Daughters of Magic
Mihaela Minca is the most powerful witch in Romania. For her kind, being a witch is not a job, but a calling. Mihaela is a witch when she gets up, and also when she goes to sleep. It's a tradition: her mother and grandmother were already witches.
Together with her daughters Cassandra and Anna and her daughter-in-law Larissa, she runs a flourishing business: from love charms to curses, they have everything on offer; they receive enquiries from all over the world via the Internet. In the midst of their tightly-knit community, this Roma family runs a business that draws profit from magic and mysticism — for them a very natural part of life. Their witchcraft is also an expression of female strength within an everyday culture shaped by men.
PHOTOGRAPHY: I accompanied Mihaela the witch for over a year. I have travelled to Romania seven times, for up to 20 days each time. I also spent last Christmas with the Minca family. The work started as a freelance project and will now be part of the Kontinent exhibition at the Academy of Arts in October 2020. “KONTINENT — In Search of Europe” is the current, thematic, joint exhibition of all members of the OSTKREUZ Agency of Photographers, in cooperation with the Academy of the Arts. It will open this year's EMOP Berlin — European Month of Photography, and the EMOP Opening Days on 1 October 2020.
BOOK: “Daughters of Magic” shows, on 60 pages, an excerpt from the world of the Romanian witch Mihaela Minca and her family from a photographic perspective. In terms of design, the photographs are set rhythmically in the format 280 x 280 mm (closed). The content is printed on 150 g/sqm LuxoArt velvet paper, which means that the photos are displayed with a particularly high contrast. This allows viewers to delve deep into the colourful world of Mihaela Minca. You can not only immerse yourself visually in the world of witches, the cover also conveys the significance of this world, with the help of a wine-red velvet paper (Dainel).
TEXT: The performance artist Delaine Le Bas wrote the text. She is one of 16 artists who were part of Paradise Lost, the first Roma pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. For many years she has been working on a performance called “Witch Hunt”. Witch Hunt is a multimedia project that includes installation, performance, and music. It is about distorted ideologies and the contemporary colonialist use of language towards the Roma community. To this day, as she says, these ideologies efface the true legacy of the Roma.
280 x 280 mm closed format.
Baton Turbo Book font.
170 g/qm LuxoArt Samt paper.
Printed 115 g/qm2 endpaper.
230 g/qm2 Dainel SG12 cover with golden embossing.
Printet at DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH.
First edition Oktober 2020.
Published by Hartmann Books, Breitscheidstr. 48, 70176 Stuttgart, hartmann-books.com
ISBN Nr.: ISBN 978-3-96070-059-3
Photos by Johanna-Maria Fritz.
Color separation by Heinrich Holtgreve.
Text by Franziska Grillmeier and Delaine Le Bas.
Copyediting by Manfred Malzahn.
Design by Jacob Stoy.
Funded by the Stiftung Kulturwerk of VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Thanks to Mihaela Minca, Cassandra, Ana, Anda, Bianca and the whole family. As well Franziska Grillmeier, Virginia Lupu, Sven Peitzner, Barbara Stauss, Charlotte Schmitz, Heinrich Holtgreve, Jacob Stoy, Delaine Le Bas, Carol Körtig, Isabel Raabe, Manfred Malzahn, Philip Malzahn, Meret Michel, Lara Raabe, Karol Körting, LEICA Fotografie International, Sebastian Wells, Agentur Ostkreuz, Hartmann Projects and all friends who contributed to this work.
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