The Mexican Suitcase
November 23, 2010 8:20 PM   Subscribe

The International Center of Photography is exhibiting photographs online from the Mexican Suitcase, a cache of photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War, hidden, and rediscovered in 2008.
posted by Fiasco da Gama (4 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
So sad that the "Falling Soldier" contact sheets weren't in there.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:50 PM on November 23, 2010

I'm torn between thinking this is incredibly sad (lost photos, lost causes, lost lovers, violent deaths), and thinking there's a grain of victorious whimsy in the fact that the images have finished their journey in the wilderness and still carry enough weight to exhibit today.
posted by Ahab at 9:09 PM on November 23, 2010

I think these are incredibly - cool is not the right word - powerful, maybe? But good find, FdG!
posted by Harald74 at 12:24 AM on November 24, 2010

Then tragedy struck. In July 1937, Taro was killed in action near Madrid. Afterward Capa left for a stint in China, but came back to Spain to witness and record the Republican defeat. He and Seymour separately photographed exhausted refugees pouring into internment camps in France.

That was in 1939. World War II was about to begin. Both men knew that, as Jews with left-wing histories, they had to get out of Europe. Seymour left for the United States ahead of the war; Capa’s departure was a scramble. At the last minute he packed three boxes of rolled and cut film — 4,500 negatives in all — and gave them to a photographer friend, asking him to send them on to New York, where Capa was headed.

The forwarding never happened. Somehow the boxes ended up with the Mexican ambassador to the Vichy government in Paris and traveled, maybe by accident, to Mexico City with him. After that they effectively vanished for decades, during which time Capa died, killed by a land mine in Indochina in 1954, as did Seymour, struck down by a sniper in Egypt two years later.

In 1999 Cornell Capa, Robert’s brother and founder of the International Center of Photography, got word that the boxes had surfaced in Mexico. But his informant proved elusive, and the lost film finally arrived in New York only three years ago.

Wow. This is fantastic. Thanks for the post Fiasco da Gama.
posted by vacapinta at 2:40 AM on November 24, 2010

« Older The Tea Party: Karma, American-style   |   Mojito Blue Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments