Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Una cámara registra el 9 de abril / Guillermo González Uribe
    El saqueo de una ilusión : el 9 de abril : 50 años después. --- Bogotá, Colombia : Ediciones Número, 1997
    p. 17- [28] : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Memoirs/Anecdotes
    González Uribe, Guillermo. "Una cámara registra el 9 de abril." In El Saqueo de una ilusión: el 9 de abril: 50 años después, 17- 28. Bogotá, Colombia: Ediciones Número, 1997.
    Gaitán, Jorge Eliécer, 1898?-1948; González, Sady, 1913-1979

In “Una cámara registra el 9 de abril” [A Camera Documents the Ninth of April], Guillermo González describes some of the key events in the life of his father, the photojournalist Sady González, who spent several days in 1948 photographing the riots that were unleashed by the assassination of the liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. The article also quotes some of the people who were close to González during the subsequent period of violent unrest known as the “Bogotazo”—Esperanza Uribe de González, his wife; Manuel Uribe, his brother in law, and Jorge Mario Múnera, a colleague and family friend—who describe some of what happened. The author of this article explains that his father’s work appeared in the most important publications of the period, such as Cromos, El Tiempo, Estampa, La Razón, and El Siglo and identifies him as one of the indisputable pioneers in the field of photojournalism, along with Carlos Martínez, Daniel Rodríguez, Carlos Jiménez, and Ignacio Gaitán. The article is illustrated with seven of González’s photographs that were taken at important moments in the sociopolitical history of Colombia.


This is the second article in Saqueo de una ilusión [The Plundering of an Illusion], the book published by Ediciones Número (1997) whose main subject was April 9, 1948, a historic day in Colombia because it was on that date that the liberal political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1898–1948) was assassinated. The photographs taken by Sady González (1913–1979) provide the main thread of the book, which includes articles by distinguished writers who experienced the devastation of the city that was wrought by the rioting that followed the assassination. The book contains a portion of the visual legacy left by González. 


Sady González’s photographs are clearly influenced by the style of photojournalism that emerged during the Second World War. The visual codes, the angles, and even the framing of the characters in his photographs all testify to González’s efforts to develop a style that in addition to documenting an event, addressed aesthetic questions that were involved in the act of taking photos. 


Sady González called his studio Foto Sady, which is where many budding photographers learned their craft, including the likes of Luis Velasco and Carlos Caicedo who went on to join the list of noted Colombian photojournalists. “Sady was essentially a photojournalist. He was a reporter who was visually aware of the world of his particular time, you can see it in his photos. He had his own style. He was a seasoned photographer who was influenced by tradition and had a very personal way of approaching photojournalism,” said his colleague Jorge Mario Múnera (b. 1953) in the article to which this review refers.      


Guillermo González Uribe (b. 1955) was director of the cultural magazine Número (1998?2011) and president of the Asociación de Revistas Colombianas Culturales (Arca) [Colombian Cultural Magazine Association] who has been recognized for his work as a journalist and publisher. His father was a distinguished photojournalist whose photographic work was well known for its quality and impact; [he] worked with the most important print media in the country, and with Time and Life magazines.      

Erika Martínez Cuervo
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Guillermo González Uribe, Bogotá, Colombia