‘Underground portraits’: leading figures from the world of culture and sport celebrate the centenary of Metro
The President of the Regional Government of Madrid, Ángel Garrido, inaugurated the photo exhibition entitled ‘Underground portraits’ in which leading figures from the world of culture, communication and sport pay their own tributes to Metro de Madrid in the year in which it celebrates its centenary.
The display, set up in Chamartín station within the framework of the commemoration of the first centenary of Metro, is made up of black and white snapshots taken in different parts of the underground network by the photographer Javier Nadales.
Regional President Garrido highlighted that the participants in this exhibition on the occasion of the centenary of Metro de Madrid represent “those people who use Metro to travel each day” which is “the principal reason for the existence of Metro”, according to Ángel Garrido.
The 14 faces that make up the exhibition have chosen the station in which their picture was taken due to its relationship with their life or professional career, “in the same way that many Metro locations are intimately tied to the lives of many nameless people”, stressed the regional president.
ART AND SPORT IN THE METRO
The filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa chose Chamberí station, where some scenes from the film ‘Barrio’ were shot. The portrait of Joaquín Sabina is in Tirso de Molina station, mentioned in his song ‘Caballo de cartón’, while the comic artist and illustrator and National Comic Prize-winner, Paco Roca, appears with the drawings of Mingote in Retiro station.
Other participants include the TV presenter Roberto Leal; the writers Lorenzo Silva and Elvira Lindo; the actress and playwright Laura Aparicio; the cinema director and President of the Aladina Foundation, Paco Arango; and the rapper and radio presenter Frank T.
Figures from the world of sport who have collaborated with the exhibition include Chema Martínez, the most successful Spanish long-distance runner of all time and three-time European champion; the Spanish Women’s Handball Team; the footballers Koke (Atlético de Madrid) and Embarba (Rayo Vallecano); and Gema Hassen-Bey, fencing Paralympic medal-winner and first athlete in the world in a wheelchair to climb to a 3,000-metre high summit with only the use of her arms.
Metro de Madrid has almost 300 kilometres of network and transports more than 2 million passengers each day. “Ángel Garrido underlined that “We continue working to ensure that even more citizens can benefit from this means of public transport – one of the finest underground systems in the world”.
The regional government has approved the hiring of 100 new train drivers – the second increase in the workforce of drivers of this legislature, following 360 new hirings in 2016 – a measure that comes on top of the purchase of 60 trains announced as from this year.
The commemoration of the centenary is also an opportunity to acknowledge “the commitment of the professionals that have made the existence of an institution such as Metro de Madrid possible, which is so inseparable from our way of perceiving Madrid”, highlighted Regional President Garrido, accompanied at the inauguration of the exhibition by the Regional Councillor for Transport, Housing and Infrastructures, Rosalía Gonzalo.
‘Underground portraits’ is located in Chamartín metro station, which is also showcasing restored classic trains, models that provided a train service in the first few years of the underground system in Madrid. Six trains are currently on display and a similar number will be added in the coming months.
These exhibitions are in addition to other events that Metro de Madrid has organised on the occasion of its first centenary, such as the ‘Centenary Line’ at the stations on the original line 1 from Cuatro Caminos to Sol (line 1), which offers a trip through the history of Metro with huge photos displayed in entrance halls, on platforms and in passages.
The centenary has also reserved a place for sport. On 3 February, Metro organised the ‘Centenary Race’, in which 2,000 runners raced from Cuatro Caminos to Sol on a street level circuit which traces the original underground line. In addition, the period for submitting entries to the children’s drawing competition, entitled ‘What is Metro to you?’ remains open until 1 March and is aimed at competitors aged 6 to 12 from schools in the Region of Madrid.