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February 28

The Waiting Game

By Ella Miista
The Waiting Game is a photography book by Spaniard Txema Salvans. Shot in the span of six years, it captures the life of prostitutes working the roads and motorways of the country's Mediterranean coastline. Perhaps it’s his scientific background that makes the book enfold a bit like a study. Posing as a topographer, the women weren’t aware they were being photographed. Nothing was staged, yet it’s not a story of people. It’s more like observing the behaviour of a species. It’s impersonal. People sometimes assume the legalisation of prostitution is some divine answer. It's legal in Spain but turns out it's not a solution. It's not a magical growing ground for the Belle du Jours of the world. The sheer volume of images in the book tells that. But, it's not prostitution by default that's the tragedy here. It's that for many it is still not a choice and the bleakness of the landscape around the women echoes that. Their vulnerability is on display. There are men revelling in that and us looking as voyeurs. Even the way lens the lens was pointed at them was deceitful. Add to that the corporations destroying the world around them. It's them creating the ghost cities and poverty that puts the women in places like this. On those images, those roads. The result is a lot of pain and guilt. But, it’s the anonymity of the images that cuts the most. The sunny yet chilling pictures show bodies waiting to perish. The people on them are like roadside diners or petrol stations. They’re there to break the monotony of the drive. Some will stop but the moment their images disappear from the rearview mirror, the memories start to fade. Forgettable, fleeting. It speaks of the desperation that rules their lives. There is no solution, just an aching understanding of the problem. Perhaps not the most cheerful imagery for a Friday afternoon but if there was ever beauty in tragedy, this haunting collection captures it. The book is available for purchase here. The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS The Waiting Game TXEMA SALVANS
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