Delmi Álvarez

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Delmi Álvarez
Álvarez in 2011
Born1958 (age 60–61)[1]
  • Photojournalist
  • Documentary photography
  • writer

Delmi Álvarez (born 1958) is a Galician photojournalist and documentary photographer. His work documents migration phenomena, especially of the Galician disapora, and environmental and human rights issues. He has organized and curated several projects of photography with other international photographers.

Photography career[edit]

Alvarez is a self-taught[2] photojournalist and documentary photographer.[3] He has travelled widely documenting migratory phenomena such as refugee crises and the Galician diaspora.[3] He also documents environmental and human rights issues.[4]

He has participated in collective exhibitions[5][6][7] and written several books, one about Galicia[8] (never published and censored by Xunta de Galicia)[citation needed] with the participation of two Magnum Photos agency photographers, Ian Berry and Richard Kalvar,[9] and one long term project Galegos na Diáspora, 1989-2009 about Galicians[10] who migrated around the world.[11][12][13]

Psychiatric hospital El Borda, Buenos Aires, 1991

He has worked for the Associated Press[1] and taught at Vigo's School of Image and Sound.[1] From 2003 to 2011 he moved to Latvia working as photojournalist[14] and writer in newspaper Diena.[15] He is a contributor with El Pais from 1984,[16] and currently based in Brussels.

Special Period in Cuba[edit]

La Zafra. Cortadores de caña de azúcar. Cuba 1991

Delmi Alvarez documented between 1990 and 1991 the lives of Cubans during Periodo Especial en Tiempo de Paz, in a project: Cuba, el ultimo bastion: la lucha de un pueblo.[2] He lived in Havana and traveled throughout the island documenting the plan established by the Cuban government with the dissolution of the Soviet Union or the dissolution of the USSR disintegrating the federal political structures and the central government, culminating in the independence of the fifteen Republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991.[citation needed] The economic blockade of the United States meant that basic necessities did not reach the island, and the government of Fidel Castro determined that all Cubans should work in agriculture. The production of tobacco, agriculture, tourism, cigar factories, mining, harvesting or social change in the lives of Cubans were some of the subjects photographed in the time he remained on the island.[citation needed] Unfortunately, on a flight from Madrid to Havana, the suitcase carrying the negatives disappeared at a technical stop on the plane in Santo Domingo, losing a large part of his documentary work that he was never able to recover.[citation needed] After asking many times, the Cuban Ministry of the Interior granted him a permanent residence permit to carry out the documentation work.[citation needed]

Human rights[edit]

As an activist defender and eyewitness on the Human Rights he had been photographing inside prisons, flows and settlement of immigrants to Europe and their human and living aspects.[3][17] Also he is very interested in photograph inside psychiatric hospitals for people suffering of mental health. Several projects approach him in 1991 to El Borda (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Conxo (Santiago de Compostela, Galicia). The first one, by the state in which the patients were suffering,[18] and also attacked by police[19] dying from starvation and lack of care, the abandonment was such that the patients themselves took control of the medications to administer to other patients.

El Borda's own story is full of events, deaths and neglect of patients by the government of the time. Between 2009 and 2010, 46 patients died from the aforementioned mental health center. "El Borda is a big mouth that swallows you", It can be read on a sign, or "There are men that fight one day and are good. There are others that fight for a year and are better. Some fight for many years and are very good. But there are those who fight all their lives: those are the essentials" Bertolt Brecht poem.

Hospital de Conxo, Santiago de Compostela, circa 1987

The hospital kitchen didn't always work, and there were patients who had their own garden where they grew vegetables. The smell of urine and feces in the corridors are like the smoke of a forest fire, it stays stuck to the clothes, the skin and the subconscious, and it can be years and they still last.

From madness to mental illness. From the social stigma to the integration of the patient.

For the project of Conxo, Delmi was invited by several doctors to document the life inside of the hospital for people with mental disorders. In the Galicia of the 80s, there was a bad idea in society about psychiatric hospitals, such as places where people were locked up due to mental illness, discriminating the suffering and suffering of these people. Several doctors wrote books about this type of institutions and the need for a new psychiatry.[20] A generation of doctors wanted to tear down that idea and invited him to document the hospital center on different occasions. With the images it was possible to humanize a little more the problem of ignorance in a society that had submitted to silence during the Franco dictatorship.[21]

The main idea and target of this essay was approach to the public the human and unknown world of psychiatry. Actually he was researching the small Belgian village of Geel where patients of the hospital can live with families in their homes[22] following and ancient tradition in the village for centuries.

