Madrid, March 11, 2004 PDF
Written by Julio Lopez Saguar   


Alonso Martínez Station Julio Lopez Saguar © 2004


I would like to symbolize yesterday’s attacks in Madrid with this image. I took this photograph yesterday at Alonso Martínez station, about an hour after the attacks. Many should not have been there. I should not have been there; I should have been in Atocha station half an hour earlier.


There are nearly two hundred people in the picture, approximately the same number of casualties. It is quite a diverse group not very different from the group of people that was traveling on the fateful trains. We were very lucky.


I have been traveling all across Madrid for 35 years using the public transport, as a photographer and observer I take a good look at my surroundings everyday. Whether inside the wagon of a suburban train or a subway train it is the same kind of crowd.


I could picture that girl with the headphones listening to the latest CD from the band Estopa; the kid with the marker skimming before morning class, and next to him there is a girl about 18 going through the traffic rules book before taking her drivers test. A South American immigrant reading a free paper, his discolored hands giving away yesterday’s long hours of work. A group of women in their 50’s loudly commenting on the meal they are cooking, the clothing they have to iron or singer Isabel Pantoja’s latest scandal. Behind them a tanned man sleeping profoundly, his face pressed against the window but not bothering the 30 year-old mother sitting next to him that has her daughter sitting on her lap; she is on the way to drop her off at the nursery before going to work. Standing further in the back is a woman reading a book, and despite her evident pregnancy no one offers her a seat; some people just stare, others are absorbed by their newspapers, three boys in their 20’s -one of them wearing a suit but carrying a backpack- talks enthusiastically about Zidane’s goal in yesterday’s match.


There are people from every corner of the world: Ukrainians, Polish, North Africans, Colombians and Ecuadorians, people from La Mancha, Extremadura, Leon and Madrid; people of every trade: construction workers, waiters, secretaries, salespeople, executives. A cell phone rings and a 15-year-old girl answers, bringing that special smile into her face, we can imagine who she is talking to. Another 20 year-old is sending a message, a middle aged man avidly reads his sports newspaper …suddenly there is a great blast and I can’t imagine anything else... I am crying and the cell phones keep on ringing...


Julio Lopez Saguar
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Exterior and Hall of the Atocha station.
People have constantly been gathering here over the last days and have turned the station into a real shrine.









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