The Ways of Carlos Casares

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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.

Link: Brochure of the exhibition / Exhibition´s generic poster.
Link: Twitter "Os Camiños de Carlos Casares".


>) TOWN OF CARBALLO OF BERGANTIÑOS (from 29th November to 30th December 2023)

The municipality of Carballo is the capital of the Bergantiños region, province of A Coruña. It has just over thirty thousand inhabitants distributed over the 186 km2 that its eighteen parishes occupy. Geographically it is located on the northern shore of the Costa da Morte, being, in fact, a crossroads between Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña and Fisterra. It has access to the sea to the north, through the Razo-Baldaio sandy area, a beach more than five kilometers long bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, which feeds an important Wetland of the Natura Network. The municipal area also offers unequivocal evidence of ancient occupation: the Pedra Moura dolmen and several hillforts; a Roman bridge in Lubiáns; old Wolfram mines from the 1940s; and the thermal area of Baños Vellos, with sulfurous waters.

Place: Pazo da Cultura of Carballo Town (Rúa do Pan)
Dates and times: From 29 November to 30 December 2023. Monday to Saturday: 17-21h.
Link: Poster.

>) TOWN OF CULLEREDO (from 27th September to 26th October 2023)

The town of Culleredo, located in the of A Coruña, has more than 50.000 inhabitants distributed over 62 km2, a fertile land presided over by Mount Xalo (572 m high), irrigated by waters from the Mero River basin. It enjoys a strategic situation, surrounded by the municipalities of A Coruña and Oleiros (north), the regions of Bergantiños and Ordes (south), Cambre (east) and Arteixo (west). This is because Culleredo became since de 19 th century a 2ª residence for nobility and bourgeoisie. Visitors could see very ancient settlements (hillforts), two megalitics roads that cross it, and a milestone that marks of the roman itinerary “Per loca maritima”. Since the Middle Ages it was lorded over by the best houses in Galicia: Gómez Pérez das Mariñas, Andrade, Lemos and Altamira...

Place: Ría del Burgo Botanical Garden.
Dates and times: From 27 September to 26 October 2023. Monday to Friday: 18-21h. Saturday: 11-13h and 17-21h.
Link: Poster.

Listen to the text in English


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".


Listen to the text in English


«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]