The last project in which he works together with a journalist colleague in Belgium, is the not well known world of Euthanasia,[23] exploring both the relationship between doctor and patient[24] in which suffering[25][26] is the one of several reasons or arguments.[27]

In 2014, he began a slow degree in Anthropology.

Yugoslav wars[edit]

Aftermath of a bombing over the city of Osijek, Croatia 1991.
Aftermath of a bombing over the city of Osijek, Croatia 1991.

He covered the Yugoslav wars (1991–1993)[2][1][28][29] and published a book,Reporteiro de guerra en Iugoslavia, (1994)[2][30][31] on the fighting and aftermath of a war. He never identifies himself as a war photographer.

In the summer of 1991 recently arrived from Cuba, he went on assignment by a Galician newspaper, to cover the confilct between Serbian and Croatia. Once in Belgrade he met the reporter of El Mundo, Julio Fuentes, at the reception of the Hotel Moskva, who invited to accompany to the frontline of the battle. Rookie in the coverage of the photography of war, Julio Fuentes was his true and great teacher, colleague and human kind, and together they living a part of the trip unforgettable experiences. Julio Fuentes was killed on November 19, 2001 while covering the War in Afghanistan, in an ambush against a convoy of journalists on the Pul-i-Estikam bridge, somewhere between Kabul and Jalalabad (Afghanistan), along with three other colleagues: the Italian correspondent of the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, Maria Grazia Cutuli, the Australian cameraman Harry Burton, who worked for Reuters, and the Afghan photographer Azizula Haidari. while covering the War in Afghanistan.

A woman has just been announced that she has lost her family in a bombing. Sarajevo 1992
At the spanish army checkpoint near Mostar, Bosnia, 1992.

Between 1991 and 1993 he covered the war by working for various media, sending chronicles and images. He was never interested in being a war photographer, especially in the development of a conflict in a modern Europe, which boasted of human ideals and values. Thousands of innocent people were murdered, including children and women, who resisted sieges such Vukovar and Sarajevo carried out by the forces of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army, and lasted from April 5, 1992 to February 29. 1996. Crimes and war criminals were judged especially by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). After losing several friends decided not to return to cover any armed conflict. Like many other civilians and journalists living or working and experiencing traumatic situations on inhuman situations or armed conflicts, he was diagnosed in a first stage with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In 2013 and 2014 he decided to return to Croatia following a behavioral cognitive therapy, visiting places where fear was unconsciously generated (Vukovar Hospital and siege to the city,1991), supported by the chronicles he wrote in his book. On several occasions he managed to talk to people he had met at the time (from 1991 till 93) and who were still alive. The re-encounters with people, friends (soldiers and civilians) and the places, gave way to a general relief on the negative experiences and alleviated the traumatic past, which generally affects in the perception of the feelings and the empathy for other human beings.

For many years he has explained to students and at conferences his experience about PTSD, something that must be taken into account by future journalists covering armed conflicts, situations where the human being suffers considerably (famines, refugee camps, bombings) or disasters, and assume the inevitable risk to which they will be expose themselves. It's like going to the beach on a very sunny day or working in tropical areas, and not taking the proper precautions to not burn yourself.[32] The sequels are for life.

Working or living in an atmosphere of war or armed conflict for a long time unconsciously causes mental disorders in the human being due to the harshness of the situations experienced, which can end up causing irreversible traumas such as the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The hangars of Velepromet was a temporary concentration camp after the fall of Vukovar. In this Serbian concentration camp around 10.000 people were detained, among whom were women and children as well.[33] Records and witnesses said soldiers committed rapes against women and children, and many civilians were shot and murder.
The hangars of Velepromet was a temporary concentration camp after the fall of Vukovar.

In 2013 during one of the visits with his colleague polish photojournalist Wiktor Dabkoswki to a former Croatian friend in Vukovar, they know in person the project Suncica-Sunny[34] (Sunčica, 20 years old, former detainee in a Serbian concentration camp in 1991 as a baby at the age of 8 months) the testimonies of women raped during the war.

