Returning to Segorbe

Today marks two weeks since lockdown began here in Spain. In these two weeks I haven’t done a great deal of Photography, certainly not of the kind I most enjoy, but I have at least put together a few videos comprised of new footage and of old.

I began to use video to document the ongoing situation because I felt that I could tell more of the story of what I was experiencing and observing than through still images. The alegorical value of photographs from around our flat only increases as more and more people from more and more countries begin to lockdown conditions. This can be seen in the work that many, many photographers are sharing on Instagram via the hashtag #scenefromhome however, certainly two weeks ago when Spain went onto lockdown ahead of many other countries, I felt that I could tell the story I wanted to tell via video better than through Photography.

I’m satisfied with the two videos I made during the first week on lockdown, and feel that I achieved what I intended. As such, I’ve been happy to step back from the tripod and video recording this week. I don’t want to force myself to continue creating videos about the ongoing situation when I feel like I’ve adequately documented life under lockdown as it continues to be at the moment. I don’t feel that another video would add anything to what I have already recorded. I think for now it is enough.

Having begun working with video, though, I decided to use the impetus to finally piece together some short videos to accompany two of my Photography projects from last winter. The first – about La Huerta Valenciana – I have already shared on YouTube and on this blog, and this is the second.

The video serves as an accompaniment to the pictures I made in the small, historic city of Segorbe in the province of Castellón. Like much of rural Spain, Segorbe – and in particular its old town – is struggling with depopulation as young people and families move to larger population centres in search of work, leaving a steadily ageing and declining population with an increasing number of abandoned homes, streets and even entire villages. I recorded the scenes that make up this video as I wandered those streets photographing the town last winter.

I’ve become increasingly aware of the fact that I most enjoy photography when wandering around and exploring these rural areas. It’s what I most look forward to doing again when I can leave the confines of our flat. In the mean time, this video helps me revisit these places that presently I cannot.

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