I grew up in a town near a big city. It is Alcobendas, a small town located next to Madrid, the capital of Spain. Although its name doesn’t really matter, all the towns around the capital are more or less the same. Before becoming a big urban center, these cities were small towns during the sixties, where many people came from all over the country with the idea of working in the capital. Since then, they have undergone enormous changes. Their population has grown exponentially and most of these cities are around 100,000 inhabitants. They have quality public services, entertainment and a more than remarkable standard of living. However, despite the development, life seems to have come to a standstill.
Important things happen a few miles away in the now big city; however, in what are now considered the suburbs, no one seems to be aware of life outside. It seems that the energy has moved to the large shopping malls surrounding the city leaving it empty, hollow. Everyone seems to be just passing through, either to go to the capital for work or to spend the weekend shopping. In the placid suburbs, life goes on normally and even a strange feeling of boredom and melancholy pervades everything.
The photos that make up this series belong to two cities separated only by a street and where I have spent most of my life: Alcobendas and San Sebastián de los Reyes. Since 2013 I have been photographing their streets and their inhabitants. Their story is the same as the rest of the cities surrounding the big cities. A story of placidity but also of melancholy and boredom.
This series tries to capture those feelings.
All images and text © Juan Rodríguez Morales
By Juan Rodríguez Morales
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