I am an Ecuadorian photojournalist, writer, artist and cultural manager who has published his work in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Audubon, Geo in France, Germany, Spain and Russia, and other international publications. I have been a judge for Pictures of the Year International and World Press Photo, the two most important photography competitions in the world. I was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. I am the founder and co-director of the POY Latam photography contest, the largest in Latin America. I am the editor-in-chief of POY Latam magazine, a space that seeks to bring art and literature closer to journalism, and I was the curator of the Coronavirus postcard series with the New York Times.
I was the Secretary of Culture of Quito from 2015 to 2019, and as such I was in charge of directing all areas of cultural management in the city: public policy, budgets, planning, educational processes, organization of events, fairs and festivals, rectorship of museums, theaters, libraries and archives, direction of the city’s editorial project. was in charge of designing and building the Quito pavilion during the United Nations world conference, Habitat III, and created the Festival of Light, one of the most successful and controversial cultural projects ever undertaken in the city.
One of the first steps in my administration was to issue the Resolution A015 of the Mayor’s Office, under the guidance of the UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments). The book Quito Gestión Cultural, written by several independent journalists, tells the story of our work at the head of the Secretaría.
I am the author of eight books of photography: Tierra desnuda, Paisajes del silencio, De la magia al espanto, Ecuador, Veinte y Cinco, Tango, Jardines Silvestres and Andes; and dozens of books in which I have acted as editor or co-author.
Inspired by the photography of The Andes – published by the National Geographic Society – Mario Vargas Llosa wrote twenty short stories and a prologue in which he says: “In Pablo Corral’s photographs there is always a hope, an affirmation of life, a will to survive even in face of the worst adversities, and this hope, this affirmation, this drive manifest themselves in the humblest and the most mistreated, whether by their fellow human beings or by catastrophes. It may be, in fact, that these images that portray the ability to resist, the ability not to be crushed by the most elemental and terrible conditions of life, are the most persuasive of the collection. They are images of people bowed under the weight of a centuries-long oppression, people who have been exploited, are being exploited, and then forgotten, condemned to live in the most extreme poverty, the most extreme conditions, at the constant risk and in the constant awareness of death. And yet none of that has taken away from these people their joie de vivre, the gaiety of their fiestas, the fun of getting into costumes and dancing to the music of their bands, the happiness of walking with their saints and virgins in sumptuous processions. In the villages of the Sierras, Pablo Corral’s camera, filled with sympathy and solidarity with those he is about to photograph, can always pick out that secret little flame that never stops flickering, even in the darkest of circumstances, and whose philosophy can be summed up by this old saying: ‘The last thing that dies in the human being is hope.’”