Being a human rights issue, they began producing a documentary with the support and approval of the Suncica-Sunny women's group, and start filming and photographing case by case in the hangars of Velepromet[33] on the outskirts of the city. The filming took place inside one of several hangars where a group of women had been imprisoned, raped and exposed to sexual harassment of all kinds by soldiers during the time of their detention. Many died and others survived this barbarous and inhuman tragedy.

The testimonies and the images of the women are so hard that they decided to stop the project and protect their identities, although the women had given their consent and approval to make the documentary public. "Rape as a weapon of war" is the title of the documentary unfinished. Rape of women and children were practically committed by all the armed groups in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, by paramilitary groups.[35]

Camino de Santiago[edit]

A pilgrim walks the Camino de Santiago (Saint James Way)[36]

In 1999, he began a personal project about the ancient pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. He walked for 30 days, from Roncesvalles, the Camino de Santiago[2] on assignment to a Galician newspaper, sending chronicles by fax and letters together with the rolls of film that were later processed in the laboratory. Later the same newspaper ordered him to travel the Portuguese Way from Lisbon only indicated from Oporto. In Lisbon he bought several books and was documented by the chronicles of previous travellers to Santiago de Compostela, of which Giovanni Battista Confalonieri in 1594 was his great inspirer.

In 2006 and based in his experience, he was commissioned to publish a book and an exhibition of the Camino Francés from Roncesvalles.[37] He proposed that other Galician and international photographers can join the project, thus creating a diversity of 14[38] different views of the old pilgrimage road, unique, where each author traveled a part of the Camino for a week. The exhibition traveled to many cities, but always incomplete, since the organizers made selections of photographers and photographs at will, which provoked the protest of the participants. Unfortunately, with the changes of government in Galicia the project was stopped and it is unknown where is the collection of hundreds of images stored in special boxes unique to this Ancestral Pilgrimage way.

With the different points of view, the photographers created a unique long term documentary photographic essay, exploring the ancient pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela walked by millions of people around the world. At the same time that the project was growing, the authors gave their own opinions on how to continue photographing, since in principle the organizers wanted something like beautiful postcards, to which the photographers refused. Several exhibitions were programmed around the world but the organizers changed the name of the project two times.[39] Four books were published from the project.

Photographers participants in the project: Delmi Álvarez, Fernando Bellas, Tino Martínez, Javier Teniente, Xulio Villarino, Tino Viz, Cristina de Middle, Hana Jakrlova, Rita Newman, Chris Erlbeck, Tine Harden, Katja Lösönen, Eva Persson and Signe Raikstina.

Galician diaspora[edit]

Centro Galego de La Habana, Cuba, 1990

He has documented the Galician diaspora,[1] travelling to "a hundred cities" on five continents to inventory Galician immigration.[40]

It is known as the Galician diaspora the process of mass emigration of the Galician people to the Americas, which occurred during the last three decades of the 19th century until well into the middle of the 20th century. In the first decade of the 20th century, the Galician Diaspora arrived by ship from Europe to Asia, and specifically Australia and New Zealand. In the second decade of the 21st century, due to the crisis in Galicia and Spain, a second wave of Galician emigration began, mainly towards countries of northern Europe (Germany and England), usually young people with studies and a medium-high level of culture.[41] In 1989 he began the long term documentary Galegos na Diáspora[42] around the world, starting in Europa traveling by bus with other emigrants and documenting the fall of the Berlin wall and Galicians living there. From Germany to UK and later France.

Delmi Alvarez during a research at the Consello da Cultura Galega before depart for a trip to Africa of several months about his long term documentary Galegos na Diáspora 1989-2009

In the next years 1990-91 he will cross the Atlantic and photograph in Canada, USA, México, Cuba, Venezuela, Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay. In 1992-93 began the third part of the project in Jerusalem, Thailand, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In 2002 he travel around Africa from Cabo Verde to Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Ecuatorial, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania where he gets sick with malaria.

In 2006 travel to Russia with a team of journalists in co-production with TVG (Televisión de Galicia) to film Galicians living in Moscú and Krasnodar.[43][44]

Delmi Alvarez talk about Galician Diaspora book at Library of Congress in Washington DC, 2009.

In 2009, he travel around USA, from New York to Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Texas, Houston, Kansas, San Francisco, Chicago, Lincoln, and flying to Panamá, Chile and Argentina, ending the project to publish a book with 700 pages in black and white.[45]

Manuel Sánchez Neyra in Bluff, New Zealand.

