It was 2004, back then I was just another guy from La Linea dela Concepcion who had an average life. I was working in Gibraltar as many others trying to get on with my life in a small apartment. I had my friends and used to go out to have fun as any other guys in their 20’s. In the last months I noticed how more and more new people were in town. They came from different countries. Up until then, seeing people from England, Germany or Africa was normal to a certain level, however we started to see Belgium, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Danish or Austrian people, and that was different.
One day, my cousin came home and told me that he had met two Greek guys. I couldn’t believe it, what were those guys from Greece doing in La Linea? For me, Greece was too far away, it was almost unknown. That evening, he had to meet them and asked me to come along. They were here to work in Gibraltar, They had a job in the gaming industry, something that at the time, was something very strange and new for everyone. One of them was Dionissis, who has taken part in this project. I’d say that, that evening changed my life and my way of seeing the World. From that moment every social gathering I took part on had at least three different nationalities. That’s how I met Giovanni, who is one of us, or Levent, a Turkish raised in Germany. A huge community of Greek people could be found in bars and some popular cafe in the centre.
For some of them I became some kind of guide about La Linea and the area although at the same time, they helped me to rediscover my own town, the culture and my language or even suggested me where to eat in La Linea or what to do in the campo de Gibraltar area. In just a short period of time I started to have a similar life than them and I even started to work in the gaming industry in Gibraltar myself.
Many of them were here just temporary, biggest interest for them was to go out and have fun with the money they earned in Gibraltar while the pound was strong on the first years of the Euro. I had friends from Italy, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, well, from almost every European country. I remember parties that seemed like the UN.
With time, some of them left because they wanted something different in life, but many others have stayed, La Linea has become theirs and their families’ home. Today there are tens of mixed couples, their children, who are already going to school, speak a minimum of two or three languages. And, even so, some times I have the feeling that this foreigners community is not taken into consideration by our town or at least, they are not known by the most of La Linea citizens. And this is the reason why I decided to put my 2 cents to help my town to know this group of people that have started to be part of our life, contributing to the local economy and even taking part in decisions as important as the local elections using their right to vote.
Using a series of pictures along with a brief story of these expats living in Spain, I want to show how some of these friends feel living in La Linea for some time and somehow, consider this place as their home. The project is available on this website, Facebook page and exhibition coming soon.