Concrete Geographies (Nomads) By Xavier Ribas

Concrete Geographies (Nomads) By Xavier RibasConcrete Geographies (Nomads) By Xavier RibasConcrete Geographies (Nomads) By Xavier RibasConcrete Geographies (Nomads) By Xavier Ribas

“On the 24th of February 2004, heavy machinery entered an empty industrial plot in Barcelona occupied by some sixty Gypsy families. Over a few days two diggers drilled and lifted up the concrete floor of the site, intimidating the Gypsies and finally pushing them out. They left behind a contorted surface, like a horizontal wall, to protect the site and keep it empty. This method of dissuasion demonstrates the economic value of violence and destruction in order to control space. The broken ground, the fissures and fragments of concrete slabs standing up like remnants of ancient Mayan stelae give testimony, still today, of this displacement.”

Nomads (Bside Books, ISBN 978-84-615-7229-8, roughly $55) is the first of five photographic works of Xavier Ribas’ Concrete Geographies series to be published. Concrete Geographies comprises a number of photographic works dealing with the politics of space as this becomes visible in specific locations: a disused industrial site in the city of Barcelona from which a Gypsy community was violently displaced (Nomads), the site of a Maya village in Gua- temala buried under a mud slide (Mud), the overgrown edges of an archaeological site (Invisible Structures), or the semifunctional ruin of a neighbourhood in Barcelona about to be demolished prior redevelopment (LC). The majority of the works take the form of photographic grids or installations, and incorporate text and location maps that provide historical context. ❚