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#06 Carlos Spottorno


With The PIGS, the Spanish photographer won the Photobook Award 2013 of the Fotobookfestival in Kassel. Rightfully so!

The economic crisis of the Southern European nations had barely played a role in artistic photography. The British business magazine The Economist (Stick with Mutti) refers uses the acronym PIGS for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Once these Southern European nations ruled over large parts of the world, today they are fighting national bankruptcy and the patronization by EU-partners such as England and Germany.

In the meantime the photographic coverage of the economic crisis in the Southern European countries had solidified a cliché. With the exception of some magazine cover pictures, the motives are similar and reflect the standstill of the consolidation process of the PIGS. Over and over again, we see pictures of politicians, demonstrating students, snakes in front of cash machines and families which stay together closely because not every member of the family can afford their own apartment. With The PIGS, Carlos Spottorno shows us a different, unnoticed reality.

n The PIGS he confronts the viewer with the consequences of greed, corruption, laziness and ignorance. In doing so, he did not chose images of old gentlemen who have a cozy siesta or plump yacht-and mansion owners. Instead, Spottorno shows abandoned construction sites and rubbish-strewn streets, street vendors and people who live in containers in the harbor.

It is all too fitting that Carlos Spottomo published the photographs as a magazine which is similar to The Economist in style. The format, the font, even the thin paper are identical. But the content is not.