• United by the call effect caused by the exhibition “Abraçades en el Port”, representatives of 42 Cases i Casals de València from all over the world met in person and virtually in the Clock Building.
  • “It is exciting to see these photographs, the faces and gestures. It is us years ago”, commented Anselmo Fernández, ‘valencià from París’

València, 14 March 2024.- The Clock Building was yesterday the ‘Building of the Fallas’. The ‘Building of the Houses of València’ of half the world. For more than two hours, representatives of 42 “Cases i Casals de València” from the American continent and numerous Spanish provinces were interconnected through social networks and the Valenciaport YouTube Channel; united by the call effect caused by the exhibition “Abraçades en el Port” organized by the Port Authority of València (PAV).

With the collaboration of the Generalitat and the general director of Transparency and Participation, José Tárrega, representatives of Valencian houses from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, France and Seville, among others, toured the exhibition commemorating great moments lived in the Port, arrivals and farewells among Valencians. An exhibition installed next to Tinglado 2 of the Port, next to the Clock Building, where the cameras of the photographers of the Vidal family saga immortalized the hugs between Valencian women and men every time the “Barcos de las Fallas” arrived from America, in the late 50’s and early 60’s. “It is exciting to see these photographs, the faces and gestures. It’s us years ago,” commented Anselmo Fernandez, “valencià from Paris”.

“We left with our parents, but we have always been here. Coming back and seeing this exhibition is like living an embrace of the port and of all València. We are very grateful”, expressed excited, Elvira Romaguera, Valencian of the “Casa de València from París” and wife of Anselmo.

The Falleras Majors of the Casals of Argentina and France had dressed for the occasion with the Valencian costume and with their unique fallera bands, a combination of flags of Argentina and France, with the flag of Spain and “the Senyera de sempre“.

After the tour of the outdoor photo exhibition began the event and the networking via networks and Youtube of the event scheduled in the Press Room of the Clock Building.

Arturo Monfort, on behalf of the Port Authority, opened the event recalling the relevance that the building where the event was held had had throughout history to welcome and house people and families who came to Cap i Casal to make the great leap to the Americas. Images and explanations that moved Alicia Borja, one of the women present. “My grandparents emigrated to Uruguay before the Clock was there, they spent a lot of cold waiting for the ship. The explanation, the photographs, the plans… moved me. How much suffering! What a contrast with today!”

Monfort’s intervention gave way to a very emotional talk between the representatives of les Cases i Casals de València whose starting point and goal were the same: “the embrace in the Port”. The place that saw them leave, ‘the house of hugs’ that one day were of farewell and today are of welcome. “The initiative of the ‘Barco Fallero’ was born in Chile back in the 60’s and since then we continue to spread the Valencian culture in this land, said Pere Palés, president of the Casal Valenciano in Chile, connected to the colloquium via YouTube.

The dialogue combined face-to-face interventions -from the fifty or so Valencian emigrants present- with virtual connections with emigrants from the Valencian centers in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. “This is the third time I am in Spain and it is a good fortune to be here today, paying tribute to our roots and sharing something so beautiful with you,” said Joaquín Giner, president of the Valencian Center of San Juan in Argentina -present in the room-. Ester Medán, the curator of the exhibition ‘Abraçades en el Port’ wanted to thank all of them for their interest in the exhibition, “for us this is a very exciting moment. When we started this project, we did not think we could attract so many people. We are very grateful to share this experience with you”. Luis Vidal, responsible for the photographic archive of the exhibition, added his thanks, “it is a real pride to be able to show the world the work that my family did with so much affection”.