• Share:

First finalist 2023

Adra Pallón



Demotanasia is the process by which, due to political actions or omission, the population of a territory disappears. Death by depopulation is slow and silent. It is merciless with the territory, nature and heritage. The situation is no less dramatic for the people who live or, rather, resist in rural areas. Those who live in the most absolute solitude in a silent, silenced and misnamed empty Spain. In reality, it is not yet empty.   

Europe is the most ageing continent in the world. One of the regions most affected by ageing according to Eurostat is Galicia. There is a high percentage of elderly people with a lack of residential autonomy or with a certain degree of dependency who are reluctant to leave the land where they have lived all their lives. They live alone where care and assistance are conspicuous by their absence. Extremely worrying social contexts in the face of insufficient resources on the part of the administration and the passivity, full of implicit violence, of the political actors involved.    

A large part of the ageing population is abandoned in these areas with a lack of care and very limited social and health care coverage. These are traditionally smallholding territories due to the sinuous orography that makes intensive production impossible. The current voracious market of macro-production and over-production, the lack of quality telecommunications and connections mean that the demographic pyramid in most of the territories is inverted. There are population centres in which the pyramid does not even have a base due to the low birth rate and the massive rural exodus.   

The depopulation of rural areas is one of the causes of numerous environmental problems such as the increase in the voracity of forest fires or the increase in soil erosion. If there are no radical changes in this respect: the death of the last rural inhabitants will bring with it the death of a social model and then there will be an empty Spain.  


The photographic language related to sociology is the basis of all of Adra Pallón's work. To achieve this, she has been working for five years on documentary and multimedia photography projects all over the country, dealing with different themes. The central axis of all her photography is to offer a sociological vision of the reality in which she lives and from which she can understand all its codes. That is why until now he has always been dedicated to photographing subjects close to his community or directly related to the context that surrounds him.

Photography came to Adra Pallón as a means of expression to help raise awareness of the social problems in which he is immersed. His photography is put at the service of local communities and from there he builds a product that tries to raise awareness and address issues. Using photography to generate spaces for reflection and discussion on social and environmental issues is the objective of all his work. His photography attempts to channel the opinion of the communities photographed.

This approach to his work has been recognized by public institutions, media and society in general. He alternates collaboration with different media, with personal work in long-term projects and teaching photography. Some of his personal works have been recognized by different international photography awards.