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“During The White Night 2010 thousands of Madrilenians became Alberto Santander, Madrilenian of the Year, an anonymous citizen that turned into the protagonist image of the city for one night through the presence of thousands of doubles of himself, a masked crowd that changed Madrid’s urban landscape”.
The idea of “turning” an anonymous and individual citizen into a protagonist that represents a whole city derives from some already tested formats such as people’s choice awards (democracy?) and participative urban dynamics (whether they take place on the street using a mobile photo boot that travels over different areas of the city or by virtual means such as an open website), as well as contemporary social traumas such as the fifteen minutes of fame predicted by Andy Warhol or the adoration of imaginary characters (we come up with fictions about famous people that play the lead roles of the events in which we are mere spectators).
The quest for the “Madrilenian of the Year” is not an attempt to generate a summary of identities, a partisan average, a standard size or a model (these are frequently the goals of most existing prestige brands), but to make an anecdotic citizen become the representative image of the identity of the city of Madrid. We are not looking for another fictitious image of superiority (whether it is an Olympic hand or a Cultural full moon) to represent us, but a real person with a concrete identity: Alberto Santander Martínez.

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[Technical Data]
A civic prestige brand applied to urban landscape re-generation
September 2010
Madrid [Spain]
Temporality: 1 night
Client: La Noche en Blanco
Participation: 25.000 inhabitants LNEB + 1000 candidates + 16.000 votes
Formats: web: http://www.elmadrileñodelaño.com + 25.000 masks
Media: national press x 10, blogs x100, national TV x10, facebook, web: http://www.elmadrileñodelaño.es

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