This series is about a young and somewhat disillusioned group who unexpectedly find a sense of community, even spirituality by joining a percussion band for a Catalan tradition known as Correfoc. The tradition involves groups of ‘Devils’ chasing crowds through the streets with fireworks attached to pitchforks. Imagine thousands of people crammed into small streets, a mash of bodies running with their hoods up trying to avoid being burnt by flames, explosions and sparks flying everywhere and the smell of phosphorus filling your nostrils, this is the Correfoc.
In this physical manifestation of anarchy, there are no rules, no one telling these devils how to act, no fixed pattern of movement, these devils are free to roam and be creative in their shows. For them, playing with fire and delighting crowds has become a cultural phenomenon which has engulfed their lives.
In a time when so many young people are struggling with feelings of disconnection and loss of meaning, to find a sense of community by becoming a ‘devil’ is a revelation, this group have found they can express themselves by becoming something extraordinary.
In this series, I focussed on the restful moments of the devils, at their local meeting spot, at home, during their drum rehearsals and on locations where they could practice their art of fire play.
Playing on that theme of disconnection, I asked the devils to present the versions of themselves they want the outside world to see, the confident and devilish versions of themselves.