Spain, for me one of the most fascinating and alive countries in the world a microcosm of global cognitive dissonance. The primeval instincts buried and suppressed within all of us along with an openness and expressiveness many of us are not capable of.
For most of us the reality of many of the world’s issues don’t exist, knowledge and denial. Heaven forbid that this is a discussion on bullfighting it’s not or fox hunting or Kangaroo shooting. We are destroying the planet while looking the other way. Not a form of justification however 80% of the films we watch are just as violent as bullfighting the only deviation is the perception no one is really getting hurt a safe way to pander to the primeval. The care directed at the noble Andalucian horse.
The very real connection to music of the Golden Gypsy, el gitano de oro. Then there is the security safety of religion being part of the community participation in making things right an important part of keeping the balance and forgiving the misdemeanours. The exciting expressiveness of escape from worldly issues through Fiesta, Romeria or Feria. The faces of the woman and little girl in the carriage, happy to be participating, the pride of the gypsy boy participating on the horse. The everydayness of the bandsman playing with his mobile. Hope these images add a meaning to my statements. Look closely at the detachment of the spectators at the corrida. Are the spectators and matadors really connecting with the drama or just playing lip service to a traditional peer group concept that embodies toò much reality to really connect with or is there some form of emotional primeval stimulus, note the child. For the matadors detachment a defence mechanism, possibly? looking but not seeing certainly for many of the spectators. We live by denial a protection against the enormity of change and our individual inability to effect change.
Images Shane Aurousseau
España el país las emociones las imágenes Shane Aurousseau
Spain a country I have always felt at home in. I lived there for.many years under the Franco regime. Since those days I return regularly and consider the country my spiritual home. With many Spanish friends It is a country of people who have little fear of allowing emotions to be on open display demonstrating an honesty that many peoples struggle with. I have presented here a series of images of the country and its people’s emotions from the love of life, The love of family, the security of being part of a society that their religion brings, to courage death and the raw brutality of the bull ring man’s most primordial emotions, This is not written to condone or condemn only to show the openness of the full range of man’s normally hidden emotions on full display in this exciting country. Emotions that are within us all. We are a species trying to move from the primeval natural world to something higher yet we continually regress and live in hypocritical denial. There is a refreshing honesty with the openness of emotion adding to the vigour of a country that embraces life openly with all its drama and melodrama.
España el país las emociones las imágenes Shane Aurousseau Mi España
I’m not a religious man in the context of following a Church doctrine or deity, the interpretation of this does not mean that I don’t have religious thoughts. The concept of atheism is a difficult one for me to comprehend as this is a statement of absolute and is a bedfellow of fundamentalism. The following of an agnostic path is to me a much more logical direction, ‘the only thing I know is I know nothing’ Socrates. Man’s interpretation of the teachings of some of the towering figures of religious history. Mohammed, Christ, Abraham, the Hindu teacher Shankara and even the Buddhas I believe would horrify the creators of those great religions. Much criminality and suffering has been perpetuated in the name of religion. The quest for some form of understanding is far more important than some vague and misguided belief that one has omnipotent knowledge, however sometimes from man’s muddled and myopic thinking comes something beautiful, the music of a Latin Mass,
The Sacred Geometry of Islam, The great paintings of the world, The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci, The creation of Adam – Michelangelo, Madonna del Prato or Madonna of the Meadow – Raphael, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist – Caravaggio not to mention the great temple sculptures of the East, the great fiestas of the Catholic world Semana Santa Spain. I have to admit these creations give a fabric and synergy to society that today much of the world lacks with out these creations the world would be a boring and barren place indeed. The disillusionment especially in the ranks of the youth of the world is giving rise to a self driven and violent society with an inability to see any beauty we are building the blind society.
It was attending Holy week or Semana Santa Malaga that confirmed to me the importance of maintaining these great festivals and protecting the great artistic legacy that religious belief of most persuasions has bestowed upon us. The realisation of the contribution that has been bequeathed to us by the great religions of the world is part of growing up and becoming an understanding member of society.
Semana Santa (Easter Week) Spain’s greatest festival and most important week of the year. A celebration of piety expressed almost exclusively in the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities. Associations that have their origins in the Middle Ages, however a number were created during the Baroque Period, inspired by the Counter-Reformation ( Catholic Revival) commencing from the time of the ‘Council of Trent’ 1545 – 1563 finishing at the end of the ‘Thirty Years War’ 1648 and also during the 20th and 21st centuries. Membership of the brotherhoods is usually open to any Catholic person; family tradition is an important element to becoming a member or “brother” (hermano). The family the importance of being a part of something greater than you. The family can be seen in the important participation of Children and how they are welcomed into the festivities. The family group is an institution that we seem to be losing in most western countries to the detriment of our society.
One of the most striking spectacles of the festival are the hundreds of slow-moving Nazarenos (based on the people of Nazareth) in their tall, pointy hats and matching robes with their faces completely covered, apart from their eyes. Reasons for the use of such costumes have long been lost in antiquity however the purpose is simple , the Nazarenos their faces are covered in mourning and also as a sign of shame for the sins they have committed throughout the year. It is not uncommon for prisoners to participate as pallbearers participating in the carrying of the huge Thrones of the crucified Christ and the mourning Virgin Mary in order to repent of their sins.
There are 168 to 280 men and sometimes women who carry the thrones on their shoulders. Each man must be able to carry 40 Kilos on his shoulders for hours they tend to march for a longer period than women. The processions culminates on Easter Sunday in a long procession from the cathedral or church with the meeting of the effigies of the mourning Virgin and the resurrected Christ. Truly an artistic and spectacular fiesta that gives Spain its character and synergy. .
Images of the great Spanish fiesta Semana Santa
Photographer Shane Aurousseau