The Truth is in the Soil a photobook by Ioanna Sakellaraki

‘Dad is dead, come back home.’

This is how Ioanna’s sister announced the death of their father to her over the phone.

The return to her homeland Greece marked the departure on a journey of understanding death through family, religion, mythology and the self.

Her own grieving process became the lens through which she investigated the collective mourning in Greek society, the intersection of ancestral rituals, private trauma and the passage of time. Further inspired by the last communities of mourners on the Mani Peninsula of Greece as the doyennes of a dying tradition, the work incorporates a new kind of subjectivity, intimacy, and criticism, exploring mortuary rituals as a way of humans adapting to death.

Five years later, The Truth is in the Soil, reflects on how Ioanna’s personal story has transformed into a collective narrative of loss aiming at contributing to the collection of tales of human struggle for meaning. To her, these images work as vehicles for mourning perished ideals of vitality, prosperity and belonging, attempting to tell something further than their subjects by creating a space where death can exist.

Death brings with it an inevitable rupture in beliefs, roles and identity for those who encounter it. How can one deal with loss?

In the wake of witnessing loss globally within our cultures and civilizations, Ioanna want’s to stimulate the viewer to rethink mortality through this imagined path of departure onto a new landscape.

Publishing this book marks the end of a journey and the transition into a new phase. She can only hope for it to become a source of empathy, strength and inspiration for the ones who will acquire it.

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