The complex history between Spain and Equatorial Guinea has left many of its protagonists in no man's land, turned into emotional apatridas lost between two worlds.
Almost everyone has trouble telling their story ... some, after doing so, prefer not to give their names nor show their faces. Something similar has happened with photographs, files and documents: Many have disappeared or are damaged forever, it has not been easy to resist the passage of time, the scourge of the human and the climate circumstances.
This year marks half a century since the independence of Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish colony in sub-Saharan Africa and the only country on the continent that has Spanish as its official language. Juan Valbuena offers a chronological journalistic narrative about the historical relationship between both territories, now states. It is a complex project that brings back images, faces and words from a recent, hidden past, in which the author uses archive material and recent photographs, objects, original documents, family albums, texts and screens to combine free information, opinion and emotion and tell the story of what the textbooks do not say. The essay is published in the form of five newspapers, and consists of 120 pages that cover 240 years of history of this forgotten conflict, approached from the perspective of a nearly total lack of documentation. In fact, in the 70s, Spain declared everything related to this African state “confidential”, and Equatorial Guinea is a country where today there is still no free press. Valbuena brings together the voices of direct witnesses to draw a reliable, emotive map of the consequences of the colonisation and decolonisation of this African country.