Barry Lewis’s photo expo in Charles’ Viscri

Viscri fortified church built in the 13rh century and a UNESCO protected site.

King Charles III’s home in Viscri is currently open to the public with an exhibition of 42 photographs by Barry Lewis, which capture images from Copsa Mica before and after 1989.

The converted stable of the traditional Saxon property hosts, for the first time in Romania, the exhibition „The Darkness Within, Copsa Mica 1988 – 1995”, „a disturbing exploration of the impact that forced industrialization has on man and the environment, through the lens of the British photographer Barry Lewis”.

Through his photographs, Lewis captures „the desolation and resilience of the city’s inhabitants in the midst of the darkness generated by the Carbosin and Sometra factories”.

I returned to Transylvania on January 6, 1990. It was a harsh and frozen winter. I understood that things had not changed for the better when, arriving a few kilometers from the city, I saw the color of the snow change from white to gray and I met some shepherds with their herd of blackened white sheep. The source of the blackness was 7 chimneys the size of missile silos meant to protect people from pollution, but with the filters mostly destroyed. In Copsa Mica the people were black, the snow was black, the houses were black, the children were black and nothing grew in the surrounding black fields. As I walked on the frozen crust of the dark snow, each step left a white trail, a kind of photographic negative, and I felt like I had entered a surreal world where everything was turned upside down, the British photographer recalls, according to the quoted release.

„The Darkness Within” is Lewis’s second exhibition in the Viscri residence, after the series of unique photographic portraits of some Romanian artists, exhibited here in the fall of 2023.

„The reality captured by these photographs was far beyond everything I had imagined from the stories I heard about the black city, giving me the conviction that such truths hidden in communism must be revisited as often as possible so as not to be forgotten or repeated. We owe it to those who they lived in darkness for 60 years and which were mostly abandoned after the closing of the polluting factories,” said, according to the quoted press release, Raluca Grigore, curator of The King’s House Viscri.

The exhibition was curated in collaboration with the photographer Ionut Macri, says Agerpres.

The house in Viscri will be open to the public until the end of October and will continue to host the book and floral art exhibition The Transylvania Florilegium. You can also visit the permanent exhibition „Preservation of Historical Wrappings”, created in partnership with the Monumentum Association and The King’s Foundation.

Over 38,000 Romanian and foreign tourists visited the Viscri residence in 2023.

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