The collapse of the housing bubble in Spain has put the lives of thousands of people in danger. In 2012 alone, about 65,000 properties were repossessed at an average of 115 evictions per day.
“More fragile than a bubble” presents the stories of eighteen families living in the Madrid and Barcelona metropolitan areas affected by the mortgage crisis. These stories reveal different life trajectories that, in different ways, have all ended up on the streets. The main characters find themselves alone with the debris of their broken households, in front of their own front doors.
This collection of portraits is the first step of a personal photo project about miseries, conflicts and transformations of Spain nowadays. This work presents the result of an anthropological approach to the reality of the families. For almost a year, the author followed them both in their domestic and public spaces as members of the PAHs (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca), the Spanish multilocal movement of right to house.
Their stories paint a dramatic picture of contemporary Spanish society, marked by failed marriages, unsuccessful businesses, diseases and financial frauds. The main features of this situation are children with uncertain futures, young adults forced to regress to an adolescent stage of life and older people who have suddenly found themselves being regarded as unproductive members of their society.
These are stories of social vulnerability. They all share the desperation caused by unemployment, the risk of homelessness and, furthermore, a lifetime of debt to banks.
Despite this, they have not resigned themselves to the helplessness, nor to abandon the collective awareness process to a different way of conceiving social justice.
These paths end up mirroring economical and social deep contradictions in contemporary Spain. Dignity and the hope of a second chance are what remains of a grievous promise of wealth which has not been kept.
Andrea Lolicato, 2013
© Andrea Lolicato Photographer 2013 – All Rights Reserved