“I’m Karl Celecia, I’m 23 years old and I’m in my 3rd year studying Fine-Arts in Leeds.”
What does it mean to be Gibraltarian for you?
There’s something special about Gibraltar, a feeling you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Sometimes I complain about here, but in the end, I just can’t get enough!
The best way I could describe what it feels like to be Gibraltarian would be: Family. Even if you are not related (which is nearly impossible when you have about 20 first and second cousins), if a fellow Llanito gets in trouble or is in need of help, we won’t hesitate to help one another, whatever the ethnic race, whatever the culture, we’ll always help each other out.
I think there are a few reasons why we are also like this, not just because we’re a small community, but I think mostly because of the rough times our ancestors have been through. Gibraltar’s borders were literally locked with a key and chain by the Spanish dictator Franco in 1969. Thousands of families were separated and left with little food and medicine, for 13 years the borders were closed, and during these years Gibraltarians grew as a family and became inseparable.
We also became very strong as people and I think this is something our ancestors have passed on to their loved ones, in one way or another it’s something we all carry within us. And of course, I can’t forget about the food – if you’re ever hungry I’ll invite you to my granny’s house, she typically makes food for the whole of her estate!
Why did you choose the Jungle as the location for this photoshoot?
The Jungle is part of the Gibraltarian fortress, some parts of it are from the WW1 but it was used more in the WW2, especially this part with all the little tunnels and the bunkers, it’s almost like a little town. To me, it’s something separated from Gib.
Here is the best place in Gibraltar, it’s where I’ve spent maybe all of my teenage years, just jumping around and doing a lot of different shit.
What is your relationship with sneakers in general?
I’ve always thought about shoes, and I looked up people and shoes they wear. I can almost tell the way they are or what they’re interested in, and I think shoes tell a lot about a person’s type and style.
Back in my teenage years here in the Jungle, apart from the AF1 (that everyone had, the white ones), everyone wore black shoes, and I loved black shoes too. At that time I had these black Nike Ninja Shoes, with velcro – very easy to put on. They were cheap and were great for climbing.
When and how did your relationship with sneakers start?
Gib only really has one shop that sells shoes, so the type of shoes here are very limited. When I went to the UK, I saw loads of shops and loads of different shoes as well – my reaction was “Wow”. Then, when I started coming back to Gib, I had these new shoes, and people were asking “Wow, what’re these? What are you wearing? That’s cool man”.
What’s your relationship with this Nike Air Max 97 Ultra?
I just saw it in a shop and I was like “Whaaat! These shoes are me. They’re expensive, but I have to get them”. So I went back and bought them, I had to have them, I had to own them! And I haven’t seen anyone wearing them yet. These shoes are so me, that everyone says that too.