I am a photojournalist working on both daily news and long term projects. Based in Barcelona, I specialize in the Catalonia conflict and have been photographing the “separatist process” for the past 5 years. For the past year, I have...
During the year 2020, there were 5,737 evictions in Catalonia, 1,028 of which were in Barcelona (data collected from the Consell General del Poder Judicial). This, over time, has caused an overall average of 15 evictions per day, most of which were sentenced due to the nonpayment of rent. Rent that has been increased by a 44% in the last five years. Actually, Catalonia is the autonomous community of the Spanish State leader in eviction rankings. The pandemic has seriously affected the economy, resulting in the destruction of many work places. Many people and families cannot afford the market rent price or their mortgages so they stop paying them. The “Sindicat d’Habitatge”’s (hous- ing union) assemblies from different Barcelona neighborhoods are filled with peo- ple that have to deal with this type of problems. This housing movement protests in front of the doors of the houses the day of the evictions and offers possible alternatives to the families that are being evicted, helping them to squat empty buildings owned by the bank or by “vulture” funds. These situations are human tragedies that do not only occur a thousand kilome- ters away from home but also in the streets of Barcelona, every single day, to our neighbors. Such situations have even become daily and normalized. This series of photographs is a sample of some of the many cases I covered in the city of Barcelona from the autumn of 2020 until the summer of 2021. A local pho- tographic project in which, unfortunately, I’ve worked almost daily and it seems to be only the prelude to a problem entrenched in time. A project in which you work. * Some of these photos have been published by The Associated Press.
Noemi Tudela, 40, reacts as a friend tells her by phone that the police have arrived to evict her from her apartment in the Sant Andreu neighbourhood of Barcelona, on April 7, 2021. Ms. Tudela has been accused of squatting in the apartment of a owner who have multiples proprieties since March 2017. Tudela has vulnerable status. Despite the presence of dozens of activists, the eviction was carried out.
Police officers, seen through the door’s spyhole, arrives to evict Alejando IbanÌƒez, 30, from his apartment in GuinardoÌ neighbourhood of Barcelona, on December 10, 2020. Alejandro has been accused of not making rent payments and not renewing his lease since February of 2020. Has vulnerable status and works as a delivery rider.
Alejandro IbanÌƒez, 30, collects his belonging from his apartment during the eviction from his apartment in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Dec.10, 2020. Alejandro has been accused of not making rent payments and not renewing his lease since February of 2020. Has vulnerable status and works as a delivery rider. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)
Claudia Migueles, 50, hugs her 18yo daughter during the eviction of her apartment in the Poble Sec neighbourhood of Barcelona, on November 15, 2020. Ms. Migueles lives in a apartment with his 5 children (13, 15, 16, 24 and 18yo) and a 1yo grandchild, she has vulnerable status. She suffered a scam, renting with false renting lease, tried to nego- tiate to pay a low protected rent to the real owner, claiming his vulnerability status. The eviction was finally postponed with the help of the ‘‘Poble Sec Housing Union’’.
Soccer player Luis SuaÌrez poster is seen in the bedroom of Bilial Ben Taleb, 28, during his eviction of his apartment in the ‘‘GoÌ€tic’’ neighbourhood of Barcelona, on May 31, 2021. Mr. Ben Taleb has been accused of squatting the apartment since 2019. The eviction was finally postponed with the help of tens of activists of the ‘‘Casc Antic Housing Union’’
Riot police officers clash with protestors as they try to stop the eviction of Maite Mendibil, 58, from her apartment in Barcelona, Oct. 1, 2020. Mr Mendibil, who has vu- lenrable status, had antique rent lease ( lower price from the market one), the propi- erty accused her of not done rent payments in some 2015 months. Despite the hudge policial presence, the eviction was stoped when Mr. Mendibil threatened to kill herself (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)
An anti-evictions activist is detained by police officers douring the eviction of Hayat. Barcelona , December 14, 2020. Hayat, 65, has been accused of not making rent pay- ments. He has a designated vulnerable status due to his lack of income. This eviction resulted in several activists arrested.
Police remove the door as they break into Noemi Tudela apartment to evict her in Sant Andreu neighborhood Barcelona, April. 7, 2021. Ms. Tudela has been accused of squatting in the apartment of a owner who have multiples proprieties since March 2017. Tudela has vulnerable status. Despite the presence of dozens of activists, the eviction was carried out.
A police officer helps Diana, 29, to remove her belongings from the apartment from which she has been evicted, in the Sants neighbourhood of Barcelona, on December 15th. 4 families with minors were evicted from a block accused of squatting since May 2019. All these families had a vulnerable status.
Protestors react as they try to stop the eviction of Maite Mendibil, 58, from her apartment in Barcelona. On October 1, 2020. Mr Mendibil, who has vulenrable status, had antique rent lease ( lower price from the market one), the propierty accused her of not done rent payments in some 2015 months. Despite the hudge policial presence, the eviction was stoped when Mr. Mendibil threatened to kill herself.
Riot police officers covered by paint thrown by protesters stand guard as activists try to stop the eviction of Axel Altadill, 28 from his apartment in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Mr. Altadill has been accused of squatting in the apartment since January 2019. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)