Behind the photographer's gaze

18 April 2013 - 7:30 p.m.
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Organized by
University Extension Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at UCM and the research group Otros Criterios 
Daría de Benedetti. Fall-Out, 2010
Daría de Benedetti. Fall-Out, 2010

Focusing on the making of the documentary Fall-Out, about the effects of the Chernobyl disaster, the event shares the personal story of the film's author, the photojournalist Daria de Benedetti, and her radical political engagement.

In 2005, Daria de Benedetti explored the current situation of Ukrainian and Byelorussian populations and territories in the documentary Fall-Out . Part of the photographic work produced during the project was exhibited shortly thereafter, but the release of the documentary video had to wait until the Fukushima disaster once again drew the world's attention to the subject of nuclear power. In June of 2011, Fall-Out was finally distributed by the Italian newspaper il Fatto Quotidiano . Since then, the documentary has been presented at conferences and exhibitions and discussed in many written publications. However, what really happened in the making of Fall-Out has been largely silenced. The fact is that Daria de Benedetti was used as a guinea pig by an important Italian nuclear research agency that she had contacted to request necessary preliminary information, endangering her physical integrity for a series of scientific measures that otherwise, in a laboratory, would have been almost impossible to perform. The artist's body and the violation of her physical boundaries thus became paradigmatic of the kinds of abuse perpetrated by institutions against land and people sacrificed in the name of science.

The activity, organised by the research group Otros Criterios, is part of the complementary actions program of the Faculty of Fine Arts at UCM. This program has arranged a series of events (biweekly, from November 2012 to June 2013) consisting of project presentations and screenings by researchers and artists, the purpose of which is to create a new physical and dialectical space that foments possible forms of debate and alternative approaches to art.


7:30-7:45 p.m.
Presentation by Selina Blasco and Otros Criterios

7:45-8:30 p.m.
Screening of the documentary Fall-Out (Daria de Benedetti, 2010). 53’. Colour. Screening format: DVD

8:30-9:30 p.m.
Round table and debate with Daria de Benedetti .
Moderated by: Luca Zanchi and Fernando Castro


Selina Blasco is a professor of art history in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and in the History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture master's program offered by Museo Reina Sofía, UAM and UCM. She is also the vice-dean of the University Extension Department of the UCM and a member of the team of professors that is building (Art, Research and University. Documents for a debate).

Fernando Castro Flórez is a professor of aesthetics and art theory at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and in the History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture master's program offered by Museo Reina Sofía, UAM and UCM. He also works as an exhibition curator and art critic. He contributes regularly to ABC Cultural and directs the journal Cuadernos del IVAM .

  Daria de Benedetti is a photojournalist. She has done features on the Middle East, Nepal and Israel. In the year 2000 she took part in a Guy Le Querrec workshop on photojournalism. She has shown her work in Rome, Milan, Turin and Paris. Her work has also been published in Italian and international journals such as Internazionale , “D” de Repubblica , Quark , Eyemazing and Newsweek . In February of 2004 her project on the Filipino community, Twenty years return ticket , was taken by the agency VU' and screened at the Perpignan Festival.

  Otros Criterios (Luca Zanchi, Elena Blázquez, Aurora Mediavilla and Gabriela Targhetta) is a research group composed of students enrolled in the History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture master's program offered by Museo Reina Sofía, UAM and UCM. The group's interests revolve around the specific contributions that persons engaged in artistic practices can make to the field of academic research. The evolution of contemporary art towards the transdisciplinary, along with the new formative and didactic demands within university teaching, require that a new approach be adopted, an approach able to combine academic methodological rigor with the specificity of artistic practice.