The magic mountains, photo essay by Ekaterina Vasilyeva
I came back from Mexico reaching the depths of the wildest mountains and saw the incredible magical rites. For the way I have been given a missionary sword , 3 fishing hooks and 7 skeins of rope. (Antonin Artaud, SIX LETTERS TO MARIE Dubuque, 1935-1937)[M]ountains for me carry with them the fables of generations, are engraved by the forgotten allegories of eons of human history. My aim was not to capture the mountains as they stood in stark reality but rather how they emerged from memory and old legends. These is the sites of sacred pilgrimages, the receivers of prayers, and the seats
of the gods altogether.
The project combines portraits, landscapes, and still life in my story that explores the lives of people residing in small mountain towns in the Mexico.I have been inspired by the book «El labertino de la soledad» of Octavio Paz. And I aimed to hint at narratives and relay the experiences of strangers met in settings that excited my own emotions.
I visited the Mexican small towns for the first time in 2012 for 3 weeks and since then I have returned now in 2016 for 5 weeks again.
First attracted by the Pyramids and colors that there were, later I started to realize that the variety of the country was much more and a way of understanding the world around us is completely different from the Western vision: other values, other priorities who have made this place so special for visitors.
Even a briefly coming into contact with the Mexican people you see that under the external forms of the West there are still breathing the ancient beliefs and customs.
The soul of this country in the villages where the mixture of Catholicism and Native American cults, magic and realism occurs. Connection of people with their land is an important feature to build the community. City dwellers often pay attention of visitors how everything is different, and the Indians, by contrast, focus on what unites them. By associating yourself with a certain place people usually want to protect it on a subconscious level.
It is not true that only the environment makes us what we are. But I believe that there are places that are going to be a sort of “anchors”. Being there we begin to feel a connection with the country past. (Ekaterina Vasilyeva)