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Jose Pizarro: «It is an illusion that people already understand our product»

El 23 de enero de 2020 en Uncategorized por | Sin comentarios

«All the great Spanish chefs are coming to this country and it is an illusion that people already understand our product, that they understand what is ham, Pimentón, our oils, our vinegars and all the variety of our gastronomic culture,» explained Spanish chef José Pizarro during his participation in a series of talks called the Blanco- White Dialogues, in a conversation with the director of the Cervantes Institute in London, Ignacio Peyró.

Director of Instituto Cervantes in London highlighted how “gastronomy is one of the best tools of cultural diplomacy and that we must support the talent of our creators and entrepreneurs of the great larder that is Spain.»

A very nice and very hard journey

The chef from Extremadura considers himself a very positive person and believes that, in the UK, he is in «a country of diversity and made by us foreigners, although I do not consider myself that way. I consider myself a part of this culture.»

The chef said that what he enjoys the most about London is its «diversity». He remembers falling in love with the British Capital city on his first landing at Gatwick Airport. «It has been a very nice period of my life since I came here; this country from the beginning, it has agreed very well with me, it has given me many opportunities, it has received me very well and opened all the doors.»

Pizarro arrived with only a little English and did not know what he was going to find. Little by little, «fighting, working and enjoying, and with the 100% Iberian ham as a flag,» he made his own space. He defined it as «a very nice and very hard journey too» – full of enjoyment and completely without regret.

Over his last 20 years in the British capital, Pizarro has tried to rectify the lack of knowledge the UK has about Spanish gastronomic culture. He discovered it was never in the press, and it was not known or talked much about. Many locals confused Spanish products with other countries, for example: Iberian ham was thought to be Italian prosciutto. Pizarro now  happily acknowledges that things have «changed a lot», and quoted that now you can find Pimentón de la Vera in any corner of the city.

In the same way, he said that the interest in the Spanish language has risen greatly and the importance of chefs like Arzak and Adriá who both have an impressive projection and creativity.

On his Invitation to the Blanco-White Dialogues

«It is an honor. It is very emotional here, and it’s wonderful for me to be here today at Instituto Cervantes London and to be able to share a little of my life and my journey in my language,» said Pizarro. The Blanco-White Dialogues bring great guests related to Spanish culture and relations between Britain and Spain to the British public.

The next one will be the Spanish journalist and writer Juan Luis Cebrián, in a talk that will take place on Monday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m. Previously, the dancer and director of the English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo, and the writer and Cervantes Prize in 2017 Eduardo Mendoza participated.

José Pizarro: «Es una ilusión que la gente ya entienda nuestro producto»

“Todos los grandes chefs españoles están viniendo a este país y es una ilusión que la gente ya entienda nuestro producto, que entienda lo que es el jamón, el pimentón, nuestros aceites, nuestros vinagres y toda la variedad de nuestra cultura gastronómica”, explicó hoy el chef español José Pizarro durante su participación en un encuentro de la nueva serie de Diálogos Blanco-White, en una conversación con el director del Instituto Cervantes de Londres, Ignacio Peyró.

El director del Instituto Cervantes de Londres destacó como “la cocina es una de las mejores herramientas de la diplomacia cultural y estamos muy contentos de apoyar el talento de nuestros creadores y emprendedores de esa gran dispensa que es España.

Un recorrido muy bonito y muy duro

El chef extremeño se considera una persona muy positiva y cree que está en “un país de diversidad y hecho por nosotros, que somos los extranjeros, aunque yo no me considero así, me considero una parte de esta cultura”.

El extremeño recalcó que lo que más me disfruta de Londres es “la diversidad” y se acuerda de su primer aterrizaje en el aeropuerto de Gatwick, un primer momento desde el que le gustó la capital británica. “Ha sido un recorrido muy bonito desde que llegué a aquí, este país desde el principio, se ha portado muy bien conmigo, me ha dado muchas oportunidades, me ha recibido muy bien y me abierto todas las puertas”.

