Chiara is an Italian documentary photographer with a passion for sports, traditions and the East. She worked in the archive of VU' agency in Paris and graduated from the Ostkreuz photography school in Berlin. Interested in how collective...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Radio Producer, Researcher, Reporter, Travel, Sports, Business, Fine Art, Documentary, News, Photo Editor, Creative Director, Photography, Portraiture, Events, Culture, International News, Arts & Culture, Freelance, International Desk, Humanitarian, Commercial, Artist, Short Films, Editorial, Newspapers, Editing, Storyteller, Visual Artist
Skills:Research, Translator, Image Archiving, Sports, Audio Recording, Photo Assisting, Film Scanning, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Photo Editing, Curating, Art Direction, Copywriting, Multimedia Production, Photojournalism, Video Editing, Film Processing, Film Photography, Marketing
"Hello, are you married?"
As a foreign woman over thirty, wandering alone across Eastern Europe, this is the most common question I am asked. When I’m in the mood to joke, I point to my camera as my companion. But this doesn't really help. It would be smarter just to lie: "Yes, I am!”.
In the Republic of Moldova or Georgia for example, a woman over 25 without a ring on her finger appears suspicious. People worry or pity her, wondering why she hasn't met Prince Charming yet.
I confront and play with stereotypes in societies that, torn between Eastern and Western values, remain patriarchal. I challenged every man I found interesting who crossed my path (always asking me the same question) and make them pose for a photograph so I got to be the one in control. As if, perhaps, he could be "The One". What if?
Vasili writes poetry in his native tongue of Gagauzian. He didn't want to work in Russia as everybody does, far from home, and he left University in Tiraspol because wanted to focus on his village life and culture. Now he’s a barman at the local luxury restaurant which is where I first saw him. He hasn’t had a serious girlfriend yet because, he says, "there are very few good girls around and people today are ruled by money and personal needs. They are not like they used to be." Advarma, Gagauzia, Republic of Moldova, December 2016.
Young, very self-confident and with deep black eyes, I couldn't keep his name in mind, so I called him "the bandit". His friends laughed every time I called him that. This boy from Transnistria has two more visible tattoos on his arm and neck: "Love my family" and "Freedom". Moldova, May 2017.
Zura owns a minibus in Georgia. Each day, he drives passengers from the capital of Tbilisi to the mountains and back. I was waiting for a lift back to Tbilisi and he stopped when I waved from the side of the road. He knows what he wants and always says what he thinks: "At forty, I don't have time to loose."
He asked me to marry him many times. Georgia, February 2017
He lives in a Transnistrian village. I saw him at sunset through the window of his parked car and I asked him to pose for me and he did so, serenely, while the other men around him giggled. Moldova, May 2017.
The frist time I spoke to him, he was smoking in front of a car-wash in Comrat, where I was wandering around with my camera. He invited me to join him in his big house, in his rich village, and told me he had many
workers on his farm. A year later I saw Kolya in a mud-splattered car with friends on a Sunday afternoon in his home village in Gagauzia. He recognised me immediately and we went for a walk. He took me to see
his parent's abandoned house, in Joltai, Gagauzia, Republic of Moldova, May 2017.
Tomas, Azeri of Kurdish origin, has a positive, sparkling personality. He owns a barbershop in a small city in the Kakheti region, and a perfect, museum-quality pistachio green Lada. I met him when a man called him to help me out because he speaks perfect Russian. He then closed the shop early and took me for a drive because he said, "I have the freedom to decide about my time and my life”, in Kvareli, Georgia, February 2017.
Vania was walking home to his parents from the shop when I stopped him. He was clearly confused about meeting a lonely girl strolling alone through his village in southern Moldova. He was flattered and baffled to have a woman tell him what to do and how to stand, guiding his pose. We played a sort of photographic hide-and-seek game for a while, as an inverted courtship dance. in Joltai, Gagauzia, Republic of Moldova, May 2017.
Roman fought illegal fights for money. He also let his dogs fight. He was born in Dagestan and we met in the countryside of Cimişlia where I was one of the few women present. He accepted to follow me to the city centre for the pictures but he was very shy when posing, in Cimişlia, Republic of Moldova, August 2017.
I meet him whenever I attend horses races in Moldova. He often wins, but whichever the outcome his good mood is contagious. When I saw him this time he proudly announced he was expecting his fourth son. Sergey also loves his five horses like children, and raises pigeons and other animals in Cimişlia. Gagauzia, Republic of Moldova, Mai 2017.
Stas, 24, was having a refreshing midday bath in the lake near the northern city of Coşteşti, before going back to his work of transport of goods. When I saw his profile from the shore, I wanted to keep looking at his nose forever, instead I asked him for a picture and I didn’t say anything about the nose. In my head, he has the traits of the perfect typically Russian handsome man, in Riscani, Republic of Moldova, August 2017
He approached me asking for the time as we both sat on a minibus travelling towards his home city, and he quickly invited me over at his house. The first time I did go visit, after a few hours he suddenly had to travel back to Tbilisi with his wife and children and left me alone as a guest to his Russian-Georgian parents for the night. The second time I travelled to Kvareli, Valeri organised a barbecue for me near the lake with friends and wine, in Kvareli, Georgia, March 2017.