The Truth is in the Soil

Ioanna Sakellaraki

2017 - Ongoing

My photographic research started evolving four years ago, when the death of my father sparked a journey back home and the exploration of traditional Greek funerary rituals. Portraying my mother as a mourning figure within the social and religious context of my country, I began to slowly unravel a personal narrative of loss interweaving fabrications of grief in my family and culture. Endeavouring to further understand my roots, I expanded the scope of my research on the collective mourning and ritual laments of the last communities of professional mourners in the Mani peninsula of Greece.

In the crossroads of performance and staged emotion, I aim to look at how the work of mourning contextualises modern regimes of looking, reading, and feeling with regards to the subject of death in Greece today. Making a work about grief requires a journey through memory and memory loss. In a way, these images work as vehicles for mourning perished ideals of vitality, prosperity and belonging, attempting to tell something further than their subjects by creating a space where death can exist. Greece is a constant inspiration and encounter in this work, but the way is depicted is imagined. It is like the idea of the homeland being this place one knows outside of memory, a land of curiosity where death is an encounter through family, religion, mythology and the self.

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