Ephimeral City: Photos of Gentrification: Madrid and Valencia, Spain

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formDigital or Visual ProductsSolo art production




5th–23rd of March, 2019

Jonna Tolonen


It is estimatedthat in 2018 more than 82 million tourists arrived to Spain. Spain has been aprime example of transforming into an international travel destination sincethe 1960's. On yearly basis the Spanish state invests more than 90 millioneuros on marketing tourism.


Many Spanishcities have conducted intensive neoliberal urban policies in order to boost theuse of common space for tourism. This has meant more beds and entertainment fortourists. During the last few years permanent residents of cities started toget bored of the noise pollution (yelling, singing, fighting etc.) and hygienestandards (littering, peeing, vomiting etc.) of tourists. Many cities in Spainhave now new policies which limit the construction of new hotels.


Few years back, wallwritings, posters and street art pieces against tourism and gentrificationstarted to appear on the walls of Spanish streets. Walls became an alternativemedia, a tool for communication. This photo exhibition seeks to explore twoSpanish cities in the midst of gentrification process. In Madrid, theneighbourhood of Lavapiés is being altered due to demands of tourism:traditional Spanish stores are turned into juice bars and barber shops. InValencia, in the neighbourhood of El Cabanyal, old houses are demolished tomake way for urban development, such as luxury hotels.


These images showthe last moments of these places before they are transformed through theprocess of gentrification, and visualizes the tricky relationship betweentourism and the permanent citizens. 

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019
MoEC publication typeF1 Published independent work of art
EventEphemeral city. Photos of Gentrification - Madrid and Valencia, Spain
Duration: 5 Mar 201923 Mar 2019