“The PIGS” by Carlos Spottorno published by Phree and Editorial RM, Madrid

Finally decided to take the cellophane off my pristine copy of PIGS the other day. The photos show life among the economic ruins of four southern European countries. These are not the images of youth protesting on streets but rather of abandoned construction sites and idyllic seaside rubbish heaps. Luckily, the photos included are not the hit you over the head kind of destitution. The scenes portrayed could be from the wrong side of the tracks of any modern city. Except the scale is much more vast and the poverty seemingly more pervasive.

I especially like the photo of the field of worn out tires in the foreground and what looks like abandoned housing blocks in the background. The shot of the stray cow wondering the city streets is also quite effective. The design of the photobook is obviously evocative of a certain periodical with it’s iconic cover, obligatory introductory article and satirical cartoon. The author definitely wants to bring our attention to how the media is used to help sell concepts like PIGS / BRICS / etc to the public. Don’t you just love the back cover?

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