Pizarro llegó prácticamente sin hablar nada de inglés y no sabía lo que se iba a encontrar, pero poco a poco, “luchando, trabajando y disfrutando, y con el jamón ibérico 100% como bandera”, se ha hecho un hueco. Lo definió como “un recorrido muy bonito y muy duro también”, en el que ha disfrutado mucho y en el que no se arrepiente de nada de lo que  ha hecho.

Tras pasar estos últimos 20 años en la capital británica, Pizarro apuntó a como antes no había mucho en prensa sobre la cultura gastronómica española y no se conocía ni se hablaba mucho de ella. Muchos locales confundían el producto español con el de otros países, por ejemplo el jamón ibérico, que se pensaban que era prosciutto italiano, pero el chef reconoce que las cosas “han cambiado mucho”, y sin ir más lejos, citó como ahora se puede encontrar el Pimentón de la Vera en cualquier rincón de la ciudad. 

En esa línea, precisó que el interés por el idioma español ha subido muchísimo y la importancia de chefs como Arzak y Adriá, con una proyección y una creatividad impresionantes.

Invitado a los Diálogos Blanco-White

“Es un honor, es muy emotivo y muy bonito para mí estar hoy en el Instituto Cervantes de Londres y poder compartir un poco de mi vida y mi recorrido en mi lengua”, destacó Pizarro. Los Diálogos Blanco-White acercan al público británico a grandes personajes relacionados con la cultura española y las relaciones entre Gran Bretaña y España. 

El próximo invitado de los Diálogos Blanco-White será el periodista y escritor español Juan Luis Cebrián, en un encuentro que tendrá lugar el lunes 3 de febrero a las 19:00 horas. Previamente participaron la bailarina y directora del English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo, y el escritor y Premio Cervantes en 2017 Eduardo Mendoza.

The most popular DVDs in our library

El 16 de enero de 2020 en Biblioteca/Library por | Sin comentarios

A very important part of Instituto Cervantes in London is our library and the movies available to borrow in DVD. We introduce in this post a selection of the most popular ones among our users:

All About My Mother is a film by Pedro Almodóvar. A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does not hold true for Manuela. The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela cried until her eyes ran completely dry. Far from seeing clearly, the present and the future become mixed up in darkness.

Havana Blues is a 2005 Spanish and Cuban film by Benito Zambrano, which tells the story of two young musicians in Cuba. The film revolves around their music and contains criticism of problems in Cuba such as poverty and electricity outages.

To Hell With The Ugly is a film by Nacho Garcia Velilla. Eliseo (Javier Cámara) is ugly, lame and single. He still hasn’t found the woman of his dreams and he doesn’t really know what love is. Nati (Carmen Machi) is similarly ugly and is currently separated. She’s just met the man of her dreams but she doesn’t know what real love is either. Eliseo, on the other hand, fears that the worst is just around the corner, whilst Nati fantasises that the best is yet to come.

The Queen of Spain is a film by Fernando Trueba. Eighteen years after fleeing Nazi Germany, Spanish film actress Macarena Granada becomes a major Hollywood star. She returns to Spain to play Isabella I of Castille, surrounded by showbiz hype.

Selfie is a movie by Víctor García León. A privileged young man in Madrid gets a reality check when his father is arrested on corruption charges and all of the family’s assets are seized.

Skins is a film by Eduardo Casanova. Deformed, disfigured characters must find a way to deal with society shunning their differences.

Butterfly’s Tongue is a film by José Luis Cuerda. The heartwarming story of the relationship that develops between a shy young boy and his kind teacher in 1936 Spain. The boy, Moncho, is frightened about starting school, and it is up to the gentle, compassionate Don Gregorio to set the boy’s mind at ease. When the Spanish Civil War erupts, both individuals’ lives are changed forever. 

Los DVD más populares de nuestra biblioteca

Una parte muy importante de la biblioteca del Instituto Cervantes en Londres es la sección de películas en DVD. Os presentamos una selección de las más prestadas y las más populares entre nuestros usuarios:

Todo sobre mi madre es una película de Pedro Almodóvar. Un dicho griego dice que solo las mujeres que se han lavado los ojos con lágrimas pueden ver con claridad. Este dicho no es válido para Manuela. La noche que un automóvil atropelló a su hijo Esteban, Manuela lloró hasta que sus ojos se secaron por completo. Lejos de ver claramente, el presente y el futuro se mezclan en la oscuridad.

