The desert represents decay and death. There is scarcity of water and shade, extremely temperatures and a lack of resources for humans to survive. But at the same time there is a long tradition of the desert as a place of healing, both physically and spiritually.
With the Californian desert as background, “Happy Nothing” delves into the lives of its inhabitants and its secrets. Here is where ex-convicts, war veterans, retirees and people that for some reason have decided to stay outside of the society live. In these towns there is no running water, the houses are in ruins, the streets unpaved, without street lighting, there are no supermarkets or entertainment infrastructures. But despite living in this conditions, they call it the Paradise.
no images were found
The man does not adapts, he is transformed. He is born alone and unprotected. Fighting to survive, he absorbs the knowledge that nature provides, he adopts the forms and instincts of it. The man turns dark and cold, like the forest, and when his existence has the less the meaning, he returns to the beginning.
The relationship between nature and society has changed over time. Just over one hundred years ago people depended entirely on the nature, but today, immersed in a system based on the massive consumption of products that make our lives easier, our relationship with the natural environment has become increasingly distant.
We modify the territory without following any logical standards, we are simply ‘taking over’ and we persist in requiring immediate results from nature, without regarding its needs for its own pace to function adequately. Many of us would not know how to decipher its signs or how to survive with the resources that this gives us, and gradually we are losing the awareness that we are part of the same world.
The Holy Mount of Grabarka, also known as ‘The mountain of the 6000 crosses’ is the largest center of worship of the Orthodox community in Poland. The story goes that in the 18th century a man suffering from cholera, had a dream and put a cross on top of the mountain and miraculously healed. From that day people have not ceased to carry crosses to the sanctuary and year after year the mountain has been filled with thousands of them. Grabarka is a place full of mysticism and spirituality; a sacred place that serves its devotees as a link between the world of the living and the dead.
In 2012 I did a journey through the territories of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, three countries comprising the Baltic States who share a complex and bloodstained history.
From the thirteenth century, all its neighbors have tried to invade, humiliate and destroy them. After passing one of the bloodiest periods of its history, suffering mass exterminations by the Soviets and later by the Nazi Germany, in 1991 they got their independence.
Today the Baltic States are living a situation of calm, recently joined the European Union and with a stabilized economy, but anchored to a troubled past that makes population take caution in front of changes coming from abroad.
Each year during the last week of May, a small town from the French Camargue named Saintes Maries de la Mer is invaded with hundreds of caravans from across Europe to celebrate the pilgrimage honouring Saint Sarah ”La Kali”. Thus Saintes Maries de la Mer becomes for a few days in the land of gypsies. A nomad society that has been fighting against discrimination along its history, but that has never surrendered and has kept straight with its deep-rooted culture. A life endowed with a sense of freedom impossible for our society to understand and a philosophy of life that has its roots in prehistoric times but is about to disappear at present.