That one picture

Usually, photography projects have a life of its own. You start with an idea, try to develop it and you begin to shoot. As you do it, you validate that initial idea each time you press the shutter and start realising what fits in it and what doesn’t.

That’s when the project gets a life of it’s own and what you thought in the beginning changes gradually, becomes clearer and the path to the next shot is much easier to find until you know exactly what you’re looking for.

But, this time, it was different. I was thinking about this project for a while but it still wasn’t clear in my mind, nor even where to start.

I live in south Portugal, the Algarve, a tourist destination. Like any other tourist destination, its attractiveness should be found in its uniqueness, its preserved character. But again like many tourist destinations, that uniqueness fades away and gives place to global or standardised sceneries.

The goal for this project was to capture that sceneries, that loss of uniqueness, following 3 ideas:

  • the concept of “non-places” (the places, architecture, urban furniture or landscape that you can find anywhere in the world but you could also find it here, not allowing you to identify the “where”);
  • the irony of the tourist becoming part of the landscape;
  • and the changes you find in the destination to make the tourist feel “at home”, imitating what he finds at home while neglecting what is local.

So, what about the picture? This picture was almost a vision. When I was coming back from the beach with my kids, I saw this group of caravans in a car park (not a camping park) and it immediately reminded of Olhão, a city in the Algarve, which is known as “Cubist Town” for its own typical architecture that reminds an arabic town.

Caravans became part of the landscape in many places and one wonders … how can a landscape filled with caravans still be attractive for the tourists that drove them? Was this the scenery they were dreaming about while driving south? This image represents exactly what I would like to show with this project. More soon …

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