"'Territorio Boom' is a photographic essay which reflects on the past, the present and the future of the forest of the Dehesa de El Saler." (© Matilde MARTÍ)
"In 1959 Franco’s government approved the Economic Stability Plan, with the intention of promoting an opening up to the outside world and the economic development of the country. Amongst the measures adopted were the devaluing of the peseta, which was intended to simulate inward investment and tourism. State intervention was centred, in particular, on the promotion, control and administrative organisation of the tourist offer. In the Super Development years’, between 1962 and 1973, the ‘tourist boom’ became a symbol for economic development.
The dictatorship exploited the sun and sea tourism in Spain by declaring areas of national tourist interest. Law 197/1963 was intended to bring foreign tourists to Spain’s coastal areas that had “special conditions for attracting and retaining tourism”. To this end, the government encouraged the building of urbanizations as well as the infrastructure necessary along the coast.
In Valencia, the City Council authorised the development of an urban plan for the forest and the Albufera Meadow by the construction company TEVASA (Terrenos de Valencia S.A.) The plan was presented in 1962, as one of the most important urban projects for the Mediterranean coast.
In accordance with the law of the 23rd of June 1911, the state ceded the Albufera Lake and the ‘Dehesa forest’. Article 4 stated: “The City Council of Valencia orders the conservation of the wooded area of the Dehesa and the integrity of the ground, the same may not be used for any other purpose or agricultural use save that of forest, and no other felling save that which is authorised by the Ministry of Development, whose intervention will be in line with that stated in article 13 of the Forestry Law of the 24 March 1865.”
The legal situation would pose a problem for the urban development plans of the Franco government, which with the statutory order of the 24 December 1964 adapted the legislation to the new needs and provisioned in article 1: “Article 4 of the law of the twenty third of June nineteen eleven is hereby repealed.” The rest of the articles cleared the way for the City Council to develop the urban plan designed for the forest.
In 1965 the Ministry for housing approved the TEVASA plan, however local pressure from the citizens, resulted in the plan under going various restructurings over the following years. The battle to preserve the natural surroundings of the meadow, turned environmentalism into an underground method of expressing opposition to the regime and for the first time an environmental question would have widespread coverage in the media causing a reflection on the need to preserve our natural environment.
Thanks to this movement the implementation of the full 1965 plan was avoided which would have completely devastated the forest, to remain in what is actual there: 29 apartment towers, 2 urbanisations, 2 grand hotels, 1 artificial lake, 1 golf course and 1 bull sale.
In 1986 the Albufera Lake and the Dehesa forest were declared a National Park." (© Matilde Martí)
About the book:
'Territorio Boom' is a catalogue of all of the buildings which made up the TEVASA urbanistic plan. A project born from the idea of not showing in order to invoke a reality not desired.
The images propose a classification of the urban plan using a photographic language with three types of frame: some tangled by pines, bushes and climbers, others distant and deep, some centred in a dichotomy of asphalt and vegetation.
The near total invisibility of the buildings is supported in a text (name and location of the building) in order to create a game for the spectator (the paradox of what is not seen but read). (...)
The project consists of 21 images and closes with a mural.
A collage of images downloaded for Google Earth Pro show the area of the Dehesa de El Saler forest. The shot has been digitally manipulated and the urban plan has been completely deleted. Remembering an unexplored past and at the same time an insinuation of an irreparable future.
This project was shot on a second generation Pentax 67 camera." (© Matilde MARTÍ)
About the photographer, Matilde MARTÍ (b. 1969 in Valencia):
Martilde MARTÍ is graphic designer, founder of Lemon Art Studio and photographer.
She set up her studio in 1995, providing services in the creative field for over 20 years. In 2012-14 she accomplished the Master of Photography, Art and Technique at the Polytechnic University of Valencia; currently she combines her work as a creative with artistic activity using photography as a tool, witness and guide of conceptual processes to develop all her projects.
'Territorio Boom' ist ein fotografischer Essay als Reaktion auf ein Bauvorhaben an der spanischen Küste, nahe Valencia. Die mit der Entwicklung des Projekts gegründete Firma TEVASA (Terrenos de Valencia S.A.) plante die Zerstörung eines großen Naturgebietes zugunsten des Tourismus.
Dieser sollte nach Plänen des spanischen Diktators Franco aus dem Jahr 1959 gefördert werden, um Spanien ökonomisch zu stabilisieren.
Spaniens demokratische Veränderung kam dazwischen; 1986 wurde das Gebiet, in dem sich der Albufera-See und der Dehasa-Wald befinden, zum National-Park erklärt.
Die Fotografin und Designerin Matilda MARTÍ hat persönliche Beziehungen zu dieser Gegend; dem in einer Erst-Auflage von nur 100 Exemplaren erschienenen Ringbuch sind persönliche Fotos aus dem Album ihres Vaters beigefügt.
Dadurch erhält die Publikation noch etwas mehr 'aus Künstlerhand'." (© Richard G. SPORLEDER)