Adrián Domínguez is a documentary photographer using storytelling to explore anthropological aspects around environmental issues. He is graduate in Audiovisual Arts (CEV) with studies of Philosophy (UCM) and Anthropology (UNED). He started by...
Agricultural policy of last century found that the model centered on production ignores rural, by the need of development through agricultural multifunctionality, diversification of activities, social deagrarianisation and sustainability as a goal. And required the existence of a local frame populated and quality; good social services and entertainment that can keep enterprising and creative people or attract them.
In last decades many areas classified as marginal for the European Community are experiencing demographic changes. This can be explained in part by the arrival in these areas of population from urban centers, in many cases foreigners, following alternative lifestyles in rural areas. This migration phenomenon is defined as «neo-ruralism». The origins of this phenomenon date back to the birth of the Industrial Revolution, although it has evolved over time: At first, is associated with the utopia of a return to villages and community life; another second phase is marked by the flowering of environmental awareness with new migration flows from the city to the countryside as the «single lifestyle movement» or «slow movement». In almost all «neo-rurals» prevailing ecological ideals, love for nature and the desire to reach an inner calm that can only be found far from the city.
Iberian mainland is one of the richest in natural diversity throughout Europe, it has a 1,500 endemic species and owns more than half of the animal species existing in the EU. In some areas there are up 50 endemic species per 1,000 square kilometers; this is due by geographic isolation at various times, since Oligocene until now. In the Middle Miocene, with Africa united by land, it allowed the exchange of species between continents. So here cames pangolins, rhinoceroses, horses, elephants, lions ... developing a rich variety of endemic fauna. But since historical period several animal species has become extinct under human action; as the -uro- at ancient times, the -zebro- at late Middle Age and, currently, two subspecies of Iberian ibex.
The origin of the Iberian peoples is not knowing in depth; although classical sources do not always agree on the precise geographical boundaries or enumeration of specific peoples, it seems that language is the fundamental criterion that identifies the Iberian. By a contemporary archaeological view, the concept of Iberian culture is not a repeating on each people's uniform patterns, these folks has shared certain common characteristics but they were not an homogeneous ethnic group.
There are several theories that attempt to establish the origin of Iberian: One supported by genetic studies, states that Iberian peoples were part of the original inhabitants of Western Europe, heirs megalithic culture that emerged in this whole area, so the Iberian would be similar to the Celtic populations (Celts tribes would cross the Pyrenees into two great migrations, settling mostly at north of Douro and Ebro rivers, where they were mixed with the Iberian to shape the group so-called Celtíberian). So, ultimately, the Iberian were evolved different peoples by different cultures prior to proto-state structures, influenced in their development by Phoenician, Greeks and Carthaginians.
Iberian customs are strongly rooted with the wild and animals. The oldest ones find origin in pre-Romanesque and Celtic tribes, where the collective idiosyncrasy was closely linked to the natural conditions of the environment, animals and plants. The magical ceremonies were based on the power of the elements and the force of nature’s mistery. There is not too much documented evidence about the origin of these ancient rituals and traditions; possibly because they were linked to peasant communities, which did not leave a written record of their experiences, but were transmitted from parents to children along generations. However, throughout the Middle Ages there was a process of reconversion of Europe with the intention of substituting pagan rites for new Christian practices. So the new Christianized rites maintain previous symbols that have gradually changed their meaning, these are the evolution of ancestral rites contextualized by successive communities under the process of Christianization and social policies.
The Iberian Peninsula hosts the area hardest hit by depopulation in EU but contemporary matters are leading some people to relocate in villages, becoming newcomers of forgotten spaces degraded by time. The new settlers are living with the natives, with diferent initiatives to recover the towns and history, reviving customs and bringing new ideas and projects for the development of the habitat. The relationship with the medium and small human communities are common denominators among the newcomers, aspects as recycling or sustainability are vital, restoring the link with nature and animals, showing our most basic needs and what we have added to our progress.
«Rurban Action» (partnership for sustainable urban-rural development), aimed to bridge across regional and rural policies, it was agreed by the European Parliament and managed by the European Commission. The EU is working together with countries, regions and other partners to promote urban-rural linkages. The benefits of stronger urban-rural cooperation include more efficient land use and planning, better provision of services and better management of natural resources.
