New sundial in Otos: ‘’Year Ten’’
Phylloxera is a small insect of American origin that attacks the roots of European vines and drought. He arrived in Europe in 1860 and in a few years razed all the French vineyards. Taking advantage of the opportunity, in the Albaida Valley there was a golden age of the vineyard that reached its peak in 1889 with more than 12,000 hectares of cultivation. In 1896, the plague reached the Valencian Country and by 1906 it had already begun to infect the vineyards of the Vall d’Albaida. By 1910, virtually all the vines in the county had dried up, causing the absolute ruin of agriculture. Hence the identification of the year ten as a symbol of catastrophe with the famous saying "look like year ten". The consequent misery caused one of the most dramatic episodes of famine in the region and one of the largest emigrations ever known. Between 1910 and 1920, almost half of the Otosines left the village, most in France and Argentina. The migratory flow in Argentina was maintained for much of the twentieth century, to the point that today there is no family in the village without relatives, friends and acquaintances.
Otos City Council commissioned the Ollerian artist Jordi Albinyana with this mural / sundial with the intention of paying homage to the otosins and otosines who emigrated during all periods, especially those of the Year Ten.
The mural depicts the boat trip to Argentina. It contains a series of iconic Valencian and Argentine references. Musicians, farmers, men and women, girls and boys, dreamers, tafurs, enlightened people, adventurers ... face with a mixture of hope and resignation an uncertain but promising future, far from home. Among the references, a game of trick: the national card game of the Valencians has become the most popular in Argentina. In the sky we can see some constellations as seen from the southern hemisphere. On the balcony, a fox (animal representative of the identity of the otosins) bids farewell to the ship with a gesture of sadness. To top it off, we made the sundial mark Buenos Aires time.
(Text and images: Joan Olivares i Alfonso)