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The first day on the Camino de Santiago is said to be the most challenging of the entire pilgrimage. Dealing with the uncomfortable strain of an overloaded pack (mainly camera gear) and the constant uphill terrain, I was certain this trek would get the better of me within the first few hours. Starting well before day break, I began my Camino with a little nervousness and a lot of excitement. 800km before me and all I could see was an endless uphill walk that seemed to never level off. By the time I reached the peak of the French Pyranees I was alone, doubtful, and scared of the journey that I threw myself into. Now I am not a religious man, at least not in the organized sense, but when I stopped to drink some water and take a much needed break, I looked out at the day that was beginning to show itself and suddenly knew why I was there and what lead me to that exact spot.
Please check out Fluster Magazine to see my newest photo essay and article on the Spanish Indignados. After a year of photographing within the immense crowds, this collection of images were selected to represent a group of individuals coming together in hope of a better future, for themselves and their children.
On March 29th, Madrid took part in a nation wide strike to protest the new labour reform laws that are being implemented by the government. The downtown core was transformed into a living wave of Spaniards, marching their detoured path through the narrow streets from Banco de Espana to Puerta del Sol. Sporadically, pockets within the immense group would stop and demand the immediate closure of any stores that were unwilling to join in on the strike. These shops would either give in and close, or see their doors turned into police barricades.
As I spent the better part of my day photographing from within the crowd, the optimistic side of me would want nothing more than to have the voices of these people heard. Although, as a journalist -and a realist-, I am able to see that even though these laws will inevitably push the already alarming unemployment rate that much higher, they will also become a Spanish reality. This will either save Spain from bankruptcy, or spiral it’s frustrated people into a string of riots -maybe even both-. We all know that it is darkest before the dawn, so let us hope -for Spain and Europe’s sake-, that the dawn arrives before it is too late.