Habana Blues es una película hispanocubana de 2005 de Benito Zambrano, que cuenta la historia de dos músicos jóvenes en Cuba. La película gira en torno a su música y contiene críticas a los problemas en Cuba, como la pobreza y los cortes de electricidad.

Qué se mueran los feos es una película de Nacho García Velilla. Eliseo (Javier Cámara) es feo, cojo y soltero. Todavía no ha encontrado a la mujer de sus sueños y realmente no sabe qué es el amor. Nati (Carmen Machi) es también fea y actualmente está separada. Acaba de conocer al hombre de sus sueños, pero tampoco sabe qué es el verdadero amor. Eliseo, por otro lado, teme que lo peor esté a la vuelta de la esquina, mientras que Nati fantasea con que lo mejor está por venir.

La Reina de España es una película de Fernando Trueba. Dieciocho años después de huir de la Alemania nazi, la actriz española Macarena Granada se convierte en una gran estrella de Hollywood. y regresa a España para interpretar a Isabel I de Castilla, rodeada de exageraciones publicitarias.

Selfie es una película de Víctor García León. Un joven privilegiado en Madrid recibe una verificación de la realidad cuando su padre es arrestado por cargos de corrupción y todos los bienes de la familia son incautados.

Pieles es una película de Eduardo Casanova. Los personajes deformados y desfigurados deben encontrar una manera de lidiar con la sociedad evitando sus diferencias.


La lengua de las mariposas
es una película de José Luis Cuerda. La conmovedora historia de la relación que se desarrolla entre un niño tímido y su amable maestro en la España de 1936 . El niño, Moncho, tiene miedo de comenzar la escuela, y le corresponde al gentil y compasivo Don Gregorio tranquilizarlo. Cuando estalla la Guerra Civil española, las vidas de ambos individuos cambian para siempre

Happy Holidays! – ¡Felices Fiestas!

El 20 de diciembre de 2019 en Uncategorized por | Sin comentarios

Our premises will be closed from Friday 20th December 2019, to Sunday 5th January 2020, both included.

The library will be closed from Monday 16 December 2019 to Saturday11 January 2020, both included.

Happy Holidays!

El centro estará cerrado del viernes 20 de diciembre de 2019 al domingo 5 de enero de 2020, ambos inclusive.

La biblioteca estará cerrada al público del lunes 16 de diciembre de 2019 al sábado 11 de enero de 2020, ambos inclusive.

¡Felices Fiestas!

“An enormous opportunity”: enthusiastic response to DADIC, the new Cervantes diploma for Spanish teachers

El 16 de diciembre de 2019 en Cursos/Courses por | Sin comentarios

Students who wish to obtain the DADIC (the newly released Diploma of Teaching Accreditation by Instituto Cervantes) to accredit themselves as Spanish teachers in London have defined the initial training as practical and a “tremendously positive and a huge opportunity.»

This training course, aimed at future Spanish teachers, is based on Instituto Cervantes’ own methodology: a student-centred and action-oriented conceptual approach with a strong presence of collaborative and practical work: observation and teaching, development of a portfolio, etc.

Head of Studies, Pablo Martínez Gila explained that the course is based on the teaching practices of students (their experiences as students, the classes they observe and teach at Instituto Cervantes, etc.). Additionally, their analysis and reflections on these experiences helps to build the theory collaboratively. And the result is much more positive than in a traditional teacher training course: students assimilate much better and apply the concepts presented more effectively in class.

Student Testimonials

Student feedback from the course has wholeheartedly agreed with Martínez Gila that the course is more effective. Julia, a current student of the DADIC, explains: “I had the pleasure of attending two class observations. The experience for me has been amazing and very satisfying. It was the first time I was in a class without being a student. As I was writing everything I saw in class, I realised many things, especially the relationship between teacher and student”.

Equally, another current student, Sandra affirms that the self-evaluations she did in one of the workshops were the most interesting part of the course because they offer a very clear course of improvement: “The grammar and teaching theories can be completed with individual work, but this type of learning in my training can only be done by professionals who guide and support you in such a professional and constructive way”.