In 2009 he filmed In 2009 "Fuga de Cerebros" a documentary for TVG about Galician scientists living in the Diaspora in Stockholm (Sweden), París (France), Cologne (Germany) and Alabama (USA)[46] but not broadcast.

In 2010 in co-production with journalist Arturo Lezcano and TVG they film Galicians in the Guaiana venezolana.[47][48]

Between 2007 and 2008 in co-production with TVG, Signe Raikstina and journalist Arturo Lezcano they filmed in Namibia "O rei galego de África"[49][50][51]

Galegos na Diáspora 1989-2009 is a contribution, that involved a methodology and anthropological field work, like those of many other authors, to the History of Galicia and its Diaspora looking for Galicians and their testimonies of generations who emigrated for so many different reasons, as happened with millions of people from different countries to the United States of America. They were the witnesses of the big exodus from the small country Galician diaspora [gl].

After 20 years (1989 till 2009) he finished in 2009 the project and the Galician Government published a big book, with 500 copies. The main idea of the project was give conferences in schools and universities in and out of Galicia, but, the Galician Government lost the elections and the new one cancel the programme. He gave presentations[52][53] at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in 2009 and at the City University of New York (CUNY) about the project Galegos na Diáspora[54][55][56][57][58]

Slavery, child labor and prostitution in Bahía[edit]

Retirolândia, Bahia, Brazil, 1996. Luis works with his sister unloading sisal leaves at a plantation. He doesn't go to school and can not read or write his name. Earn 3 to 4 reais a week. His family is very poor.

In 1996 Delmi traveled to Salvador de Bahia to document the consequences of poverty in Salvador de Bahía and the Sertão region: slavery and child labor of children working in the Sisal and pedreiras.[59] The lack of work and the domination of the lands by the facendeiros forces thousands of people to emigrate to the big cities where they will live in favelas, on the slopes of the mountains, where crime, prostitution and drugs is the only incentive for get some progress. Entire families travelled on dirt roads with their children, from the deepest and poorest villages, many times walking. Their parents deceived by the truckers they let their children go with them in the trucks, where they are raped and later sold to the mafias of prostitution and drugs.

Sex tourism increased the demand of children under age. The mafias drugged children to prevent them from escaping or calling the police, in such a way that when they are already addicted and rejected by customers, they get rid. It was very common to find bodies of dead people in the garbage dumps, with a shot in the head or open, to remove kidneys or livers for the organ trafficking market.

During four months Álvarez based in Salvador and traveled to different places of Bahia region documenting with the judicial police, military police, street children and raids against the prostitution in the neighborhood of Beirú (Tancredo Neves) one of the most dangerous favelas of the capital.[1][60] He had his base in a small hotel, where he revealed the black and white films (Kodak Tri-X) by night, and printed small photos to show or give to the people he photographed. Many of those children were the first time they saw themselves in a photo.

In Retirolandia, the poverty was extreme, all the children of a family worked in slavery regime in the collection of the Sisal plant or in the quarries, breaking stones in small pieces to use in the paving of roads. Very few children attended school, did not know how to read, and earned about 3 to 4 reais a week.

A couple of children pass in front of a raid of the military police in the neighborhood of Beirú (Tancredo Neves) in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, 1996.

In 1997 more than 30,000 children between 3 and 14 years old worked in the primitive sisal plantations and industries in northwestern Bahia to ensure, principally, wires and ropes for farmers in Europe and the United States. In addition to being painful and dangerous, children's work is almost free. Most earn from $1 to $5 per day for 16 to 50 hours of work per week. The research of the Federal University of Bahia shows that thousands of children from 7 to 14 years, 41.4% work and study, but that less than 5% can neither read nor write.

A woman in the praia de Itapuá, Bahía, 1996 (Polaroid)

⁣The children of the sisal cut the palm which has thorns on the tip and on the sides, stick in the eyes and the vision is lost. The only protection against thorns is experience. They wear long-sleeved shirts to try to avoid the itching caused by fiber and burns by nettles.⁣ Many of them, lost fingers, eyes or arms.

