Sebastian Liste – The Refuge


Sebastian Liste

The Refuge


When I was seventeen I fell in love with Laura.

Then I met her family and the way they lived fascinated me. Twenty years ago, Laura’s parents, Anne and Ben, came to a small village in the Spanish countryside. There they began to build a house from the ruins of an abandoned stable, deep in a valley, just below a threatening ridge called “The Crag.” They built their home stone by stone, expanding it as the family grew, using rocks that fell from the mountain to construct not only the house but a corral for animals and ponds to irrigate their land. They live in perfect harmony with their environment, respecting their place in nature and altering the landscape as little as possible.



Here, I made my first photographic experiments and this place has always been where I returned after every trip documenting different social and political issues around the world.

Here I always found my family, my love and my refuge.


With this project I wanted to take an introspective turn into my work, documenting my immediate environment, exploring the strong relationships between love, family, and land. My objective was to make a poetic and visual map of my surroundings, recognizing fragments of memory not yet written while collecting the moments I hold close, those that make us reflect on our own lives.

Last year Laura and I became parents and we are currently building our own house for our growing family. Now, I want to develop the second chapter of this ongoing project in our own place hidden in the wild nature. I hope that with the support of this grant I will able to finish this intimate journey in form of a book, where hidden little dreams and tragedies are waiting to inspire anybody looking for their own refuge.



Short Bio


Sebastián Liste (Spain, 1985) is a documentary photographer and sociologist devoted to document the profound cultural changes and contemporary issues in Latin America and the Mediterranean area. In 2010, while getting his Masters degree in Documentary Photography in Barcelona, he won the Ian Parry Scholarship for his project “Urban Quilombo” and was named young editorial photographer of the year at the Lucie Awards. In 2011 Sebastián was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2012 was announced as the Young Reporter of the Year at Visa pour l’Image festival. He was the recipient of the Magnum EF Grant, the Getty Editorial Grant and the Alexia Foundation Grant. He also received the Fotopres Grant in Spain to develop a project in Venezuela, and a World Press Photo prize in 2016 for his story “Citizen Journalism in Brazil’s Favelas.” He is a frequent lecturer at universities and he is currently based between Spain and Brazil. Sebastian Liste is a member of NOOR Images


Related Links



The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

12 Responses to “Sebastian Liste – The Refuge”

  • Congratulations, Sebastian Liste!

    Your pictures are very well done and evocative of an idyllic lifestyle. However, I would not want to live or long be in a place where bugs like the one in frame 8 can just go and crawl across the bed anytime they want.

    I wish you the best raising your family in this place, keep shooting and I hope to see a book or two or three from you in the future.

  • Nice essay but I find just nice isn’t quite enough, especially coming from Sebastian Liste. Maybe as he mentions this was where he bagan his first experiments in photography and we are looking at a younger newbie Liste. As I see it the strongest images are the portraits of the young girl, they are drenched in love. I keep going back to these portraits whilst I rush past the landscapes which are simply just pretty.

  • I like everything about this. Strong sense of love and place. Beautiful.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Hello BURNIANS!!!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to ALL!!!

    BURN is the place to be, when you feel like a refuge (thanks SEBASTIAN).

    Keep the spirit up. I Love You ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Merry late Christmas and Happy New Year, Civi.

    I miss all the regular voices that used to liven this site daily – and I especially miss yours. Good to “hear” your voice again…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Love,love,love MY FROSTY,

    I miss you, I miss All my BURNIANS, oime…but BURN is rolling, there is evolution…my dream came true…all the photophilosophers are “emerging”…This is a non stop interaction…

    My next vision:

    I am looking forward for a Universal meeting of ALL of our BURNING people.
    We can do it, all together. I will work hard to have my vision become a reality…yes, thank you FROSTY , thank you BURN and I am looking forward to hug all of you…

    P.S our apologies SEBASTIAN…I love to hijack..ole!!!!

  • Civi – this would be great. An enormous challenge, given the great distances that separate us, but great!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy New year!!!

    2018 …a year with no bottons…

    Happy birthday Lyla Maryanna H , baby BURN !!!

    Love to ALL!!!

  • So when I click to see the photos, all I see is a blue rectangle. Now, mind you, I am as fond of blue rectangles as the next guy; some of my best friends are blue rectangles, after all; but a succession of one blue rectangle after another is interesting only to geometricians boring their students to death as they drone on and on about the significance of the golden ratio in the preparation of pepperoni pizzas, so I will skip over this and wish a Happy New Year to all and sundry.

  • Okay, the plague of the blue rectangles has lifted and I can see what is going on here. I agree with Paul: the landscapes are nice, but the portraits of Laura are very nice indeed. He loves Laura, which I figured out for myself before I read the artist’s statement/bio/whatever the hell it’s called, and it shows in the photographs. So, short suggestion for Sebastian: drop the landscapes-pictures of dirt are pictures of dirt pretty much everywhere you go, unless you are in Bora Bora or Antarctica-and do an essay about Laura. And many congratulations, Sebastian, on the new family!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    And I love the chickens…!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I love the chickens…!!!

Comments are currently closed.