Meeting all expectations

Another student, David, highlights the importance of having addressed the issue of making mistakes and, subsequently, how to identify the best ways of correcting them. The fact that this approach acknowledges that students can make mistakes and learn from them gave David, “a clearer idea about which strategies may be the most useful for correction of oral and written errors.”

“Being honest” – says David – “this course is fulfilling all the expectations I had before enrolling, at this time and concepts unknown to me and I feel confident enough to start this career as a teacher. If I had to highlight some of what I learned, it would be the importance of putting the student at the centre of learning. ”

Another student points out that the first part of the course to obtain the Diploma of Teaching Accreditation of the Cervantes Institute (autonomous level) has been a “super positive experience and a huge opportunity to identify and learn from our mistakes. I am very grateful to the teachers for their dedication and I only hope to accumulate hours of experience, enjoyment and to continue learning in the second part. ”

Second part of the course

The second part of the course will take place between January 17 and February 28, 2020, while those interested in starting the first part can enroll for the course that will be taught between May 22 and July 3, 2020

“Una oportunidad enorme”: respuesta entusiasta al DADIC, el nuevo diploma del Cervantes para profesores de español

El 16 de diciembre de 2019 en Cursos/Courses por | Sin comentarios

Los alumnos que desean obtener el DADIC, el recién estrenado Diploma de Acreditación Docente del Instituto Cervantes, para acreditarse como profesores de español en Londres, definen la formación recibida en la primera parte del curso, con un marcado carácter práctico, como “tremendamente positiva y una oportunidad enorme”.

Este curso de formación, dirigido a futuros profesores de español, está basado en la metodología propia del Instituto Cervantes, un enfoque conceptual centrado en el alumno y orientado a la acción, con una fuerte presencia de trabajo colaborativo y práctico: observación e impartición de clases, elaboración de un portafolio, etc. 

Según explica el jefe de estudios del centro, Pablo Martínez Gila, en el curso se trata de partir de las prácticas docentes de los estudiantes (sus vivencias como alumnos, las clases que observan e imparten en el Instituto Cervantes, etc.) y de sus análisis y reflexiones sobre estas experiencias para ir construyendo la teoría de manera colaborativa. Y el resultado es mucho más positivo que en los cursos tradicionales de formación de profesores: los estudiantes asimilan mucho mejor y aplican de manera más efectiva en clase los conceptos que se presentan. 

Testimonios de estudiantes

Esta percepción de Martínez Gila queda manifiesta en los comentarios de los alumnos a lo largo del curso: “Tuve el placer de asistir a dos observaciones de clases. La experiencia para mí ha sido increíble y muy satisfactoria. Era la primera vez que estuve en una clase sin ser alumna. A medida que iba escribiendo todo lo que veía en la clase, me daba cuenta de muchas cosas, especialmente la relación que hay entre profesor y alumno”, destaca una de las alumnas del curso, Julia. 

Sandra, por su parte, afirma que las autoevaluaciones que hizo en uno de los talleres le resultaron la parte más interesante del curso, porque con ellas se cuenta de que es como más puedo aprender y mejorar: “La gramática y teorías de enseñanza las puedo completar con trabajo individual, pero este tipo de aprendizaje en mi formación solo se pueden hacer de la mano de profesionales que te guíen y apoyen de una forma tan profesional y constructiva”.

Cumpliendo todas las expectativas

Otro alumno, David, destaca la importancia de haber tratado el tema del error en los alumnos y cómo identificar cual puede ser la mejor vía para corregirlo, lo cual le aportó “una idea más clara sobre qué estrategias pueden ser las más útiles para la corrección de errores orales y escritos”.

“Siendo sincero –afirma David- este curso está cumpliendo todas las expectativas que tenía antes de matricularme, en este tiempo e interiorizado conceptos desconocidos para mí y me siento con la confianza suficiente para empezar esta carrera como profesor. Si tuviera que destacar algo de lo aprendido sería la importancia de poner al alumno en el centro del aprendizaje”. 

