In 2009 I spent time in Roquetas de Mar—Almeria, Spain—to work on "Permanently temporary passing time in a plastic sea)." After a few weeks I was still having a hard time finding people who were willing to be photographed, particularly around 200 Viviendas—the ghettoized apartment complex where many illegal immigrants lived.
I was told that rather than being a reflection of the tensions around 'illegality', it was often because they didn't want people back home to see that they were living in conditions far removed from the dream of 'Europe.'
I got lucky on the day that Ramadan started. Proudly dressed in their best outfits and high on the energy of love and comraderie amongst their Muslim neighbours, my camera and I were suddenly in high demand. I gave out prints to everyone the next day and from there I was able to gain 'access' to start my project.
For me, this series of portraits is more a reflection on context and power in the photographer-subject relationship than it is about immigration in Spain.
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