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Magaluf Ghost Town

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by Miguel Ángel Blanca

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Strange things happen in the Balearic coast: smell of pee and blood, police cars and ambulances going through the streets without anyone paying attention to it. Shouts in the middle of the night that can be understood as both happiness or suffering. Every year, one million tourists, majority of them brits, crowd the streets of Magaluf during the summer. In an almost ghostlike fashion they invade the public space and transform it to a thematic park where everything is allowed. The small and calm town with a population of 4.500 inhabitants, turns into the Balearic Twin Peaks where residents live in an absurd daily tensionfield between doomful ambience and genuine holiday pleasure. Magaluf turns into a very concrete manifestation of the european low-cost tourist paradigm and life. A tourist paradigm based on nightlife-business and wild, excessive entertainment. The locals try to coexist in the middle of the contradictory tensionfield of this tourist model. A model that feels like an invasion but on the other hand produces millions of euros and jobs in the tourist sector (and therefore enables the locals to live an economically better life.

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