The desert represents decay and death. There is a scarcity of water and shade, extreme temperatures, and a lack of resources for humans to survive on. 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 a background, “Happy Nothing” 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 society live. In these towns there is no running water, the houses are in ruins, the streets unpaved, no street lighting, there are no supermarkets or entertainment infrastructures, but despite living in these conditions, they call it the Paradise.
Consumerism, competitiveness and success are symbols of happiness in the First World, but is it real happiness? Are we happier the more material goods we have? Or perhaps happiness is measured by the amount of time we have to appreciate the world around us?
Yurian Quintanas Nobel was born in Amsterdam in 1983. He is currently living in Catalunya Yurian. His personal photographic projects focus on documenting people and their environment. After studying a specialization course in photojournalism at IDEP (Barcelona), he had the opportunity to assist recognized photographers from National Geographic including Tino Soriano and Annie Griffiths Belt.
In the last years Yurian has won awards and fellowships including: the 1st prize of the Vanguardia Magazine, (2007), the scholarship of the “XIII International Meetings Gijon photojournalism” (2009), and an honorable mention in the “Travel Photographer of the Year” (2011).