My name is Anca Cernoschi, I am a 30-year-old romanian photographer. After studying arts in a local university for 7 years I began my career as a professional photographer. Until recently I created exclusively fine art photography but I became interested in documentary photography after starting to document my grandfather’s last years, as a very personal and emotional project.
Soon after that I was invited by a friend to photograph an event involving children with disabilities. Those experiences have not only taught me a valuable lesson about human life but have also reinforced my interest in this photography genre that I’ve become very attracted to. The following is a short photo essay about Paducel Dumitru’s, my 89 year old grandfather, usual hot summer day in his home in western Romania, where he lived for the last 45 years. I took the first two photos of the series 6 years ago, without thinking about it as a serious project at that time, I was just enjoying the moment. At the end of August 2015 I came back to him as a subject.Once a week, on Monday afternoons, on the sound of his radio that plays loud folk music, he prepares his shaving items on the kitchen table almost like a ceremony.
They are the same for as long as I can remember: a traditional shaving razor and brush, shaving cream made from soap mixed with water in a sour cream plastic cup, a towel and an old newspaper. Except for the mirror, because he doesn’t need it anymore. Over the past years he has gone almost completely blind because he refused to have a surgery that would have partially restored his eyesight.
This whole ritual can take up to one hour as he stops occasionally to react to a noise or listen to some news and discuss it with his wife; then resumes on checking his face meticulously by touch and applying cream and shaving what he has left. After he’s done he puts every item back into the black wooden box that I have always liked and spends some more time in the kitchen or in his bedroom listening to the radio. He never turns on the TV during the day.
Late evenings, after dinner, he is always in his bedroom, listening to the TV next to his wife of 58 years. Hanging on the walls behind them are the framed photos of his children: a son he lost young and my teenage mother.
Listening to the radio during the day and to the TV during the evening and night are his only entertainment. He doesn’t want to go outside of the courtyard anymore. He now suffers from severe depression and panic attacks and describes his condition as being permanently in a heavy fog. [Official Website]
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