• Christopher G. Moore

The Road from Barcelona to Bangkok Part 4

This is the final posting about Semana Negra 2007. A few more photographs give an idea of the journey, the city of Gijon and some of the highpoints along the way.

On the “Black” train from Madrid to Gijon with publicist Marta Oliva 6 July 2007

Each day the organizers of Semana Negra 2007 produced a newspaper with stories, photos, and event calendar. Marta is holding up the first edition. Along the way the train passed through the heart of Spain.

Scene from train window on the way to Gijon.

On arrival in Gijon we were met with a band at the train station.

Documentary film maker and New York resident Fred Barney Taylor was on the train and covered the festival for a documentary film.

Fred Barney Taylor in action 6 July 2007 Gijon, Spain

Susan Straub (Peter Straub’s wife) and Samuel “Chip” Delaney provided the crowd with their own version of the famous New York “hello”.

Susan Straub and Samuel “Chip” Delaney Gijon, Spain 6 July 2007

The festival grounds were located at end of the beach from the Don Manuel Hotel. It was a two-kilometer walk. There was a festival train but most people chose to walk along the San Lorenzo beach. Few foreign tourists have discovered this part of Spain. It is off the beaten track. The overwhelming number of people on the beach or the boardwalk were locals. The clouds in the distance delivered rain on some days. According to those in the know, the locals carry their bathing costumes in their handbag and when the clouds clear head directly to the beach. This time of year the sunset was around 9.50 p.m. At 6.30 p.m. the beach on a sunny day was packed. The shot below was taken with the tide out.

San Lorenzo Beach, Giyon, Spain 8 July 2007

At the end of the beach was the sign in front of the festival grounds.

At the end of San Lorenzo Beach Giyon, Spain 8 July 2007 was the sign for Semana Negra

Last is a photograph of Columbia novelist Antonio Garcia Angel who presented his novel Recursos Humanos, with Paco Taibo making the introduction. Antonio’s story was an interesting one, with a lot of inside information into what it was like growing up and going to school in Columbia. He was chosen as a novelist for the Rolex mentor programme. His mentor was the famous Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. Antonio’s novel Recursos Humanos emerged out of that relationship. He had weekly phone conferences with Mario Vargas Llosa and frequently traveled to meet the author.

Europa Star has this to say about the Rolex programme:

“Rolex launched its international program of artistic patronage in 2002, and each cycle runs one year. It covers six artistic disciplines: dramatic art, visual art, literature, dance, music, and film. In each of these fields, Rolex invites a recognized master to serve as the Mentor, who will give advice and instruction to the Protégé, a person with promising talent who has not yet reached their full potential. The program of this one-on-one personal relationship is established by each Mentor who decides, along with the Protégé, how their collaboration will work. A minimum of six weeks of work together is expected during each cycle of the year, but it is clear that each discipline will have different specifications.”

Not enough is known about this programme in Thailand. There were be a number of people in the Kingdom who should be encouraged to apply.

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