Alan in the hills of Almeria in 2016

Alan Gandy is a British photographer, artist and former lecturer based in Almeria, Spain. Since completing a degree in fine art photography (more years ago than he cares to remember) Alan has his work both published and exhibited around Europe. He is living in Spain since 2006, initially on the island of Lanzarote he moved to Almería in 2012. Alan’s way of ‘living life’ inspires individuals to think about how passion and action makes anything possible. In addition to being a photographer and the co-owner and writer at Spain Buddy along with his wife Elle. He also helps people transform their ideas into effective websites, through their firm Gandy-Draper.

Allan has a strong reputation for getting things done, and achieving the impossible, but draws the line at rescuing cats from trees. He is never scared to voice his views, and has no fear of corporate bullies. He campaigns for the little man, makes things right, fights crime in a black cape and tight yellow pants, and generally enjoys being an all round super hero.

Alan preparing to walk the Canary Islands 2012 (photo credit – Paul Boden)

In 2011 he walked the length of Lanzarote for charity and in 2012 went a few steps further and walked the entire length of the seven islands (just over 400km) that make up the Canary Islands archipelago raising a substantial amount of money for his two chosen charities. Having such a platform Alan likes to use it for good when opportunities present themselves, in addition to the sponsored walks in 2016 he dropped everything to collect a specially adapted car from the UK to Spain after seeing a plea for help on Facebook for a very poorly young lady on the Costa Blanca. He and Elle raised the money through Spain Buddy for the trip, and some extra which was donated to her ongoing well being.

A fascination with photographic history and documentary photography, as well as a formal education in the subject inevitably result in an interest in journalism and social issues. Alan says “One day I stumbled on Nick Ut’s ‘Napalm Girl’ from then on I was hooked. I knew then a photograph can change the world: I knew that because that photograph changed me. I felt I’d had my eyes opened to its real power. I never leave the house without a camera just in case I stumble on that one image I’ve always been hunting ever since seeing that photograph. Just in case one day I get that chance to change the world, or maybe the world of someone else in the way that image changed me”.

Alan hopes that once the current crisis has been abated that those issues that appear to have been forgotten for now are resurrected with a renewed vigor. For instance the reduction in pollution around the globe has been clear evidence that climate change can be controlled in spite those that deny it’s even happening, and the anti-vaccine campaigners have been proven wrong to name but two issues, there are many more. Greedy capitalists are begging for handouts whilst low paid workers keep countries functioning safely. It’s time to re-think everything. It’s time to look for ways to create a better and fairer system than global capitalism.

Alan and his son Sam setting off to bring a specially adapted car to Spain from the UK – 2016

Currently we are living with almost undoubtedly the world’s biggest crisis since the second world war, it’s important we learn from this, and it’s crucial that those of us who have a voice and a platform use them for good. These times both bring out the best and the worst in people and governments. We have to hold the worst to account both individuals and governments, and we have to hope that ordinary citizens will come out of this with a more positive view of humanity as a whole.

On being asked ‘What would he like to communicate to youth’? he adds,
“Learn from the current Corona-virus crisis, you can see the mess previous generations have made. They’ve been pretending everything is fine, it isn’t, it wasn’t”. The likes of Greta Thumberg and Malala Yousafzai coming to to the fore in recent years gives him hope change can come. The fight against climate change, racism, right wing politics, poverty, inequality, bigotry and ignorance has only just begun. It can be won only if today’s young people learn from the mistakes of the past.