Hard Times (Spain)

The drama of evictions

Spain is one of the most impacted by the present economic situation countries. One consequence is an increasingly spreading housing crisis, caused by the insolvency of mortgage holders. In the past 4 years (2007 - April 2011) over 300 000 families faced eviction due to the mortgage execution.

According to the spanish mortgage law, during the seizure process, bank can put the property on public auction and overtake it for only 50% of its appraised value. The rest of the money, with additional high administrative costs, has to pay the debtor.

Many of the families, while taking their mortgage credits, in order to to bust their borrowing power, used guarantors. As the debtors are not able to pay created during seizure process debts, responsibility goes on their guarantors and impact of the mortgage crisis grows even more. At the eve of the eviction, families take everything out from their houses. Some of them destroy floors and bathrooms, considering that money spended on reparation works, were not deducted from the debt.

Catalonia is one of the most affected spanish province. In 2009 was created here an association of affected by mortgage law victims (Platform PAH). Since its creation, the Platform is actively fighting for a change of the mortgage law in Spain. The 15-M movement also incorporated PAH's demands into its owns claims and since then a support of a spanish population for the actions of the Platform even increased.

One of the PAH's action is pacific resistance on a day of planned eviction. However, more and more often, the government sends special anti riots agents to secure execution of the eviction.

The photographs were taken between November 2010 and October 2011. The photo-reportage includes both: cases of affected by mortgage law families and photographs from manifestations and actions organized by PAH Platform and 15-M (Indignados) movements.

Documentary project version

Hanna Jarzabek
Barcelona, November 2011

Hanna Jarzabek - Photography & Documentary Storytelling

Documentary photographer and Multimedia Storyteller specialized in projects addressing discrimination and societal dysfunctions, with accent on Europe.
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