Austerity was introduced in the UK by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, following the 2008 financial crisis.  It basically means that the least well off in society pay, and are still paying, for the greed of the richest that led to the crisis in the first place.  Oops mustn’t get political again. :-/

Here in Fuerteventura, there is evidence of austerity through many decades from humble one room dwellings, part of an entire abandoned village, to once grand houses, reduced to rubble along with modern apartment complexes left skeletal and unfinished presumably post 2008.  I’ll get to those.  Clearly here, it’s not just the poor that have suffered from harsh economic times.

You can guess my next project.  I’ve set about, in between enjoying the beach and the fine restaurants, to document this in a photo essay and articles to be produced when I get home.

Here’s just a taste of what I’ve found in a few days.  I hope you enjoy the photographs.. :-)



49 responses

  1. Excellent images, Adrian, and a great idea for a project. Documenting is vital.

    September 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    • Thank you Jane! It’s so striking here how people have been effected by economic hardship over many, many years. Island life is hard. Much harder before tourism of course!

      September 12, 2017 at 6:09 am

  2. Sue

    Oh, I shall look forward to that post!!

    September 11, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    • I hope not to disappoint Sue! :-)

      September 12, 2017 at 6:09 am

      • Sue

        I am sure you won’t!

        September 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      • :-)

        September 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

  3. Great photos and can not believe that in this time ,where so much people try to find a house,they don’t do something to makes this houses again for living in it aftie renovation.

    September 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    • Thank you Lou and you’re so right. Renovating old buildings makes so much more sense than building new ones especially given we know we are not building enough.

      September 12, 2017 at 6:11 am

  4. Fabulous images – that blue sky really sets the decay and abandonment off, peeping through the empty windows, bare beams and various cracks. Lovely strong shadows too. And the blue graffiti – one of your props perhaps? :)

    September 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    • The blue graffiti was a real gift. I’d like to claim credit, the colour worked so well, but I’m nowhere near as creative with a can of spray paint to be able to produce something like that. Thank you Jude. :-)

      September 12, 2017 at 6:14 am

      • It certainly added to the mix: perfect colour :)

        September 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

      • It did indeed! :-)

        September 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm

  5. Marvellous, not only the scene, but the yellows and blues…you cannot go wrong!

    September 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    • Thank you Paula. The colours are so vibrant under the wonderful light here.

      September 12, 2017 at 6:14 am

  6. Love your images
    …..strong colours and geometry…and politics?
    People need to stand up for fir what we believe….. a world that is more kind and compassionate of others…. 😊Trees

    September 11, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    • Couldn’t agree more Trees. Thanks for your comments, always appreciated. :-)

      September 12, 2017 at 6:15 am

  7. Sounds interesting, but something that happens all too often in this world. Looking forward to the photos.

    September 12, 2017 at 12:13 am

    • Doesn’t it just. Being on this small island and seeing so much evidence of hardship through the ages is really quite striking. Thank you as ever Mr Dragon!

      September 12, 2017 at 6:17 am

  8. Harold Rhenisch

    Such beautiful light! It makes the shadows speak loud and clear. Thanks.


    September 12, 2017 at 12:55 am

    • Thank you Harold. The very strong light is a real gift for this kind of photography!

      September 12, 2017 at 6:17 am

  9. Reminded me of the abandoned houses of Lüderitz in the Namibian desert. By the way, I find your political asides quite charming and to the point. No need to apologize for it in my opinion.

    September 12, 2017 at 6:19 am

    • I’m not familiar with the abandoned houses you mention. I’ll have to Google them. Thank you very much for your comment! :-)

      September 12, 2017 at 7:21 am

  10. Oh the colours!

    September 12, 2017 at 10:56 am

    • The sunshine certainly makes colours come to life Anna! Thank you! :-)

      September 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm

  11. those are some gorgeous images :)

    September 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    • Thank you very much Joshi. Very much appreciated! :)

      September 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

  12. beautiful photos!

    September 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    • Thank you very much Francina!

      September 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

  13. Lovely light and textures Adrian. Chillbrook for PM?

    September 12, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    • Thank you Mark. Ha! :-D There was a time I considered going into politics but I realised I think I would have been eternally frustrated.

      September 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

  14. The house: such a perfect metaphor for so many human things

    September 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    • It is indeed Simon. Thank you for you comment!

