La Niña Blanca

2 / 25 by Carlos Pérez Siquier, 1958

The district of La Chanca crouches at your feet, luminous and white, like an invention of the senses. Those were the words Juan Goytisolo used to describe the district of La Chanca, in Almeria (Spain). The same place that Pérez Siquier photographed for a decade, and which is depicted in La Niña Blanca.

In an austere black and white, the photographer travels through a city quarter frozen in time. Each shot dignifies the poverty that plagues this neighborhood and sketches the humanity of its subjects, like the little girl who watches the visitor with curiosity from her front door.

To Pérez Siquier we owe the specialized magazine AFAL, which brought together renowned names such as Masats, Terré, Cualladó, Miserachs or Sommers. We must also thank him for the way he documented beauty in the most neglected corners, his ability to reinvent himself or the irony that tinges his color photographs. These are reasons enough for him to win Spain’s National Photography Award in 2000.

Fifty years after taking this photograph, the author was visited by La Niña Blanca’s daughter, an exchange of glances that Siquier returned by offering her a copy of the photograph. Some time later, the subject of his photograph visited Siquier and they both visited the place where she was immortalized. They found no trace of the house. Nor of the magic that trapped Goytisolo or Siquier. Some corners will only remain in our memory.