Granada again, briefly

9 February 2009



There is a stone & concrete staircase that descends vertically down one side of the Albaycín, the ancient neighborhood that looks over the entire city & across to the red, unremarkable, unadorned walls of the Alhambra (Moorish architecture, as in Roman architecture, as in much of the Mediterranean, reserves itself for interiors); it features some of the best graffiti in Granada, a city that in the face of all tourism preserves a shambling bohemianism that produces many good examples.

Most of it’s on the walls, & isn’t in this photograph (more film to come). But imagine, for a minutes, walking down the stairs in the morning with someone who lives in the place, who has heard you like photographing graffiti (I do), and is showing you this staircase, you’re looking at the walls – & then he says at the base of the stairs, Turn around, and you see that someone has painstakingly painted the front of every step so that it lines up & forms an image only if seen at the bottom, and that all that effort has been put forth to deliver a giant, cosmic FUCK YOU.

I had to smile.



Los pobres van a la ca’rcel / Los ricos al parlamento – Down the street from the fruit tree photographed below, a typical piece of political scrabbling on the walls: “The poor go to prison, the rich to parliament.”

Signed C.N.T., (the lower-case T has been made to resemble an anarchist A), which, at least in the years before the Civil War, was the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, an anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1910; by the time the war began in ’36, there were 1 million members. One of the oddest things about political graffiti in Spain is its recapitulation of decades-old political groups – on the walls, the Falange & the CNT are still at war.


Below, & to finish: a poor photograph of a part of the staircase, & the view behind me when I took it.



One Response to “Granada again, briefly”

  1. davidhur Says:

    Great photographs, Jim.
    The captured images inspire me to go out and shoot unrestrained.

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