Topic: [The Guardian] The big picture: on the road in post-Ceaușescu Romania  (Read 315 times)

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The big picture: on the road in post-Ceaușescu Romania

An odyssey around remote parts of central and eastern Europe led Fabio Ponzio to this incongruous sight

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Italian photographer Fabio Ponzio would look at a map of Europe and find his eyes always drawn to the east, to its “mysterious names, inscrutable frontiers and roads that ran on into unknown, prohibited lands”. It seemed to him that the iron curtain was “the division between the conscious and the unconscious mind of Europe”.

He first travelled across that dreamlike frontier in 1987, two years before revolutions reunited the continent. After the wall came down, over the course of a couple of decades, he drove determinedly through all the remote territories from which he had been excluded, with a tent and a stove and a sleeping bag in the back of his car, along with three Nikon cameras and 100 rolls of film. He slept in woods or in the homes of people he met. Once, in the mountains of Albania, the villagers told him that he was the first foreigner they had seen since two Italian soldiers fleeing the armistice of 1943.

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