Susana's Feed
Feb 4, 2014

Smaller jobless rise in January takes edge off Spain’s labour market gloom

MADRID, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The number of registered jobless
in Spain rose in January as employers shed workers hired for the
Christmas holiday season, but the rate of increase slowed from
previous years, suggesting the ailing labour market may have
touched bottom.

Joblessness rose 2.4 percent, or by 113,097 people, from
December to 4.8 million, Tuesday’s Labour Ministry data showed.

Jul 18, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Documenting a graphic goring

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Pamplona, Spain

By Susana Vera

There are two types of bull run photographers, those who happen to be where the gorings take place and those who don’t. I used to belong to the second group, but that changed on July 12 when a 31-year-old man from Castellon, eastern Spain, was gored three times almost underneath the balcony where I was shooting from during Pamplona’s world-famous San Fermin festival.

I had slept pretty badly the previous night. I never get much sleep throughout the festival anyhow, because I end up going to bed late and waking up very early to grab a spot along the route of the bull run. There are tons of photographers, both local and foreign, at every post of the fence and it’s not easy to find a good place after 6.30 a.m. even if the bull run doesn’t start for another 90 minutes. Luckily that day I was in no hurry, though. I had arranged with my cousin Amalia to shoot the running of the bulls from my uncle’s dentist clinic. Its highly coveted balconies face Estafeta street, a prime spot to see the runners sprint alongside the bulls during the morning “encierro”, which takes place at 8 a.m. every day from July 7th until July 14th.

Jul 3, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

A return to the land in Spain

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Murcia, Spain

By Susana Vera

The silence of a sleepy town and the flickering light of the street lamps greet Jorge Ibanez as he leaves his home before the crack of dawn in Pozo Estrecho, in the southeastern Spanish region of Cartagena, Murcia. With his baseball hat on and a cooler in his hand, he approaches a couple of men on a corner. They exchange timid hellos and engage in conversation as they wait for the car that will drive them to a potato field ready to be harvested.

Ibanez is a 20-year-old Spanish day laborer. A pair of rotten gloves and his baseball hat are his work uniform, a group of Moroccan men his work companions. Together they set out every morning to collect thousands of pounds of potatoes that will end up in the kitchens of northern Europe.

May 21, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

A special performance

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Madrid, Spain

By Susana Vera

Luismi Astorga clasps his hands as he lifts his head up to the sky. He’s waiting to take the stage at a music club in Madrid where his dance group, Fusionarte, is taking part in a charity gala.

Astorga closes his eyes and begins to pray. The click of my camera breaks his concentration and he smiles at me as he proceeds to tell me, “Waiting makes me nervous.”

Nov 5, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

Demolition of a gypsy community

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Madrid, Spain

By Susana Vera

I remember the first time I saw Milagros Echevarria. She was in her house slippers, battling with the rubble piled up outside her home, with only a simple broom as a weapon. It was like watching David face Goliath.

The short, sturdy woman was working doggedly. She would only stop to remove rotting garbage from the debris and toss it into a nearby dumpster. “If I don’t do this every day, rats are going to eat us alive”, she told me. In the months that followed, I witnessed the same scene over and over, even when the rubbish threatening to invade her home had become the actual remains of the house itself.

Sep 15, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

Luxury vacation for an unemployed family

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By Susana Vera

Rafael Guerrero and his wife Luisa Diaz have been playing the lottery every Saturday ever since they got together. Three euros each week, same numbers every time, but no wins in more than fifteen years. This summer, however, Lady Luck finally smiled on them in the most unexpected way, and most importantly, for free.

SLIDESHOW: UNEMPLOYED FAMILY WINS BIG

While watching TV one day this past August, the Guerreros came across news of a contest from the Merchants Association of los Alcazares, a coastal town by the Mar Menor sea in southeastern Spain. The association promised a free week-long vacation at four-star hotels to three Spanish families with under-aged children who could prove that both parents had been unemployed for more than a year. Sadly, or luckily this time, the Guerrero-Diaz family met those requirements.

Jun 8, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

Mauritania’s parched earth

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By Susana Vera

There’s one thing I always do upon returning from a work trip. As soon as I leave my camera bag and suitcase on the floor I jump into the shower. I like having the water run down my face for a few minutes. I find it both relaxing and cleansing.

I never think much about how much water I’m using, I just tell myself that I “need” it, that I have a “right” to indulge after a long journey. I play around with the water temperature until I get it to that state where it’s neither too hot, nor too cold. After I finish, I head to the kitchen and make myself some food. That’s the same thing I did two days ago when I returned from Mauritania. But contrary to my habit in theses circumstances, I took a navy shower. I let the water run down my body just long enough to rinse the shampoo and soap off. The whole process took less than two minutes. Ten days in drought-stricken Mauritania photographing people rationing every bit of this precious and scarce resource are responsible for that change of heart.