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Greenhouses in Almeria, Spain: Agriculture Post-Nature

by Neal Rockwell

Greenhouses in Almeria, Spain: Agriculture Post-Nature
Greenhouses in Almeria, Spain: Agriculture Post-Nature

I passed through Almeria, Spain the other week. It is the world’s largest concentration of greenhouses. Almost all of the land is covered in a dystopian sea of plastic where fruits and vegetables are grown hydroponically, completely detached from season or natural cycle of any kind. The labor conditions are often too horrible for local Spanish residents, so the majority of the labor force is drawn from African and Eastern European immigrants, many of whom are non-status and thus more easily exploited. The structures bring intensive agriculture to one of Europe’s driest regions, filling up all the available land. What few spaces remain uncovered appear ravaged – filled first with wind-shredded plastic waste, then becoming ad-hoc garbage dumps for other refuse. It is an uncanny space; more than 100,000 people are estimated to work here, but from the outside one sees almost no activity at all. Their aesthetic is of prison or refugee camps, which is perhaps fitting since they are often the end destination for people fleeing strife or economic crisis from afar. 

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Topics: Environment

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neal rockwell (Neal Rockwell)
Montreal, Quebec
Member since November 2010

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