Exhibition “Manolo Valiente. From Barcarès to Bram and Argelès to Barcarès... An Artist in the Concentration Camps (1939-1942)”
This exhibition, in collaboration with the municipalities of Banyuls, Barcarés and Perpignan, is curated by Eric Forcada, one of the most recognised specialists on art created in the internment camps in Roussillon. Also, Eric Forcada is currently responsible for the project to create the Virtual Museum of Art created in the concentration camps of Roussillon, mainly supported by Perpignan City Council.
The exhibition endeavours to cover the life and work of Manolo Valiente (1908-1991), who was one of the first witnesses of the experience in the French camps. Of Andalusian origin, he arrived in Roussillon during the great exodus of February, 1939. He passed through the camps of Argelès, Bram and Barcarès. Also, because of war injuries and poor health in general, he was admitted to different hospitals (Perpignan, Carcassonne and Lézignan). Before the Civil War he moved to Madrid and trained as a sculptor while working in the Ministry of Labour. During the war he joined the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) and was seriously injured. In 1942 he was released and moved to Perpignan opening a small workshop. In 1949, under the pseudonym of Juan de Pena, he published the poetry book “Sand and Wind” and subsequently, after the death of the author, ”Sand and Wind” (Book II) and the testimony “A Red in Southern France”. Apart from the literary and testimonial importance, Manolo Valiente also painted and sculpted in the camps in which he was interned. This exhibition combines part of the visual work of the author and his literary work with an overview of life in the Roussillon camps, particularly the camp in Barcarès. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue which has the participation of the MUME, Mare Nostrum publishing house and the company Catorze.
Exhibition: 30 January to 21 March 2010