For some people the desert represents decay and death. There is scarcity of water and shade, extremely temperatures and a lack of resources for humans to survive. But at the same time there is a long tradition of the desert as a place of healing, both physically and spiritually.
With the Californian desert as background, “Happy Nothing” is a personal journey that delves into the lives of its inhabitants and its secrets. Here is where ex-convicts, war veterans, retirees and people that for some reason have decided to stay outside of the society live. In these towns there is no running water, the houses are in ruins, the streets unpaved, without street lighting, there are no supermarkets or entertainment infrastructures. But despite living in this conditions, they call it the Paradise.
I started this project attracted by the idea of a community that lives a quiet life in the middle of nowhere, far from the big cities and crowds. But while working on the project, I had the feeling of being in a places full of hidden secrets. People told me stories about crimes and warned me about some dangerous areas. Nothing strange ever happened to me, but I used these knowledges to work on the aesthetic of the images. The ending result is reflected in this series that take some distance from classic documentary photography to refer to a kind of modern western.