“Paradise Inn” is a recent photo project of Greek photographer Marinos Tsagkarakis. Marinos (b.1984) was born and raised in Crete, Greece). He currently lives and works in Thessaloniki. He has studied contemporary photography at STEREOSIS Photography School and has attended several workshops of renowned photographers. He is a member of the collective “Depression Era” that inhabits the urban and social landscapes of the economic crisis in Greece. His works have been exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions around the world.
Project statement: In recent decades, countless of artificial “paradises” were developed in southern Europe and their number still grows faster than ever before. This industry that manufactures an entertainment product of mass consumption meant to satisfy the average man’s need for recreational time and fun, is called tourism.
The tourist industry has drastically intruded the land, transforming it into a product while causing several effects with a severe socio-cultural character. Destinations are in danger of losing their original appearance, structure and identity, through a standardization process that aims to satisfy the tourists’ wishes. What is not understood though, is that this process doesn’t degrade only the final product but mostly affects the local societies which have to survive the low periods relying only on the remnants of a seasonal industry.
This photographic project aims to highlight the consequences of this massive and uncontrolled tourist development. In southern Europe these effects are reflected on the constructed landscape mostly through the unregulated and shoddy architecture, the kitsch and folklore decoration, the construction and adoption of artificial elements and entertainment structures, the falsification of identity and cultural heritage, the violation of the natural environment and finally the desolation that occurs after peak season.
As Μarcel Proust said, the only true paradise is the paradise we have lost.”Paradise Inn” is a tribute to all the lost paradises, in which millions of ordinary people manage to impose their own selves, the desperate experience that anyone could eventually face: the impairment of our quality of life and aesthetics and the loss of use of the natural space.