⁣From 2012 to today, and due to the drought,[61] the lack of rainfall, ruin and poverty reaches thousands of families which causes migration to large cities, being the main causes of drought in Bahia and Northeast, its character climate edafoclimatic and climatic changes, also known as global warming, which occurs by increasing global average temperature. Increasing emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2 in particular) are retaining heat in the Earth's atmosphere.⁣

⁣The sisal, generated a vicious cycle of production of perversity: prosperity for a tiny regional elite and misery for thousands of men, women, children and the elderly who worked and continued to work without the guarantee of labor rights, without decent remuneration, without working conditions appropriate, shameful for a country trying to assert itself as a world power in the 21st century.

In the months he lived in Bahia, Delmi was invited to give a lecture in the Journalism faculty of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). He contracted the dengue disease when he photographed the badameiros, people looking for food or valuables in the municipal garbage dumps.

Photo youth project[edit]

Group of blind and impaired students of PHOTO YOUTH of Jugla school, Riga, Latvia

In 2012 his project Photo Youth started in Riga, Pskov, Vyborg and St. Petersburg for young people with special needs and disabilities, inspired after a visit to a school for blind and impaired children in Jugla, Riga.[62] He wrote a project where any child could participate in the photography project. At the beginning, when it was presented to different and different organizations, nobody believed that this would be possible, especially teaching photography to blind children. There are many projects in the world about this idea.[63] Also, he decided to extend participation to children with different disabilities, deaf people, low income families and orphans. The main idea was to make photography a personal tool of expression and to break down barriers and walls for the social inclusion of disadvantaged groups in society.

The project got a grant from European Union to be developed between 2012 and 2013 with Russia and Latvia as partners, participating more than 300 people, between project managers, teachers and children. After years, In 2015, there are children of PHOTO YOUTH that follow photographing, and some of them are interested to become professionals. Photographs of the participants were shown in public exhibitions in Riga, Brussels, Vyborg, St. Petersburg and Pskow, as well as the publication of a book and blogs with the progress of the participants. The teachers attended seminars held in Riga and their role was very important to carry out the project. During it, the children learned to use digital cameras and edit images on computers.

Long term documentaries[edit]

Himba in Namibia[edit]

German tourists photographing Himba people.

He covered the Himba in Namibia.[2] In 2009 when researching about ancient tribes in Namibia, he hire in Opuwo a fixer to visit and document the Himba tribe in northwest of Namibia country. On one of the visits, he fell ill with a virus in Walvis Bay while preparing the expedition. A friend welcomed him into his house for a week. The disease affected the stomach and lungs, which considerably delayed the trip. In Opuwo he hired a local fixer and for two weeks they traveled to remote Himba villages, to which it is practically impossible or very difficult to find. The Himba lived isolated from tourism and live on grazing. They feed on grain and goat's milk. Women burn their body with ocher and hair with a special fat. They are polygamous. The main idea of the project was to document the changes in the habits of the Himba, forced by the massive visits to villages near Opuwo. These tourist excursions produced unnatural changes in their development as an ethnic group, such as alcohol, plastic, matches, T-shirts, and diseases such as AIDS.

The Namibian government introduced some ineffective changes to protect the socio-cultural environment of the Himba. Water is another big problem. In Epupa falls there are no settlements but lodges for tourists. The "Himba struggle to survive" project remained unfinished due to lack of funding.

In 2013, Delmi began a long term documentary photographic project about gold mining in Europe called "In the name of Gold."

The refugees move their house to avoid being evicted by the police in Jungle of Calais.

In 2016 he released the long term documentary project "Transmigrants" (2003-2016) about refugees in Greece, Belgium, France and Latvia. This project had its beginnings in 2003 and consists of seven parts in different parts of Europe and is part of its interest in migration issues. In Greece he documented the entry of immigrants crossing the river Evros, prisons turned into concentration camps, where hygiene did not exist and people lived crowded. In France he photographed the Jungle and Dunkirke and the subsequent evictions. In Idomeni he stayed for several weeks living with refugees who could not cross the border into Macedonia. In Mucenieki he photographed and photographed families detained while traveling illegally to Finland. With the Border Guards of Latvia he crossed the border with Russia on several occasions and managed to visit the detention camp of Olaine. In Belgium he lived with refugees trying to cross the English Channel when they were expelled from France.

In 2017 he covers, as independent documentary photographer, the referendum of 1 de Octubre in Catalunya, the general strike of October 3, the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia corresponding to the formation of its XII legislature were held on Thursday, December 21, 2017, also the unionists demonstration on October 9, during which extreme right-wing groups made apology for franquismo and fascism, exercising hatred, fear and violence in different parts of the course, attacking people and journalists.

