First project commisioned by NOPHOTO that finally was included on "Cercanías, around 11M terrorist atack": a making-of about every collective´s member approach to documentary photography.
“Workers...”, I listened to tv news, “...at this time this trainline is full of workers, many of them are inmigrants, some of them illegal workers...”. I wanted to see them, perhaps without taking photos, but I was sure about what I was looking for: their faces while they were waiting the train, their hands holding a cigarette, their eyes through the window… After 11-M , every morning, they go to work as before that black dawn. “At this time a lot of people sleep while they are travelling...”, it was said on tv news. My first idea was taking photos while they were sleeping, but I change my mind…What I really wanted was catching that magical moment between wakefulness and dream, these seconds when you open and close your eyes and forget completely what you have seen…just people like you sleeping, morning faces and electrical landscapes…
For me, these photographs have been a kind of revenge because when everything happened, I didn’t know how to react on time as a photographer; rather, my only reaction was that of a citizen. I couldn’t do anything other than what everyone else did: take to the streets, go to the protest—without a camera—watch television and talk to people. I couldn’t take photographs.
So when the group project arose, I took advantage of the situation somewhat to make an effort and take some photographs related to this event. But always keeping in mind that at the time I had failed as a photographer and could not do what is supposed to be my work.
What interested me the most during those days was that everyone dwelled on how workers were on those trains, and I wanted to see them, I wanted to catch those trains, at that time…
I was also interested in what the news kept saying, that at that time a lot of people were napping on those trains; I was interested in looking for a intermediary space between bed and work, because it’s a commute—the route between Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, to be specific—where people take advantage of being able to sleep off what they couldn’t at night and then get to work having rested a few more minutes.
So, the first photos that occurred to me were just to photograph people sleeping, really close to the ground, something very simple… What happened then was I went a bit further and looked for something more complex, something more difficult to do. Then I wasn’t as interested in people sleeping as I was in the visions people have between dreams, when you’re not sleeping well, sleeping sitting down, and suddenly, you awaken a moment to see something that will then be forgotten.
It seems to me that, even if I wanted to, this is never going to be a homage because the images I have are harsh, not only because their reality is so harsh, but because I have perceived it as harsh… at that time… the images I have are not nice images, nor are they images that resolve a moral dilemma or an ethical dilemma one might have when working on a tragedy like this. To the contrary, they are images that force me to explain myself, they force me to reflect even more on why I am doing this… and the only answer that can be had is that I do it out of necessity, stemming from an event that it is also important to me. I am going to have to live with this forever, too.