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ABYSSINIAN DIARIES II [The Magic Mirror of Lalibela]

Rpnunyez . | Ethiopia

Lalibela, the African Jerusalem, is not only an extraordinary ensemble of monolithic churches, tunnels and secret passages, it is also a journey back to the beginning of our era.

During Genna, the Ethiopian Christmas, hundreds of pilgrims, who have accumulated so many days and so much fatigue on their cracked feet, lend a certain dignity to the atmosphere with their impeccably white robes.

Their humble and rural origins give them a primitive closeness and naivety capable of breaking down any language barrier and making it materially impossible to remain emotionally indifferent to them.

They rarely allow themselves to be photographed individually because, for them, being photographed is an exceptional event full of hidden meanings.

And that' s precisely why this exceptionality provokes a subtle role reversal between the model and the photographer himself, who comes from a world far away and unknown to them.

Their naïve, transparent and fearful gazes scrutinise us between fear and overconfidence; they disarm us of prejudices and return to us, like magic mirrors, those same questions that we went to ask them.

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