Corrine Silva

Corrine Silva


Badlands is a photographic series that explores the contested border territory of Almeria in south east Spain. Almeria still bears the traces of past empires: crumbling watchtowers guard the coastline and Moorish castles compete for space with ancient Catholic churches.

This desert terrain is being rapidly transformed by intensive agricultural development alongside a proliferation of golf courses and hotel complexes. Increasingly visible in the landscape is plastic, innovatively used and reused. Surrounding the enclosed megastructures of industry and leisure are the improvised dwellings of migrant workers made from this material. Alongside a study of this barren region’s architectural fortresses and the wilderness beyond, I use plastic to examine the authentic and artificial in a landscape dramatically shaped by the connected forces of economic migration, agriculture and tourism.

Almeria is located on what architect Teddy Cruz defines as the New Political Equator, which also intersects the contested desert territories of USA/Mexico and Israel/Palestine. These three border spaces reveal an anticipatory scenario of the twenty-first century global metropolis, where societies of overproduction and excess are barricaded from the sectors of scarcity produced by the former’s economic and political indifference. Almeria can be seen as a microcosm of the globalised economy and serves as a prism through which I focus a visual exploration of these spaces.

Corinne Silva was born in Leeds in 1976 and lives in London.
She utilises a convergence of the genres of documentary and landscape photography
to represent issues of borders, diaspora and the transformation of territories. Her photographs offer re-presentations of history and suggestions of an imagined future. Her work utilises various modes of encounter: alongside her self-initiated practice Silva undertakes residences and commissions. Her work has been sited in museums, galleries and public spaces and is held in the permanent collections of The Imperial War Museum, UK, Leeds Museum Archives, UK, and the National Photographic Archives, Eire.