Today, Abraham Calero started his new campaign in the streets of Palma. SOStenible, a play on words for sustainable. And a call for attention aiming for a dialogue about the future of Mallorca. I met Abraham Calero at Bar Rita to discuss his work as a street artist and the concept of SOStenible. „We have to talk about our relationship with tourism,“ Abraham insists, „because Mallorca is much more than tourism.“
His posters visually take on the movement SOS turismo. A cry for help from almost 1000 hotels, restaurants and other economies involved in the tourism value chain on the Balearic Islands. Walking through Palma or driving across the island, you see the SOS turismo logo on many closed doors and dark windows. „I’m totally fine with this initiative“, Abraham Calero confirms, „hotels are an important employer on Mallorca“.
But the solution for the crisis is not to get back to the situation before the pandemic. With overtourism and all its negative consequences for the society and the environment. The pandemic mercilessly showed that Mallorca cannot survive without tourism. „SOStenible is not a criticism of tourism in general. But the campaign criticizes the complete dependency of our economy on tourism,“ Calero explains.
The origins of this situation on the Balearic Islands date back to the Franco era. Sol y playa may have lifted many people out of poverty. Today, the absence of tourism generates new poverty because the Balearics are more dependent on this sector than almost any other region in the world. And according to Abraham Calero it is not the large hotel chains that are being hit hardest by the crisis. But those mostly invisible to tourists who make sure the pool is cleaned and you get fresh towels every day. Those who have precarious jobs and temporary contracts.
Abraham Calero’s campaign consists of several parts, the first one is out now. A poster with a witty call for attention. And action. The SOStenible lettering overlays a background of terms that name the consequences of overtourism. From a loss of local identity, to gentrification to sexual abuse and overexploitation of natural resources.
„Of course, we need tourism on Mallorca, but we cannot depend on it. That’s why we have to start a dialogue between politicians, citizens and economy about the future of Mallorca,“ Calero is convinced, “The crisis now offers a unique opportunity.” With his campaign SOStenible he wants to initiate this dialogue and encourage people to take action.
Abraham Calero is one of the most political street artists on Mallorca. The Madrilene made the island his home 17 years ago. His series of bodies of shipwrecked refugees along the boardwalk of El Molinar still belongs to the most disturbing pieces of urban art. As an artist Calero shines the spotlight on topics that are otherwise willingly ignored.
You can follow the campaign on instagram: sostenible.es