Many years back, my partner and I were travelling through the Alicante area of Spain, in search of a second hand van. The van search proved ultimately successful only after we had arrived in Gandia and purchased a dodgy 14year old Nissan Vanette. A classic vehicle full of character if not mechanical reliability.
It was due to the vehicle search that we stopped off at a town called Villajoyosa, a small and colourful coastal town that would be celebrating the Moors and Christians fiesta the following morning. So we stayed, and at dawn the following day, we strolled down to the beach to watch the boatloads of costumed characters fight their way ashore and begin the day long battles to take the town. It was an eventful day, one in which I was left with a tremendous urge to join in, but only on the condition that I could wear one of the glorious uniforms and bear one of the exotic sabres displayed by the Moors.
So I was pleased to stumble upon, almost 15 years later and explanation as to why that might be.
Watch the extraordinary film above by Paul Louis Archer who manages to convey through photography and sound, something of the essence of this Mediterranean celebration celebrated in many towns along the levantine coast.