EL LIBRO DE ARENA (2015-2020)

"El libro de arena" cuenta la historia de la gran duna móvil de Valdevaqueros como metáfora del absurdo empeño humano en dominar la naturaleza, manteniéndose separado de ella. Presenta un enfoque poliédrico que indaga en la historia social, ambiental y política que llevaron a la formación de la duna, relacionando la misma con cuestiones filosóficas. Es una historia local que ocurre en Punta Paloma (Tarifa, Cádiz) - paradisíaco enclave en el Estrecho de Gibraltar, a tan solo 14km de África - donde la duna se origina como resultado de la intervención de los militares en 1939 a finales de la guerra civil española. Esta operación cambió radicalmente la fisionomía de la zona, generando a la larga unas consecuencias ambientales y sociales, que todavía quedan por resolver.

THE BOOK OF SAND (2015-2020)

“The Book of Sand” tells the story of the huge mobile Dune of Valdevaqueros as a metaphor of the absurd will of humanity to dominate nature, while remaining separate from her. It presents a multifaceted approach which delves into the social, environmental and political facts that led to the formation of the dune, relating it to philosophical questions. It’s a local history that takes place in Punta Paloma (Tarifa, Spain) – an idyllic enclave in the Strait of Gibraltar, just 14 km away from Africa – where the dune originated as a result of the military intervention which took place in 1939, at the end of the Spanish Civil War. This operation radically changed the physiognomy  of the area and generated long-term environmental and social consequences that remain to be resolved. The dune has been witness of stories of the military, frontiers, wars, deaths, climate change, immigration, oblivion, environmental degradation, which are all interconnected.


The Book of Sand tells the story of the Dune of Valdevaqueros. The intention of this work is to show - through the story of the dune - the absurdity of the human insistence on attempting to control nature.

The setting for this account is the Cape of Punta Paloma (Tarifa, Cádiz), a paradisiacal enclave on the Spanish coast of the Strait of Gibraltar, just fourteen kilometres from Africa. Tourists from all over the world travel to enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the great mobile dune of Valdevaqueros.  Yet dune was not always there. In 1939, as soon as the Spanish Civil war was over and at the brink of the second world war, Franco´s regime ordered the urgent building of a powerful defensive system in the Strait of Gibraltar, due to an unfounded fear of an invasion by the British and the French. With great precipitation and under the advise of German technicians some three hundred and twenty-four bunkers and coastal batteries were built over ninety kilometres of coastline.

Before this intervention, Punta Paloma was a huge dune system made up of small dunes measuring two and three meters which had been stable since last glaciation, at least six thousand years ago. Because of the strategic geolocation of this cape, the military built two bases and installed three coastal cannons. The flow of sand obstructed the movement of heavy machinery and to stop it, a sophisticated project was designed in order to fix the dune and revegetate the zone, with arenicolous plants and pinion pine trees.

The dune has not stopped growing to this day and it is currently out of control. It has been proven that the intervention of the military in 1939, radically changed the physiognomy and the climate of the area generating long-term environmental and social consequences that remain to be resolved.

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