Francisco González, journalist: “Photographic memory helps me identify the reels I keep”

In a book and an exhibition, Francisco González Concepción reflects half a century of dedication to journalism in its two aspects. An informative text illustrates each photo.

-How many years depicted!
“Not little. The first edition of the book covered from 1977 to 2017.”

-Forty…
“I worked in the press for fifty years”.

– How was the beginnings in the profession?
“I started collaborating in a high school newspaper, in Pérez Galdós”.

-School…
“After this instructive apprenticeship, I went through The echo of the Canaries, Province, Review Las Palmas…”.

-Historical headers…
“Then I went to La Laguna to study and I was a correspondent for Province”.

The experience does not come out of nowhere. It is an accumulation of experience and knowledge…
Diary 16, Change 16, from the same editorial group; correspondent of Notice Log…”.

-Too much?
” In a short time. And in The afternoon. I took my first steps on the radio, at the Cope newspaper. It wasn’t my thing. »

-In addition to being a photographer…
“I am a writer, but my main hobby is photography”.

-Perceptible!
“In Diary 16 I sent the chronicles and at each act I went I took my camera”.

-It’s done now…
“Ha, ha, ha… Ever since I was little, I’ve loved photography. And I loved to write. »

-Two for one…
“He realized the two facets: the graphic and the literary.

-Which snapshots evoke more affection?
“I have the best memories of the transition, very complicated and exciting years.”

-Intriguing…
“My first camera was a plastic Kodak Fiesta.”

-Not the disposable ones…
“Certainly not! A black box, large format”.

– Wildly!
“Yes. Subsequently, a Retina 1a. Already professional, a Minolta. From there to Pentax and finally jumped to Nikon.

And what about typing?
“In Province They were of the Adler brand. In Diary 16the chronicles were normally sent by telephone”.

– They dictated!
“Or, with a reverse charge card, in a booth in the Post Office telex room.”

– How many pieces is the collection made up of?
“I estimate between 77 and 85, more than 40,000 images.”

-Of each rewind, only one was released…
“Clear! I keep the negatives in some boxes.

– What a roll!
Photographic memory helps me. When she was preparing the book, she saw a reel and knew where it came from”.

-Several scenarios…
“I moved, for example, to La Gomera during the 1984 fire. And to Algiers to meet the Polisario.

– They throw the nets to the Canarian fishermen!
“When the crew of the fishing boat Las Palomas was kidnapped in 1978, I contacted the Polisario.”

– Exposed to events, with their risks…
“The book brings together 1,200 photographs and the exhibition has around 200.”

-It will not have been easy to select the material…
“The most complicated.

-For the sample that the Parliament received, were any specifically chosen?
“The Parliament exhibition is the same as the one organized in Las Palmas”.

-A visual journey in constant motion…
“The exhibition ends with the pandemic.”

-And the volcano?
“This time I did not go to La Palma, but told the regional television panel about the eruption.”

-A lot of anecdotes in the retina of memory, right?
“Phew! There’s one that dates back to a visit from a NATO squadron, which was met with protests.”

-With shutters and flashes…
“I photographed the detention of a colleague, Orlando Martín, on the dock, and the Civil Guard arrested me.”

– In a panic?
“Calm down! I gave the reel to the judge, they revealed it and he concluded that there was no crime in my performance.

-Wow!
“Nine months later, I received a notification from the Court. They had reported me for resisting authority.

-Oh!
“This judge touched me and they acquitted me. The sentence indicates that the Civil Guard exceeded its functions.

I suspect that’s not the end of the story…
“The second part is coming.”

-I imagined!
“Four or five years ago, going up from Virgen del Pino to Teror, they stopped me at a Civil Guard checkpoint.”

-The Virgin!
“A colonel. ‘Hello!, what’s up!, hello!’. He asked me and I said he was working on Isla 21”.

-Or?
“A free newspaper dedicated to the towns of Gran Canaria that I published for ten years.”

-Then?
“I told him about my previous relationship with Diary 16 and what he said blew me away.

– That wouldn’t be a dirty joke!
“He was the lieutenant of the unit that intervened in the incident because of the NATO business.”

– How funny!
“Very funny! We became good friends”.

– Reel and cover!
“Randomly !”.

Exhibition at the Parliament of the Canary Islands

Michael E. Marquez