Pablo Juliá

Fraga’s Vote (1982)

Finding a key moment requires luck, but also the right combination of intuition and experience. Pablo Juliá put this theory into practice since the moment he started his career as photojournalist.

In 1982, Andalusia was a political hotbed: a regional referendum, regional elections and general elections. A perfect breeding ground for Juliá, who had been working as a photographer for El País since 1979. Fraga gave a press conference in Seville in the aftermath of the regional elections. The reporter knew that Fraga was a man of fixed habits, every time he got up from a table he rearranged the papers in front of him and then left the room.

The photographer waited patiently for the image he was looking for because he had noticed that Fraga had at the bottom of his papers several newspapers of that day with an ad that read “Vote PSOE.” At the end of the press conference his intuition proved true: Fraga rearranged his papers leaving an image that he captured just in time.

When Cebrián —editor of El País— received the image, he decided to stop the production of the first edition of the newspaper and place the striking image that the photojournalist had managed to get on the front page. Months later, Fraga acknowledged what the reporter had accomplished saying “Juliá, you are a good journalist and a great sonofabitch.”

Pablo Juliá
© Pablo Juliá, 2019

Pablo Juliá

Cádiz, 1949

Since the late 1960s, Juliá documented the Spanish Transition, and in 1980 he began his career at El País, reporting and conducting interviews in different countries. He is the author of several publications on the Transition and has participated in numerous exhibitions. He has been director of the Andalusian Center of Photography (CAF) and has won numerous awards for his work as a chronicler of one of the most important periods in Spain’s recent history.

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