Otro alumno puntualiza que la primera parte del curso para la obtención del Diploma de Acreditación Docente del Instituto Cervantes (nivel autónomo) ha sido una experiencia “súper positiva y una oportunidad enorme para identificar y aprender de nuestros errores. Estoy muy agradecido a los profesores por su dedicación y solo espero acumular horas de experiencia, disfrutar y seguir aprendiendo en la segunda parte”.

Segunda parte del curso

La segunda parte del curso se llevará a cabo entre el 17 de enero y el 28 de febrero de 2020, mientras que los interesados en comenzar la primera parte pueden matricularse para el curso que se impartirá entre el 22 de mayo y el 3 de julio de 2020. Para más información, consulte nuestra página web.

Jiménez Fraud returns to London, Oxford and Cambridge with the publication of Epistolary

El 11 de diciembre de 2019 en Arts por | Sin comentarios

The United Kingdom hosted the presentation of the Epistolary (1905-1964) of Alberto Jiménez Fraud over three days of events in London, Oxford and Cambridge. The events were organised by Magdalen College alongside la Residencia de Estudiantes and the Free Institution of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of the Embassy of Spain in the United Kingdom. Instituto Cervantes in London also collaborated as part of the ongoing celebrations for the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Republican exile.

Jiménez Fraud directed the Residencia de Estudiantes from its foundation in 1910 until 1936 when it became, according to Julio Caro Baroja, the first cultural centre in Spain. Throughout those decades Fraud mentored several generations of university students including, Severo Ochoa, Dalí, García Lorca or Buñuel, among many other exceptional residents.  They presented theories at the Residencia, talking and working with some of the most outstanding International intellectuals, scientists and creators of the moment: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Walter Gropius, Paul Valéry, Alexander Calder.

Exile in England

The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War forced the Residencia to stop its activity and forced Jiménez Fraud into exile with his family. They fled to England where he worked as a Lecturer in the Sub-Faculty of Spanish at the University of Oxford.

The Epistolary is a collection of over two thousand letters, offering an insight and new data into the modernisation of Spanish society and its recovery process in post-war Spain. The letters present an overview of the culture of the twentieth century through their multiple correspondents and dialogues.

The protagonists of Spanish and European intellectual history parade through its pages as close family and friends of Jiménez Fraud such as his teacher Giner de los Ríos. The list is long and impressive, including letters from: Manuel B. Cossío, José Moreno Villa, Zenobia Camprubí, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Natalia Cossío or Gloria Giner, along with Ortega and Gasset, Unamuno, Falla, Ramón y Cajal, Menéndez Pidal, María de Maeztu and Américo Castro.

“The collection of letters gathered in the Jiménez Fraud Epistolary is an impressive academic work that deserves all forms of praise for both publishers and publishing houses, since it is an outstanding contribution to Spanish intellectual and cultural history during the twentieth century, and it is also a very interesting book from the point of view of Spanish-British relations,” said the director of Instituto Cervantes in London, Ignacio Peyró.

Elisa Navas, director of the Francisco Giner de los Ríos Foundation, stressed the importance of the three volumes of the Alberto Jiménez Fraud Epistolary, for the abundant information hitherto unknown about the modernisation project born from the Free Institution of Education of which the Residencia was an emblem.

Jiménez Fraud’s letters, which fluctuate between public and private, are included in the collection of epistolary published by the Residencia, in an attempt to achieve the most complete body of correspondence of the most relevant figures of the so-called Age of Silver of the Spanish culture: the period from 1868 to 1936, the brightest period after the Golden Age.

For Navas, the epistolary meets the rescue objective that encouraged the life and work of Jiménez Fraud when he had to leave the Residencia in September 1936, considering it essential to recover the memory of the institutions and the transmission of his legacy to the new generations of Spaniards, with the dream that one day they could reap their fruit in a free and democratic Spain.

García-Velasco and Valender

For José García-Velasco, the Higher Council for Scientific Research has always been linked to the Residencia. He explained how Jiménez Fraud’s struggle to recover the Residencia project until his death in 1964 informed the entirety of his exile in England. His legacy is still alive in the current Residencia de Estudiantes and the Free Institution of Education, both restored the Spanish democratic and European generations.

