“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” Lev Tolstoy, (Anna Karenina). This little quote has followed me for many years. Since I first read the book this was one of the parts that I knew then I would always remember. It is a sentence that applies to every context you can think about, and I always go back to it for a little bit of inspiration.
I have always been curious about variety. When I moved to England the first thing that I observed was the multiculturalism in this country, which is hard to find in Romania as often as it is here. I was interested about how people communicate despite their superficial differences. Here I am not referring to language necessarily, but to understanding and accepting one’s way of thinking that has been built in time by different habits, religions, and traditions. On the other side, but equally interesting, I like to follow the thread of communication and see where it breaks, because from time to time that is bound to happen. That moment is like an explosion, the grade of it depending on the bigger or smaller context. What is beautiful about it is watching how, after it happens, people try to find out what was the reason, if that reason can be eradicated or reduced, and then again trying to build a new structure/relationship depending on the new terms, with a greater understanding of the other part.
For me this is one of the most fascinating process because it helps you understand how human beings function, how the world learns in front of your eyes, to understand, accept, and advance. You can be a witness of this process every day, from the most obvious when watching politics, to the most peculiar like seeing Shakespeare performed by Egyptians maybe (I would love to see that), or even the smallest things, observing people on the street trying to adapt to a different way of living. Usually while I’m witnessing something, I also take a photo. In this case, I was very satisfied with the result. The natural contrast between the nuns’ black and white habits, combined with a very bright day, and the shyness exhibited by some of them in contrast to the exuberance that others seemed to show, made for a very successful shoot.