“A photo is worth a thousand words”: The City Council of Algeciras paid tribute to all the health-workers who have been involved in the battle against Covid-19 since March 2020 with an open-air photography exhibition at the Plaza Alta, Algeciras, featuring haunting images taken by ReachExtra’s very own photographer Fran Montes.
The exhibition opened on April 7, coinciding with World Health Day, and features images taken by ReachExtra’s very own photographer Fran Montes, and Algeciras-born news photographer Erasmo Fenoy.
The inauguration was attended by the Mayor of Algeciras José Ignacio Landaluce and the deputy delegate for the Junta Eva Pajares among other prominent figures and opened with a minute of silence followed by applause in commemoration of those who have lost their lives during the pandemic.
The exhibition is divided into several panels located throughout the emblematic city centre of Algeciras opposite the La Palma Church, and will be open until the 7th of May.
The organisers are also conducting a social media campaign under the hashtag #AlgecirasconsusSantiatrios (Algeciras with its Health Workers) for people wanting to express their gratitude and share words of support for all the health professionals who continue to keep fighting against Covid-19.
The images on display represent some of the hardest moments of the pandemic; scenes in the ICUs, ambulances and the expressions of exhaustion on frontline staff’s faces covered with PPE. But you will also see expressions of hope; scenes which convey the satisfaction and joy of another life saved.
“Hospitals are still under pressure”
“Although the health situation has improved substantially, at least in our region, the fact is that there is still tension within hospitals; health workers have worked relentlessly and you can see their emotions on their faces,” Fran Montes told us. “It’s been a beautiful experience to witness their work despite how hard it has been, and continues to be, for them”.
Erasmo Fenoy’s photography shows scenes from the pandemic such as people applauding from balconies, which brought much joy to the frontline staff. Montes’ photography serves as a reminder of the effect of the pandemic today and the struggles within the hospitals, which continues, but to a lesser extent.
One of Montes’ photos shows a doctor walking down a long corridor at the Punta de Europa Hospital, colloquially known as the “T-4” (like the new terminal which has opened at the Barajas airport), with his head lowered; symbolising the long road that is the pandemic, where the journey ahead continues.
Beneath each piece, you will find short emotive messages of appreciation and gratitude for doctors, nurses, assistants and other frontline staff for their in invaluable work.
“Thank you for accompanying our relatives and holding their hands when we were unable to do so,” reads one of those messages.
“Your gowns are the wings of angels which God sent to the world to save lives”, reads another.
Montes and Fenoy’s photos show that, despite their fatigue, health workers still find the strength to “take their patients by the hand”, recalls the exceptional professionalism and humanity that they have shown. “You have to be very brave to fight an enemy who you can’t see”.