GIB50

Iggy Smalls

2017 - Ongoing

Gibraltar

Gibraltar, with a current population of roughly 30,000 is one of the most densely fortified and besieged land areas through European history. The 6.7 km2 British Overseas Territory sits on the south tip of Spain overlooking the strait of Gibraltar, Morocco and the Spanish enclave Ceuta. English is the official language though most Gibraltarians also speak Spanish and the local Llanito. It is considered multicultural with Jewish, Portuguese, Moroccan and Genoese Italians also calling Gibraltar their home. Gibraltar, ‘Gib’ or ‘the Rock’, has been British since 1713, later voting on two referendums - first in 1967 and last in 2002 - over whether to remain with the United Kingdom or unite with Spain. On both occasions the Gibraltarian people voted overwhelmingly in British favor - in ’67 12,138 voters opted to remain with Britain to only 44 pro-Spanish votes and 17,000 votes to 187 in ’02.

On 10 September 2017, Gibraltar’s 50th anniversary of the ’67 referendum and National Day, PM of UK Theresa May spoke to Gibraltar in a recorded video message stating “[…] on that day you made a choice, voting almost unanimously to remain British and it is right that we celebrate that choice today, 50 years on, at a time when Gibraltar and the UK are closer than ever before [...] We will resolutely safeguard Gibraltar, its people and its economy and Gibraltar will remain British for as long as it chooses to do so”. Referring to recent discussions between the UK and Spain surrounding Gibraltar’s status post-Brexit - again an overwhelmingly 96 % of Gibraltarians voted to remain in the EU - and the persistent wish from Spain to reclaim the territory. Gibraltar depends on the ten thousand strong workforce who cross the border back and forth from La Linea everyday to work in the stores, cafes and restaurants.

This body of work focuses on fashion worn on the National Day of Gibraltar and the dramatic landscape of the territory - to reflect the permeating feeling of Gibraltarian national identity and what it could be about. This, national identity and patriotism, seem like everlasting but increasingly intense subjects in Gibraltar after Brexit and also in general all over the world.

Shot with medium format.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • North point of the "The Rock" and view of Spain. Thousands of Spaniards along with British expats cross the border to work every day from the neighboring city of La Línea de la Concepción. The distance to the border is short but the time to pass over could be from minutes to hours, depending on the current political relationship between Spain and the UK

  • Sightseers look at Barbary macaques, the only wild monkey population in Europe

  • Grafitti tag in La Línea

  • Europa Point Lighthouse, the southern most point of Gibraltar

  • T-shirt seen on the 50th anniversary of the Referendum and the National Day of Gibraltar

  • Sign to the Gibraltar-Spain border

  • Kids in a rowboat

  • A man looks out from his balcony

  • View of the carpark by the beach

  • Macaque mother and child

  • Pigeons occupy The Gibraltar War Memorial, a First World War monument erected in 1923

  • A man sits on the rocks of the Catalan Bay, historically a fishing village settled by Genoese fishermen. Still today mainly Genoese descendants live there and it is also where the local fish is brought up to be sold

  • View of Jebel Musa, Morocco from Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar is thought to be the Northern Pillar of Hercules while Jebel Musa is thought to be the Southern. The myth is that Hercules smashed through the mountain along the Mediterranean Sea through to the Atlantic - creating what was named later as the Strait of Gibraltar

  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May is seen in a video played in the celebrations of the National Day of Gibraltar

  • People pause for a picture while crossing the Gibraltar Airport airstrip, on their way to the Gibraltar-Spain border

  • Morning in Catalan Bay

  • Kids show off their baby tuna catch in Rosia Bay

  • A local celebrity and symbol of British patriotism (who did not reveal his name) celebrates every national day and other given opportunities - like after the announcement of Brexit - in the same attire. "People expect me to be here, you know" he enthusiastically told me

  • A Mini Cooper parked in Queensway Road

  • Crowds gather for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Referendum and the National Day


Newsletter