Photo report by the web project "The valley of Àssua and el Batlliu, the landscape of a novel “

This photo report was created to match the contents of the web project "The valley of Àssua and el Batlliu, a novel landscape”. This initiative aims to boost tourism in the valley of Àssua and el Batlliu (the municipalities of Sort and Rialp - Pallars Sobirà) promoting cultural tourism linked to literature.

The project aims to discover a region that has been the inspiring setting of several works by well-known Catalan author Jaume Cabré (specifically by his last known novel, "The voices of Pamano"), Maria Barbal and other previous authors as Josep Lluis and Joan Virós.

My goal as a photographer has been capturing the image of a valley, a region that is relatively unknown to many visitors to the region. The valley of Àssua probably stopped being a part of the collective imaginary when the ski resort in Llessui closed more than fifteen years ago. Today the resort no longer exists and has almost disappeared from our memories; not as in the case of Aigüestortes and Lake Sant Maurici National Park (often associated with the image of Lake Sant Maurici and the peak, els Encantats).

The work of generating an image, finding and capturing it from different corners, picturing the personality of the place is not an easy task if there is no bond with the territory. However, the real handicap arose with the challenge of evoking the image and the mental landscape that writers and their literature had generated for the scenes.

So, the real landscape was very intimately tied to a literary landscape that each one of us of projected and imagined, a unique and very personal picture for every reader. Thus, taking photos of the valley of Àssua and el Batlliu could be, in away, a betrayal of all those imagined landscapes through reading.

My work has had this dual condition and my goal has been, on the one hand, to reveal the hidden parts of the valley in different seasons, highlighting the aspects that in my opinion make up its personality or become inevitable, as for example the villages. On the other hand, I wished to represent the literary landscapes, capturing, to a certain extent, the atmosphere from this part of the Pyrenees which has inspired writers.

The truth is that my experience as an inhabitant of the valley for nearly a year has also allowed me to enjoy many moments when I could not only perceive the subtle changes that nature operated daily over the valley, but confirm the dynamism of the landscape and its cycles.

I know very well be that everyone who lives here has an image of the valley and Àssua, so this report is merely the expression of my eyes. I believe it is also a valid attempt to make a place unknown to many visible; I hope that this fond view -the same one that the writers experienced- has been able to capture some of the beauty of this high mountain profile, presided by the Montsent, watered by the rivers Pamano, Berasti and Caregue and infused with an inherent poetry, worth bringing to light.

Pere Báscones



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Panografia de la vall d'Àssua amb photosynt: