Marc Serena and Edu Bayer, have begun a trip to reveal the reality of Catalonia’s “microtowns”. Catalonia has 328 towns with less than 500 inhabitants, which is less than 1% of the population. That’s the reason, says Serena, that they got interested in these towns, “which only become visible when there’s some misfortune”. The trip to document the towns will take six months, and although they have received support, they are also organizing a crowdfunding campaign in order to finish the project.
Microcatalunya.cat started three months ago when the two began to visit the small municipalities in the Terres de l’Ebre, El Camp de Tarragona, Lleida, and the Pyrenees, where they are presently. “The idea,” says Serena, “is to give a representative idea of these small towns, to show the reality to which we usually don’t have access, to show who lives there and why, and to knock down stereotypes.”
Beyond the visit to the towns, they’re also creating an index of microtowns on the web, to which followers can add photographs, information, and comments. For now, says Serena, there are already 4000 links to the municipalities and 328 records. And almost 300 people have participated with contributions.
Indeed, one can collaborate through Instagram, where they have already received 3500 photographs, simply by posting pictures with the tag #microcatalunya. In addition, the web serves as a travel diary, since the information is frequently updated with videos, photographs, and texts from the places that they visit and the people that they find.
The initiative has been partially funded with a grant from La Caixa’s Obra Social, with monies from the Associació de Micropobles (Association of Microtowns), with a grant from Estrella Damm and the collaboration of the Xarxa d’Albergs de Catalunya (Catalan Hostal Network), who lets them stay overnight in their hostals. And they travel in a van lent to them by Lafurgo.net.