Tell us a little bit about yourself, in your own words.
Well, I’m from Madrid, from Spain, and I’ve been here since 2007. I came here for love, I had a long-distance relationship in London and I came here for that, but I started doing photography here. I started with fashion then quickly realised that was not my thing, and I moved to documentary which is what I do now. One day I took my camera and a ticket to go to India and I was there for six months. I started with documentary and portraits of people travelling around Asia and what I work in is social documentary normally.
And how old are you now?
How did you get into photography originally?
I always wanted to do photography, but my family, they are doctors, and they told me that’s not even a degree -it wasn’t even a degree in Spain at the time. So I studied advertising, and then when I came to London, away from my family, I just decided to pursue photography, so I did a short course and then I started working as assistant photographer and doing my own projects. At the moment I’m doing a MA in photojournalism.
Where are you doing the MA?
In the London College of Communication.
And you’re interested in social documentary, what would you specifically say is your artistic ethos when it comes to photography?
I guess photography can be used for anything really, everybody has such difference, but what I do is try and tell stories and normally they are stories with other issues, so you always want photography to make a change. To make somebody think about an issue, or just so that they can know more about that issue.
And what issues really inspire you?
Normally, it’s more minorities – ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ is the first time I’ve done LGBT but the other projects I’ve done have been migrant workers that come from India and Bangladesh and work in Singapore on construction sites, so about the conditions of how they live in Singapore or about their families in India, how they leave for months and the risk of being sent back.
Why did immigrants particularly capture your art?
I’ve been doing other things, it’s not just immigrants, but in that case it was an issue at that moment. They were changing the law and all these workers had the risk of being sent back. It was an event that would need to be known, because there was always an organisation working for them to stay there, but I realised that the society in Singapore is quite money-orientated and they were very comfortable in their lives, without knowing what was really going on or who was really building everything that was happening in Singapore. I thought they needed to know about this, and see the workers as more human, and I tried to make something that said that. In that particular case, that was what interested me.
And you spoke about coming to London in 2007, why is London the city for you now?
Well, I think it happens to so many people that they come here for six months to learn English and then they stay. I mean London is a place for everyone, everybody can do everything they want. It’s a world of hearts.
Is it very different from Madrid?
It is, I think. Madrid is more homogenous, and more South European culture. For example here, everyone gay just walks in the street, not even thinking that people would look at them – but in Spain it’s a bit more conservative.
But I heard that in Madrid and Barcelona they’re very open gay cities, very tolerant?
Yeah, but still in the South, I don’t know if you know Spain but it’s still a South European culture which has more Catholic communities. But gay-wise, Madrid and Barcelona, yeah they’re great. They’re really open, and in recent years more. I think they started to open when I came out at eighteen.
But it’s easier to be more visible over here?
Yeah. More visible, for example like people holding hands on the street.
And what are the best parts of London’s gay scene for you?
The best parts? Well I move around East London always. I almost never come to Soho or Vauxhall, I live in East London and I would never leave.
So like The Joiners, Dalston Superstore…
I haven’t been to The Joiners for a while, but yeah The Joiners was a big thing before for me, but yeah Dalston Superstore I go, Vogue Fabrics etc.
And how did you get involved with UNITE?
Well, I knew Anton [Johnson] before.
How did you meet Anton?
I met him in Kaos. You know, Kaos, the party?
Oh really? Were you at Kaos at The Flying Dutchman last Saturday?
No, I couldn’t go to this one. I was working so I couldn’t go, but about two weeks after I came to London in 2007, someone took me there so it was really lucky because it takes time normally to find these amazing parties. So I met him actually there.
Where did Kaos use to be?
It used to be in Stunnerz.
Is it a transgendered party?
Yes, Stunnerz was a transgendered club, it’s closed now, but it used to be in Limehouse in the Cable Studios. And…
And Anton was there?
And Anton was there, and then he contacted me when I started doing the documentary and he said we should do something together. So it was at a UNITE party, and we talked a bit and he started saying something about Margate in another conversation. So actually I turned around and said ‘I’m already thinking of doing something in Margate’ and I told him my idea. And my idea was very similar to what he wanted to do, so we kind of put it together and organised it and for a few weeks I was there.