Day 29. Barcelona

margarita

Wednesday was the first time I was waking up in Barcelona after 3 years of not seeing my favorite city. It was a hot day. I knew I was shooting with Margarita in the morning, but I was waiting for a confirmation of the hour. She was probably sleeping. I had a coffee with Carla and as we started talking and talking about life, photography, music we were feeling so good that we didn’t do any separate plans. Still no message from Margarita. We went to Estación de Francia, a location that Carla thought was good for my photos and it is actually really impressive. We took some photos there and decided to walk a little more. Still no message from Margarita. Carla took me to see some Roman ruins in El Born and then we stopped for a coke and a tea. Carla is half Catalan, half Argentinian. I learned a lot from her about the problems that occur between the Catalan people and the Spanish government. I realized that in a similar way to Romania’s situation with the Hungarians, the politicians and media are exaggerating, creating a conflict that doesn’t really exist between individuals. In the end, money an power stand at the root of this conflict, where the Spanish government becomes an oppressive force that’s using the strong touristic Catalunya for money but who at the same time is trying to erase its culture and tradition. Wait, there’s message from Margarita.

She woke up late and she asked me to meet at her friend’s place and take some photos there. It was already 7 PM when we met and sat down for a drink. Judging by her Facebook name (Margolla Magenti), I thought she was Italian, but from the first second I saw her I knew she was Russian. And I was right. She told me her real name is Margarita, and we started talking about her studies in fashion design and her past and future projects. Watching her shift instantly from intense and serious Russian beauty to childish and sweet smiles, I knew I wanted to photograph her right away. We went to her friend’s place, we began shooting but as it was late there was not too much light. We decided to hit the beach really fast while we still had some sun.

On our way to the beach the sun decided to let the moon take over and as we got to the sea, the natural sunlight was gone completely. She took me to a cool place where we could shoot the next days, but we were both so inspired by the lights there that we started taking photos again. We then went home thinking that we have to shoot more in the days to come.

Carla was home when I arrived, I met her mother (yes, the fans of the TV show can smile now) and we had a nice talk about the importance of the natural treatments alternative to traditional medicine. I was really happy to meet her and I felt a little like home. Before going to sleep, Carla showed me the incredible documentary Finding Vivian Maier. I knew this amazing photographer’s story, but the way this film explores her life and her personality left me speechless and profoundly impressed. My first full day in Barcelona was ending, but I had six more days to enjoy this warm environment.

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