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Shanty town in Madrid

When I first met the inhabitants of the “Chabolas,” I had to contact the “chief” of the gypsy community.

He advised me to seek permission from each family specifically to take pictures.

I was deeply impressed by how the interiors of the huts were arranged. 

It revealed a world of fantasy and creative improvisation to me. There are hardly any standards of the so-called modern world, which generally reflects a high degree of equality dictated by design.

In many huts, Tetra Pak material was used as wallpaper, which sealed the huts against humidity. 

Additionally, one of the owners told me that he loves the colorful atmosphere created by the empty juice containers.

Each family has constructed their own hut, with the support of their neighbors.

The population of the “Chabolas” are like little islands surrounded by jammed motorways and new expensive suburban housing. Their strong sense of common life is organised by their own rules and traditions.

The ¨Chabolas¨ I photographed stood out as an anomaly in comparison to the “dire conditions” that these populations typically endure.

I photographed the documentary for Colors Magazine in 2003.