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Barcelona Photo Diary . Castells, Human Towers from Catalonia

Hello Creative Folks,

I’ve been wanting to see the famous Castells of Catalonia since I moved here two years ago ( two years next month to be precise ) and I can finally say that last weekend I did at “La Biennal Concurs Castells“.

These human towers – Castell means castle – are so fascinating that one can why this Catalonian tradition got declared cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. I was expecting to be surprised by the height of the towers and mastery of the participants has one is when watching acrobats, and I was. But what truly touched me was the strong sense of community and the amazing atmosphere before, during and after the performance.

It was the ending of the season and three teams were performing, Castellers de Barcelona (  red shirts ), Minyons de Terrassa (color of mallow shirts ) and Castellers de Sants ( grey shirts ), but despite being rivals in times of competition, everyone was cheering and helping, even the people on the audience and the opposite teams gave a hand when necessary. Has I’ve come to realize, this is really important if the tower structure collapses as they cushion the fall of people from the upper levels, like a safety net. In my head this was not possible and these gravity challengers could never fail, so when they did – apparently, it is actually common not to succeed so sometimes the Castells do come down – I was in panic! Have I mentioned that the upper layer of the tower is built with kids?? So yes, when I saw a child no more than 5 years old dropping no less than 10 meters down and the rest of the tower falling down after her, sure as hell I screamed. What a drama queen! No one got hurt though and the performance continued as planed.

I’m still waiting to scan the negatives I made with my Canon AE-1 Program loaded with a Kodak T-max 400 film, so for the moment here are some digital photos of the day. I hope you enjoy it.


 Diada dels Minyons de Terrassa “La Biennal Concurs Castells” . 17/11/2013 . Raval de Montserrat, Terrassa, Barcelona.



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