García-Velasco also stressed the value and importance of the precious testimonies in the epistolary of Jiménez Fraud. The first volume includes letters written during the period prior to the Spanish Civil War, and the following volumes, with correspondence between Jiménez Fraud and its recipients reflecting on the events that occurred between 1910 and 1636 since his exile.

In addition, García-Velasco mentioned the scholarship programme created by the Board for the Expansion of Studies, between 1907 and 1936, which granted about 3,000 scholarships (then called pensions) to centres of excellence in Europe and the United States. Thanks to these networks, the Residencia served as host to prestigious figures of the contemporary academic, scientific and artistic fields.

For his part, the Spanish literature professor at El Colegio de México and respected hispanist, James Valender, highlighted the value of the individual as well as the community angles represented by Jiménez Fraud in his letters. “Don Alberto (as his colleagues call him), is undoubtedly one of the figures who did more to promote Spanish culture and education in the first half of the twentieth century and was also a man who fled from fame and public recognition with the same determination with which others, with much less merit than him,” said Valender.

Jiménez Fraud vuelve con su Epistolario a Londres, Oxford y Cambridge

El 11 de diciembre de 2019 en Arts por | Sin comentarios

Reino Unido acogió la presentación del Epistolario (1905-1964) de Alberto Jiménez Fraud, en tres días de eventos en Londres, Oxford y Cambridge organizados por el Magdalen College, la Residencia de Estudiantes y la Institución Libre de Enseñanza en colaboración con la Consejería de Educación de la Embajada de España en el Reino Unido y el Instituto Cervantes de Londres, en el marco del 80 aniversario del exilio republicano español.

Jiménez Fraud dirigió la Residencia de Estudiantes desde su fundación en 1910 hasta 1936, cuando se había convertido, según Julio Caro Baroja, en el primer centro cultural de España. A lo largo de esos decenios, en los que fue mentor de varias generaciones de universitarios (Severo Ochoa, Dalí, García Lorca o Buñuel, entre otros muchos residentes excepcionales), en la Residencia expusieron sus teorías o presentaron sus obras algunos de los más destacados intelectuales, científicos y creadores internacionales del momento: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Walter Gropius, Paul Valéry, Alexander Calder…

Exilio en Inglaterra

El estallido de la guerra civil obligó a la Residencia a detener su actividad y a Jiménez Fraud a exiliarse con su familia en Inglaterra, donde trabajó como Lecturer en la Sub-Faculty of Spanish de la Universidad de Oxford.

Este epistolario, que recoge dos mil cartas, ofrece nuevos datos acerca del plan de modernización de la sociedad española y sobre su proceso de recuperación en la España posterior a la guerra. Las cartas presentan un panorama de la cultura del siglo XX a través de sus corresponsales. 

Por sus páginas desfilan algunos de los protagonistas de la historia intelectual española y europea: familiares y amigos de Jiménez Fraud como su maestro Giner de los Ríos, Manuel B. Cossío, José Moreno Villa, Zenobia Camprubí, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Natalia Cossío o Gloria Giner, junto a Ortega y Gasset, Unamuno, Falla, Ramón y Cajal, Menéndez Pidal, María de Maeztu, Américo Castro… o los más jóvenes Caro Baroja o Valente.

“La colección de cartas reunidas en el Epistolario de Jiménez Fraud es una impresionante obra académica que merece toda forma de elogio tanto para los editores como para la editorial, ya que es una contribución destacada a la historia intelectual y cultural española durante el siglo XX, y también es un libro muy interesante desde el punto de vista de las relaciones hispano-británicas”, destacó el director del Instituto Cervantes de Londres, Ignacio Peyró.

Elisa Navas, directora de la Fundación Francisco Giner de los Ríos, subrayó la importancia de los tres volúmenes del epistolario de Alberto Jiménez Fraud, por la abundante información hasta ahora desconocida sobre el proyecto de modernización nacido de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza del que la Residencia fue emblema.

