Culture opens Photography Exhibition for the 40th Anniversary of “7 Days with the People”
Santo Domingo, November 25, 2014
Several moments of the social, political, and cultural event “7 Días con el Pueblo” (7 Days with the People) will be commemorated by Dominicans during the celebration of its 40th anniversary through the exhibit of 38 photographic panels. The activity starts today in the perimeter fence of the National Theatre.
The images show national and international artists who performed in 1974 at the Sports Palace and the Olympic Stadium, in front of a massive audience. The images also show the participation of men and women who supported “7 Days with the People” with their presence.
The event also provides information regarding the political situation and the 12 years of the administration of Joaquín Balaguer, through an essay that discusses the changes that have taken place in the new song in the last 40 years.
The activity will also feature valuable documentary pieces produced during the event, such as the artists’ manifestos and the closing remarks delivered at the event by the General Confederation of Workers, the organizer of the “7 Días con el Pueblo”.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition was attended by the Minister of Culture, José Antonio Rodríguez. He was accompanied by Deputy Ministers, Edilí Pichardo, of Cultural Identity and Citizenship, and Tommy García, of Creativity and Popular Participation, and Luis Brea Franco, Advisor of the Minister’s Cabinet; Niní Cáffaro, Director of the National Theatre, and by the organizers of the activity.
Rodríguez highlighted that 40 years have passed since the week that our people, defying all odds, demonstrated and provided their support to the event that was called 7 Days with the People.
“As we are convinced that we must honor their memory, we present the Dominican people this gallery of visual art, a sort of memorial condensed through images and texts, with deep emotion and gratitude to those who, long ago, believed that it was possible for the song to take off above all the misery around us”, said the Minister.
He said that “7 Días con el Pueblo” not only opened the eyes of a group of artists and connoisseurs; it not only showed that it was possible to transcend monotony and traditional expression with verses and a guitar. It was also a great stage where the most widespread solidarity, the purest courage, the exercise of the inalienable right of the peoples showed: the right to express themselves.
The workers organized in the General Confederation of Workers (CGT – Central General de Trabajadores) had the merit of serving as a conduit for repressed people to raise their voices and tell their truth, he added.
Four decades later, we take stock and show the new generations that the worthy song is not a fad; that the people, knowing it is theirs, can claim it and lift it up to its simplicity. It deserves respect, because it appeals to values that do not die “neither with distance nor with the vile soldier”.
In turn, Fernando Ottenwalder, curator of the “Photography Exhibition of the 40th Anniversary of 7 Días con el Pueblo”, said that the exhibition has an important documentary value, suitable to present part of the story, as it happened.
“The majority of the pictures are the product of the work of photo-journalists whose function was to record the activity in support of the written information, i.e., to illustrate the point, it should be seen as complementary to the reporting work. Therefore, it is not an exhibition of artistic photographs, nor is it the intention to present them as works of art”, noted Ottenwalder.
The curator also noted that the exhibit seeks to provoke the collective memory of the participants and witnesses of that event, and of its artistic, social, political and economic aspects. Also, it seeks to present those who are unfamiliar with the event, the opportunity to participate today in some of the situations that occurred 40 years ago and to call their attention to its importance at that time and today.
The photographs that make up the exhibition belong in part to the National Archives, and its purpose, at this time, is to remember and pay tribute to the actors and participants of “7 Días con el Pueblo”.
Valentín Terrero and Víctor Camilo, two of the photographers who took pictures 40 years ago during 7 Días con el Pueblo, received recognitions during the ceremony.
Activities during the week of 7 Días con el Pueblo
Wednesday, November 26th, Lauching of the book “Memoria de la Cayena”. National Archives, Conference Hall. 6:00 pm.
Thursday, November 27th, Discussion about the impact and significance. Centro León, Santiago. 7:00 pm.
Friday, November 28th, Recognition to organizers and artists by the House of Representatives and the National District Council.
Saturday, November 29th, Show. The Ozama Fortress. 8:00 pm.
Sunday, November 30th, Launching of the music album. Casa de Teatro. 6:00 pm.
Monday, December 1st. Discussion about the impact and significance. Auditorium of the Universidad Central del Este. San Pedro de Macorís. 4:00 pm.
Tuesday, December 2nd, Discussion and 8th day celebration. Casa de Teatro. 6:00 pm.