(2014 – 2022)
Marshy, rugged, winding, monumental.
The Danube Delta is the second greatest European river delta: a natural labyrinth of reeds and water that extends over more than 3500 square kilometres. It lies between Romania and Ukraine, on the geographical boundary of Europe, on the shores of the Black Sea. The delta region is sparsely populated and its few hamlets can only be reached by boat. It lacks basic infrastructure and its streets are plunged into the depths of darkness as soon as the sun sets.
Living on the delta means living in oblivion, amidst marshlands. Like Minotaurs, the inhabitants of the delta find themselves immersed in their own labyrinth, putting up with the emptiness it imposes on them. The circular rhythm of the seasons defines their rhythm of life; it affects their moods, conditions their desires and habits and sets up physical and mental barriers.
For four years I’ve submerged myself in the delta, striving to understand and document these profound connections. In the different seasons, I’ve beheld the landscape and its gradual changes almost obsessively, in order to record their physical and psychological upshots.
Throughout this long research process, the territory has assumed the psychological role of a true labyrinth.
In a language that hovers between anthropological observation and symbolic transfiguration, I’ve drawn my map of the territory, and my interpretation transcends the physical and geographical reality of the marshes, challenging the profound meaning of the act of inhabiting. Inhabiting a territory, inhabiting a labyrinth. Inhabiting oneself.
ETHNOGRAPHY AS AN ARTISTIC PRACTICE
Delta is divided into two sections, complementary to each other and equally relevant. The first one collects the photographic body of work, offering a purely visual narrative. The second consists of 30 field notes.
Previous collaborations with anthropologists have influenced my methodology.
Since my first trip to the Delta, I felt the need to conduct an investigation parallel to the photographic research, recording my daily observations in a notebook.
The result is a diary of ethnographic inspiration made of descriptive notes, interview extracts, personal reflections and short fiction. A hybrid text that fits the photographic narrative filling the gaps generated by the image and expanding its narrative potential.