Traditional stalls that sell churros, the popular Spanish fried-dough pastry-based snack, may have their days numbered in the city of Barcelona. In 1990, its city council decided to stop granting new licenses for their permanent installation in the public space. The current regulation only allows the transfer of licenses between relatives in the first degree of consanguinity, that is, from parents to children. But, in most cases, they are not interested in taking over the business.
The lack of generational changeover adds up to a drop in sales due to the current economic crisis, putting these businesses at risk. These two factors have forced many owners to finally pull the plug. At the moment, there are only over twenty stalls in the whole city, very few compared to the about 70 that existed 25 years ago. If no legal changes are made, in a few years churro stalls will no longer be a part of Barcelona’s urban landscape.
The Urgell Cantonada Borrell series catalogues the few stalls still open today. The title of the project is a reference to a popular Catalan children’s song that talks about an imaginary churro stall located at the junction of Urgell and Borrell streets in Barcelona, an impossible intersection, as both streets are parallel. The project explores the loss of one’s own childhood emotional landscape on a personal level and the loss of identity of big cities on a more general level.
— Oscar Ciutat, Barcelona, Spain
My project titled Unintentional Sculptures was created during the years 2015 to 2017 within the suburban landscape of Attica, Greece, which has gone through a great deal of changes due to the economic crisis.
I explored the landscape and decided to focus and highlight the man-made constructions that reveal the economic and building activities of the recent past.
These constructions — some unfinished and some timeworn — have finally transformed the natural landscape with their enigmatic forms in the most permanent way.
— Vassilis Konstantinou, Athens, Greece
In this documentary project I have focused on a group of Iranian youths who go to nature for a couple of days. They want to spend their holiday in calmness. They choose a place where they are deserted from others, but even in such a place something is wrong. Something is not under their control. It seems that they bring their boredom with them. All of this has a conspicuous effect on their relationships and surrounding nature.
— Behnam Sadighi, Tehran, Iran
Despite the archaic sprawl and unaccommodated loneliness pervading America’s byways, there remains the oldest, most striking structures of all. One guards a rocky crest overlooking U.S. Route 19 near Rocky Gap, West Virginia, forming a mise en scène resembling a contemporary play. As if waiting for me to pass, a solitary Ocotillo Cactus stands aside the road in California’s desert. Along Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania, we see power lines stretching over a tree stump, as if to make claim to the territory. Trees sprout up in the most surprising places. During long stretches of time driving, it is difficult not to begin to anthropomorphize, to attribute these trees human characteristics. In cities we have parks deliberately constructed and trees planted according to the phenomenological goals of urban planners. These arboreal roadside companions seem to eschew any of that. Instead they stand as objects of serendipitous beauty, unintentionally placed yet completely appropriate.
— John Sanderson, New York City