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Socorro González and his wife Nina Mier are synonymous with art, literature, film, and cultural promotion in Puerto Peñasco, and across the region. Ever since Socorro’s own Foto-septiembre exhibition “Intromisiones” late last year, MoKa Hammeken of Rocky Point 360 has been anxious to catch up with him. Here are some excerpts (in English) from her recent conversation with this unpretentious artist, photographer, filmmaker, father, husband, and friend. (Original in Spanish) Socorro can generally be found Tuesday evenings outside Café Puerto Viejo for the popular CineMartes nights, offering free art film showings around 8:30 p.m. González has also been awarded grants through the State Fund for Culture and the Arts (FECAS) Stimulus Program for Creation and Artistic Development, with which he is currently working on his first film.
By Moka Hammeken
I’ve been wanting to interview Socorro for quite some time, but he’s shy and elusive as a fish. He’s an intriguing person, offering lively and interesting conversation, and a lover of film. Speaking with him about images (whether static or in movement) is to enter into an alternate world beyond that which we perceive. He can name, almost as if they were buds, directors and photographers, as well as illustrators and writers. He is introspective and contemplative, though on occasion he can let out a comment without warning, throwing a curve ball, revealing his playful and truculent though fun side.
I know you know him. You’ve seen him at almost all the events, with a camera around his neck or caring for a video camera set up on a tripod, building a detailed visual memory of the moment.
“I have a degree in Hispanic Literature from the University of Sonora,” states Socorro.
“Still, I’ve always preferred the visual, though my degree has served me well. Definitely if I hadn’t studied that, I wouldn’t have doors open to me in the area of knowledge, language, and learning about certain things that have to do with the audiovisual, and with film in particular which is the art I most prefer and enjoy. Obviously, I like everything else – I enjoy music, literature, architecture…though what I most enjoy, particularly as an observer, is film, and I also enjoy making films.”
“I am currently working on a documentary, which is about the work and life of Sonoran writer Don Guillermo Munro Palacio. This is my first project as a filmmaker though I’ve worked on others with colleagues in Hermosillo, as well as here in Puerto Peñasco, and particularly through my development in Cine Club Primera Toma (First Take Film Club).”
The work for FECAS (State Fund for Culture and the Arts) this year is a short, though it’ll then be a medium-length and then full-length film. The idea is to build on the same story with more and more information, or other stories. This year I’ll present the short, then I’ll extend that into a documentary. This is a long project, but I think it’s really cool. The idea is to expose my work and the content…the importance of Guillermo Munro as an artist because he is not only an author or writer, but he also has a background as a photographer, actor, designer…”
In looking at your other projects, did the photos from your past show “Intromisiones” take a lot of time?
“No, not much – it was really the issue of selection. It’s a technique I’ve been developing – I really like landscapes and take a lot of photos like that. So you can get an idea, you can visit my blog which is retratosinciertos.blogspot.mx, for a sampling of my work. There you can go to Mi Galería Fotográfica or Mi Galería de Ilustraciones, because I also like to draw.”
Nina (Socorro’s wife) whispers, “Once Socorro got cancer he became desperate to take photographs. He used to take other types of photographs, but I’ve noticed after receiving that unpleasant news he began taking pictures of clouds, the sea, ephemeral things…”
So, what’s next?
“I would really like to do nude portraits; in fact I’ve already been invited to present a project in the upcoming Foto-septiembre – not that the invitation means the project automatically enters into competition. The call is actually open to anyone where you compete against others… it’s up to the judges. I would like to present a portrait project with faces and details from the body; with respect to the body, I really like the detail, lines, forms…we’ll see who will let me [photograph them] as it’s not just models. Honestly, every type of body is beautiful and has its splendor.”
How long have you been a member of Cine Club Primera Toma?
“Since ’96, well 1996 – that’s already last century, isn’t it? That sounds harsh,” he bursts out laughing. “Cine Club began in ’94 and had already been around for two years when I joined.
I would go to the functions when I was working on my literature degree. I found out there was a Cine Club that had films every Saturday so I began to go. I loved it, to be honest. I like showing films, I really enjoy it and sharing the little I know or what I’ve researched, or information about a film… So, along with my classes I participated in the Cine Club and it was like going to two schools as one, or rather I never stop learning.”
“That’s why Socorro is really good for Cine Club,” adds Nina, “because he knows how to combine the technical with the intellectual… When he’s not making a video, he’s doing the design for an upcoming workshop, or showing a film, taking photographs, fixing the audio. Yes, honestly since we’ve been in Puerto Peñasco Cine Club would not be a reality without Socorro.”