With the presentation of medals to the Photographic Merit to Graciela Iturbide, Pedro Valtierra, Manuel Alvarez Bravo (In Memoriam) y Fideicomiso Archivos Plutarco Elias Calles y Fernando Torreblanca, began the 10th National Photographic Libraries Encounter, taking place in October 22nd and 23rd 2009 at Pachuca, Hidalgo.


Considered the only discussion forum of themes related to international photographic and archival practice, this annual encounter organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) provided the frame to acknowledge the career of photographers and organizations devoted to photographic preservation in Mexico.

Benito Taibo, INAH national coordinator of Divulgation, presented the acknowledgements that every year designates the National System of Photographic Libraries (SINAFO). Photographer Graciela Iturbide was the first to receive the distinction.

The photographer dedicated her award to her teacher Manuel Alvarez Bravo. “I am proud of receiving this acknowledgement in Mexico, I dedicate it to him, who taught me about photography and opened for me the doors of life. Without his knowledge I would not be here today”.

Photojournalist Pedro Valtierra dedicated his prize to the graphic journalists’ community and to his collaborators in diaries such as Uno mas Uno, La Jornada and Revista Cuartoscuro.

“Photojournalism is not a minor genre, it represents collective memory; without documentary photography, we cannot understand politics, democracy, traditions or heritage. This is why I acknowledge the photographic community: as long as there is a need of information press photographers will be required”, declared Valtierra when thanking INAH and SINAFO for his medal.

The Medal to Photographic Merit was presented as homage to Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002), pioneer of artistic photography in Mexico and considered the greatest representative of Latin American photography of 20th century.

The acknowledgement was received by his daughter Aurelia Alvarez, who commented that the association named after her father and directed by her, works to present with SINAFO restoring 34,000 images from the Manuel Alvarez Bravo Fund and preparing an exhibition about archaeology and popular culture for 2010.

At the 10th edition of the National Photographic Libraries Encounter, the Fideicomiso Archivos Plutarco Elias Calles y Fernando Torreblanca (Trust Archive Plutarco Elias Calles and Fernando Torreblanca) also was acknowledged with a medal, for its conservation work on a 30,000 images heap related to Mexican Revolution that have become a testimony of our country’s history.

Norma Mereles de Ogarrio, the general director, manifested “it is an honor to receive this medal since historical photography constitutes a valuable testimony for research in Mexico”.

With the participation of photo librarians, archivists, historians, cultural promoters, collectors, students and general public, the 10th National Photographic Libraries Encounter will develop 4 discussion forums with interdisciplinary perspective with the aim of enriching knowledge and experience exchange that allows visualization of a broader panorama of photography.

Presentation of the “Luz Portatil” Artes de Mexico edition and exhibitions “Naturata” by Graciela Iturbide, “Migraciones” by Byron Brauchly and “100 Fotografos Contemporaneos en Mexico, Parte 2” are also part of the encounter’s activities.