Gold 2019 / Events / Other

Chasing Spirits

  • Prizes
    Gold in Events/Other
  • Photographer
    Mauro De Bettio

Every winter, between Christmas and New Year, in the north-eastern regions of Romania, the annual Dance of the Bears takes place, a ritual that symbolizes the death and rebirth of time. Men and women of all ages dress with bear skins and dance to the rhythm of flutes and percussion to drive away evil spirits and welcome the new year. Although this may seem as a sadistic and cruel act towards these endangered species, it is important to stay culturally relative to Romanian customs and traditions. Bears are revered and seen as mythical creatures in Romania.

Born and raised in a little village in the Italian Alps, now based in Barcelona, Mauro already felt from young age the desire to tell. He discovered that the camera was the right tool for him, the eye through which he could speak to the world. An instrument that began to walk by his side towards a long journey of discovery. “Although it is difficult to express, I think that the photograph represents my way of speaking and what I try to do through my language is to capture the sense of what I breathe and touch with my hands. Not only in appearance but also, and especially, in the essence".