The magazine of the photo-essay
February 2020 issue
Badlands
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
For more than a decade, while not travelling around the world, Tomeu Coll has captured the unfathomable and almost unreal territories of his island: Mallorca (Balearic Islands) in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Badlands is not too far away. It’s located just a few meters away from where the turbines of airplanes, crowded with tourists that only search for sun and beaches, pass by skimming the surface. Although they land very close, most people won’t even see it. The stories from the Badlands float, like those of every suburb, apart from what seems important to the rest of the world. The Badlands will never be seen in official pictures, tourist guides or postcards from the island. It’s what the locals call a »lloc malsa«, drowned with darkness, fear, malaria and its own past. In addition, it’s also his home, the photographer’s house, the weirdest and most complicated place, one where it’s hard to survive and return. A place impossible to leave completely. Text by Celtia Traviesa
by Tomeu Coll
“Living in an island is a bit like turning your back to society, or even the whole world. The isolation makes us believe that all that happens away from our boundaries are things from other planets. More than a century ago, these lands were filled with stagnant waters, wild nature and malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Pirates wouldn’t dare to penetrate the marshlands, that even today would turn back into a swamp if it wasn’t for the asphalt that keeps them in line. Sometimes it looks like nobody remembers how this place started to be inhabited, or how ambition drowned the earth with sea salt. But it’s the people that live there who write the story. It’s their faces that illustrate the past with disdain. They could easily be part of a Carson McCullers novel just as they could pass completely unnoticed. In this island, in spite of an alleged normality, history has been written in blood and desperation. And even then, you can still find beauty in its destruction.” Tomeu Coll
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