Dor (Nostalgie en roumain)
According to the Romanian philosopher Cioran, Dor, the Romanian word for “nostalgia,” refers to a kind of melancholy similar to the famously untranslatable concept of saudade, a deep longing for something or someone that one loves, only fraught with more resignation to fate. Melancholy, like this tent in a Roma village, an itinerant people made sedentary by the advent of Communism.
In the aftermath of Ceausescu, this feeling was widespread across the Romanian countryside. The peasants lived autonomously and traveled on horseback. The factory closed, the workers took up farming again. I was able to enter this world suspended between two time periods and two opposed value systems, before the Romanian migration to Spain and Italy that would mark their entry into Europe.
As a cultural anthropologist with roots in Brittany, my interest in mythology has always been marked by the feeling of arriving too late. Romania in the 1990s would allow me to meet people from the countryside who still believed in their myths, and who lived according to a mixed ancestral, orthodox and pagan calendar.
I have always taken pictures that reflect the mood of the moment, blending snapshots with staged photos inspired by my encounters and readings, letting myself be carried away by a voyage through time that would erase all of my reference points and challenge all of my values, living the last flames of a peasant civilization.
Catherine Corvec is a French photographer and cultural anthropologist. Her work has been featured in exhibitions across Europe and is part of the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale Paris and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas.
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