If Chaos Awakens the Madness
Our people’s lives pass, bitter and empty, among malicious, vengeful thoughts and periodic revolts. To anything else, they are insensitive and inaccessible. One sometimes wonders whether the spirit of the majority of the Balkan peoples has not been forever poisoned and that, perhaps, they will never again be able to do anything other than suffer violence, or inflict it.”
– Ivo Andric. Conversation with Goya: signs, bridges
When political leaders sit around a table for peace talks, and then sign an agreement, newspapers headlines go like — The war is over. Yet, what about the 1995 Dayton agreements, both marking the end of the war, and confirming the reasons for it? What should have been newspapers’ headlines there? What could be the aftermath?
Peace, here, has a very high social and anthropological price. Formal disavowal of brotherhood, and endorsement of na- tionalism emit vibrations of a conflict that is still spreading in some deep and invisible layer of the earth, which, however, become clearly audible because of the widespread uneasiness experienced throughout the streets of Sarajevo, Mostar, and any other city whether or not “divided”.
And, maybe, for such a long-tormented people, genetically filled with proud and strong emotions, the uneasiness is really part of their lives. And yet, normality has been declared. Therefore, normality must surround people, tinged with the every- day, standardized shades of the rest of Europe (shopping centers, film festivals, art exhibitions, etc.).
Normality is on everyone’s lips. But, is that true normality?
Our work begins here. It explores the aporia of “outward normality”.
We will explain — including through news stories — that, too often, everyday life is like a bride dragging a heavy train of madness. We will report those micro shocks undermining an already weak and precarious balance, like the Muslim com- munity of Sanjak: a former birthplace of such war criminals as Ramiz Delilac, an today an enclave of Wahabi, and, tomor- row, perhaps, a land of new confrontations.
It digs into acceptance of chaos. History is taught in three different versions in schools, and winners and losers are mixed up. Bridges separate towns and their people’s cells. Places of memory and pain are guarded by executioners, precisely those who caused the pain.
It investigates into the seeds of madness. We will show a kaleidoscope of the endless facets of fear — fear of quarrels, fear of memories, fear of other people, “fear of fear”, which makes one motionless in front of the future.
Everything is shown with a photographic downbeat/upbeat rhythm — a metaphor and a document — a record and an allegory.
Lara Ciarabellini is an Italian photographer. In 2010, she graduated in photo reportage in Roman School of Photography and currently she is attending the Master in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication (University of Arts).
Her publications include Internazionale, Terre di Mezzo, PhotoRaw, The Boat Magazine, and Poutporri.
Massimo Mastrorillo works mainly on long term documentary projects, devoting himself to the deep consequences of war and natural disasters and their aftermaths on society.
His work has appeared in numerous national and international magazines. He has worked with the NGO’s Medicins sans Frontiers and Sant’Egidio community. Mastrorillo’s projects has been exhibited and shown at festivals and galleries worldwide icluding the Noordelicht Foundation, the Museum der Europaischen Berlin, FNAC and VISA Perpignan.
Massimo is based in Rome and he is a Professor of Documentary Picture at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia.