You’ve probably seen photographs of the Concurs de Castells, the human tower competition held in the region of Catalonia, Spain, but photographer David Oliete got a pretty unique perspective in 2012, shooting the entire event at what appears to be a nearly aerial position. As the throngs of castellers—hundreds of men, women and even children—push forward in a claustrophobic mass to build their best human towers, biological shapes reminiscent of insects or even animal cells begin to form. Oliete shares with me via email about the competition:
The most important Human Tower Competition is called “Concurs de Castells” and it takes place in the city of Tarragona once every two years. Its XXIV edition took place during the 6th and 7th October 2012 with the participation of 32 teams from all around Catalonia and a live audience of more than 20,000 people. During the competition, the higher and difficult to build a tower is, the more points a team gets. Every human tower is usually between six and ten levels high. Teams are made of between 100 to 500 women and men. Young and light members form the top of the tower while heavier members form the base.
The “castells” have also been one of the most important cultural traditions in Catalonia for more than 200 years. “Strength, balance, courage and common sense” is their motto. In 2010, the castells were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
You can see many more shots from Oliete’ shoot of the Concurs de Castells 2012 over on Flickr, and you can also catch up with him on Facebook. (via devid sketchbook)
StreetArtNews has the scoop on new work from street artist Blu who just completed this hilarious mural in Ordes, Spain that depicts a cheering crowd of fruit and veggies as they witness their suicidal compatriots take the plunge into a massive whirring blender. This vegetarian-friendly piece is quite a departure for the artist whose most recent works in Buenos Aires and Morocco have been rather politically charged. (via streetartnews)
Every time I think I’ve had enough of the tilt-shift phenomenon, something amazing like this comes along. Behold the wonderful camera work of filmmaker Joerg Daiber of Spoonfilm, shot in locations around Seville, Madrid and El Chorro in Spain. Resisting. Urge. To charge. Plane tickets. (via vimeo)
Luzinterruptus is an anonymous artistic group in Madrid who seek to highlight problems within the city using a wide variety of temporary light-based installations. The group is headed up by a duo including an artist and a photographer who have been using their art to create awareness of social and environmental issues since 2008. Via their website:
We began to act on the streets of Madrid at the end of 2008 with had the simple idea of focusing people´s attention by using light on problems that we found in the city and that seem to go unnoticed to the authorities and citizens. But everything that we do does not have a subversive aim. Sometimes we simply want to embellish, or to highlight anonymous places or corners that seem special or objects to which we think extraordinary artistic value, although they have been left on the streets for unknown seasons, with artistic intention, by anonymous people.
From memorializing a public swimming pool taken from a community with empty governmental promises of a new one, to ghostly commentary on nuclear power, I find their work to be fun, original and always a pleasure to discover. Shown above is just a glimpse of my favorite five of their works, so make sure to check out their blog or Facebook to see dozens more.
What the what! File this under how have I not heard or seen this before.
In the city of Tarragona, Spain, castellers gather every two years to see who can build the highest, most intricate human castles. This uniquely Catalan tradition requires astonishing strength, finesse, and balance. Not to mention courage.
And then they send the five-year old kids in flippin’ helmets straight up to the top of these wobbly people towers. Wow. (via booooooom)