FROM A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW
A Journey On The Ways Of St.James
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ABOUT THE PROJECT
Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the word, leaving their home to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on various routes through Southern Europe.
I made my first trip on the Way of St.James at the end of 2012 and implemented my grandmother's last will to carry part of her ashes on the French Camino de Santiago / Camino Francés, from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Cape Finisterre and to hand it over to the ocean.
During this time I was able to get to know many wonderful people and saw the most diverse places and landscapes along the way.
Back in Germany, I searched the internet and the libraries to find out more about the different routes that lead through France, Spain and Portugal.
In addition, I asked myself what constitutes the real attraction or fascination of the Camino de Santiago?
Is it the pilgrims community? The feeling of having a common goal with other people at a slower pace? Is it culture and countries through which you travel on your pilgrimage? Is it the feeling of deprivation? Temporary abandonment of your own comfort zone?
When I was researching the Internet, I came across one thing in particular.
On countless, always the same look alike photographs.
Pictures of worn-out hiking shoes placed on path markings, yellow arrows and shell symbols, the identifying marks of the Way of St. James, painted on various undergrounds, pilgrim passes several meters long and millions of images of churches, stone piles, flowers, butterflies, sunrises and sunsets and pilgrims, who immortalized themselves on selfies at striking waypoints for posterity.
I found relevant books and novels by well-known writers, maps, travel guides, photo calendars, postcards, movies, devotional objects, forums where pilgrims exchange ideas, luggage lists, backpack recommendations and much more about curiosities about the subject of the Way of St. James.
Only one thing I couldn't find.
The real stars of the different ways of St. James.
The everyday life of the people who live along the paths, places and landscapes, through which the numerous paths to Santiago de Compostela meander.
Unrecoverable and unfixed moments and situations that describe and show life off the beaten track and on the trails. Evidence of an ever faster changing world.
The encounter between modernity and tradition and a nature that has to adapt drastically to the existing conditions as part of global warming or which could even disappear from the picture one day.
So I had the firm will to create something which is much bigger than myself.
A pictorial chronicle of the most famous Ways Of St.James in Southern Europe and at the same time a homage to nature and the people living along the way.
A photographic testimony and testament of a cultural treasure, of which each individual pilgrim can make his contribution for his preservation.