Firmamento by Olga de la Iglesia
09.03.2018 / COLLABORATION
La Barceloneta has lived an intense story becoming a key witness of a close relationship between the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Barcelona. The accumulation of layers of records might be the reason that explains the idiosyncrasies that make it is extremely different to rest of the city. We fell in love with La Barceloneta a few years ago. Mainly because of its proximity to the sea and the fact that it’s our favourite local surf spot too. But there’s something else in its distinctive atmosphere that catches not only us but also everyone who comes here.
As the first in a new series of collaborations that we’re developing with a list of photographers, we proposed Olga de la Iglesia shoot our beloved neighbourhood with the purpose of discovering what La Barceloneta has turned into these days. We were interested in de la Iglesia’s view as a photographer and art director, but also as a traveller and Barcelonan herself. We like the way she explores fashion and documentary through primary colours and shapes. A very personal vision that achieves drawing the best from both languages, creating images that show her unique signature and essence.
Since its first stone was placed on the 3rd of February 1753, La Barceloneta has experienced a bunch of phases and continuously adapted itself to the changing times. It was once the home of fishermen and other people associated with the metal industry. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular and crowded leisure places in Barcelona. Nevertheless, the life that wanders through its narrow streets seems to be alien to the city’s hectic pace.
Nowadays, the reality of the triangular quarter has nothing to do with the imaginary of a quiet, seaside and familiar neighbourhood that lasts in our minds. The modernisation of the area has brought packed buses with worldwide tourists and the emergence of restaurants and bars, which in most cases are unrepresentative of La Barceloneta’s spirit. Traditional images of locals sitting on their chairs in the street and balconies, with their clothes drying in the sun, they now deal with the actual social issues caused by the transformation of many housing properties into touristic apartments.
During the shooting process, de la Iglesia came across with a dichotomy of two different Barcelonetas. The one that still keeps its core traditions. And another one that has become a place that struggles between being a daylight extension of Las Ramblas and a nighttime rave-up spot. Fortunately, it seems that the seaside district hasn’t completely lost its essence and it still gives us unique moments that can only happen in there.