feeling, not in vain the city hosted him during his formative years, with the old university being his alma mater. Furthermore, during the last six years of his life, Santiago de Compostela gave him the best office one can imagine, with open windows to the façade of the cathedral. For this reason, the references to the city are not scarce in his work. On the contrary, we can find explicit texts both in its physical or geographical dimension, and in the mythical dimension given by the inventio of the Apostle's tomb.
During the first year of his degree, Casares lived in Raxoi Avenue, probably the shortest avenue in the world, which starts in Obradoiro Square and ends, a hundred metres further on, in Travesa de Fonseca, at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the garden of the old College. The outskirts of the cathedral were familiar to him: the Berenguela Tower, the Acibechería Square or the basilica itself. As well as the way to the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, which in 1975 would be renamed Faculty of Geography and History; the Quintana dos Mortos and the arcades of the streets. And beyond, the Porta do Camiño and the Gozo Mountain. In other words, the actual city, stones that support, shape and surround the mythical city that isinvisible at first sight and emerges from the water and the light, among the rain and the shadows.
Travelling is a recurring event in the life of Carlos Casares. From the early connection with Sweden, due to his marriage with Kristina Berg, to the frequent and varied professional commitments. As a consequence, the Camiño is integrated into his life as a metaphor. Both involve illusion, silences and reflection; effort and sacrifices. The journey itself is an obligation. But it also calls for personal contact, for sharing, for talking. Impossible to avoid it when, as in his case, there is a combination of kindness and intelligence, curiosity and politeness.
“Casares liked to walk the streets and climb the mountains, and to contemplate the waters and the sky from the sands and shores.” Sitting in a café, watching people, talking without haste and going to bed late. The world is big and beautiful enough. According to Casares, even in Galicia it was possible to draw a map of famous pharmacy shops because of their social gatherings. In Ribadavia, for example, there was the one of José María Chao, father of a minister of the First Republic. In Ourense, the gathering of the Temes family in their pharmacy in Praza do Ferro. In Pontevedra, there was the one of Perfecto Feijóo, number 1 Michelena Street, which when the weather was good, was held outside the Pharmacy, on a stone bench that nowadays is preserved in the Museum of Pontevedra.
Walk into the exhibition as a forest of world and people, and enjoy the Camiño, because "travelling is like seeing the entrails of the world".
SOME QUOTES OF CARLOS CASARES
«He looked happy and cheerful, probably because he had finished his pilgrimage and had fulfilled his religious obligations inside the cathedral».
[“A priest”, Á marxe, La Voz de Galicia, 29/05/1999]
«This whole monumental mass of granite is the offspring of the earth, just like a mountain, or like the plants and grass which grow on the Obradoiro façade of the Cathedral itself. Santiago de Compostela has a vegetable character which humanizes what would otherwise be a cold and soulless townscape of stone».
[“The Miracle of Santiago de Compostela”, Ronda IBERIA, July, 1993]
«You look through the window and stare out at the wet sadness of the street. You lean on the railing for a moment until you hear the cathedral clock ticking six times in your melancholy and ask what we are going to do, Elias, until dinnertime».
[Xoguetes para un tempo prohibido, Galaxia, 1975]
«Yesterday I spent the day in Santiago and it was foggy. Sometimes, I looked through the window towards the façade of the Obradoiro and the towers disappeared, completely erased, as if at that precise moment a miracle was happening: God stole them to have them in the sky for a few minutes or a few hours».
[“Fog”, Á marxe, La Voz de Galicia, 24/10/1998]
«They were exactly together at the Café Derby on the day she met him. She remembers Servando Valencia, wearing a flamboyant checked jacket, talking about the porcine nature of Romanones's face».
[Deus sentado nun sillón azul, Galaxia, 1996]
«If we had to look for a living symbol of this city, we shouldn't think of the Roman Bridge, which is not Roman, by the way, nor of the Burga boiling with water, nor of the Santo Cristo, the one with the grown beard, venerated in the most beautiful chapel of the cathedral. Rather, it would be better to choose a real and imaginary space at the same time, which in this case would be located in the vicinity of the Praza do Ferro, in the heart of the old city».
[“Ourense: o sabor da literatura”, O expreso da literatura, Galaxia, 2017]
«In order to go outside, His Excellency chose a cassock without hawser cord, a merino housecoat, a normal hat, and buckleless shoes. He thought that in this way he could easily walk around without being recognized. Then he quickly went down the courtyard’s staircase, crossed towards the horse stable, opened the coachman’s service door, glanced around carefully to see if there was anyone he knew outside, and left for Arcediagos Street».
[His Excellency, Small Station Press, 2017]
«Pontevedra is a literary city as much as it is also an invented city».
[“Sobre cafés y tertulias en Pontevedra”, O expreso da literatura, Galaxia, 2017]
«Yesterday morning I was in Baiona lazing around for a long hour, sitting on a terrace with no other concern but to watch the people and admire the beauty of the sea, full of little boats, and the sky, so blue that it looked like a chrome. I did the maths and it won't be long until Torrente Ballester comes, whom I miss whenever I visit the village».
[“The hours of Baiona”, Á marxe, La Voz de Galicia, 30/03/1997]