All Routes Lead To;
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Órgiva is a little town tucked away in the Alpujarras mountains in Southern Spain. To get to the town, all routes you take snake and spiral their way along the sides of mountains, and Órgiva is just one of the first towns in a series of self contained white washed villages that dot their way up into the eventual Sierra Nevada mountain range.
I find it fascinating how geographic locations shape so much of our lived experiences, and how where our homes end up being can be so unpredictable, at least in my family's case. Exactly at the moment my stepdad's art studio sublet (that we were living in) ran out, an opportunity to rent in Órgiva opened up, which by chance was also in the general area my family were thinking of trying to set up a family home somehow- (my family is still saving money and living separately across the globe, trying to find some way to make enough money to buy a home and develop a sustainable income once we settle in a home we own). I find myself worlds away from my family and from the idea of "home". Currently my mother is working full-time in Shanghai, my father is living in Toulouse and my stepdad has now found himself in the rural mountain town, Órgiva.
Arriving there after being cooped up in an industrial berlin studio, it felt simultaneously like a dream and an irony. The irony stems from reality that Órgiva is a place where a variety of people tidally wash up to like driftwood. It's a mix of local spanish people and an amalgamation of Northern European travellers in the pursuit of their own brand of lifestyle hippy dream to be found in the mountain's heat mirages etc and so forth. As a little side thought, I always wonder why, if the concept is freedom and free love, the general "Hippy" (in its modern incarnation- white people with dreadlocks..?) look all seem to adhere to the same exact set of styles and general attitude and very specific interests? Equally i'm sure by this point my own attempts as a young film student to exude Fassbinder would be equally as puzzling to them and they are to me. When does lifestyle overcome individual expression? Is individuality even a real concept any more? Who knows. All I know is that there's something in the clarity of light, the whitewash on the little solid houses, and the sheer height of the mountains all around you that nurtures a deep sense of awe towards nature and the experience of witnessing life as a physical sensation.
Images won't ever really communicate the physical experience of being in the mountains, on a December day, in a little town called Capileira. All images of landscapes and holidays blend into the sea of others seen before, and the only thing that illustrates their magic is your own personal memory associated with standing in that spot and clicking that shutter at that time. As is life!
Below is a collection of B&W 35mm photos taken during my time in Órgiva.