The Vlachs are an ethnic minority of Serbia, with their own language and culture, which inhabits a vast region in the east of the country, next to the Danube riverbank. Throughout history, the Vlachs have maintained a close relationship with magic and other areas of the supernatural: shamanism, witchcraft, trances, spiritism, black magic, vampirism, cult of the dead... most of these practices remain as real beliefs in today's communities, constituting an alive spiritual culture of a unique wealth in modern Europe 21st century.
The spiritual cult of Vlachs have been always associated to sacred places of Nature, and the myth of Muma Paduri (The Mother of the Woods) represents a distinctive figure about it: A female-alike figure, dressed in white, able to transform into an animal and travel several miles in a second. The incredible particularity of this myth is that it still represents a real belief for certain segments of the population. Numerous living witnesses declare to have seen her or have had contact with her. Thus, The Mother of the Woods continues to appear periodically in the depths of the Vlach forests, staining them with a halo of mysticism.
From the dawn of time, several phenomena happen around Man without he can give a rational explanation. Magic has been one of the responses historically used by various civilizations to deal with the unknown. "Muma Paduri" is an essay based on the magic and spiritual beliefs of the Vlach people, in which I question our relationship with the supernatural. And I wanted to include question of my own skepticism, using photography as a vehicle for an initiatory journey to bring perception beyond comprehension. The images are forced to cross the limits of documentary representation to get to glimpse the non-visible, in a journey that travels from the rational to a dreamlike territory: the heart of the forests in which the steps of Muma Paduri still resonate.