Marina Planas and Casa Planas. Presented by TUI. (Video lasts 7 min 10 sec). | Video by Nova Producciones

When artist Marina Planas talks about her family’s photo archive, you can clearly hear how proud she is of her grandfather’s cultural heritage. The Catalan photographer Josep Planas i Montanyà left his granddaughter a legacy: around three million photos and negatives as well as around 18,000 postcards are stored in the archive of the Casa Planas cultural centre in the Es Fortí district of Palma.

Since 2016, this has been entirely in the care of his granddaughter Marina Planas. As part of the video series “The Mallorcans”, which is supported by the tourism group TUI and its TUI Care Foundation, the German TV journalist Sibylle Tiessen accompanied the artist, researcher and cultural producer in her work.

The artist Marina Planas runs the Casa Planas cultural centre in Palma. Her grandfather founded the former photography company in 1940, and his granddaughter has taken on the task of preserving the approximately three million photos and negatives. Photos: From Chapter Six of the video series “The Mallorcans"

At her grandfather’s former company headquarters, Marina Planas is also the director of the cultural research centre. She has made it her main task to document the numerous photographs and negatives and to preserve them accordingly. The humid climate in Mallorca makes it difficult to store the antique photographic material properly.

Marina Planas also works with various historians and artists.She has achieved international success with her work. Her installations, videos and photographs have been exhibited at the Anthology Film Archive (New York), the Venice Biennale, the Centre d’Arts Santa Mónica (Barcelona), Just Mad (Madrid) and Palma’s Museu Es Baluard, among others.

Marina Planas works as a researcher and takes care of the storage of the photographic material.

Marina Planas’ grandfather founded his photography empire in Palma in 1940. “He also had a great influence on tourism with it," she explains. This is evidenced by various photographs that show the different and varied landscapes of the island. You can see deserted bays, popular beaches, lush orange and olive plantations and pictures of the old town of Palma. This leading photographer worked as a correspondent for various local newspapers and for international magazines. He also took part in competitions and won numerous prizes.

Josep Planas created the first photographic postcards of the time and introduced colour photography to the Balearic Islands.
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Famous personalities came to Mallorca and had their pictures taken by him. Josep Planas, who trained as a photographer in Munich in 1958, also collected cameras. There are still 2000 of them in the archive today. “My grandfather created the first photo postcards of the time and introduced colour photography to the Balearic Islands," Planas explains. All this led, among other things, to the island attracting more and more interest from foreign citizens. Over the course of time, the development of the island became visible in the photographs: Mallorca tourism boomed, foreign holidaymakers were photographed more and more often, swimming in the Mediterranean, for example, or drinking sangría at a poolside bar.

The photography company Casa Planas was founded in 1940.

Since 2017, an international programme for artistic research residencies has been funded to revitalise the photo archive in an innovative way. Casa Planas works closely with the German Goethe-Institut. Until recently, Radio Sputnik also had its home in the rooms of the cultural centre. Here, a German programme was broadcast weekly on 105.4 megahertz in addition to Spanish and Catalan.

German-language films are also shown at regular intervals on the premises. The intercultural cinema has been in existence since 2019. The selection of films is made by the management of the cultural centre together with the Goethe-Institut in Barcelona.

Individual workstations and studios can be rented by the week or month. In this way, Casa Planas wants to appeal above all to people who work in a home office. In addition, there is the possibility to get an overview of the archive for oneself from a guided tour.

Through her centre’s projects, Marina Planas hopes to preserve her grandfather’s cultural legacy in the future: “We will do everything we can to continue to protect this precious heritage.”

Cooperation with TUI

Support from the tourism industry: The video project is sponsored by the tourism group TUI and its TUI Care Foundation. The initiative was founded in 2016 with the aim of supporting sustainable projects in the destinations. The foundation focuses on the potential of the tourism sector as an engine for social development, education and prosperity. The Group promotes sustainable tourism in cooperation with local people.