Hello! My name is Emma and I’m a dreamer.
I’m a storyteller because I always felt the urge to tell stories, stories that I could relate to, stories about feelings and that je ne sais quai about our existence.
My life is surrounded by books and films. I studied English Philology with the purpose of becoming a writer and Literature teacher. Not long after I realized I had stopped writing stories with words and started writing them through my photographs.
I live for details, little moments of being, feelings and beautiful light.
Some people don’t believe me but I’m an introvert, I’m the kind of person that needs some time alone to get energy back.
I live with my partner, and my cat, Holly Golightly.
I had the idea of “My life in Barcelona” to collect these stories about these people, “foreigners” living in Barcelona. Thanks to my foreign friends from all over the world, I’ve discovered a new city in my own hometown and I wanted to share all these faces Barcelona has.
This is my Ode to my city, my love letter.
You can find me in my website www.emmaespejo.com
I thought it would be fair to answer the same questions I asked the people in my project so here it is:
Emma. 1985. Barcelona.
Who are you?
I’m a dreamer and a storyteller. I sometimes tell stories with words, and some other times with light. I take photos to show my perspective of the world and the beauty around me. I photograph the identity of the subject in my pictures. I’m a woman with salty Mediterranean skin. I devour stories and light. I’m an introvert who loves listening to others and listen to my own self as well. I am everything I can be.
When did you arrive in Barcelona.
the 15th of April of 1985, very early in the morning, around 2am. I was born that very night and two days later moved to my parents house, where I lived until I was 28. I now live in Gracia, with my partner and my cat. Twice in my life I spent some small periods of time abroad, but I was then convinced Barcelona was my place.
What is it that you like the most about the city?
I always felt I had a love-hate relationship with the city, always felt I wanted to leave and live far away. I made peace with that and started to love it and understand that it defines me pretty well. It’s urban but still not too big, it’s got the beach and the mountain. Its home is the Mediterranean coast, where I belong. The weather, the breeze. Spring in Barcelona is perfect. I like I can bike and walk almost everywhere. I love showing off about it in front of my foreign friends. I love it’s got so many faces, the old and the new. I love it’s a Beauty.
What do you like the least?
I don’t like things are not done correctly sometimes. People should be more civilized. The system, the politics (in general). Some people are very rude. Education could be better. Spain in general should be more open minded, be more acceptant of the “strange” or the “different”.
Where have you been before living in Barcelona.
My mom’s womb.
During my stay in Barcelona I also travelled to the UK a few times. And I’ve have travelled around Europe, got friends in different countries. I always loved visiting a place with a local. So I considered I have also learnt quite a lot about other countries through visiting my friends and their cultures.
What differences do you find between Barcelona and your hometown.
Barcelona IS my hometown.
What is your favorite place in Barcelona?
There are many. I love walking in Gothic quarter when there’re no tourists, early in the morning. I like walking up and down Rambla de Catalunya and biking Diagonal. I love the streets of Eixample on a sunny winter Sunday early in the afternoon. It’s quiet and the light and the shades of the leafs is perfect. But most of all I like the neighborhood of adoption, Gracia, where I live. and my tiny apartment. I hope I never have to leave this neighborhood, unfortunately I will need to, the prices are crazy.
Are you ever going back or, in your case, are you ever leaving?
I’d like to experience living in some specific places some time in my life, just for spending some time abroad. But in general, I’m very Mediterranean so either here in the city or somewhere near the sea (Costa Brava). Ideally I’d have an apartment in the city and a second house by the sea. I don’t want to admit it but, although I love nature, I’m very urban. Who knows what will happen. But I will always come back to Barcelona.
And now, the most difficult question: Tell me something new, something that shocked you about the city.
Well, Barcelona and the way it’s organized is my normality so what shocks me is what I find when I travel. But about Barcelona, I feel it’s a cute city, it has its own personality as if it was a being. It’s alive! What I don’t like is the way some people (some, I don’t want to generalize) treat it or think of it. I realized that it’s got a lot of potential and a lot of things to offer since I met my foreign friends. In general I feel Barcelonians don’t really know all the things the city’s got to offer. Of course it’s not everybody, but I could talk for myself. I sometimes don’t get too much involved with the city. I’m trying to change that.