Héctor Mediavilla

Born in 1970 in Barcelona, Spain

Héctor Mediavilla is a Spanish photographer born in Barcelona in 1970. He holds a degree in Business and an MBA from ESADE Business School (Barcelona). He worked for several years in the Marketing Department of a Japanese company before becoming project manager of a new concept of sustainable neighbourhoods in Catalonia. In 1999 he completed a postgraduate degree in Cultural Management at the University of Idec- Pompeu Fabra.

In 2001 Mediavilla started his first in-depth photographic essay, "El otro fórum de las Culturas", to which he devoted two years of his life. Some of the main characteristics of his work already stand out in this first project: his involvement in social issues and his interest in atypical social groups. His will to expose social injustices has gradually given way to an attempt at a broader understanding of the human being and his relationship to the environment.

In 2003, he travelled to Brazzaville to train professional Congolese photographers as part of the European Union Programme to support the Visual Arts in Congo-Brazzaville. He started his project on the Congolese S.A.P.E. during his stay. He is the first foreign photographer to be interested in this peculiar phenomenon that reveals daily life in Africa to be quite different from the clichés of war, hunger and safaris. This specific project, completed in 2012 after several trips to Brazzaville and Paris, has been awarded several prizes in contests such as Picture of the Year, Hansel Mieth Award, Fotopress, PhotoEspaña, CoNCA and the Center's Project Competition.

As well as the SAPE, Mediavilla has also documented other issues, such as the social impact of migration on Mexican families, the coca leaf controversy in Bolivia, a variety of Mesoamerican spiritual practices and the transformation of colonial architecture in Mozambique.
Colors, Géo, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Business Week, XXI, Esquire, Internazionale, IO Donna and Photo have previously featured Mediavilla's work. He has also worked with several institutions : Casa África, Casa América Catalunya, the French Institute in Kinshasa, the Spanish Embassy in Maputo the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (Aecid) ; and NGOs as Intermón-Oxfam and Médicos del Mundo.

In 2009, he took part in the SCAN Festival, where he was on the expert panel for Documentary photography and institutional strategies in Catalonia. He was also a moderator at the roundtable on Conceptualization and presentation of photographic projects at the first Euro-American meeting of photographic collectives (ECO, Madrid, 2010).

His work has been exhibited worldwide at institutions such as the Musée Dapper (Paris), the Museum der Weltkulturen (Frankfurt), the Galleria Oleiros (Sao Paolo), the French Institute in Kinshasa (RDC), the Musée De Markten (Brussels) and the Museum Marítim (Barcelona) and is part of public and private collections.