After Schengen

Ignacio Evangelista’s After Schengen photo series is about photographing some of the old border crossing points that still exist abandoned and out of order, in some states of European Union.

After Schengen
Border crossings have a function of geographical boundaries, but also a coercitive role, since they prevent the free passage of people between one and another state.
So, they are places that, along with a cartographic dimension, are provided with historical, economic and political reminiscences, aspects absolutely related to landscape from a contemporary and transversal perspective.
These places that previously the Schengen treaty, delimited territories and in which the traveler had to stop and show his documents, currently appear as abandoned places, located in a space-time limbo, out of use and out of the time for which they were designed, as these states have opened their borders to the free movement of people and goods.
After Schengen
Ignacio Evangelista, After Schengen. Top: Fratres – Slavonice. Austria/Czech Republic. Above: Coll de Bertrés. Spain/France
The observation of these places in the present time, gives them a dimension related to viewing and reading of some episodes in recent history, with the passing of time and memory in the landscape. These quasi- archaeological ruins have become part of the current landscape, forming a presence of the past that lies dormant in the present.
These places throughout Europe form a network of empty spaces between living spaces, and when the reason for its existence is finished, they form symbolic places that cause new thinking from the present, and a way to visualize time and history. Paradoxically, these spaces currently uninhabited, with no function or meaning, that appear devoid of human figures, emphasize the humanity of the countryside.
“Every time I get to a border crossing to take pictures and I am confronted with all kind of signs (stop, achtung, arrows) and barriers which at some point have regulated movements, itineraries and behaviors which now appear absurd and out of context, some old and familiar voices speak to me about the arbitrariness of control systems, about their pure artifice, their alienating character and the huge imbalance between the power of the states and their relationship with individuals” explains Igancio Evangelista.
Ignacio Evangelista, <i>After Schengen</i>.
Ignacio Evangelista, After Schengen. Drasenhofen – Mikulov. Austria/Czech Republich

This revolutionary treaty was signed in 1985 and came into force in 1995; next year 2015 will be its 20th and 30th anniversary respectively.

These old border crossing points are slowly disappearing, some are renovated and reconverted to new uses, some are destroyed for vandals, and some other just fall down due to the passing of time. So, after some few years there will be no possibility to look at this strong signs and symbols of the recent european history.

This project was awarded with the 2013 Center Project Development Grant, awarded by Center (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA) juror Denise Wolff (Aperture Foundation).


Born in Valencia, Ignacio Evangelista takes his bachelor degree in Psychology, University of Valencia. His photographic series show the relationship, sometimes contradictory, between nature and the artificial, between animate and inanimate. Although the series can be formally very different from each other, always a common theme underlying all of them, related to the human trace. Since 2013 he write posts on Photography for Ivory Press blog “Turn On Art”.

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