Joan Planas Joan Planas

Joan Planas is a filmmaker and photographer from Barcelona. He did the webseries documentary Lookingforstories.com, documenting stories from people and places around the world. One of the stories, Whang Od, has more than 10 millions views. Documentary that was exhibited in museums as the Field Museum of Chicago.

Collections created

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body - PHOTO
By Joan Planas
23 Jan 2013

Elaine,18, arrived alone to Guangzhou to study psychology and since then she has been struggling to gain her independence. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents, and she is paying for her studies by herself...by go-go dancing.

Elaine is a cheerful, sweet and smiling girl who is a bit shy - however, her ease with herself when she is dancing could take anyone’s breath away. Dancing is in her blood, whether she is practicing at university or on the stage of the C+Club, dancing sexy for the crowd. She considers that her bad family relationship is an issue prevalent in the new Chinese generations that have communication problems because they don’t express their thoughts clearly. In China, according to her, the young tend to feel alone and in most cases, they don´t have siblings, because the government allows one-child families.

Thumb unavailable
The Catalan Way
Barcelona
By Joan Planas
11 Sep 2013

The September 11 of 1714, Barcelona fell to the family of the Bourbons. Since then, many Catalans demanding independence for Catalonia, however the number has increased in recent years as a result of the Spanish crisis, corruption scandals and becouse the Catalan people think that the Spanish goverment is trying to impose the Spanish language as they did during the Spanish dictatorship, when they didn't allow to speak they own language. Each year on September 11 Catalans commemorate the fall of Barcelona, but in 2013 they also created a human chain of 480 kilometers crossing Catalonia to give to the world that the Catalans want independence. The president of Catalonia is trying to do a query to see if self-determination most Catalans want independence, but the government does not allow do it because this is not covered by the constitution.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
25 Jan 2013

Elaine with only 18 years old arrived alone to Guangzhou to study psychology and since then she has been struggling to gain her independence. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents - with the constant arguing, she developed deep depression when when she was still a teenager. The lessons she is learning in her studies are helping her to understand herself and overcoming some of her personal problems.

Elaine is also a go-go dancer, working to pay for her university. Elaine is a cheerful, sweet and smiling girl who is a bit shy, especially when she covers her mouth when laughing, however, her ease with herself when she is dancing could take anyone’s breath away. When she gets on the stage of the club where she works, she moves her flexible body in a glamorous way under the spotlights, but for her it is not dancing, but "moving." She has to do the same sexy dance for the audience in C+Club that she doesn’t like but she needs the money for continuing her studies.

Elaine began to dance when she was a child forced by her mother, who considers that a woman has to grow up with elegance and a sense of taste. For this reason she was signed up for ballet classes, a classical dance that entails a long history of sacrifice and hard work that Elaine wasn’t prepared to endure. Extending the legs and forcing the movements is not the way how Elaine understands dancing, she enjoys it when she expresses her emotions. Dancing is something that Elaine carries in her blood. Elaine has been a fighter since she was a child because her parents didn’t give her much attention and she had to manage to get ahead. Although she considers that her bad family relationship is an issue prevalent in the new Chinese generations that have communication problems because they don’t express their thoughts clearly. In China the young tend to feel alone and in most cases, they don´t have siblings, because the government allows one-child families. In the future Elaine would love to have a family and correct the lack of attention that her parents had towards her.

Thumb sm
“Tea is my religion”
Shanghai, China
By Joan Planas
25 Nov 2012

Ada is a tea believer, in the same way that many people travel to live experiences, think of the tea makes her travel in herself.

Thumb sm
Whang Od, the 92-year old Tattoo Artist
Kalinga
By Joan Planas
11 Oct 2013

Whang Od is 92 years old and she is the last Kalinga tattoo maker, an ancient tradition used as a skin natural language transmitted from generation to generation that is in danger of disappearing when she dies.

Thumb sm
Being a gay journalist in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
By Joan Planas
10 Jan 2013

Things are changing in Hong Kong since the city has become a part of China. Josh is a Hong Kong gay journalist who is afraid of what might happen in the future, for now he is a victim of censorship that affects his profession and his privacy. His desire is to scape from Hong Kong.

Media created

Frame 0004
Mind, Body, and Soul: When Tea is a R...
Shanghai
By Joan Planas
25 Nov 2012

It is difficult to talk about China without mentioning its national drink: tea. This beverage was born in this country and has become some sort of identity hallmark. Chinese people drink tea at any time; taxi drivers carry big thermos bottles with tea, and even in the trains you can find a faucet with hot tap water so people can make their tea. Ada’s passion for tea goes a bit beyond that, for her tea is her way of living. “Tea is my religion”

