Photographer's Note

In my previous post I mentioned The Fallas of Valencia.
It’s a cultural festival that has pagan origins. It’s satirical & ironical and the stars are the Ninots - giant (more than life size) sculptures. In the middle-ages they started their lives as heaps of woodshaving and leftover wood of artisan workshops that once a year were ceremoniously burned 'round the start of spring. Through the ages the heaps of wood evolved and became puppets that portrayed the shame of the neighbourhood or any other deviant member of the local community.

The festival was banned during the Civil War and is back in full force for decades now. It is sometimes sexist, ironizes dignitaries / figures of authority and reflects global events and popular mass culture. Every Valencia quarter has its own thriving Fallas community group, a lot of effort is put in to make the Ninots – you can’t miss it when you stroll thru town.

The end of the festival is still the ‘crema’ - where the Ninots are burned. It’s metaphoric significance is the burning of memories or incidents that collectively must be forgotten. It’s also about the breaking of the hold of dramatic or highly charged adverse incidents too. And the real significance of the festival is probably the jolly good time the people have, working on the Ninots and enjoying the very spectacular crema’s – the Ninots are burned on huge bon fires, flanked by a lot of very loud fireworks.

This flying hairdressers squad -Giacometti inspired? ;-)- was captured at El Cabanyal, a traditional seaboard quarter (former fishing village) of Valencia.

A large view is here.

In the Workshop are other groups of Ninots: one with a strong Hollywood presence (Spock & Darth Vader) and one with members of a community group at work.

holmertz, pajaran, jhm, lucasgalodoido, COSTANTINO, ikeharel has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Bert Hoetmer (bertolucci) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1928 W: 122 N: 4345] (14052)
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