About the workshop
Svaneti is said to be the Olympus of Georgia, the home of Svans, place full of sunshine, songs and poetry, the motherland of brave, hard working, happy, hospitable and die hard highlanders. We will have a chance to see it all with our own eyes. To see it from the inside, not like tourists. To meet people, become their friends, touch the ages old traditions. To take photos, discuss them, and publish a joint exclusive photo-book “Winter in Svaneti” with the selection of the best photographies taken by the participants.
This trip is at the same time a travel experience, an adventure, a way to meet soul-mates, a practical master-class in genre photography and a joint work on an art project.
Let me share with you 20 photos I took in Uzbekistan last year. It was our joint workshop with great Uzbek photographer Anzor Bukharskiy. I will show you him photos a little bit later, but right now I propose to look a few of my color pictures from this country. This collection includes photographs from Bukhara, Samarkand, and a couple of images of the drying Aral Sea.
The second post that I writing by myself is about music festival in Guca. Every year this village collects about 1 millon people who likes serbian and gypsy music and several hundred small orchestras (around 10 musician each). Basically from Serbia. A little bit from Kosovo, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia. Ordinary tourist from Europe or America is almost impossible to meet here. During a week going on 24 hours total madness – loud music, rivers of beer and a lot of dancing. Below you can find 10 of my pictures from this crazy event.
Starting from this post sometimes I’m going to write in english without help of my friends. Sorry for my mistakes and feel free to correct me. I really don’t know English well enough.
This time I want to show you 7 pictures that I took in Belgrade (Serbia) in August this year. I call it “The city of light”.
There is very little information about all this on the internet. There’s, in fact, barely any information at all. No matter in what language, even in Spanish. There are very few photos as well. From the one hand, this is a local event, and people only 100km away from it might not know much about it. From the other side, this is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, gathering up to 1 mln. people. There are not many tourists and “outsiders” among the participants in romeria. The main part of people here are the pilgrims themselves.
Romeria takes place in a small village called El Rocio (Huelva province, Spain), which is not a very populous place normally. Up until the mid-XIX century, the whole village had only a few houses, and the pilgrims camped in their wagons. Later, each of the brotherhoods built its own house with stables, few dozens of bedrooms (with bunk beds like in a dormitory), and a large hall for the big celebrations. There are some private houses too. Such a village house, very basic and Spartan, costs about 1-2 mln €. During the pilgrimage dates, the daily rent reaches about 10 thousand €, while a room in a local hotel costs about €500 instead of the usual €60. The streets in the village are unpaved, everything is adapted to the animal-powered transport and horse riding.
The main attraction of the area, and the site of the annual pilgrimage of billions of people is the El Rocio chapel, where the pilgrims go to pay tribute to the patron saint, Virgin del Rocio. The actual pilgrims come on horseback, staying overnight for 3-4 nights in their wagons on their way. For many people this is the most important annual event, while other people in Spain have never even heard of it. And neither, of course, people from the other countries did.
Romeria in El Rocio does not resemble a religious event at all. It’s a feria, a moveable feast, where life itself is celebrated, with people dancing, singing, drinking over the top, and loving each other (in all senses). Christian and pagan beliefs are joined together here seamlessly.
Below are my 20 photos from El Rocio, made during the two days of my visit. This is not a report or a story. I did not make an attempt to follow the sequence of the events, as it is not very interesting to me. I was trying to embrace the overall atmosphere, the mood of the people, and of course the color of the “cowboy”-ish romeria. These are my visual impressions on the life of the pilgrims in El Rocio.
My name is Pavel Kosenko and I’m from Russia. I am a photographer, and my major interest is street and art photography. I like to work and experiment with colors in photographs. Travel is the main source of my inspiration.
You can also read my Russian blog using Google Translate.