“There’s nothing to do”, explains Nabil (not his real name). “We just wake up, eat and sleep”. Nabil, a 22-year-old Syrian refugee, has been living in the Nea Kavala camp in northern Greece, just next to the Macedonian border for almost one year.
La Guindalera’s traditional high streets and beautiful no-frills bars set it apart from its upmarket neighbour of Salamanca, writes Suzanne McCullagh, a resident and advocate of the area.
Just before the pandemic, photojournalist Melanie Guil visited a small Spanish town in León that, for decades, has been fading from the map. She asked the residents’ of Fornela tell us their stories, and here they are.
In early March, just two weeks before lockdown began, photojournalism student Tamar Shemesh took a trip to El Alamín, a tiny ghost town 70 kilometres west of Madrid. In this reportage, she tells us what she found and what she learned – all aided by hauntingly beautiful photographs – and how it reminded her of Israel, her home.
Forget the Alhambra. We’re here to explore those places that can’t be found in the guide books, those bars that can’t be found on pretty streets, and those fragments of history that haven’t been moved to a display cabinet but instead remain in situ for us all to see… if we know where to look.
The fight against coronavirus echoes something hauntingly familiar in Spain, and it’s from this dark period in history that local artist Félix Rodriguez has found inspiration. From the confines of his home in Madrid where he remains, like the rest of us, under lockdown, a renaissance is happening.
I’d like to transport you to a place where the streets are paved with volcanic rock that braid the city, and crumbling houses wrap around outcrops of ancient lava flow.
I’d like to transport you to a place a few miles up the road from where I grew up. It’s a tiny, windswept port town that had its heyday up until the 1960s. After that, the industries shifted outwards, like the dunes that shield Blyth from the North Sea, switching from mining coal to farming wind.
I’m sitting on a concrete bench on Plaza Nelson Mandela, taking in the warm winter sun on my face. A local Senegalese man wearing an ivory silk boubou pours his friends cups of hot black coffee from a canister. On a bench near them, a group of young Argentinians top up their cups of mate and share a smoke.
In the shadow of Madrid’s extravagant lights display, the spirit of no-frills Christmas lives on. You just have to look a bit closer.