Somewhere, in this world, people built castles… out of themselves. In Tarragona, Spain, at the Concurs de Castells, twice a year, human bodies become bricks. Last year, 32 teams from all over the region participated, attracting a live audience of over 20,000 people.
During the tower building events, teams known as collas form tightly bunched crowds consisting of hundreds of people in order to support the towers. The taller and more difficult a tower is, the more points the team scores. Each tower is typically between six and ten levels high, and each team consists of about 100-500 men, women, and children (the children climb to the top while the adults — especially the heavier ones — form the supports).
For those of us unable to make their way to the biennial festival in Tarragona, we have the watchful lens of Spanish photographer David Oliete to thank for the images below. Shooting the festival from a breathtaking aerial position last year, he snapped pictures of the towers as the 2012 competitors piled on top of each other in chaotic yet impressively organized ways.
Oliete’s position, along with the colorfully adorned participants make for a unique perspective of the event. The photographs showcase some of the astonishing features of human determination that goes into building. Last but not least, this is an inspiring event!