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Who is Enric Adrian Gener and what is 27MM?
Personally I don’t consider myself an underwater photographer. It’s more that I am passionate about the sea, and I take pictures. I’m interested in the sea above all. Its climate, its power, its immensity, its flora and fauna... Even the cultures that surround it, the relationships that people have with the sea. Photography is just the tool I use to capture and convey the relationship I have with the sea and the feelings I experience when I’m underwater.
27MM is a project born of all this and one that has taken shape gradually, almost without my noticing. It has come about freely and without any pretence. First came the personal need to put one way of life to the side so I could begin another that would allow me to live near the sea, have more free time and freedom of movement. From this decision 27MM emerged, as the photographic result of the world around me.
How did you get into photography? And underwater diving?
I began diving long before I started taking pictures. I was born in Menorca, a small island surrounded by the Mediterranean. This meant that, without even thinking about it, the sea has always been a very natural and close thing, it feels like part of my personality. Since my parents had a small boat, my experience of the sea was always far from the coast. I don’t have many memories of building sandcastles, but a lot of swimming around with a mask, anywhere off the coast, with several metres of water beneath me. For me, putting my head down under the water and seeing the immensity and beauty of that whole world was something very compelling, something halfway between fear and hypnosis. Photography came much later. I became interested in it through a subject at university. I was interested in the language, the speed, the dynamism and simplicity. Telling stories in a small space in time. Some years later, in a purely natural way, those two worlds that were each a part of me came together, even though I had never connected them. The sea and photography.
You can’t photograph success but you can achieve it through images. What’s the secret?
Well, success is a very relative thing. For me being able to lead this kind of life is already a success and something that fulfils me. Because I have a job that very nicely complements 27MM. But the photographic project in itself is not an economically sustainable thing and may never be. I’m not too worried about that. I would prefer that it not be sustainable and remain my space where I have total freedom.
What have you learned from your experience with 27MM and underwater photography?
The most important lesson has been about consistency. Seeing very clearly the evolution from the first pictures to the latest. And ultimately there is only one secret: spend hours and hours in the water. Grandmothers don’t cook well because they do it with love, they cook well because they’ve made the same recipes a million times. Love doesn’t make you better at it, but it does mean you never get tired of doing it. Like when we were kids and we played for hours and hours to the point of collapse. Ideally you are trying to get to that point, where you’re having such a good time doing something that the difficulty and the fatigue just fade into the background. Because if you don’t get the feeling that you're having fun, it is going to be very tiring.
Any advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs who are trying to innovate and launch new projects at a time like this?
Really, it’s a great time to start new projects and to do things. Obviously Spain is one of the worst countries in the world to do it, but the time is now. It's never been easier to share your work, to get it out to almost anywhere in the world and communicate with almost anyone. Access to the tools for creation has been democratized, at least here, where we happen to live. I have learned that you have to start with something you're passionate about, but start. I believe a lot in intuition and experience. That’s a sure way to get to another place, and then another and another. And you may end up involved in something that at first you didn’t even know existed. But you got there doing what you loved. And if you never get anywhere, it doesn’t matter, the journey will have been worthwhile. Because if you only focus on the goal, the road will be very long. And if you don’t get there, very frustrating. For me, the best example of an entrepreneur, in every sense, is Lucio Urtubia.
And to wrap it up, what does People For The Future mean to you?
For me it is people who follow their personal dream, and whether they succeed or not ends up being the least of it. People who are committed to themselves and their surroundings, in terms of both society and nature. If we are to have any future as a society on this planet we have no choice but to adopt a new philosophy of life. It is clear that the current model is not sustainable. People For The Future brings together examples of people who are making this change in attitude or at least trying to, which is no small thing.
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"I’m interested in the sea above all. Its climate, its power, its immensity, its flora and fauna..."