      September 13, 2017 at 6:22 am

  15. Such a colourful set of images indeed! Wonderfully captured :)

    September 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

    • Thank you so much Sóla. Lovely to hear from you! :-)

      September 13, 2017 at 3:01 pm

  16. Very interesting about the definition of austerity and the evidence around you. The photos have such gorgeous colors. I look forward to seeing more. My favorites are the first and second, and I like that distant sign seen through the window. What a different set of circumstances from working in Iceland!

    September 14, 2017 at 1:41 am

    • Thank you Lynn. The light here really makes the colours sing. I’ll be working hard to put some of these buildings within the landscape but the close architectural images are a real departure for me which I’m rather enjoying. Iceland and Fuerteventura are so similar geologically speaking. Both volcanic islands, Iceland is somewhat newer, but their climates couldn’t be more different. I’m enjoying going from working in sub zero temperatures to somewhat warmer conditions. :-)

      September 14, 2017 at 5:58 am

      • Yes, just a bit warmer. It’s interesting about the geological similarity. I wonder what a series of pairings might look like? An image from each place, as a diptych, or a pair. It would be fun to search your archives for them – in your spare time! ;-)

        September 15, 2017 at 1:25 am

      • It would indeed Lynn. The bleak snow covered volcanic mountains paired with the parched, dry volcanic mountains here. Thanks for the suggestion! I will certainly keep that one in the bank for a future post or two. Actually I think it’d probably merit more.. :-)

        September 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm

  17. The contrast between the beautiful images and the decaying leftovers of those who once struggled in these place radiates the sad austerity you are writing about. I think sometimes politics are necessary. :-) I do look forward to seeing you story once it’s completed.

    September 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    • It is a sad Story Otto. To see homesteads abandoned that must once have provided a living for people. There is evidence of this all over the island. I’m enjoying telling at least part of the story. Thank you so much for your comment and you’re right of course, sometimes politics is necessary and I know forms an important part of the marvelous work that you do. :-)

      September 15, 2017 at 4:32 pm

  18. Truly a splendid series of photos Adrian. It is such a contrast to your recent work, which made it even more fascinating for me. The first two shots swept me right into the scene.

    September 15, 2017 at 10:55 am

    • Thank you Randall. Until this trip, I was feeling a little stale. There are many amazing landscape shots to be taken in this amazing world of ours but various limitations and only having my back yard to work with, well, I needed something new to re-energise that creative spark. I think I’ve found it. :-)

      September 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      • Sounds great, dear Adrian!

        September 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

  19. Interesting new topic, dear Adrian! And exquisite photos. This is a something I have seen in many spots on the Balearic Islands as well. For me this abandoned-not-finished-dwellings is typical Spanish. I don’t know any other country with similar structures. Looking forward to your next posts!
    Happy weekend to you and Chris from Bonn,
    Hanne x

    September 23, 2017 at 9:25 am

    • Hello Hanne,
      Thank you so much for your comments. It is strange that these structures lie abandoned in this way but we know that the Spanish economy, rather like the Greek, has suffered so much more than most of Europe. That goes for the modern abandoned buildings of course. Not sure about the much older ones.
      I hope that all is well with you in Bonn.
      Have a great week ahead!
      With love from Chris and myself! :-) xx

      September 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm

  20. I’ve just been working my way backwards through your posts from Fuerteventura – rather late in the day, I must apologise. The last few weeks seem to have flashed by and I’ve found it hard to get back into any sort of routine, especially checking through the WordPress reader. One of the abiding ‘images’ I came back with from our visit to California 25 years ago was one of decay and abandonment. Out there it seemed that because there was so much space, you just abandoned your last car or pickup and let it rust away rather than trade it in for the next model. And buildings were left to rot, whether through hard times (this was way before Austerity UK style), or just no-one could be bothered to do anything with them. I found it very sad.
    The stories in the Canaries I suppose reflect a variety of stories but behind them all there is a history of abandonment. Maybe occasionally moving on to better, but often one suspects leaving because the going got too tough. These are all well visualized photo essays – certainly documentary. Good work Adrian.

    September 26, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    • Thank you Andy and no problem, your comments are always welcome whenever they come. I admire the fact that you went back through the reader after a couple of hectic weeks. Needless to say, my last couple of weeks have been anything but hectic and it’s been bliss after being so absorbed with the Iceland pictures. It’s been a real nice diversion to stray into the area of documentary photography and I really appreciate your endorsement of what I’ve done. I’ve concentrated on these three locations but there are many more that I could photograph. Dina made the comment that she has often seen this kind of abandonment in the Balearics but never anywhere else. You mentioned California, strong Spanish influences? Just a thought.

      September 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm