Project: Understanding the land
Martina Orska is a photographer and art director. Her versatility allows her to work with a wide portfolio of clients, approach the job at hand and resolve it with the most curated result possible. Her work has been published in Vogue Mx, The Fader and Domus magazines among others. Having graduated in Industrial Design allowed him to enter photography from that point of view: designing the photographs before taking them. Her master's degree in Communication and Advertising allowed her to mix her knowledge in design, conceptual development and visual strategy. These three pillars plus learning everything on her own led her to turn a hobby into a career. Her studio is her cave; where colour, form, light and music are the essence of her photographs.
Understanding the Land
When I was little I was taught the importance of reading and writing in its various forms. Eventually I learned to read between the lines, I learned to read people. I learned to play in the dirt, but not to read the dirt. I learned to be in touch with nature, at least I thought I was. In 2018 I embarked on a journey to southern Africa where I can say that I unlearned what I had learned. The idea I had in my mind of how a community functioned came from the roots of a city, of a society.
Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp is located in the savannah very close to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Salaton Ole Ntutu, warrior, chief of the community, and Susan Deslaurier, received me with the warmest welcome and treated me like a daughter. They were willing to answer all my questions and include me in their life.
The magic of the light, their clothes, their way of speaking, their songs, their way of living and their ability to be happy with what they have captured me. The day starts with the first ray of sunshine and ends with the sunset, there are no schedules to keep. There are chores to be done. Every morning a group of women go up into the bush to collect firewood, carrying it on their backs to keep them warm at night. Another example of a women-only task is washing clothes in the river. Older women, their daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters share these moments where stories are passed on from generation to generation.
I witnessed the sunrise, the sunset, the intense sun that burns the territories that cross the equatorial line and hail similar to how I imagine the end of the world. During the walks I heard Meeri talking to a warrior in her language, Maa. She explained to me that they pass on stories in this way, telling some people what they spoke to others. In this way they build up common ideas and customs, traditions and feelings that develop as a community.
I grew up in the city following its rhythm and its rules, the Maasai taught me that our true home is only, waiting for us to return, where no one works for himself, where the word individual is only part of a symbiosis. Where peace comes from the order of things and there is no need to look elsewhere because well-being is enough, where the fire is fed as a team and the bounty of the Earth is abundant. Thus, giving me the feeling of being in my true home where being part of a community gives a sense of belonging and support for individual growth. A place where it is celebrated with magical rituals that a young man becomes a respected elder man in the community, making them wise.
It is not easy to express in words what changed inside me, it was an experience that added the ingredient of understanding the magic of being part of a whole that flows with the synchrony of the Universe. To live slowly, respecting the times of nature, the flow of the water that runs through the rivers without haste, the time of sowing and harvesting, the fire that heats and the air that travels the world at its own rhythm, together with our own times. This experience awakened in me the desire to return home, to learn to read the earth.