The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains
I have been roaming about the Rhodope Mountains for almost 15 years now, which is probably not an overstatement, as I feel that I have left a part of me in the heights. Over the years, it felt like I was looking for something long forgotten that has now disappeared and will never return. That is how “The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains” project was born, in the course of which I visited 985 villages — from Gotse Delchev to Ivaylovgrad and from Asenovgrad to Xanthi. It was an attempt to capture the past and an entire culture that is slowly fading away forever. All of the shots I made were black and white.
The legend goes that in those same mountains Orpheus lamented the death of his wife Eurydice. His singing was so captivating and his dedication so absolute that Hades ultimately agreed to let Eurydice return among the living. However, there was one condition: Orpheus was not allowed to look back while leading Eurydice out of the underworld.
We can only defeat death once we truly understand that it does not exist. Orpheus lost his beloved Eurydice, because by looking back, he separated the past from the present, incapable of perceiving life as a manifestation of Eternity.
It took me years to realize that. I gradually stopped viewing the past as something forever lost, and when looking into people’s eyes, I started seeing the reflection of those who inhabited the mountains before them. Colour began to make an appearance in the new shots, and I even introduced it to some of the old ones. I hope that this time I will be able to save Eurydice.