2023 — Spain
About this series
Spanish Serrana Celtibérica, located in the mountainous interior of the country, is the second least populated region in Europe, after Nordic Lapland. With an area of 65,835 km2, the population density is 7.34 inhabitants/km2. This condition of extreme depopulation has created concern in Spain, where the area has become known as Lapland of the South.
Depopulation is a consequence of migratory flows linked to the current economic model. This is where the abandonment of the primary sector leaves large areas economically abandoned. It is a generic phenomenon in developed countries and we can imagine a future when human activity ceases in increasingly large areas.
“The Last Man on Earth” is an essay about the future of these territories. I reinterpret the landscape and its inhabitants in order to avoid the typical nostalgic approach of rural life. An imaginary place with a point of separation from reality, challenging our perception of it. How will these areas look in 30, 40 or 50 years? What remains when a population disappears?
Joan Alvado (Altea, 1979) is a photographer based in Barcelona since 2005. His work is based on the use of imagination as a tool to reinterpret the territory and transcend documentary representation.
Part of his work resides in public and private collections in Germany, the United States, Portugal, France and Spain. He has exhibited in spaces such as the Palau de la Virreïna (Barcelona), Fototeca de Cuba (La Habana), the Marion Center for Photographic Arts (San Diego, USA), Museum of Photography of the Antonio Pérez Foundation (Cuenca), Circulations festival (Paris), the Instituto Cervantes in Belgrade or the Michael Horbach Foundation, in Köln. His projects have been published in international media such as Newsweek, CNN, The Washington Post, El País, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Liberation, Fisheye, Burn Magazine, Leica Fotografie International (LFI), El País or La Repubblica, among others.
In 2021, Alvado was invited, by the Land art studio FAR021.3 and the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, to carry out an artist residency in the north of Portugal. “Os Batismos da Meia-noite” is the resulting project, after several months studying how the isolation of a natural environment can shape the spiritual beliefs of its inhabitants from ancient times to the present day. In 2022, the project receives the Galician Prize for Contemporary Photography.
He is represented by the art galleries Marisa Marimón (ESP) and Adorna (PT).