March, 10th, 13:40 pm.
I had seen it falling before, from the train window, but getting out of the station building under the snow is quite an experience. The flakes are all dancing around, like weightless pieces of white cold paper, and stopping on my shoulders, ears, hair, hands… I can’t help but smile like a child.
March 10th, 22:00 pm.
The sky is black up there, and it’s white everywhere else, for it’s been snowing the whole day. Tomorrow the snow will be gone, but the cold wind will stay, for the suffering of my ears.
March, 11th, 21:30 pm.
I’m at the Central Bar, at Yamaguchi Square, eating a potatoes snack. There’s a young couple sitting near. They’re around seventeen, maybe eighteen, discretly elegant. They’ve finished their drink and are just talking. Although they kiss shyly, it’s in their gestures where the warmth of their corner comes: he holds her hand, she lay her head on his shoulder. I’d bet it’s their first date. I can’t hear what they’re saying, and it’s none of my business anyway. After a while, they leave and dissappear into the cold night outside.
March 11th, 14:00 pm.
The Universitary Clinic of Navarre is a white, compact building next to the University Campus. Silence is expected and found in its corridors, despite all the people around, but silence seems to be the normal state on this city. The Communication Department headmaster, Jesús Zorrilla, is a well mannered, elegant, smiling man, an old-school journalist who has become the communication manager of one of the most innovative public hospitals of Europe. And still so close: before we leave the building, he has, and has been, said hello to a dozen people.
March, 11th, 23:00 pm.
The Jumping Jester is a traditional Irish pub. There’s still a few people: a group of English close to the entrance door; some american women at the bar, a couple of Spanish guys sitting at one of the tables. What they don’t know is that, among the English, the white haired man who seems to have forgotten he’s still wearing his sunglasses on his head is Michael Agar, Head of Graphics from the Daily Telegraph; and the women are Kaitlin Yarnall, research cartographer from National Geographic, and her colleagues.
March, 12th, 02:50 am.
Kaitlin Yarnall is telling me in a perfect Spanish from California that she wanted her speech of this morning about the use of maps in infographics to be as entertaining and useful as possible, although she was worried because of the high level of the audience. I tell her that she succeded. Álvaro Valiño, Head of Infographics department from Público agrees. And Pablo Ioscri, head of infographics from Clarin, is telling her jokes about her Spanish accent, his own and ours.
March, 12th, 17:30 pm.
And the Steve Sullivan Price for Best Infographic of the year goes to… Thomas Molén, for his online graphic about Eurivision contest voting tendencies, published in the Svenka Dagvladet. I talked to him last night, at the Jumping Jester pub. ‘Which one do you think is a better comic-book, Alan Moore’s Watchmen or Frank Miller’s Dark Knight?’ was the opening question of our conversation. He was with the former, and had valid arguments. Visual stiles, Tintin, online graphics trends, the Swedish way of life, country ciclyng, StarTrek vs. StarWars, newspapers dinamics, finding inspiration… It was an interesting conversation.
March, 12th, 02:30 am.
Tonight, The Jumping Jester is the best school for Infographics in the world, for all the masters are here. The woman sitting next to me is Hannah Fairfield, Graphics Editor of The New York Times office in Washington. ‘What you do is watch by the whole world and might mark the trends of infographics to come, don’t you feel some kind of preassure? Not really. If I were to think about it, I would, but I prefer to ignore that facts and concentrate on telling a story to the readers.’ She’s so elegant, in the inside and the outside…
March 12th, 03:15 am.
It’s the last chance for The Malofiej Convention staff, voluntary students from the University of Navarre, to learn a final lesson, to make a contact, to exchange an email address, to negotiate future practices in The Guardian, Die Bild, El Mundo or the Kircher-Buckhardt Studio in Berlin. I don’t judge their methods, for they won’t have a better chance. I saw the BBC team before, but I can’t find them now. Don’t know if Claire Shannon was with them, and never will. The cold dark night awaits me outside.