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Luis Valtuena Award: Andrés Kudacki Photographs of the Homeless Spanish Desahucios


The Luis Valtueña Humanitarian Photography Award was given out a few weeks ago in Madrid. For the 18th edition, four photographers were selected for their work that shows us a reality we often refuse to see. Organized annually by the NGO Médecins du Monde, the topics reflect current events: immigration, the housing crisis, children’s rights and so on.

For this edition I chose one of the finalists, Andrés Kudacki. Born in Argentina in 1974 and living in Madrid since 2006, he is a member of the Associated Press. Kudacki has spent the past two years documenting the experiences of families throughout Spain who were evicted rom their home —dubbed the “desahucios” in Spanish—in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the housing bubble.

This award-winning series of ten color prints speaks from the eye of the storm in an attempt to educate society and challenge it to be more humane. Each image is accompanied by a heartbreaking story of a person or a family losing one of the hardest and most cherished things to attain in life: a home.

Kudacki believes that following the lives of these “desahucios” is to bear witness to a tragic event, the hard landing after a long fall. Documenting this subject requires discipline and emotional stability. Kudacki woke up very early every morning, sometimes spending the night with a family who would be homeless in the morning, watching the physical and psychological violence of the authorities against these families who have already experienced other highly complex economic and legal problems.

We see in the pictures how many families choose to remain outside of their former home, living on the street on the sidewalk, arranging their furniture and photos but without a roof or walls. The feeling of having put down roots is obviously very powerful when one has lived in the same place for so long.

Read the full article on the French version of L’Oeil.

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