WINNER PHOTON GRANT 2017
PREMIÀ DE MAR / SPAIN
The neighbors of La Catalana have been for more than a decade fearing the planned demolition of their homes and their expulsion from the neighborhood. At the end of the 50’s, hundreds of Barcelona metro workers or the Besós thermal power station sought a place to settle in and set up La Catalana neighborhood, building houses with their own hands between fields and farmhouses. But the growth of the city ended up engulfing a territory that became the target of urban speculation. The massive emigration in the 60s and the lack of affordable housing filled with shantytowns the periphery of Barcelona and La Catalana were surrounded by working families at risk of social exclusion. Day by day, drug and marginalization expand their territory by converting the neighborhood in a ghetto. In just 40 years, La Catalana had become a branch of the drug market in La Mina, the contiguous neighborhood. In 2010, the old houses were condemned to demolition in a new urban plan designed to sanitize the area. In a couple of months, La Catalana was almost empty. Only four families resisted a little more, wandering around the neighborhood, making bonfires or burning copper cables to sell it. They all resisted until the last moment. “Vestigium” means the trace, the mark and, ultimately, the memory of a neighborhood that dies, leaving a physical and sentimental void.