Published on 17th October 2018


  • Gabriele Goullain, a German immigrant, waits in the kitchen for her husband to return from mining. According to the Coober Pedy district council, about 60 percent of the town's residents are originally from Europe, having migrated to the area after World War II. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Trucks, cars and junk from old machinery decorate Coober Pedy's landscape, waiting to be used as spare parts. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • An unexpected storm hits Coober Pedy at the beginning of 2016, dropping the equivalent of half the amount of water that would fall in a full year in only two days. Miners need to wait for the ground to dry in order to go back to work. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Joe Rossetto, an Italian immigrant, lives underground and operates a subterranean museum that holds his private collection of stones, fossils, opal, and antiques found in the desert around Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Underground Orthodox Church built in 1993 by the Serbian community. Every Sunday the monk offers service. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • An oil painting showing piles of dirt made by a drilling machine hangs on the wall of an underground house. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Costa and Peter, Greek miners, are prospecting on an opal field. The extremely high temperatures during the day force them to work at dusk. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Opal is one of the most valuable gemstones in the world. Its price varies between one and ten million dollars, depending on its type, color and weight. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Goran Dakovic, a miner from the former Yugoslavia, searches for any trace of opal on the wall. He works with a circular tunneling machine, allowing him to potentially have access to more opal. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Drilling machines used to mine oil create mounds of dirt on the surface. Over two million shafts have been excavated for prospection and extraction of opal. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Manuel Gonzales, 77 years old, and Encarna Sanchez, 75 years old, pose for a portrait in their living room. This cave was the house of Encarna’s family. She was born in a room at the end of this cave and Manuel was also born and raised in the caves of Guadix. Nowadays they both live with their dog in the cave her mother inherit them. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • Entrance of caves on the hills of Guadix. This town is considered the "European Capital of Caves" for its approximate 2000 caves spread over an area of 200 hectares of land most of them continue to inhabit about 4500 citizens. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • Eric, a 65 year old immigrant from Germany, lives in the caves of Sacromonte in Granada since 1998. Eric lives by playing classical rock music in the streets of Granada. Granada, Spain 2018.

  • Judith, 12 years old, walk on the top of a cave house located at the “Neighbourhood of Caves” in Guadix, where most of the town’s population have been living in underground caves for hundreds of years. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • Piedad Mezco, 83 years old and Antonio Ortiz, 86 years old, have lived all their lives in the caves of Guadix. Both of them were born inside a cave and were raised in the nearby caves of the hills. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • A picture of Nerea while she was doing her first communion and 4 pistols decorates the walls of the cave of her uncles in Guadix. The out of the ordinary decoration is a common element that characterizes this troglodyte type of lifestyle. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • Approximately twenty Senegalese immigrants live in the upper part of the hill in the caves of Sacromonte in Granada. Their motivation to live in the caves is mainly due to economic reasons. Granada, Spain 2018.

  • Cave where the gypsies perform the traditional flamenco dance. Flamenco was the traditional wedding ritual of the Gypsies and was banned by the Inquisition in the sixteenth century, but continued to be held in secret. The traditional Spanish dance "Flamenco" was born precisely in the caves of Sacromonte 500 years ago. Granada, Spain 2018.

  • Tocuato, 61 years old, was born in the caves of Guadix and has lived all his life in caves. His room is located in the deepest part of the cave and does not have windows, nor natural light and is decorated by huge toy stuffed animals. He is the fourth generation of his family who is living in caves. Guadix, Spain 2018.

  • Juan, 8 years old, Ainara 10 years old and Judith 12 years old, play in the abandoned caves next to their house. Guadix, Spain 2018.


Tagged with:
  • social issue
  • cultural issue
  • portrait
  • daily life
  • underground
  • caves
  • australia
  • spain