Mans Salgadas

My personal and family memory is salty and deeply bound to the memory of Galicia, the land of the sea. Because Galicia is like a great cetacean; like a whale that, after so many years, does not know how to live out of the water and is condemned to wander eternally on a long voyage. Galicia smells salty; it has the eyes of a gannet and the hands of a fishmonger. From the port side to the starboard, from windward to leeward, from stem to stern, the country is intersected by the ocean. The country itself is an infinite ocean that raises the arms of its seamen from the waters at the bottom of the bay to Gran Sol, from Newfoundland to the Indian Ocean, from the Atlantic Ocean to the southern latitudes, always riding the same waves that are different to each eye and in each instant.

This is a book that stimulates my emotions doubly. Because it helps me recall the flavour of my family memory and the collective memory of the people to which I belong. And because it is an exceptional book. Javier Teniente’s photographs are laden with humaneness, life, intensity. His sea is deeply human, painful and in pain, beautiful in the form the colors take, magisterial in his command of light. From the shipyards to the phosphorescence of the sardines, from Gran Sol to the offshore albacore fishing, from the shipping companies to the goose-neck barnacle pickers, from the shellfish gathering to the fish market, Salty hands covers the whole cycle of the sea, dragging us into its entrails with a well-aimed glance and a timely heavy sea. Salty hands is a book at permanent high tide. They are photographs that, inevitably, drown our emotions in salt.

Fran Alonso