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Introduction:

The Garden of Europe or the Third World

"Europe’s Garden or the Third World" is made up of different stories collected in Spain between October 2006 and the end of 2007 on the theme of immigration and intensive agriculture. From the point of view of the Spanish this is the "garden of Europe" (huerta de Europa), but for the workers it is the "troisième monde" (an equivalent to the third world). This subject was selected for the 2008 Visa Pour l’Image Festival at Perpignan and screened at the "Campo Santo."

Over several months and all throughout Spain, I investigated what is often called the "Californisation" of European agriculture. This implies an excess of manpower which must be available, flexible and inexpensive (conditions required for the European consumer to obtain low-price fruits and vegetables at the supermarket). Whether it is supplied by workers who come with CEN -Contrato en origen (the ploy to counter clandestine immigration) and fills the need for calculated, predetermined manpower, or whether from clandestine immigrants who are in effect a reserve army of the unemployed, there is a complementarity, between clandestine immigration and official immigration.

With these things in mind, I wanted to document the frequently alarming living conditions involving physical and psychological suffering, the actual work done on the farms, as well as more private moments, fragments of lives that our current economic model leads to.


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