My name is Elena

Valentina Abenavoli

Elena is a tailor, not rich but does not complain. She never moved from her country. Her sister has found a new life in Italy and doesn’t want to return. Elena cries, taking medicines for depression. She asks me to take some pictures to show to her sister in Italy. But I don’t know her sister. And these pictures not only tell about Elena but they seem to speak for an entire country. She yells against a gypsy, she show me her family pictures, she tells me that children are still abandoned. The Ceausescu is gone. But the country struggles to grow up. And then she says: “My name is Elena”, as the dictator’s wife.
“My name is Elena” is the only English sentence Elena was able to say.
Then the conversation turned into Romanian, French and Italian.
She told me the story of a country. This is what I’ve seen.

On the aftermath of Romania’s entrance into the European Union, Elena seems to become the metaphor of tradition and modernity, which leave us wondering what Europe is really about.

Eclisse #4
32 pp B/W – 13,5 x 19 cm
Printed on 150 gsm cardstock
Hand-made single signature handmade 3 holes sewn binding
edition of 100


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