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Carlos Folgoso introduces us to the hippie commune of Negueira de Muñiz

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Carlos Fogoso was born in Galicia and currently lives between Spain and Italy, namely Florence.His works have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines.

Since 2014 I’ve been part of “Contemporáneos” a collective of 30 photographers which makes photo-exhibitions in the most renowned galleries & museums around Spain. We also had published “Contemporaries, thirty photographers of today” a book edited by La Fabrica. Actually, we publish a bi-annual self-edited fanzine, named “ContemporáneosZine” which tries to push up independent photography.

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During the dry season with possible openings of the reservoir gates, in many places, the river can be crossed by foot. Riodeporcos, Asturias. (Spain). 18th October, 2008.

About ‘World’s place apart‘:

This story explores the lifestyle of a community which lives in an isolated enclave in Galiza (north-west Spain).In the ’40s, during F. Franco’s dictatorship, a dam was build in the Navia river. Consequently, the river’s flow rised until many villages remained buried under reservoir waters and the whole area became depopulated.

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Barcela, were only two houses remained above the water level, is one of the villages that most suffered the construction of the reservoir. Negueira de Muñiz, Galicia (Spain). 17th October, 2011.

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General view of Navia river in the area of the hippie commune. Negueira de Muñiz, Galicia (Spain). 03rd March, 2009.

Gradually, a deep-seated social discontent developed among young people living under the political dictatorship, makes that some persons started to occupy the villages and live in the abandoned houses like squatters, looking  for an alternative way of life and excluding themselves from “normalized” society, living by farming and breeding as a self-sufficient community.

 The use of cannabis, alcohol and harder drugs became rampant. This, coupled with isolation of the area, lack of electricity and harsh weather conditions, began to favor the decline of this utopic community.Nowadays, only a few of those people remain in the region, some of them are children who were born and grew up there. They are known by the nearby towns as the “hippie commune of Negueira de Muñiz”.

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Demian carries Edu and Rocío by boat to a village nicknamed “Paradise of the fruit”. Pepe and Isabel were denounced for mistreating their children having lost custody of them. Both Pepe and Isabel thinks that whoever has denounced them has been Demian. Negueira de Muñiz, Galicia (Spain). 19th September, 2010.

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Marcos and Brais having breakfast. When the twins were born, Social Services took custody to their parents because living conditions were not appropriate. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 05th March, 2009.

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Laura, after having quarreled with her mother. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 28th June, 2010.

The focus of this story is childhood, people that grow up surrounded by an almost allegorical world, disconnected from society, fragile, poetic, in which relationship between humans and nature takes on a predominant value.It is the story of a life different from the other, of a life in contact with nature as if it were the first and the only source of life. A childhood lived without the technology and objects today considered indispensable to the rest of the young, a child lived in simplicity and fantasy.

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Rocío, while sleeping. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 04th March, 2009.

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Edu wakes up with the first light of day. The complicated orography of the area makes that children have to do more than one hour by car to arrive to school, so sometimes, they have to get up when it is still night. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 20th October, 2008.

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Pepe gets angry with Laura while preparing dinner for the whole family. Usually the Kitchen is out of control due children quarrels. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 03rd March, 2009.

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Children grow up with an absolute lack of electricity, a normal activity such as family dinners, has to be done by candlelight. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 17th October, 2008.

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A cow in the meadow of Foxo. Animals at night, usually go down to the meadows around the river. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). 15th October, 2008.

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Nightfall in Vilar, a village on the top of the mountains of Negueira de Muñiz. Vilar, Galicia (Spain). 03rd March, 2009.

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The waterfall of Vilagocende is the birthplace of the river Porteliña, a tributary of the Navia (around which the hippie commune was created). A Fonsagrada, Galicia (Spain). 14th October, 2008.

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Bear (nickname), in his plantation of marijuana. The use of Cannabis is very common in the area, almost all inhabitants grow their own plants. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). Summer 2007.

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Rocío (covered with a mask in the picture) was the smallest of the children. Once the twins, Marcos and Brais, were born, she usually has to take care of them. Foxo, Galicia. (Spain). 16th October, 2011.

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Maria never allows anybody to take pictures of her. This photo has been made by her sister, Laura, who often steals my camera to play with. Foxo, Galicia. (Spain). 24th August, 2007.

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Rocío blows a dandelion in Riodeporcos, a small town that is only reached by foot, passing by a suspension bridge on the river Navia. Riodeporcos, Asturias. (Spain). 18th October, 2008.

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Laura, Edu, María, Celeste and Rocío drying themselves in a bonfire. Very often, in summer, children go down to the meadows and play all day. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). Summer 2007.

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Celeste lives with her father in Pontevedra, a city of 83.00 inhabitants. In summer she goes to visit her mother, Cony, a German woman who lives in the hippie commune. Foxo, Galicia (Spain). Summer 2007.

www.carlosfolgoso.com