Strangers in Paradise.
Photographs by Misha Kominek.
Kominek Books, 2013. 56 pp., 30 color illustrations, 13¼x17".
Signed copies available to order!
Strangers in Paradise is about the beaches, attractions and sunburnt pilgrims of Lloret de Mar, the Costa Brava's most famous holiday resort. It is also about the long summer of 1998 and young photographer Misha Kominek's encounter with one of his major childhood fantasies. By the late 1990s, Lloret de Mar had developed a reputation as a holiday paradise for Central and Eastern European tourists eager for beach and sun. Long before the advent of low-cost air travel, this small but densely constructed coastal town in northern Catalonia became the target destination for young, penniless couples in love, teenagers celebrating their graduation from school, single men seeking amorous adventures and large families looking for affordable vacations. While Russians-currently Lloret's most wealthy visiting community-predominate today, it used to be filled with Germans from the former East Germany, Czechs, Poles and many others. They would endure an infernal two to three-day trip by car or coach through a multitude of international borders, languages and currencies just to savor their small spot in heaven...
Strangers in Paradise consists of recollections of that moment of conclusion and reunion, the reunion of a wandering outsider with his own people in utopia, the discovery of the missing parts of his identity, its completion and the sweet acceptance of strangeness. Far from being anchored in clichés, this book offers a revealing insight of what lies beneath tourism, globalization, souvenirs and folklore. In lyrical terms, the photographer exposes the tender innocence and sheer, ecstatic beauty of northern.