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Miss Arganzuela 1981

I found a bag of photo negatives when I was drunk one night in Madrid. And being drunk, I took them home with me. In the bag, alongside almost 70 pounds of negs, were a photographer’s work permit and a shoe with a built-up heel.

by Elena Grimaldi, Photos by an Unknown Enthusiast of
Mar 2 2010, 12:00am

I found a bag of photo negatives when I was drunk one night in Madrid. And being drunk, I took them home with me. In the bag, alongside almost 70 pounds of negs, were a photographer’s work permit and a shoe with a built-up heel, leading me to believe that the photographer was lame in one leg.

This Christmas I started scanning a group of negatives that were marked “Miss Arganzuela, 8 September, 1981.” That date was only six months after an attempted military coup that nearly brought down Spain’s nascent democracy. These photos show the reality of Spain in that period—everyday people, awkwardly embracing the wider world in their choice of fashion and haircuts.

Oh, and they also prove that the photographer was indeed lame. And probably nearsighted. Just kidding, just kidding. These photos are beautiful in a really weirdo way.