A new series by Berlin-based photographer Michał Narożny (previously featured here). And the first part of an ongoing project entitled Islands, which will focus on the four main Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) located near the east coast of Spain in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. The images in “Mallorca” are also paired with a narrative of an anonymous tourist’s fleeting romance with a woman named Yolanda and a dedication which reads: “In memory of all the beautiful, unforgettable moments.”
See more from “Mallorca” as well as the full textual accompaniment for the series below.
Yolanda didn’t like beaches crowded with tourists, sweet alcohols, and despite appearances was very modest. Her looks rendered her susceptible to the intrusive gaze of gringos, she would smile rather than show annoyance with every undesired attention. The sun was her mood’s determinant. Whenever clouds covered the sky, she wanted to be near, to hug, she needed warm words and support. The sight of Yolanda dancing, singing, barefoot and completely carefree filled one with happiness, and it happened each time the sky warmed to her favourite colour, the colour of her nail varnish – red. Nights were always too short for her, she would fall asleep smiling, falling silent mid-sentence. She loved to wake up with sand in her hair and between her toes, she loved sunrises and sunsets. Then she wouldn’t say anything, she wouldn’t smile, she was calm and very focused. She would stretch her arms in front of her as if she wanted to touch the fiery ball emerging above the horizon of the sea, land, or mountains.
At these moments she would always say that this is the last time, that it isn’t love, she’s just infatuated, she cannot flirt with a sensation, that it is crazy to share one’s infatuation amidst all these tourists who voraciously absorb her light, the light of the golden hour. She would scream that it hurts, that she doesn’t feel loved enough. Stars seemed to relieve her wounded heart, which clearly yearned for something. This is why Yolanda never ceased to court the sun, to be quick in forgiving its escapes, returns and affairs.
Her sensitivity to the world around her was pure madness. She shared all she had. The only thing she always held close was a crumpled pack of cigarettes. Be it a missed bus, or a warm coca cola, she always reacted with laughter, contagious and time-stopping. Everything seemed easy in her presence, possible and simply good.
I met Yolanda at a beach bar in Cala Sa Nau, Mallorca. We stood next to each other queuing for another drink. My indecisiveness in making an order must have forced her to act. “Double Tunnel with ice for my friend here” – I heard. I thanked her for her help and we started to talk. She told me a lot about the island, about her favourite spots. After another round of a herbal-aniseed liqueur we already reach the stage of planning our trip around Mallorca. From what happened next I only remember singing together, dancing, and exclaiming toasts to our holiday freedom. With sand in our lips, after the night spent on the beach, we managed to gather our things and start together on a road ahead.
Many years have passed since I met Yolanda. Every year I come back to the same places, hoping to see her again. Everything is beautiful like back then, the landscapes, the sunrises and sunsets. I live in hope of seeing her again.
For Yolanda. Mallorca 2017
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