In the name of gold (dirty gold) project[edit]

As an environmental and conservation activist, Delmi started In the name of gold[64] a long-term project on gold mining in Europe using cyanide and the effects that the use of cyanide or other chemicals may have for farmers and fishermen.[65] The global crisis seeks gold in Europe and the price does not matter. The Romans started this type of mining that filled the empire with gold. Most of these old mines are closed but companies based in Canada negotiate with local governments to obtain mining concessions. No matter the price or the environment.

A church drowned within the tailing pond of the Rosia Poieni copper mine next to Lupsa village, 460 km west of Bucharest, Romania.

To obtain a gold ring for the groom at a wedding, it is necessary to uproot the earth, millions of tons of ore, pollute rivers, create rafts with toxic waste and the destruction of the ecosystem. The towns and their inhabitants are evicted from their homes and relocated away from the place, losing the social and cultural origins inherited from their families.

The most controversial and dangerous in this matter are the use of cyanide that the European Union does not decide to prohibit and the ponds of toxic heavy metals that sometimes overflow or break creating an environmental disaster.

Water is one of the main sources of life in the affected areas. Mining companies use water from rivers in the process of extracting gold from rocks where gold is microscopic. The process uses millions of liters of water mixed with cyanide and other toxic heavy metals that create destruction and contamination wherever the water runs.

Mining companies operate with freedom and help from governments and citizens of affected areas. From Corcoesto and Tapia from Casariego in Galicia, Rosia Montana, Kumovgrad in Bulgaria, Bergama, Kaz Dag in Turkey or Ierissos and Skouries in Greece, all fight for a clean future of poison in their waters and their lands.

On the other hand, a minority of people believe that they are good for their lives. They are those who work in the mines, generally as laborers, very low salaries or low salaries. The governments of these countries take advantage of the reality of the problem of unemployment and unemployment.

Hambi bleibt
Activists in hammocks during a protest against the destruction of Hambi forest, a thousand-year-old forest. A mining company wants to destroy it to expand the extraction of lignite. The CO2 emissions from this fossil when burned to produce electricity increase global warming and accelerate the process of climate change.

The end of coal[edit]

'There is no Planet B' is a long term documentary project started years ago about the climate change and global warming, collecting images from his trips around the world that have a connection with one of the big environment issues for the next 10 years: stop burning fuel-fossils like coal guilty of the high pollution with CO2 in the atmosphere. In 2018 began documenting the Hambacher Forst [de], a forest in Northwestern Renanian-Westfalia in Germany threatened to be destroyed by the RWE mining company in its expansion of the coal open-pit mine near the millenary forest. Since 2012 environmental activists have occupied or lived in the forest building houses in the tree-tops. In September 2018 they were forcibly evicted [de] by the police using repressive and not clear methodology.

Where Gods live
'Where Gods Live' it's a photo-essay in progress as a personal vision of the contemporary society.

In 2009, together with two other photographers, Ian Berry and Yogan Muller[66] co-founded the Save the Arctic project, about global warming and melting of the Arctic.[67] After calling many doors they do not get the minimum funding to carry out the project. After nine years, climate change and global warming have become a serious threat to the life of planet Earth. Great world powers refuse in 2018 to enter the program of emission of CO2, and the use of fossil fuels like coal,[68] generating poverty and inequality among disadvantaged communities.

"Where Gods live' is a photo essay in progress as personal view of the contemporary society.

Some of his work is in the museum Marco de Vigo.[69]

Queiman Galiza (Burn Galicia)[edit]

Residents of Valadares, Vigo, Pontevedra, make a human chain to transport water and put out a fire that threatens a nearby school.

Delmi documented from 2006 the fires in Galicia and the aftermath for the ecosystems and people.[70]

According to the media and experts,[71] fires in Galicia could be avoided if there were means and an effective plan to avoid them. Another major problem that has not been solved is the emerging plantation of eucalyptus, an invasive species from Australia that destroys the land and is a business that proliferates among many owners of forests, to supply the only pulp company in Pontevedra, being many years, the point of attention among ecologists and people living from the collection of shellfish in the estuary of Pontevedra.

Residents of Baiona village look at the fire that surrounds the houses on August 10, 2006.

