Paul Strand was definitely on my mind as my wife and I travelled to the village of Mijas, Spain in 2008.
I had previously read a good deal about the famous American photographer. Notable to me were his travels, through France and elsewhere, in search of a “perfect” village where he could photograph “many of the elements that make this village a particular place where particular people live and work”. To achieve his goal, Strand would immerse himself in a village for an extended period of time, and wander and wander, searching out his “elements”. His quest for the “perfect” village continued for many years, over a great portion of his career.
Mijas is a traditional Andalucian village nestled into the side of a mountain in southern Spain. Located on the Costa del Sol (approximately 10 minutes north of the Mediterranean coast), it is famous for its narrow cobbled streets and white-washed buildings. Its elevation of 450 metres provides spectacular views over the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea from many vantage points throughout the village. Numerous bars and restaurants offer warm hospitality and local cuisine.
Busloads of tourists invade the town daily, but leave again in late afternoon to return to the resorts on the coast, leaving the village in tranquil bliss for strolling, dining and entertainment, long into the night.
When discussing its amenities, its physical beauty and its adherence to traditional values, one lifelong resident described Mijas as the “perfect” place to live and raise a family. It is very hard to disagree.
This series of photographs was taken in 2008.
Images from the series (click to view): Bar Porras
, Mijas Taxis
, Calle Carril
There are other images in this series that are not on this website. If you are interested in more information about them, please leave a message below or email