Art in the streets of Órgiva: José Vera’s evocative statues of Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla

Art in the streets of Órgiva by Marilyin Fox

As I stood in the crowd on the cobbled street and strained to hear (and understand) the speeches, I felt very proud to be a part of ANA, of Órgiva itself and impressed by José Vera’s new sculpture.

José Vera
This beautiful statue celebrating two famous friends, the composer Manuel de Falla and Federico García Lorca poet and playwrite, shot dead by the fascists in 1938 during a visit to beautiful Granada, adorns the pavement opposite the two spired Catholic church.

Catching the gist of what was being said in the speeches, I felt quite emotional to think how, as Britain and America seem to drift ever farther right, Andalucía celebrates its release from the clutches of the far right fascists within living memory and is now proud to call itself Socialist.

We would quite likely never have heard of these two fellows, or their stories, were it not for Jose’s efforts.

I am very sad to think of anyone being murdered for their sexual orientation and political leanings, but reassured and uplifted by Órgiva’s acceptance of such a tribute to freedom and the artisan.

Bringing it home
Perhaps having these two life-sized, solid, snapshot representations of two good friends, meandering arm-in-arm along the streets amongst us as we busy ourselves about the town, brings the harsh and awful realities of fascism into the now, but also acts as a reminder of where none of us ever wish to go again and what Andalucía can be proud to have left behind.


Traditional Spanish
After the unveiling, we heard some traditional Spanish music. I was surprised to find that it was not Flamenco but a music I had never heard before.

Played and sung by local musicians and singers, it was wonderful! I was particularly taken by the sound of the guitar-like stringed instruments and the lady boldly and rhythmically pounding out the beat on a handheld skin drum. I really enjoyed them. This was the music that Manuel de Falla took inspiration from.

Later there was the traditional soup available from the ayuntamiento, which was delicious and the wonderful crowds of whole families of all generations, bracing the chill to celebrate and socialise.

All-in-all it was a lovely day.

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