CATALONIA: A WORK IN PROGRESS

I’m JC, London based Fashion and Portraits photographer, and this is my personal project Catalonia: A Work In Progress, where I took portraits of people living in Catalonia and explored the spectrum of opinions that they have in regards to the Catalan crisis.

CARLES: “My country is Catalonia.”

DYLAN: “I feel like I am pro-independence but there is something that holds me back and I just can’t put my finger on it.”

LAURA: “I am not sure if I want to leave, but I am not sure if I want to stay how we are today either.”

 

CONXITA: “Apart from the way it has happened, which has been disastrous, what really upsets me is the danger it poses to the possible loss of civil liberties and a step backwards for everything that Catalan culture has achieved since Franco, due to the Spanish government's reaction.” Referring to October 1st.

CARLOS: “I would have voted No because I don’t feel represented.”Referring to October 1st.

TANA: “I have always been pro-independence.”

IRENE: “Make sure that the flag is in the frame…"

INMA: “An independence would only bring uncertainty and I need to look out for my children.”

MARIONA: “Votarem!” (We will vote!). Referring to October 1st.

JESSICA: “Whatever happens, today is a great day!” Referring to October 1st.

MIREIA: “The Spanish government has made of democracy a crime.”

JORDI: “Walls are laid, erected, levelled, plumb and settled down. They are graffitied on, they crack, they are shored up and they get demolished. Sometimes, in the face of evidence of injustice, they even fall on their own. Perhaps, it is not always necessary to wait for the full life cycle of a wall to complete.”

XAVI S.: “All I know is that I’m more Out than I am In.”

CRISTINA: “I am pro-independence and I don’t need an argument to defend my position. I am tired of people telling me that I have to think about the future of the country and the future of our children. I might be selfish but I’m thinking about myself and my life.”

OFELIA: “I am in favour of the independence but I see mistakes on both sides. There is a shared responsibility from both sides that nobody wants to acknowledge. The ones on this side should have made a greater effort to include those who were in favour of the union. But, for me, the apathy from Madrid to the marches that took place here is shocking. 250,000 African-Americans marched for civil rights in 1963 and changes were made; here, 1,500,000 people marched and we were ignored.”

METHILDE: “One thing I do wish is for information on both sides. Give me the pros and cons of staying in versus leaving so people can make an informed decision… this is not a decision that should be made solely based on patriotism.”

JESUS: “I don’t agree with either of the parts. I feel like they are both too selfish and they are only worried about claiming what they feel it’s theirs and not about the people.”

PAULA: “I am in favour of a referendum; one where there is control, and a legal recount.  But, as a citizen, I don’t want independence.”

IGNASI: “I have been an independentist all my life.”

ELGA: “I am tired of having the Catalan language constantly under attack.”

PABLO: “My family and I weren’t sure whether to vote or not, but after everything that has happened lately we made up our minds. We are voting!”

XAVI V.: “We’ve been too naïve thinking that things could have gone right.” Referring to October 1st.

ELI: “I am pro-independence out of love… love for my country, my culture and my language.”

MONTSE: “I mean, speaking from a selfish point of view, I’m worried about my pocket and the welfare state.”

MONICA: “It's a serious business and we need to proceed with better tactics and less passion.”

At first sight, it might seem like there are only two possible positions: in favour of the independence of Catalonia or in favour of the permanency in Spain. But the reality is more complex than that; there is a diverse set of opinions from the people caught in the middle.

Some people definitely want out, while others feel very much part of Spain. But, not everyone who wants to leave wants an Independence per-se and would opt for just more autonomy for the region. Meanwhile, not everyone who wants to remain in Spain feels Spanish or agrees with the policies of the Spanish government.

Whatever the outcome of the Catalan conflict is, the government of Catalonia or the government of Spain will have to guarantee that all the people living in Catalonia can live in harmony disregarding their political views.

“Catalonia: A Work In Progress” shows the faces of the people who live in Catalonia and their positioning on this conflict. Those who want to leave Spain, are photographed from the inside of their places while they are standing outside; those who want to stay, are photographed from outside of their places and they are posing inside; while those who are not fully in favour of one thing or the other are posing on the thresholds of their doors.

This is a conflict that has been going on for centuries, but the rest of the world found out about it after the events of October 1st, 2017, when the pro-Independence parties staged a referendum that the Spanish government considered illegal.

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