Las cartas de Jiménez Fraud, que fluctúan entre lo público y lo privado, se engloban dentro de la colección de epistolarios que publica la Residencia, en un intento por conseguir el corpus más completo de la correspondencia de las figuras más relevantes de la llamada Edad de Plata de la cultura española: el período de 1868 a 1936, el período más brillante después del Siglo de Oro.

Para Navas, el epistolario cumple con el objetivo de rescate que animó la vida y la obra de Jiménez Fraud cuando tuvo que abandonar la Residencia en septiembre de 1936, considerando imprescindible recuperar la memoria de las instituciones y la transmisión de su legado a las nuevas generaciones de españoles, con el sueño de que un día podrían recoger su fruto en una España libre y democrática.

García-Velasco y Valender

En el caso de José García-Velasco, del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas y siempre ligado a la Residencia, explicó la lucha de Jiménez Fraud desde el exilio para recuperar el proyecto de la Residencia hasta su muerte en 1964 y cómo su legado sigue vivo en la actual Residencia de Estudiantes y en la Institución Libre de Enseñanza, ambas restauradas para las generaciones democráticas y europeas españolas.

García-Velasco subrayó la importancia de los testimonios de precioso valor en el epistolario de Jiménez Fraud, con un primer volumen con cartas escritas durante el período previo a la Guerra Civil española, y los siguientes volúmenes, con la correspondencia entre Jiménez Fraud y sus destinatarios reflejando en los eventos ocurridos entre 1910 y 1636 desde el exilio.

Además, García-Velasco mencionó el programa de becas creado por la Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios, entre 1907 y 1936, que concedió unas 3.000 becas, llamadas en aquel entonces pensiones, a centros de excelencia en Europa y Estados Unidos. Gracias a estas redes, la Residencia sirvió de anfitriona a figuras prestigiosas del campo académico, científico y artístico del momento.

Por su parte, el profesor de Literatura española de El Colegio de México y respetado hispanista, James Valender, resaltó los aspectos individuales y colectivos que Jiménez Fraud contó en sus cartas. “Don Alberto (como lo llaman sus colegas), es sin duda alguna uno de las figuras que hizo más por promocionar la cultura española y la educación en la primera mitad del siglo XX y además, fue un hombre que huyó de la fama y del reconocimiento público con la misma determinación con la que otros, con muchos menos méritos de los que presumir, fueron constantemente el centro de atención”, destacó Valender.

Belen Cao, the Spanish designer at the National Gallery’s exhibitions

El 10 de diciembre de 2019 en Arts por | Sin comentarios

Belen Cao has always been fascinated by both writing and drawing and studied a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication from the Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid (2009). Since then, she has worked in small press offices and, in doing so, she began to redirect her career towards Graphic Design. 

In 2012, Cao completed a one-year professional Masters in this subject at the Trazos school in Madrid. Followed by a year in Digital Illustration at the ESDIP school in Madrid (2014) and finally, a Master of the Arts at Kingston University, London in Graphic Design and Visual Communication in which she graduated with honors in 2016. Her academic studies have also been informed by extracurricular learning such as courses in animation, drawing, typography and printing methods.

Cao began her career at London’s National Gallery in December 2016 after a brief period of volunteering as an art teacher at an elementary school in South East London. She combined the volunteering with freelance designer work for Associated Studios, a training school for Young students of Theater and Opera.

Bartolome Bermejo Exhibition Installation

What projects have you worked on recently?

Since I started working at the National Gallery, I have worked on numerous exhibitions. My initiation rite was with one of the heavyweights of the Renaissance and his disciple: Michelangelo & Sebastiano. The truth is that I will never forget it. I entered when the exhibition was already half completed and I had to catch up with everything as fast as I could to not disappoint the expectations of my employers, and of course my own. This situation was a stressful, especially because I was not working in my mother tongue, but it was also immensely satisfying once it was finished.

During my 3 years at the National Gallery, I have designed approximately 14 exhibitions including 3 exhibits of Spanish monographs from a range of different time periods.

In 2017, at the centrepiece of the Self-portraits exhibition we had the Spanish baroque painter, Murillo. The central paintings were all on loan from the New York Frick collection which included and our famous self-portrait. It shows a more experienced Murillo with his hand outside the frame, building A magnificent trap.