Forests has played an important role in the history of mankind. Climate, culture, technology and trade has a great influence on the deforestation rythm. Over time, the interaction between humans and forests (including deforestation) has varied according to socioeconomic changes. The historical perspective highlights the importance and difficulties of sustaining forests through sustainable management, to find a balance between conservation and use, to ensure the full range of the contribution of forests in the economic, social and environmental planning.
There are some unoficial projects to attend wild fauna population to recover and stabilize species. X-Ray to a royal owl where could see remnants of shotgun pellet, one of the mortality factors of birds.
During the settlement period the «neo-rurals» lives different stages in which manage to increase their welfare is the key to permanence. This implies a symbiosis with the environment entails enjoy the medium and achieve satisfaction in the activities performed, as well as in social relations.
The creation of genuine agrarian enterprises, subject to the constraints of the constitution of a physical, financial and human capital, risk taking, competitiveness in the market, the consolidation of a draft economic and social future, is the only sustainable alternative for agricultural activity and, by extension, for the rural environment.
Living in a rural area also provides an opportunity to step up social relationships promoting exchanges with the local population. The «neo-rural» need to find activities to live and to satisfy their creativity and feel useful. The level of integration is strongly related to the level of satisfaction with the environment and lifestyle.
Sources of renewable energy are taking a leading role in the Peninsula (sometimes contained with strong tax policies and restrictions). These energies are those that are obtained from natural sources inexhaustible on a human scale. We found two main causes for exploitation; because the resource has an unlimited amount of energy (sun or wind), or because the resource has the nature to regenerate by itself (tides, rivers or forestry). Spain is in the top ten countries leading sustainable energy and in the top five investing on it. Its market was the highest growth in the world in 2007.
With the establishment of «Model Forests» it is intended to follow a development model focused on the availability of each site as to the socioeconomic situation. Today, the creation of these places are trying to help and revitalize the regions where «Model Forests» is applied, since being mostly rural areas may be more prone to decline areas (The Model Forest of Urbión, Carlos Martín Benedit).
Rangelands occupies a considerable area, these nude forests, usually with Quercus species, are derivative of Mediterranean forest where human activity is intense (since neolitic communities) for the maintenance of tenable system by hunting activity and use of forest products (firewood, cork, animal breeding, mushrooms). It is a system that integrates trees, grasses and forage, aimed to improving the performance of land within human sustainability.
The newcomers contributes to the recovery of historical ancient, conservation of cultural heritage and employment generation. And ultimately, economic, environmental, social and cultural enrichment and a sustainable development.
Rural world is very heterogeneous and thus has expanded the number of profiles, there is a wide range of possibilities. Unemployed people looking for a second chance, also critical of globalization ones who see the idyllic countryside, as well people with a higher education, seeking contact with nature, participating in the social life but do not losing contact with the city. Adaptation is not always satisfactory, the first shock is the gap that exists between the bucolic image and reality (MªJesús Rivera, Basque Country University).
Dolmens are megalithic constructions built between Neolithic and Chalcolithic Age. There are thousands in Western Europe; Its function is usually attributed to the collective grave but also it's believed that could be a way to claim a territory and strengthen the group identity (previous to Bronze Age cities).
"Undoubtedly, we face a decisive time to move forward or backward. If we are to transcend this impasse, we ought to become more involved with the elements, where our emotions awaken spontaneously and where we can get to really feel like ourselves"
RURAL ENVIRONMENT IS STILL HOME TO 20% OF WORLD’S POPULATION
AND OCCUPIES 80% OF THE TERRITORY
Long-term documentary project on contemporary rural Iberia and human impact on environments: exploring our roles with nature and the culture derived from primary bonds. We are living a crisis as a species, our economic and social systems have reached their limits. Exodus and migrations alert us that there are places where we cannot live anymore. However, nature escapes our whims and will not be expecting us ...
(FULL PROJECT AVAILABLE BY REQUEST)
(2017) The Building Center - UK
(2017) Viewfind - US
(2017) Maptia - UK
(2017) Dodho Magazine - Spain
(2017) VICE News - Spain
(2017) Sarnago Magazine - Spain
(2016) Lacuna Magazine - UK
(2016) Environmental Photographer Of The Year - UK
(2016) International Photographer Of The Year - UK