work in progress
The project concerns minorities fleeing persecution, nomads and pilgrims. Under our eyes the richness of complexity is disappearing, in lands where many diverse peoples have cohabited and interacted for thousands of years, sharing saints, gestures, symbols, myths, songs and gods. Visual atlas of threatened minorities and shared holy places will be created.
In the Middle East and the Caucasus, in Asia and in Africa, the land of exiles, along the borders of Europe, the richness of complexity is disappearing before our eyes, in those lands where for millennia the people have shared saints, gestures, symbols, myths, songs and gods. The Christians of Pakistan, the Sufi masters of Ethiopia and Iran, the Afghan Shamans, the last pagans of the Hindu Kush and the Urals, the Tibetan nomads, the Gnostic sects of the Zagros mountains are the last oases of encounters between faiths, free zones besieged by armed fanaticisms, lost homelands of today’s fugitives. These are places where the gods often speak the same lingua franca, and where, behind the monotheisms, appear signs, presences, gestures, dances and looks.
I travel between the spiritual boundaries, at the crossroads of the forgotten kingdoms, where the faiths and traditions of the weakest and most defenceless sparkle, with their fragile and helpless resistance, their capacity for dialogue and encounter. I walk with the nomads, with the fleeing minorities, with the pilgrims, looking for beauty even in the most terrible places – solidarity in war, the cracks in the theory of the so-called clash of civilizations, where the gods seem at war with each other, evoked by presidents, terrorists and bandits.
The Eye of Photography
Leonian Award of W. Eugene Smith grant in Humanistic Photography (video)
Pulitzer Center conference Beyond Religion Washington 8th June 2019
An Outsider’s Perspective. Documenting Endangered Rituals Around the World. VQR Online December 2019