Colors of Little China
I have always believed that a good photograph is hidden behind any corner. It is not necessary to travel thousands of kilometers or visit exotic places to find an image that excites or surprises you. That's why I like street photography so much. The city has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration since the beginning of photography. It is a world in miniature where life flows, showing itself as it is without ornaments or impostures. As a street photographer I walk and watch, trying to mix with people until I go unnoticed. That is the moment to push the button. If you are lucky, some exciting scene, either beautiful or mysterious, will have been recorded in the sensor of the camera.
This project was made in the purest street photography tradition. For more than a year I have traveled the streets of one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Madrid: Usera, also known as the Little China of Madrid. In recent years, the Chinese community in Spain has grown exponentially, developing important economic and commercial activity in most of the country's major cities. In Madrid, the Chinese population is one of the largest in Spain, numbering 11,000 in the Usera neighborhood. Starting with a working class foundation, the neighborhood has been transformed with the arrival of Chinese immigrants. There is no doubt that the presence of this community has enriched the life of the capital. An example of this is the celebration of Chinese New Year, in which thousands of people come to Usera to see the colorful parades that run through its streets and learn about some of the traditions of this community.
Many of its inhabitants have been in the neighborhood for more than twenty years and step by step they have created their own microcosm. Advertisements, shops, restaurants, scents... everything is perceived differently when you leave the metro station. As one advances through its streets and reaches the heart of the neighborhood, the contrast grows. The norms and customs seem to be uncommon, turning the visitor into a kind of tourist who travels the streets of a foreign city. I have been that tourist during the time that I have spent completing this project. It has not been an easy job. The Chinese community is quite secretive and its inhabitants are reluctant to be photographed. However, the strange mix that has been created in this neighborhood between its typical Spanish features and the new colors brought by these Chinese immigrants make it an irresistible subject for the street photographer.