The fact that I am an urban and rural landscape photographer in Colombia may be clear. But from time to time I also enjoy writing (due to my background as a journalist/writer). Therefore I was asked to contribute with an essay to the book “Was Gabo an Irishman?”, that was launched last week at the International Book Fair of Bogotá 2015 where a group of the authors signed their books.
But how much does life in today´s Colombia reflect the work of Gabriel García Márquez? What is it really like to live in the country he left behind? How does the experience of living in Colombia deepen one´s understanding of works like One Hundred Years of Solitude? And do his words provide the key to unlocking the enigma that is Colombia?
In this collection of 26 personal essays, I join writers from nine countries to answer these questions and more. All of the contributers have lived in Colombia and for many it was García Márquez that first introduced them to this country of magic realism, conflict and high happiness levels.
“It rained for four years, eleven months and two days”
“I gave up trying to read the 430 pages of the Dutch version of One Hundred Years of Solitude. In the end, I required three attempts and a change of continent to finally make any headway through the tangled conversations of the Buendía family, and the one thing that remained with me from the start to the finish was the rain.”
“In Bogotá it rains in equal measures as in my native Holland and, at times, I feel as though my socks are never dry. But, during a brief time living in Spain, I discovered that as an urban and landscape photographer I needed clouds to break the light and soften the contrast. This changed the way I thought of rain.”