Paradise Naked

‘PARADISE NAKED’ documents a small community of naturists who have taken it upon themselves to manifest their vision of paradise in a small valley in Spain’s northern region of Catalonia. Disenchanted by the hollowness of modern day city living, and disgusted by industrialization’s destruction of the environment, founder Emili Vives decided he needed to lead a different kind of life. He bought the abandoned village of El Fonoll in 1998 and set about transforming its 500 acres into a naturist community and resort. Vives created a community based on liberation; liberation from existing societal norms and dogmas. The community practices a life that is revolves around nature. Residents live sustainably by eating what they can harvest from the land and maintain the village with the help of volunteers who stay for extended periods.

AuthorDaniel ColeYear2019LocationEl Fonoll, CataloniaStatusWork in progress

A carving depicting a naked body lays at the entrance to the naturist village of El Fonoll. Weather permitting, full nakedness is the village norm as community members try to live a life in spiritual harmony with nature. El Fonoll, May 2019.

"One day the mayor from the next village over came to see me about changing the nudist character of El Fonoll. He was the kind of person who looked more at your waist than your eyes while you spoke. It's just a different mentality". Emili Vives sits in the living room of his home in El Fonoll. Fulfilling his vision has not been easy and he has fought many legal and idealogical battles against people who don't understand or approve of naturism. El Fonoll, May 2019.

The valley at sunset. El Fonoll, May 2019.

El Fonoll is located in a reception deadspot, leaving its residents without without cellphone reception. El Fonoll, May 2019.

Community members tend to a vegetarian paella. El Fonoll's Sunday paellas are a village institution, made especially with produce harvested from the village farm. The dish feeds the whole village with left overs to spare. El Fonoll, May 2019.

Recycling bins are over filled as the village fails to recieve logistical support from the municipality. El Fonoll is considered to be in violation of municipal laws for expanding its building activities without permits. When Emilil Vives originally requested the permits that would allow El Fonoll to operate as a naturist resort, the municipality responded that he should resubmit the documents withtout mentioning naturism. "this village is a project that the municipality doesn't like and as a naturist, that offends me". El Fonoll, May 2019.

El Fonoll during a rainy summer night. El Fonoll, May 2019.

El Fonoll's founder Emili Vives (right) and Ivan, a village volunteer work constriction on a new villa. Having spent all the money he had to spend on El Fonoll, Emili now relies on a small group of volunteers that he houses in the village to continue expanding. El Fonoll, May 2019.

Village horse. El Fonoll, May 2019.

Josep Navarro or "Israel" as he likes to be called during his visits to El Fonoll, lies in the village sauna during one of the first hot days of the summer. The village depends upon the visits of naturist visitors like Israel to maintain its maintence and expansion costs. El Fonoll, May 2019.