Benedetta Ristori’s analogue approach to photographing pre-fabricated socialist structures offers a haunting and blunt look at life more than two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
On a journey through Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, Benedetta seems to find vibrant expressions of self and culture that contrast the crumbling facades or rotting textures of socialist markers. Perhaps speaking to a form of passive resistance to ever-present scars from former oppressive regimes, for better or worse, the structures are still a symbol of strength—though one that is being challenged. Through her candid snapshots of locals set in these scenes, Benedetta’s work shows that Eastern European countries have the same essential cultural ingredients of their Western counterparts—even if at times they are brought together in ways less recognizable ways to those from the West.
“The natural spa, found on the edge of the Black Sea is a rustic, no-frills affair. Bathers immerse themselves in pink salt water, rub themselves with black mud, and then bathe in the Black Sea.”
Images: © Benedetta Ristori