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Substitutes Homeless

Diego Denora | València, Spain


The young expats are sharing the life of the Valencian Community, but they are completely ignored by the administration. For this reason, I call them "substitutes homeless", because they are living with them (the Spanish people), but not really like them. They are invisible like the homeless, but they are paying rent or working in a company.

Marketing Director, Writer, non-professional photographer.

Diego Denora

"We're expats, but the truth is we're homeless substitutes." Expat means "expatriate", which in many cases is a polite way of saying, migrants. Most of the young people who moved to Valencia to find a better job, or better chances, or just a new life, stayed here despite everything. Are they Spanish? No, but they shared the same problems as the Valencian community: the closure of companies, desert universities, contracts that end, the risk of contagion, and the bureaucracy that complicates everything.

How did they overcome confinement? Did they keep their jobs? Did they pay the rent in the months when the integration funds didn't arrive? Faced with a tragedy comes a pandemic we are all the same: Italians, Valencians, Argentineans, Colombians, Germans; we suffer the same fear, the same rules, and, as has happened, the same problems with the administration. Yet the young and old who have come here from another country are different, because not only do they not have the support of the State, but they live two loneliness: the cage, and the distance from families. We never talk about expats, that's why they are like homeless, invisible to society but present.<>

Now the Coronavirus is back again and with-it solitude. What about the Expats? Those who have been lucky have created a network of emotions: someone has married despite everything, some lives with his partner, someone has fallen in love with his pet, someone is and still looking for identity and stability. Expats remain invisible, as their emotions and the realities built until this day. Invisibles who pay regular rent and who wake up early in the morning to greet their colleagues and have a coffee together. Why don't they come back "to their house"? Because they share the best and the worst of this 2020 with their community and this is not something that you can deal with. Returning "home" is not allowed anymore, because they could be in danger of being even more invisible: no longer Italian, nor Spanish really, nor really homeless. They are neither one nor the other: they become substitutes homeless.

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