Tu casa es mi casa

Markel Redondo

Seseña ghost town near Toledo. 13.500 flats have been built in Seseña but only 3000 have been sold.

Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the European economic crisis. Due to a toxic combination of billions of euros worth of bad loans held by Spanish banks and a real estate bubble that burst in spectacular style in 2007, Spain’s economy now faces multiple simultaneous challenges which it is struggling to deal with within the monetary strictures of the Eurozone.

An estimated 1.5 million empty houses, built in a dizzying rush by developers to make the most of cheap loans and favourable government regulation, litter the landscape. Football stadia, railway stations and airports lie abandoned or half-finished and whole towns, planned and half built, are being squatted or pilfered for raw materials. In parallel, unemployment figures have shot up to such an extent that in some areas, especially in the south, cities are experiencing unemployment rates as high as 40%. Youth unemployment in the country as a whole surged over the 50% mark in June 2012. Even in this corner of the developed world, the impact of Europe’s economic crisis is playing out in often surreal situations where people are surviving hand to mouth while living amongst the ruins of failed urban utopias.

A 20 tone and 300.000 euros statue inspired on Carlos Fabra, former president of Castellón autonomous region, welcomes visitors to the empty Castellón Airport
“Majestic Hills” (Málaga). 70 Hectares initially designed to attract foreign customers in search for sun, golf and beach. It´s now mostly empty.
Manuel Lobato and his wife, both unemployed, at their home in Morón de La Frontera, Andalucía.
Debris at “El patio de Doña Julia”, Manilva, Casares.
The statue of the parents of Francisco “El Pocero”, constructor of the Residencial Francisco Hernando in Seseña (Toledo). “El Pocero” planned to build the biggest housing development in Spain with 13,508 homes. However, only 5,096 houses have building permit, and only 750 people have been registered in Seseña so far.
Housing development «Ciudad Jardin Soto Real» (Burgos). 312 empty houses, 1169 houses still not built
A pneumatic cemetery in Seseña
A house for sale in Morón de la Frontera, Andalucía, Spain
Housing development “Valle de Calpe” (Alicante).
Cristobal Moreno, 45 years old, is unemployed since the 3rd of september of 2008.
Housing development “El Olivar de los Monteros” (“Luxury apartments and penthouses with the Guarantee of Deutsche Bank”). The development company initially planed to build 1.000 houses.
“La Duquesa” housing development in Casares (Málaga).
“Marina d’Or” holiday city and Golf resort. 10.000 apartments, 5 hotels, a casino, indoor ice skating ring, 1.800 hectares for a Golf resort that hasn’t been built yet.
Housing development “Ciudad Jardin Soto Real”. 312 empty houses, 1169 houses still not built.
Housing development “Cortijo Grande” in Los Barrios, Cadiz. More than 700 houses were initially planed
Monte Alto house development in Pioz. Pioz is Spain’s most indebted village. An estimated 600 new houses lie empty. Spain’s Ministry of Public Administration estimates that Pioz will take 7,058 years to repay its debts
Antonio, “El Purgui”, looks for potatoes in a field near Seville after the farmers have collected the harvest for the season.
Ciudad Real airport, 1.234 hectares. Its the first international private airport in Spain. It´s been closed since october 2011 due to its low rentability.
Empty houses in Benidorm. In the province of Alicante there are currently 50.549 new empty houses.
“Don Quijote Holiday City”. 9.000 houses, three golf courses and one casino were planed to be constructed but only one golf course has been built so far.

Markel Redondo decided that Computer Sciences did not factor in his future and withdrew from the course to pursue a career in photography. From Bolton he headed East to China where, while studying for an MA in Photojournalism, he worked for a number of agencies, newspapers and magazines. In 2007 he headed back to Europe, returning to his hometown Bilbao in 2008, and now he divide his time between Spain and France (Bayonne).

Focusing on social and environmental issues, He has exhibited in Singapore, New York, Valencia, Ireland, Barcelona and Guernsey. Some of his clients include New York Times, Time, El Pais Semanal, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Stern, Monocle, UNHCR, Greenpeace, Luthansa Magazine and Sunday Times Magazine among others. His photography work is represented by Panos Pictures.

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