All I knew about the USA before my first visit there were about movie scenes from block-boosters in which entire towns were swallowed by aliens, earthquakes, ice, volcanoes or other catastrophic phenomena, a few vague impressions outlined in stories told by the buddies settled there, about fat people, fast food, street gun shoots and all the opposite of the European culture - with deeper roots - a consumer society, far more rough and profit oriented than we know in Europe.
Obviously, what I found there was, mostly, different than the presented cliches. I found simple, open minded and friendly people, vast landscapes, innovative architecture, eye and time catching museums, sky scrappers which make humans feel insignificant and grandiose in the same time, wild nature and the hot breath of the desert near the cool breeze of the Pacific ocean.
For sure it is a country of contrasts, a realm of promises which continues to attract the miraculous substance that built it, by the millions of emigrants, left in search of a new country they could call home. It's what intrigues me most, an interethnic mix, a babel tower which, at least on a superficial view, seems to share the same ideals and aspirations in an attempt to make their adoptive country a better place. Could they be an example for nowadays Europe? (by Gabriel Kovats)
These images, taken last summer and autumn, during two visits of Dobrujan villages with Turk minorities, do not claim to be a photographic series. As we all know, a coherent photographic project is obtained after a serious research, accompanied by multiple photographic trips closer to the subject of the story, that is obtained after the photographer manages to integrate in the community who wants to describe it, thus acquiring a kind of invisibility that allows it to capture moments that a one day visitor are not disclosed.
But this process takes time, a time that many of us do not have it available, trapped in a daily routine job-family pendulum, where any moment of escape requires sacrifices from both sides. And what better place to find for a superficial photographer? With warm welcome to everyone who want to share their lives, with no shy in front of the camera, with a huge joy for showing their culture, habits, places and fears, those communities are open to each photographic endeavour, long or short term, profound or superficial, showing each time another small part of their souls.
That is why these images are more snapshots - passed through the plexi eye of a holga pano toy camera and somehow catching a timeless glimpse, images stolen from a world which, strangely, reveals no trace of inhibition to anyone interested in that people's lives. So, go, aim, shoot, try to remain neutral and do not listen to those people's problems, struggle with poverty, lack of education and medical assistance, make some nice photos and go back to your convenient life. Is that so easy? Or maybe you will find trapped in the nets of this archaic way of life, the strange mix of joy of life and sadness you can see in the eyes of the kids, playing around with almost no toys, no need for gadgets, Wi-Fi, electronics, the powerful connection between man and his animals and nature.
Seems we can't get anything for free, and, according to that ancient fear of some cultures that when you take a picture of them you can stole their souls, we will return with their moments in our images and mind. (Photos and Text: Gabi Kovats, Holga Pan 120 film camera)