The Age of No Retirement's online editor Stella went to visit her family in Valencia, where age difference doesn't matter the slightest, actually it feels like a positive enjoyed by all.

Words by Stella Malfilatre

I went to Spain to visit my aunt and uncle. My initial plan was to photograph Valencia's annual Catholic festival 'Las Fallas' and the 'La ofrenda de flores Valencia', which is a 'Welcoming of the Spring' parade that takes place over 4 days. Families, from baby to grandparent march together through Valencia. Read more about it here.

I had never been to Spain before, so I didn't really have any real idea on what I would find.  All I knew was that it's very different to where I am from (Denmark). I had a sense that being close to all of your family members across all ages, is something very cherished in countries like Spain. For a documentary photographer any other city than the one you are from is a visual/personal treat but I did really love Spain. I spent most of my time in Valencia, where letting go of yourself because you are getting older does not seem to be part of the DNA. The older you get, the more colour used on eye makeup or the fancier the suit gets. Its amazing. I did struggle a bit with sexism there, as it seemed like men have to be men and woman be woman, which felt very outdated. What does that even mean now'a days? However I loved that fact that you couldn't walk more than one meter without seeing a couple, a group of friends or family members without them oozing of care and love for each other. The love seemed to be flashed so much more than I am used to living here in London. Everyone was helping each other out and looking out for each other. Little kids playing football on the street with the elderly, the elderly telling tales on a bench to the younger. Lots of public hugging, dining and laughing. I had a feeling that life is being lived there, together, no matter what age and always together. 

Have a look at a few selected images from the trip below. I have also added a video from this years La Ofrenda so you can have an idea. I am afraid it's in Spanish, but still worth a watch.

If you would like to see the work I do, when I am not researching amazing stories for The Age of No Retirement have a look here www.stellamalfilatre.com

Playing in a band together. Image by Stella Malfilatre
Running a market stall together. Image by Stella Malfilatre
Sisters taking a break together. Image by Stella Malfilatre
Daughter and mother hanging out post Las Fallas parade. Image by Stella Malfilatre
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