the tree of life is eternally green

Pascual Martínez + Vincent Sáez

2014 - 2017

Romania

The Tree of Life is Eternally Green is an intimate documentary work undertaken in Romania, exploring the country's landscape and integral connections its inhabitants have with nature. We travelled more than 6000km photographing mostly in rural areas, meeting with local people along the way. Our exploration encompasses winter through summer seasons, with the guiding theme that since the first inhabitants of Europe populated fertile Romanian lands, the spirit of Romanian society has been instinctively linked to the land.

In The Tree of Life is Eternally Green, we focused on identity and history from a perspective that transcends socio-political issues, and dispels stereotypes associated with Romanians. Their record is seeped in the natural environment and celebrates Romanian people, their traditions, the untamed landscape and the country’s rich flora.

To look at the outward appearance of a tree, it is simply a trunk covered in bark, with extended branches adorned in leaves. This is relative to our superficial view of a country that isn’t ours, where we can’t necessarily comprehend its true values beneath the surface. Stereotypes are products of ignorance and theories, and only show an external version of reality. Our images look in just a singular direction, attempting to see the essence of things in the uncomplicated gestures that make up a story both complex and simple at once.

“My worthy friend, gray are all theories, and green alone Life’s golden tree,” said Mephistopheles, to a curious student in Goethe’s Faust.

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