El río, las cosas que pasan

Raimond Chaves

Why “El Río”?

Apart from the affectionate allusion to the famous sentence of Hercules, there is a dialectic intention in the image of a river to speak of that which we see as inevitable. Reality, that which happens, the event, and this and its recreation and / or construction i.e. that, which we understand as news, are usually presented as inexorable flows.

This is why this project wants to be an invitation to find another way to confront events and the process of reconstruction that takes place when we read them. One can easily be led but if one wants or knows how, one can actually get somewhere.


“El Río, las cosas que pasan” is a project based on the guidelines set out in previous projects (see Background Information at the end of this document) intends on going even further and to be a handmade “newsworthy group” of low intensity divided into three spheres of Madrid´s public life.

“El Río” initially intends to disconcert with an atypical name for a means of communication. Beyond Hangueando –the project it comes from-, El Río wants to respond to the rôle of the media in our society, distancing us from compiling miscellaneous news and questioning it so as to construct a reality through the news.

“El Río” , constituted as a multimedia corporation shall confront the matter from different angles. Firstly considering as news that which a priori is not considered as such, secondly, the news we receive from the traditional means of communications shall be turned inside out and thirdly, great importance will be given to drawing and manipulating images. All ideas of objectivity and a consensus in story telling are forgotten. El Río will convert texts and images into poetic/political tools. El Río is positioned on the thin line between inventing news and analysis events, an unmistakable space which may also be contrary, i.e. that of creating events and that of analysing news. “El Río” will build tables that will always be missing a leg, as while it doesn´t want to be objective nor does it want to tell any “truths”.

Thus each prop in which “El Río” had decided to use, it will attempt to widen the margins of the conventions of use of these. Let´s take a look at the props:

A poster for MUPI “El Río, las cosas que pasan” dispalys a large collage with different texts, testimonies, quotations and images considered relevant regarding events and processes taking place in South America and are hardly covered in Europe. Events which whether local or relevant to certain areas of South America and have consequences for Spain due to globalisation. In this way, MUPI will become a wall “street” newspaper, inviting pedestrians to stop for a moment and read. The poster also publicises the presence of El Río on the Metro channel and the web.

On the programmes of the Metro channel, “El Río, las cosas que pasan” presents simple animations based on drawings and images with the inclusion of short lines of text and a very restrained use of sound. The contents of the animations will have a similar register to that of the posters but will emphasise the most absurd by presenting news that one would not really consider as news.


“El Río, las cosas que pasan” poses a third space of presence on the web. A web site created for this will act as a source for broadcasting the project for Madrid Abierto at the same time as containing and showing the contents of the poster and the animations on video. It is planned to work on this more intensely later on





“El Río, las cosas que pasan” - slogans

The newspaper of that which is not considered news. Analysis if events through quotations, testimonies, drawings and images.

El Río of things that happen to attempt to understand a world that is going to change forever.

With the arbitrated story telling of certain things which deserve to be heard about South America, the Caribbean and other places...

“El Río” on this occasion is a unipersonal project, but may later be worked on as a group.

Why the change from Hangueando to El Río?


There are numerous reasons. Firstly, what I consider to be the difficulty to explain Hangueando –the very meaning of the word- to an urban public that needs to be approached with less preparation. El Río is understood, and it is disconcerting, and once said that it is a street newspaper, no further explanations need to be given.

Secondly, that which is mentioned above regarding will, above all, in the case of the posters, which is more newspaper and less miscellaneous. To continue attempting to understand the world and at the same time not declining to intervene in it.

Thirdly, the possibility of creating what I have called the press conglomerate “of the three to the quarter” and to better confront the capacity of the media to construct events and set out what is important... to construct reality.