Castells or Human towers are constructions of people of all ages and genders built traditionally in festivals at many towns and villages all over Catalonia. The aim is to construct and deconstruct different kind of structures, depending on the difficulty it has one punctuation or another. But the Castells go much beyond competition.
In 2010 they were declared World Heritage of Humanity: “Human towers are recognized by Catalan people as an integral part of their cultural identity, transmitted from generation from generation and providing community Members a sense of continuity, social cohesion and solidarity. “The Unesco said.
Therefore, Human towers belong to everyone. The nature of this Catalan cultural activity relays on strength, balance, courage and good sense. But we can also see in it a mixture between tradition and modernity, effort and beauty, feeling of belonging but also integration. In fact, can human beings construct something big without these values?
We cannot understand this artistic and cultural unique manifestation without linking it with the current moment that the region of Catalonia undergoes. A big majority of Catalan asks for the right to vote in order to decide their future, and the castells passion and effort are perfect to understand the essence of this phenomenon in Catalonia. Actually if a new country wants to be constructed it needs to be done through strength, balance, courage and good sense.
What he mainly wants to show in this pictures is the strength of its protagonists, the balance of its constructions, the courage of the elderly and the little ones, and the good sense that surrounds the whole human towers world. But above all what he wants to show is passion and emotion of this people. Indeed what he mainly sees when he photography this folklore is not only Catalan culture but humanity in its essence.
About the author:
Joan Figueras was born in 1980 in the catalan city of Tarragona. He studied English and Journalism at URV University and is currently living in Barcelona. Figueras has his own production company, Filma-t Produccions, where he is currently working as a photographer and videographer. Joan Figueras is also working as a freelance photographer for the American news agency Polaris Images, where he publishes his photojournalism work. He also did some exhibitions about Human Towers or Castells, his big passion, both in a human and in a photographical way.