At the beginning of 2019, we jumped from the Baroque to the Impressionism of the 19th century. During this time, I had the magnificent opportunity to design the Sorolla exhibition: Spanish Master of Light and collaborated closely with his great-granddaughter, Blanca Pons-Sorolla. I can also thank my very talented companion and friend, Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, curator of the exhibition together with Chris Riopelle for their help. On this occasion, the title of the exhibition gave me the key to the concept of design: The Light. Here the challenge was that of how to introduce the feeling of being in one of the beautiful landscapes of the impressionist painter. The concept was clear, the methods for obtaining it not so much. After several meetings with our lighting technicians, I envisioned the possibility of projecting Sorolla’s name on a large scale and introducing diffused light by means of gobos at the entrance to the exhibition space that simulated light passing through the leaves of the trees. I have to say that I experienced an almost childlike joy throughout the entire process of the Sorolla exhibition. In everything from the beginning of the creative concept to the design of the leaflets with translucent paper which made them so enticing that they sold out in 2 weeks rather than the predicted 2 months. The public reception was exceptional; the attendance expectations tripled and even today, when the exhibition closed several months ago, I am frequently met with members of the public who tell me that they were so moved by the painter that, even though he was unknown to them initially, now they will never forget him. 

2019 also saw an even greater leap from Impressionism to the Gothic, Bartolomé Bermejo: Spanish Master of the Renaissance. This exhibition was a collaboration with the Prado Museum and the MNAC of Barcelona and was a great opportunity for me as a designer to bring Classic design into a more theatrical production. I incorporated the use of three-dimensional letters in gold, botanic elements which have a strong symbology in Bermejo as well as rhinestones (pearls and cabochons) to accentuate the jewellery elements frequently included in the production of the painter.

Bartolome Bermejo Exhibition Installation

Who or what inspires you to do your work?

Inspiration comes when you least expect it. Sometimes walking through the forest, suddenly you see how the light hits the ground as it passes through the leaves and there you have it. Sometimes you stop to look at a shop window and there are those pearls that capture the light in a wonderful way, and you think, what if we put them next to Bermejo? They would look so beautiful. But most of the time it is a combination of observing your surroundings, absorbing inspiration (often from other exhibitions, photographs, theatre sets, ballet, opera and even passionate conversations with friends and colleagues) and looking in detail at the paintings included in the exhibition. The works themselves will always give you the keys to the consistency of the design. Sometimes there are slight artistic disparities between the visions of curators but the truth is, it is wonderful to work with the team of curators of the National Gallery. I feel that they love my work and this leads me to always want to do my best and go one step further whilst also helping and encouraging them.

Sorolla Exhibition banners

What places do you recommend in London as a designer? 

I always like to visit other museums that inspire me and hold such knowledge. I usually like to go to the Design Museum, the Tate (in fact, since I have mentioned the theme of light, I highly recommend going to see Olafur Eliasson’s facilities) and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy is always very fun, I highly recommend it, in fact I have some projects programmed for next year. Clerkenwell Design Week is also always inspiring and varied and  I recommend being aware of Central St Martins and Goldsmiths University’s exhibitions. I always enjoy being inspired by bookstores and even seeing the designs of artists in showcases of luxury stores (especially at Christmas), which are abound here in London: those of New Bond Street are particularly beautiful.

Banner outside Room 1, Murillo: the Self Portraits Exhibition.

What projects are you working on at the moment? 

At this moment, I just opened Leonardo: An Immersive Experience, in which I have been in charge of creating the Blue Angel (which we are using for the marketing campaign and the cover of the catalogue). It is a mixture of layers upon layers in Photoshop with different opacities and fusion modes, combining Leonardo’s work with microscopic pigments of the painting. It has been the most interesting and enriching collaboration alongside my partner in the scientific department, Marika Spring. It is then followed by Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age, in the same space as Leonardo in February 2020. At the moment I am immersed in the creative concept of the next exhibition in room 1, SIN. It promises everything and more and it will be a fantastic effort to bring religious themes into an increasingly secular society in an engaging and relevant way.

The entrance to the Sorolla Exhibition.
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