Planas Archive iterations
Coastal memory, 2021
// TOURISM AND IDENTITY, CAN BALAGUER // 2021
Urban intervention, web & social project.
The idea of this mediation project is to contact residents of Arenal who can give a portrait and a vision of what their territory is in the first person. Arenal is a neighbourhood in Mallorca which has been converted in a turistified area with all the consequences this has had for the local residents and environment due to the conversion uf rural landsapes into them parks.
The intention is to construct the story of the territory through their experiences and memories and thus document their identity. This way these oral narratives are not forgotten preventing their disappearance. We are interested in documenting the voices of different generations, to share ideas of the territory from our closest past to the present for the construction of a possible future.
The starting point are 30 postcard images of the area belonging to the Planas Archive, which show the evolution of neighbourhoods that have undergone continuous transformations over the last 50 years, since the birth of mass tourism. We start from the idea that history and archives are constructions that we make from the present and that, therefore, they are ways of looking at the past, to organise it and give it meaning. Archives open to interpretation function as traces and operate as devices that reactivate and reveal the histories and knowledge. The interpretations made by the inhabitants that have traditionally been silenced, hidden, denied and forgotten see the light through interviews.
In this activation project, which works with the concept of the documentary record, the idea is to show the archive images to the inhabitants or people who work and live in these areas to reveal their stories and memories.
Everyday life, intimate spaces and personal narratives that refer to the private are often left on the sidelines. But by considering everything personal as political, the connections between personal experiences and the larger social, historical and political structures are brought to the table, recognising that what is considered personal or an isolated event is in fact social and structural.
The interviews have been documented and uploaded on a website: www.memorialitoral.es. During the summer of 2021, the images from the archive were installed in bus stops with a QR code so tourists and neighbours could access the content.
From the prism that photographs act as detonators of memories and imaginaries, we explored the Planas Archive by selecting images that have some connection with the neighbourhoods and villages of Arenal. Once they were chosen, we wanted to question them from a territorial and social perspective to use them as a guiding thread for the meetings and interviews we conducted with people who are not used to being listened to, or represented.
We started from the concept of transmission, through our informants, understood as the way in which communities have traditionally shared their memories and knowledge. We wanted to develop a transdisciplinary project that questions hegemonic narratives through non-institutionalised transmission and its diversity of forms and resistances, thanks to which all kinds of knowledge have reached us.
The project "Coastal Memory" was part of a parallel activity of the exhibition "Tourism and Identity" inaugurated at Can Balaguer on 2 June, 2021.
In this proposal, archival exploration, community work from a transgenerational perspective, integration and artistic creation converge simultaneously from the visual and sound recording published on a website.
In addition, a community activity was carried out with the neighbours:
- An open-air screening of the documentary "Postcards & Souvenirs" on the figure of Josep Planas Muntanyà.
- A guided and dramatized walk through the history of the Balearic tourism located in this iconic enclave.