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Photo Essays

Joupin Ghamsari | The Spanish Crisis

VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. Nou Mestalla Stadium is the planned new stadium of Valencia CF. Work began on the stadium in August 2007, but was halted two years later in February 2009 due to lack of funding. It remains untouched and needs another 150 million euros to complete. In the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, Spain experienced a construction boom, eventually collapsing leaving millions of homes and other buildings such as this vacant.
[E]ver since the real estate bubble burst in 2008, Spain has been on a downward spiral sparking a financial crisis that has spread throughout the country.
At 27%, Spain now has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe forcing millions out of their homes with over 250,000 eviction notices issued since the crisis began. An average of 200 people are thrown out of their homes everyday, with this number set to increase by the end of 2013.

The images in this project document the journey of Spain and its people during this tough economic crisis, focusing on those who have lost their jobs and those waiting to be evicted from their homes and its effect on the Spanish landscape.

VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. Manolo leader of the Stop Desahucios (stop eviction) group in the Spanish city of Valencia gives advice to locals who have all received eviction notices from the banks. Meetings like these happen all over Spain helping those who are awaiting evictions as well as those just starting out in the eviction process.
VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. There have been over 250,000 eviction orders executed by the Spanish courts since Spain sank into recession back in 2008, throwing millions out of work unable to keep up with mortgage and rent payments.
VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. Milagros aged 48 is facing eviction after not paying her mortgage for over six months since her husband’s death. His pension leaves her with only 450 euros to feed her three children and since she is not able to pay the Spanish government has now begun to try and take her parent’s home, in order to pay the debt as their names are down on her mortgage as her next of kin.
MADRID, SPAIN- January 2013. Evictions in Spain were up by 16.7% at the end of 2012, averaging more than 200 per day.
VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. The President of the neighbourhood association speaks at a protest in front of locals in the impoverished neighbourhood of Nazaret, Valencia. The community in Nazaret has been protesting for years for the roads to be widened so that medical services can enter the neighborhood, but due to government cuts there are many areas like Nazaret across Spain that are feeling the full effect of the crisis.
VALENCIA, SPAIN- March 2013. Chary aged 40 has three children and is awaiting eviction after receiving her notice when her youngest child was just fifteen days old. She is now living with her mother as the electricity has been cut off from the home and expects the eviction to happen any day.
MADRID, SPAIN- January 2013. People seek eviction advice at a meeting organized by the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca in Madrid, Spain.
MADRID, SPAIN- March 2013. Francisco and AnsunciĂ³n are both unemployed. Francisco has been unemployed for five years after being made redundant from his construction job, living on 400 euros per month from his redundancy pay. He plans to move abroad for work like many Spaniards, as they will soon be unable to afford to live.
MADRID, SPAIN- January 2013. Kennedy sits waiting on his eviction day in his home in Madrid that he shares with his wife and three children whom he moved out a few days earlier. Kennedy took out a mortgage when the economy was strong but found his payments drastically increasing due to inflation leaving him unable to keep up with his mortgage.
MADRID, SPAIN- January 2013. A man uses a Bankia cash machine covered in anti-government and bank graffiti. Bankia is one of many banks in Spain that is currently evicting people from their homes.
VILLACAÑAS, SPAIN- March 2013. An abandoned housing development in the town of Villacañas, Spain. It is developments such as these scattered all across Spain that sparked the economic downfall five years ago causing towns such as this, once a wealthy industrial town to nothing but a ghost town.
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