Portraits of a Generation To-Be-Determined. Spain

Youth unemployment is one of the greatest sicknesses of our modern society. 55% of Spaniards ages 15-24 were unemployed in April 2014. This portrait series aims to paint a fuller picture of Spain’s so-called ‘lost generation'.

This ongoing story is part of a GroundTruth project called "Generation TBD" a year-long effort that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.

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Alberto neither studies nor works. He lives at his parent's apartment in Ferrol. Most of his friends have left the city, so he has found other ways to occupy his time – like playing late night online poker. Ferrol, Spain. See more: NiNi.


Alberto in Doniños, a beach near Ferrol where he often surfs. See more: NiNi.


Alberto in the kitchen of his family's place, eats something in a break from his poker rounds. Ferrol, Spain. See more: NiNi.


After failing to find a job related to Psychology, her career, Silvia joined the Navy in the lowest rank. Ferrol, Spain. See more: I have a job.


Silvia in the Fragata 103, the ship where she works. See more: I have a job.


Silvia at her apartment in Ferrol. See more: I have a job.


Roberto bikes in front of the Navantia shipbuilding compound, where fired workers have hung their uniforms in protest. Roberto works as a lumberjack because he couldn’t find a job related to his studies. Ferrol, Spain.


Roberto and his friend Brandán bike in front of the Navantia shipbuilding compound. Ferrol, Spain.


After his family’s ship building business went under, David struggled for years to find steady work. He recently decided to break from that cycle and open a farm. Galicia, Spain.


David taking care of his chicken in the farm. Galicia, Spain.


Aldara, a student from Colmenarejo, a village in Madrid province, joined the marches of dignity and came walking to Sol square in the capital, to protest against the cuts in education implemented by the government of Mariano Rajoy. Protesters travelled on foot from all corners of Spain as a symbol of their indignation. Madrid, Spain.


Manuel is studying construction engineer at La Coruña University, a capital city from Galicia region. When he finishes he wants to learn English and move abroad to find a job.


Manuel dives under a wave in Doniños beach. Galicia, Spain.


Bruno has two masters degrees but is still applying to the Navy because it would provide the most stable income. In the meantime, he has worked a myriad of part time jobs, including as a bartender. Ferrol, Spain.


Borja by his window at dusk. He struggled for years to find work and sees joining the navy as a last resort solution to his problems. But competition is steep, with more than 40,000 people applying for 1,500 spots. Ferrol, Spain.


Borja in the kitchen of his apartment. Ferrol, Spain.


Coke, unemployed. He smokes a cigarette before going to sleep in an occupied building of the Complutense University of Madrid after a day of protests in the capital. He walked more than one month from his city, Burgos, to Madrid to join the march of dignity against the cuts in education implemented by the government of Mariano Rajoy.


Manuel neither studies nor works. He finds seasonal work in the fields of the Aracena region. Feeling discouraged to do such tough work for little money, he prefers to do nothing instead. Galaroza, Spain.


Manuel (second from the right) with friends. Galaroza, Spain.


José Miguel (in red) studied a BA in music and 2 years after he is still unemployed. In the meantime he devotes his time to his passion: a religious broderhood in Aracena. In the photo he prepares for walking the image of Virgin Mary across the town during the national festivity of Holy week. Aracena, Spain.


A man walks to the church in preparation for the Holy Week procession in Aracena.