CARTAGENA, Colombia – The “25 Years of Ibero-American Summits” photo exhibition, which will be inaugurated on Wednesday night in this northern Colombian city, offers a look back at the history of the Ibero-American community, organizers said.
The exhibit features 38 images from the 24 summits held to date, with the images drawn from Spain’s international news agency EFE’s archive of more than 17 million photographs.
Agencia EFE is organizing the exhibit along with the Ibero-American General Secretariat, or SEGIB, with support from the Colombian Foreign Ministry.
“EFE has been an agency that has accompanied us during these 25 years of summits ... it’s been a key player in the construction of this Ibero-American space, and we see that now in this exhibit we’ll be inaugurating today,” SEGIB Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said.
The exhibit includes “family photos” from the 24 previous summits and numerous other images from those gatherings.
“I think it’s a beautiful exhibit, and thanks very much to EFE for all that effort,” she added.
EFE President Jose Antonio Vera, for his part, hailed the exhibit’s historical value during a visit he paid Wednesday to the Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala Conventions Center, the venue for the 25th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, which will be held Friday and Saturday in Cartagena.
He said the photos from the summit’s first edition in 1991 in the Mexican city of Guadalajara and the fourth edition in Cartagena in 1994 were particularly meaningful.
“Besides the Guadalajara summit, because of the symbolism of being the first one, I think that due to the fact we’re all here we need to remember that it was celebrated before in Cartagena,” Vera said.
He recalled that not only did Spain’s king and queen and the presidents of the Ibero-American nations attend that summit but that Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the 1982 Nobel literature laureate, was a special guest of honor.
Indeed, one of the exhibit’s photos shows Juan Carlos and Sofia, who are now king and queen emeritus of Spain, having an animated conversation with Garcia Marquez and Colombian scientist Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, who discovered the malaria vaccine.
The exhibition will be inaugurated Wednesday night in a ceremony that Grynspan, Vera and the Colombian Foreign Ministry’s cultural affairs director, Luis Armando Soto, will attend.