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The crisis in Spain has affected everything and everyone to some extent. Culture is especially suffering the lack of investment, not only from the government but also from citizens. However, on a small island located in the Atlantic ocean, there is a group of people still fighting for their beliefs, for culture as a recipe for the progress of society.
On Tenerife, one of the seven Canary Islands, there is a group of 10 photographers who have organized a cultural event, unique because of it originality. It is a free cultural week named “Diez fotógrafos, diez miradas, cien imágenes” (Ten photographers, ten views, one hundred images).
The event took place September 21 to 29 in the “Centre of Arts and Congress Magma” and there we have found live music, short films from more than 30 worldwide videographers, and lectures from professional photographers and representatives of international brands, such as Canon, Lomography and GoPro among other activities planned. Mark Fradley, the head of the group “Ten Diez Movement” agreed to talk with Toonari Post.
Toonari Post: How did “Ten Diez Movement” come about?
Mark Fradley: The idea behind the “Ten Diez Movement” came about after spending many years on-line and being constantly inspired by so much creativity out there from just regular people, from sites such as Flickr, 500px, blogs, Vimeo and other social media. Then came along Facebook where it became relatively easy to share ones artistic expression across a broad audience. This and a passion for art, live music and an embedded belief that working together as a collective is more practical and beneficial then working as an individual.
TP: What the event is all about? Who had the idea of carrying it out?
MF: When I started working on the project back in November 2011 my main concept behind the movement was a cultural one. It was to create a community of people that could work together on various levels & projects and not necessarily just for people based in the Canary Islands. “The event” is just our first step to where we would like to see ourselves in the next few years.
TP: What is the difference between this event and other cultural events?
MF: I think the ability to carry on the concept into other fields is possibly one of the main differences and not having it all boil down to how much money can be raked in from it. That and basing it on the people and being able to offer them a free of charge array of different and interesting activities.
TP: How is the public responding to the initiative?
MF: We are really stoked with the response from the public, local government and the islands’ media. They all seem to want to back the whole deal, it’s a bit overwhelming sometimes how we’ve received so many good critics in such a short space of time. The response has been great across the board and I can only thank everyone involved for we are at now just 10 months down the line.
TP: How are you funded?
MF: Privately. All the project’s funding has been generated entirely from local professional businesses, a small amount to cover general expenditures.
TP: Canon, Lomography or GoPro are helping you with the project. How did you attract the attention of these big enterprises?
MF: This basically comes down to a lot of hard work from the whole team. Myself and the movement’s partner Miguel Issa have spent hundreds of hours projecting different angles to deal with these corporations and successfully we finally got their attention. I would like to think we could put it down to our persistence and professionalism.
TP: The event is focused towards photography; how did photography come into your life?
MF: Yes this event is more focused towards photography. I started my journey at 14 because one of my art teachers was a photography enthusiast and ran a term course there, back in the day before digital cameras were on the scene. We had a darkroom for developing black & white film; I was fascinated.
TP: One of the more discussed economic cuts in Spain in the last months has been the Spanish cinema aids cuts, around 35%. What is your opinion about it?
MF: We don’t want to enter the project into politics, so no comment on that one.
TP: What expectations do you have for the future? Are you going to organize the event next year?
MF: For sure we are going to be carrying on with project, we are currently at Magma Centro de Arte & Congresos, playa de las Américas, Tenerife and will be extending the exhibition for a month or two more but just as gallery type environment. After this event comes to a close on September 29, we have a couple more exhibitions that will piggy back each other both for local government (in town halls).
TP: The event is completely free, but did you think about charging admission now or in the next editions?
MF: Whilst we are able to offer a free public service we shall continue in that direction. Having said that, there are a few small projects we would like to run in the near future that simply aren’t possible to offer for free.
TP: Personally, what has this event meant to you?
MF: I’m grateful to the 200 plus people involved in the project and grateful for their time and trust. Also thank you for taking the time and I hope you have a little more knowledge about what’s going on, on our little island.