Cristóbal Hara uses images taken in contemporary Spain and filters them through the emotional memories of his childhood
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Cristóbal Hara was born into a Spanish colonial family in 1946; his German mother died shortly after his birth and he spent his early childhood in the Philippines and in the USA. When he was eight years old, he was sent to a religious boarding school in provincial Spain and found himself locked into a world of perverse religiosity and sexual repression, coupled with violence and corporal punishment. This experience occurred during the middle years of the long Franco dictatorship and, although perhaps particularly traumatic to an outsider, was not uncommon to Spaniards of his generation.
Working with the wild horses of northern Spain nearly half a century later, he strongly identified with the mixture of vulnerability and rebelliousness of the ponies; the dust, the smells, the general roughness and coercion made him relive the childhood experience. In Autobiography, the second volume of a trilogy (following An Imaginary Spaniard, 2004), Cristóbal Hara uses images taken in contemporary Spain and filters them through the emotional memories of his childhood. The result digs deep into Spanish culture and into the cultural background of his generation.