The Symbol 7/17/2012: In search of The Symbol

 Posted by at 8:07 am on July 17, 2012
Jul 172012

Nate photographs a store in es Pujols that is actually called "The Simbol."

When our last day in Formentera arrived, we still had one important task ahead of us: we needed to capture the sargantanas not as living organisms in nature, but as the omnipresent cultural icon of the island. So we each packed a camera and we set off on bicycles to visit each of the major towns on the island.

Starting from Es Calo, where we were based for our last week in Formentera, we biked to the island’s capital, San Francisco, followed by La Savina, Es Pujols and finally San Ferran. In total, we biked about 27km and took over 700 photos of lizards as motifs on towels, shirts, jewelry and much, much more.

Before our project on the Ibiza Wall Lizard even started, I tried to convince Neil that the lizards showed up as a popular motif everywhere on the islands, and that because of the lizards’ status as the symbol of these islands, our book would have a market in Ibiza and Formentera. I’m what you might call a pathological exaggerator. As a result, Neil was a little skeptical about how prevalent the lizards would actually be as a popular icon. Our bike trip surprised us both. It was unbelievable how much lizard paraphernalia we found. We found t-shirts, sandals, belt buckles, earrings, key chains, shot glasses, and every other object imaginable, all adorned with images of lizards or made in the shape of lizards.

Despite the abundance of lizard-themed items, we didn’t find a single item with actual information about the lizards. With our expedition coming to an end, we look forward to adding our book to the list of lizard-themed items that people can buy on these islands – and hope the book will fill a conspicuous gap in the islands’ lizard offerings!

Six of the hundreds of lizard-themed items that we photographed last Friday.

Neil and Amanda on the road to photograph the symbol of these islands.

A giant lizard sculpture created by a local artist eats Amanda's head.

  One Response to “The Symbol 7/17/2012: In search of The Symbol”

  1. Very fun! I’m interested in the cultural angle in Formentera — how do people think about them? how long as the lizard been used as an icon?

    Congratulations on completing your Formentera journey,


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