The Truth is in the Soil

Ioanna Sakellaraki

2017 - 2021

The Truth is in the Soil is a long-term exploration of grief and mourning rituals inspired by the last communities of professional mourners on the Mani peninsula of Greece. Sparked by my father’s death, my own grieving process became the lens through which I investigate the collective mourning in Greek society, the intersection of ancestral rituals, private trauma and passage of time.

In the crossroads of performance and staged emotion, my photography aims at bringing the viewer in a limbo between the real and the imaginary, highlighting the void of separation and 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.

In the wake of witnessing loss globally within our cultures and civilizations, I want to stimulate the viewer to rethink mortality through this imagined path of departure into a new landscape, in between worlds.

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