GABRIELA MATEESCU

ANASTASIA MANOLE

PREPARATIONS FOR THE GREAT DEPARTURE

Photo and audio documentation

2013

 

In a time of scientific and rational thinking, when we know everything that happens biologically to the body when it stops breathing, religious stories about the afterlife continue to make our perception of death less frightening.

The assurance of an afterlife provided by different religious beliefs lubricates our passing in to the Great Unknown. The perkiness of our species allows no secret to exist, interpreting and conceptualizing all that escapes the power of our knowledge. We can not fully accommodate ourselfs with this idea of non-existence. We see it the external world, we slaughter animals every second, we see OTHERS dying but we can not accept our own death as being a disappearance in to Nothing. We just can not comprehend the NOTHINGNESS, THE VOID. There has to be SOMETHING. And this SOMETHING often is perceived as a new spiritual life.

 

I started documenting some of the rituals concerning death in the villages I grew up in, where I attended - during my childhood - to many of these practices. I saw my grandparents buying the coffins for their burial 30 years before their death, and making preparations for their afterlife.

 

What mainly interested me was the custom of giving away objects after one`s death or before (if you think that your relatives will not do it or you don`t want to burden them with costs) things that you will find after, like a bed, clothes, food, tableware, table and chairs, towels,handkerchiefs, and everything a person is suppose to need in this world. By giving it away in this mix of Christian and pagan customs these objects will be transferred and wait for the soul of the deceased on the other side.

 

 

 

TANTI GICA / AUNT GICA

NEA MĂRIN / UNCLE MĂRIN

ANETA  AND COSTEL MATEESCU

TANTI LUJAN

NEA COSTEL