Unraveling the world famous poetry by Italian Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) opens one’s mind to an adventure through the Italian language. It’s like swimming through a pool of rose petals, encompassed by beauty, both romantic and soothing. His literary masterpiece Divine Comedy journeys us through Hell, Purgatory, then Heaven, however an even deeper meaning looks more like a soul’s quest to discovering God, taking readers through medieval Christian theology and philosophy.
Yola Monakhov is a Russian photographer who received her MA in Italian Literature, so spurring on this collection of shots from around and about the culture. She calls it “Photography After Dante” hinging on the great poet’s agenda concerning the afterlife, also touching on her rediscovery of Italians, seeing them in a new light after exposure to Dante’s great works.
She photographs in black and white film enhancing the use of light, making each frame thought provoking and in a sense, a spiritual experience. Many capture raw life, unplanned and candid. We can feel the personal story Dante has moved her to tell, as her lens focuses in on unpredictable images.