The earliest photographs from my family album were what led me to make this project, and to take the journey to the South of Spain to find my birthplace, which we left in 1995 when I was at the age of two.
I had none of my own memories of this place, but my parent’s romantic stories of living off grid beneath a canvas roof conjured an idealised description of what I might find. I had imagined bathing in small rivers, eating almonds, oranges and fruits from the trees that grew upon the mountains. I imagined the small paths we would climb to get to villages nearby, the communal meals and songs shared around fires in the evenings.
Many of my preconceptions were accurate, however I did not predict the growth of the community over the past nineteen years, and the disparate effect this would have on the people living within this mountainous valley. The valley has separated into groups of people from many European countries, with different living ideals and priorities. Some see it as a place in which they may spend there days intoxicated, away from the fast-paced world of technology and work, whereas others see it as a place to raise their children within the natural environment.
There was a love of the land that I noticed whilst seeing peoples’ daily routines. I was struck by the dedication to living in this way, and decided it was something I wanted to celebrate through my photographs.