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

The countryside around the village of Whang Od (December 2012). The Kalinga valleys and irrigated rice plantations are spectacular.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Burial in Kalinga of a tuberculosis patient in a village near Buscalan. (December, 2012). For three days the body stays at home because they feel that, in their culture, the person is still alive, and thus the villagers or other neighboring villages have the opportunity to say their last words to the deceased. Some visitors come to the village after killing an animal to give as a gift to the family. The burial is a party, drinking gin and the women prepare food, and it’s rude not to try a bite. After the funeral, as Christians who are buried, the body is put in the hole that the villagers have dug using a wooden paddle.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Daily Life of Buscalan (December, 2012). Buscalan is a hidden village in a mountain of the Luzon island and the only way to arrive to this town of the Kalinga province is walking an hour through treacherous tracks.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Daily Life of Buscalan (December, 2012). Buscalan is a hidden village in a mountain of the Luzon island and the only way to arrive to this town of the Kalinga province is walking an hour through treacherous tracks.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Whang Od is feeding her pigs (December, 2012). With the money she earns doing tattoos Whang Od can buy more pigs and chickens.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Burial in Kalinga of a tuberculosis patient in a village near Buscalan. (December, 2013). For three days the body stays at home because they feel that, in their culture, the person is still alive, and thus the villagers or other neighboring villages have the opportunity to say their last words to the deceased. Some visitors come to the village after killing an animal to give as a gift to the family. The burial is a party, drinking gin and the women prepare food, and it’s rude not to try a bite. After the funeral, as Christians who are buried, the body is put in the hole that the villagers have dug using a wooden paddle.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Daily Life of Buscalan (December, 2012). Buscalan is a hidden village in a mountain of the Luzon island and the only way to arrive to this town of the Kalinga province is walking an hour through treacherous tracks.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
28 Feb 2014

Burial in Kalinga of a tuberculosis patient in a village near Buscalan. (December, 2012). For three days the body stays at home because they feel that, in their culture, the person is still alive, and thus the villagers or other neighboring villages have the opportunity to say their last words to the deceased. Some visitors come to the village after killing an animal to give as a gift to the family. The burial is a party, drinking gin and the women prepare food, and it’s rude not to try a bite. After the funeral, as Christians who are buried, the body is put in the hole that the villagers have dug using a wooden paddle.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Burial in Kalinga of a tuberculosis patient in a village near Buscalan. (December, 2012). For three days the body stays at home because they feel that, in their culture, the person is still alive, and thus the villagers or other neighboring villages have the opportunity to say their last words to the deceased. Some visitors come to the village after killing an animal to give as a gift to the family. The burial is a party, drinking gin and the women prepare food, and it’s rude not to try a bite. After the funeral, as Christians who are buried, the body is put in the hole that the villagers have dug using a wooden paddle.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Burial in Kalinga of a tuberculosis patient in a village near Buscalan. (December, 2012). For three days the body stays at home because they feel that, in their culture, the person is still alive, and thus the villagers or other neighboring villages have the opportunity to say their last words to the deceased. Some visitors come to the village after killing an animal to give as a gift to the family. The burial is a party, drinking gin and the women prepare food, and it’s rude not to try a bite. After the funeral, as Christians who are buried, the body is put in the hole that the villagers have dug using a wooden paddle.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Whang Od, age 92, rests at home after making a tattoo (December 2012). Her fingers are stained by mixing charcoal, water and sweet potato used for tattooing.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

Daily Life of Buscalan (December, 2012). Buscalan is a hidden village in a mountain of the Luzon island and the only way to arrive to this town of the Kalinga province is walking an hour through treacherous tracks.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Tourists are resting in Whang Od's house (December 2012). The tourists who pass by Buscalan are offered lodging and food at Whang Od’s modest two-story house.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
05 Dec 2012

Daily Life of Buscalan (December, 2012). Buscalan is a hidden village in a mountain of the Luzon island and the only way to arrive to this town of the Kalinga province is walking an hour through treacherous tracks.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

The countryside around the village of Whang Od (December 2012). The Kalinga valleys and irrigated rice plantations are spectacular.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
Whang Od
Kalinga, Philippines
By Joan Planas
04 Dec 2012

In Jeepney in route to Whang Od's vilage (December, 2012). To get there you have to go by Jeepney, the typical transport of the Philippines.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 8
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine is putting on makeup, she dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 10
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine's dance partner is in the changing room

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 11
By Joan Planas
25 Jan 2013

Elaine dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 7
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine in the changing room at the night club where she works.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 9
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine is putting on makeup, she dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 6
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 5
By Joan Planas
21 Jan 2013

Elaine dances in a night club, but during the day she works as a ballet instructor and choreographer of photo sessions with models.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 4
By Joan Planas
24 Jan 2013

Elaine is putting on makeup, she dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 1
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine in her room, that she shares at the university where she studies psychology.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 12
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine is dancing, rehearsing her dance moves in the yard at her university.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 13
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine is putting on makeup, she dances as a go-go girl in a nightclub to pay for her school.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 14
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine dances in a night club, but during the day she works as a ballet instructor and choreographer of photo sessions with models.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 15
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine rehearses her dance moves in the yard at her university.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 16
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine shares a room at the university where she studies psychology.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 17
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine rehearses her dance moves in the gym at her university.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 18
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine in the changing room at the night club where she works.

Thumb sm
I Want to Scream with My Body 19
Guangzhou, China
By Joan Planas
28 Jan 2013

Elaine during one of the photo shoots where she instructs and choreographs models.