Tracing the Story – Meet Rosa!

Who’s That Girl?

Usually a photojournalist sets out to report a story, a story that is told and illustrated by images. But it doesn’t always work that way. Some times the images come first and only later you realize they make a story…

In May of 2010, I traveled through Andalusia, Spain to experience – not necessarily to record – the culture and just have a good time.  A couple of days into my stay I realized there is a strong graffiti culture in Spain and I started taking pictures of some, more than I realized at the moment.

Marta del Castillo

Near the end of my trip, I found myself with quite a number of graffiti art images and I wanted to show other people this vivid culture. The only problem: Most of my images lacked a story. Why were these graffitis created?

Some secrets were easy to solve. When I was still in Sevilla staying with an old Sevillan, he recognized the mural immediately and started to tell me about the sad case of Marta del Castillo who was kidnapped and killed. The case disrupted life in Sevilla and the citizens protested their solidarity, which is manifested in the mural as well.

Other stories are harder to unveil.

Four months after my return from Spain, I am now retracing the sources, reasons, and origins of these works.

One of them is Rosa.

Meet: Rosa

Rosa is a girl on a glass container in Sevilla. That’s all I knew.
On the back, her eyes are closed, on the front she unveils her sad face. Like many graffitis I found, Rosa is a girl with dark make-up, especially the black mouth is typical.
On another photo I found a sticker on the painting that gave me a trace. The container was created at an event called Todotuyo, an art contest in Sevilla. The story started to unfold.
I found a website that even shows how Rosa came to be on the container, however I have not yet found out who the artist was, why Rosa is on the glass container and who this Rosa really is.

How far will the story of Rosa reveal itself to me?

To see more photos of graffiti culture in Spain, visit my portfolio!


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