Marius Ionut Scarlat
From East to West
[ EPF 2018 SHORTLIST ]
Romania generates the greatest migratory flow of the European Union. After the revolution of ’89 and the death of Ceausescu, the Romanians were anxious for an immediate improvement. However this improvement did not happen and everything was even worse. The opening of the Schengen area and the entry of the country into the European Union, there has been a process of depopulation with serious consequences for the country. Romania has around 20, 000,000 million inhabitants and almost 4 live abroad.
This is a documentary project that talks about the emigration of my parents from Romania to Spain. This project talks about the experience or the new meaning that acquires everything that has been left behind. For me, this series of images means to get closer to that past. And also means to rediscover latent past which is still present in my house, in my family, in the landscape, in those objects that still decorate what it was my home and rediscover, through the camera, all the emotions and memories that, apparently, no longer existed. What was my childhood place, my home, my family… that comfortable and happy place had suddenly become a much more raw reality.
An officer points his finger as a capture signal of another individual during a night patrol in one of the slums in the city of Merida/Venezuela.
Juan Pablo Bellandi
The Tale Nobody Tells
[ EPF 2018 SHORTLIST ]
My job as a Photographer of the pólice in Venezuela for more than two years has taught me through crude lessons to see myself as a policeman, with the particularity that I possess a camera.
Venezuela faces an extremely deep crisis; absurd and improbable situations occur. In a collective language we constantly repeat to ourselves and to others: how can one live like this?
But Venezuelan reality has other shores, tales that nobody tells. It is very difficult for the police to maintain public order. The government has diminished to almost zero all the supplies for the proper functioning of the department. There aren’t working tools, protective equipment, basic goods or spare parts for their vehicles. There aren’t any police cars or motorcycles for tracking and surveillance.
In addition, the poor salaries of the police officers worsen the situation, promoting a vicious cycle of corruption. Therefore, extracting money from citizens through non-legal practices becomes more profitable and necessary for police officers to achieve their survival and to provide for their families. This is considering a country where a day of work is not worth a single dollar, when converting to our currency.
At the Same Time
[ EPF 2018 FINALIST ]
Eduardo and Miguel Portnoy are two 50-year-old twins from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They live together, they have never been apart since they were born, and today they are all alone in this world. Their family passed away with time: their parents, their only brother, also their uncles. They don’t have any close friends. They do everything alone. But they are never alone, because they have each other. The only support they have, their last safety net, is the Jewish community, that gives them employment, helping them materially but also, to a certain extent, emotionally. But, all in all, their main support is the love they have for each other and that symbiosis so typical of twins. The two of them are their only shelter, built upon love, loneliness and vulnerability.
Sicily, for its past history and for its multiple influences and contaminations, is a place that preserves and sends forward a long tradition of faith, linked to Christianity, which has a large pagan and theatrical part connected to the populations that live there.
The man, the Sicilian, needs a hold on something extra terrain. He needs something that goes beyond everyday life. This manifests the theatricality of a people, shows its traditions and highlights its popular culture.
It is a physical manifestation, a staging, made of flesh and sweat, of cyclical rituals and appointments. Where the individual, together with his own community, detaches from the everyday, leaves his social situation and becomes something else, where he comes close to something higher, even for just a moment.
It is a great excuse to seek one’s own redemption on earth.
From 3rd to 5th of February, Catania dedicates a great celebration to the Saint, a mixture of faith and folklore. According to the tradition, when the news of the return of the Saint’s relics arrived in 1126, the bishop went out in procession through the city with bare feet and a night robe, followed by the clergy, nobles and the people. The origin of the traditional dress that devotees wear in the days of the festivities is controversial, the Sacco agatino: white coats and gloves with a black skullcap on their head. A deep-rooted popular legend is related to the fact that the citizens of Catania, awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of the bells when the relics were returned to the city, poured into the streets in a nightgown.
Other typical elements of the feast are the silver reliquary where the relics of the Saint are placed in turn on a chariot or Vara, also this one in silver.
Tied to the vehicle are two cordons of over 100 meters to which hundreds of “Devoti” cling, who untiringly pull the cart until the 6th of February. The reliquary is carried in procession preceded by the twelve candelore or “cannalori” each belonging to the corporations of the city craftsmen.
Everything happens between the wings of a crowd waving white handkerchiefs and shouting “Cittadini, cittadini, semu tutti devoti tutti”. It is considered one of the three most influential Catholic festivals worldwide.
[ 2018 FUJIFILM / YOUNG TALENT AWARD SHORTLIST ]
My Grandmother’s father and brother were both beheaded by the Japanese during the occupation of Malaysia from 1941 to 1945 during WWII for being Chinese. This meant she had to flee the country with her mother at the age of 3. With this leaving of the country, all ties to her heritage were severed. In 2016 I went out to Malaysia to explore how atrocities have many indirect effects, including myself not feeling as having ties to Chinese or Eastern culture. From this trip I managed to find long lost family through a common ancestor and was able to fill in their family tree for them as well as add to my own. Through these connections I tried to find out as much as I could about my Grandmothers father and brother, where they would have lived and worked. Also exploring the myth that my Grandmother believes her brother is still alive. While exploring my family history I also look at the locations of atrocities and the inspection centres which led to these atrocities to contemplate wether my family would have been subject to these locations. I also look at Singapore as an important amount of the Japanese occupation was carried out there. An interesting aspect about this work is that prior to the Japanese, the British had occupied Malaysia so for me to come as a British citizen to make work here draws up interesting parallels which I am yet to explore further.
The history of the Mesopotamian rivers and their presence in our own cultural history may be one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, spanning some, 10,000 years of world heritage. In the 4th millennium BCE, the first literate societies emerged in Southern Mesopotamia, often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization. What was once considered to be the Garden of Eden is now in danger of disappearing.
The Euphrates and Tigris rivers occupy a central place in the daily life, ecology, and history of millions of people living around them. The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of the Middle East flowing over 1,700 miles from eastern Turkey through Syria and Iraq.
An artistic residence in Norway (Halsnoy Cloister, 2013) ignites a passion with the North. Iceland, then Scandinavia further fuels the flame, revealing a personal confrontation with an endless space, a passionate and brutal encounter.
Mexico’s murder rate went up 16% in the first half of 2018, a grim statistic that suggested this year would be the bloodiest in the country’s history. Time magazine approximated that someone was killed every 15 minutes in May. Where I live in Mexico has the reputation of being a safe haven. In travel around the country, I have seldom been in danger, yet I worry about personal safety. Reconciling my daily life with the headlines I see in the “prensa amarilla” leads to thoughts that I’m living in a fantastical bubble while a war rages closer than I want to believe.