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World Virginia Lupu's photographs of witches in Romania

05:40  27 october  2020
05:40  27 october  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Virginia Lupu ' s photo series "TinTinTin" offers a beautiful vision of a mystical, matriarchal community of modern witches in Romania . Lupu captured her subjects in cantatory action, adorned in traditional garb. The women's gowns range from flowing, virginal white garments to fire engine-red

Romanian photographer Virginia Lupu has befriended the mystical witches of Romania , women of the Roma minority who live in the suburbs of Bucharest, making a living through The photographs of the witches in their natural environment are part of a new series, “TinTinTin”, as CNN details

Mihaela Minca is one of the most famous witches in Romania. She and her coven -- all women of the traditionally itinerant Roma minority -- live at the margins of European society, in the suburbs of Bucharest. There, they make a living through conducting rituals that help their clients find love, money and adequate punishments for their enemies.

a couple of people that are standing in the grass: 01 005 © Virginia Lupu 01 005 a person that is standing in the grass: 01 010 © Virginia Lupu 01 010

Sometimes, the witches' endeavors extend beyond the personal: In 2019, Minca cast a spell against political corruption in her country by dumping black liquor outside a Romanian government building. The next day, the state issued a final sentencing for Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, who'd used his own power to create fake jobs and appealed prior convictions.

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Slovakian photographer Lucia Sekerkova documented the amazing world of the witches who claim to know what awaits us all. Something is going down in Romania , and it' s not good. People who claim the profession of witch , astrologer and fortune teller will have to pay taxes for the first time, ever.

The witches ' houses are all about flaunting wealth, whether that means golden chairs or flat-screen televisions. This is the house of a witch named Amalia, who at the time was training her At first, I was fascinated. I photographed some of the wealthiest and most respected witches in the world.

a person standing next to a fire hydrant: 01 009 © Virginia Lupu 01 009

"Although many would say it's just a coincidence, this really did happen," Romanian photographer Virginia Lupu wrote to me shortly after, recalling the incident. Lupu, previously known for her images of transgender Romanians, has befriended the witches and captured them in intimate photographs. Her series "TinTinTin" -- which went on view at 2019's Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara, Romania -- offered a rare vision of this mystical, matriarchal community.

Lupu captured her subjects in cantatory action, adorned in traditional garb. The women's gowns range from flowing, virginal white garments to fire engine-red robes with floral patterns. In one image, the witches light candles on a plush, decorative area rug that features intertwining brown branches and leaves. Glittering skulls and a furry black object center their makeshift altar. In another photograph, the protagonists raise leafy greens above a body of water as the sun sets. Their hands are embellished with gold bracelets, thick rings and long candy apple-colored nails. Whatever spell they're casting, these women invoke craft and fashion to enhance their potency.

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Romania is a rich country when it comes to traditions and superstitions. Modern Romanians only keep a few of them, but many of the old traditions can be discovered in the countryside, in remote areas of the country. Romania -Insider.com presents some of the winter traditions and customs in Romania

Most witches in the country are of Roma descent, and many Romanians believe Roma women can possess mystical and even supernatural powers that She wanted to investigate these stereotypes by photographing real witches in Romania . “I decided to collaborate with the Slovak ethnologist Ivana

The photographer, in fact, first got in touch with the witches because of a design story. The Berlin-based magazine Another Man was seeking out Roma interiors that would be appropriate for a fashion shoot, and contacted Lupu for help. "I thought of witches," she said. Lupu made some calls and reached Mihaela Minca. The photographer soon befriended Minca through attending her family festivities: Minca's children's weddings, Christmas dinner and birthday celebrations. At first, Lupu wasn't even interested in capturing the witches on film. "I didn't want to take photos," she said. "I was just very passionate about their esoterism and about witchcraft." Yet the visual opportunity eventually became too great to pass up, and the community welcomed Lupu's camera.

Lupu discovered a significant aesthetic element in the witches' rituals. She observed Minca using a different color palette for each type of spell. "Red for love, yellow for abundance and richness, white for blessing, and black for powerful black magic rituals," Lupu explained. The women's recipes and activities aren't centralized in any kind of book, but passed down from generation to generation.

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Virginia Lupu ' s photographs of witches in … Television in Romania started in August 1955.State television started to broadcast on December 31, 1956. The second television channel followed in 1968, but between 1985 and 1990, there was only one Romanian channel before the return of the second

The practice of witchcraft is still alive and well in Romania , where magic women blend traditional tools of the occult trade with modern technology. Chili peppers + animal poop = evil potion. The Real Life Witches Of Romania . 6 diggs Curious Video.

There's an appropriate familial appearance to Lupu's shots: They're more candid than composed, more interested in understanding these women as individuals than as anthropological curiosities. In one frame, Lupu captures the women together, sunlit in a field. In another, a lone woman rests in the center, surrounded by large white flowers and holding a broomstick with a doll at the end. Lupu doesn't stage her subjects to look any more or less appealing, she simply captures the women as they are. Lupu said she aims to demythologize and destigmatize alternative spiritual practices through revealing practitioners' humanity. Yet she also hopes viewers will better appreciate Roma superstitions, magical practices and witchcraft.

In the age of drugstores, Fitbits, life coaches and ZocDoc, it can be all too easy to dismiss the efficacy of ritual. Yet Lupu trains her lens on the witches' camaraderie, compassion and sense of tradition. In her photographs, they look healthier and happier than many an alienated subject of cosmopolitan street photography. "Witches can be our protectors, and witchcraft can help with healing and self-care," Lupu said. "Practicing witchcraft is a tool for survival -- and survival is important for marginalized communities in capitalism."

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The witch is ‘a woman of superior knowledge’ … whose wisdom is stigmatised. Illustration: Leonard Beard. A misogynist insult in Washington and Westminster, a force for good in Hollywood … for centuries, witches have personified fear of assertive women. But why does the stereotype persist?

This article was originally published in October 2019.

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