Imperfect

In December 2019 I read in the news that three of the last coal-fired utilities in the country were closing in the north of Spain, at La Robla, in Leon, Guardo, in Palencia, and Langreo, in Asturias.
I thought of a short project focused on the surrounding areas, assuming that I could spot and photograph some evidence of the impact of these closures. I made some tentative photographs during a trip to Gijon. The project was completed in September 2020.
It became much larger than initially thought. The closure of mines and the coal industry in northern Spain started in the 1970s. It has been taking place slowly along time. It some became obvious to me that the closure of the plants was just another chapter, maybe the last. Hence the title, Imperfect, which evoques a sequential occurrence along time rather vis a vis the simple, unique fact.
I found much more devastation than expected in some of the areas. Others, however, show no scars at all, maybe because it happened a long time ago. In those, the industrial past is now an archeological remnant, even a tourist attraction. In those where it is happening now, or occurred recently, like Fabero, La Robla or Guardo, it is just a horrible ongoing reality.
There is though a glimpse of hope, not only for the evident recovery at some places, but also because of the efforts taken place in others. A last chapter was shot in Brañuelas, a village in Leon where a concerted entrepreneurial effort by locals is, so far, bringing a comeback.

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