The Galician Government began a compensation initiative to encourage the substitution of eucalyptus for native vegetation or to achieve its elimination in those areas where, by nature, no type of plantation existed.[72] In Portugal and Galicia, ecologists, schools and environmental protection groups have taken the initiative[73] to uproot the eucalyptus and plant other species. This is the case of Ferraria de Sao Joao, a village in the municipality of Penela (Portugal), which was threatened by recent large forest fires that devastated thousands of hectares, a threat that Casal de Sao Simao also suffered, so both decided to act to protect its population by uprooting eucalyptus. In addition, environmentalists in the area denounce the lack of control over illegal plantations of this alien arboreal species.[74]

In Galicia and Portugal brigades have been created to remove the shoots of this pyrophyll species.[75]

United Nations (UN) recognizes the recovering of natural spaces in the mountains of Froxán and Santiago de Covelo - in A Coruña municipality of Lousame and Covelo (Pontevedra), respectively. They have become the first in Spain and third in Europe to enter the ICCA registry, under the United Nations Program United for the Environment. This international distinction recognizes those natural spaces that are managed, recovered or rehabilitated effectively by local or indigenous communities.[76]

Eucalyptus is a support for the expansion of Velutina wasp, due to the high altitude of this species[77] and to be a perennial leaf that protects and camouflages throughout the year. This insect kills bees of honey that affects beekeepers and has already become a plague[78] and also kill people.[79]

Notebooks for field work[edit]

Travel notebook Bahia project. July 1996

Delmi uses small notebooks where he writes notes, names or draws details of his projects during the fieldwork.[1]


  • 1987: Fotopres. Winner in Daily life, Telanosa. La Caixa, Barcelona[2]
  • 1993: Fotopres. Cuba documentary. Winner first prize. La Caixa. Barcelona[2][80]
  • 2011: Awarded with a grant Grundtvig Workshop "Collaborative Learning and Sharing about Politics" organised in Chania, Greece 10–16 April
  • 2012: Diena journalism prizes (First)[2][4][81] for Europe:a paradise of broken dreams. Riga, Latvia 2012.
  • 2012: Awarded with grant Riga School of Economics University, Investigative Journalism.
  • 2013: Finalist 19º FotoPres "La Caixa"[65]

Filmography & documentary[edit]

Alverez produced four broadcast documentaries from an ethnographic and anthropological perspective of the Galician diaspora in Africa, Venezuela and Russia based in the book Galegos na Diáspora 1989-2009. Two more documentary films projects, one about Himbas filmed in the north of Namibia and another about Galician diaspora scientists living in Stockholm, Paris, Koln and Alabama, stopped filming when the Galician government changed in 2009.[40]

  • O rei galego de África:[2][82] A Galician businessman living in Namibia. Broadcast and co-produced by TVG (Television de Galicia)[83]
  • Galegos en Rusia: The story of two Galicians in the city of Krasnodar. Broadcast and co-produced by TVG (Television de Galicia)
  • Os galegos da Guaiana: The stories of 4 Galicians living in the jungle of Venezuela. Broadcast and co-produced by TVG (Television de Galicia)
  • Fuga de Cerebros: The stories of four couples, all scientists, who emigrated from Galicia to Stockholm, Alabama, París and Koln.
  • Himbas: Struggle to survive (2009): Ethnographic documentary about the Himba of Namibia.[2]
  • Greece, the gateway to Europe (2011): Illegal immigration into Greece[2]


book cover for Galegos na Diaspora
Galegos na Diáspora 1989-2009 is a long term documentary of Galician migration.
  • Delmi Álvarez, fotografias 1983-1997.[2] Retrospectiva. Julio 1, 1997, Concello de Vigo.
  • 25 años de Transición en España.[7] 97 autores, 194 fotografías. Telefónica, 2000
  • Galegos na Diáspora 1989-2009[2][84] ISBN 978-1544182995
  • Reporteiro de Guerra en Yugoslavia 1991-1993:[2] Chronicles and essay about the war in former Yugoslavia.
  • Mar:[2] Collective book with Ian Berry, Richard Kalvar and Xulio Villarino about the Galician sea, fishermen and industry.
  • Camino de Santiago.[2] A long term documentary project about the ancient pilgrim way to Santiago de Compostela. Several Editions and formats. Xacobeo, Xunta de Galicia


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