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Ramin Mazur

Rural Carnival

The Rural Carnival (2016–) project is a glimpse into the world of carnival in rural areas in Europe and its organic evolution in places where it is not preserved artificially. While carnivals are usually sustained as a pairing of ethnic authenticity and touristic advantage, they flourish in these remote country settings as a celebration of the local.

Ramin Mazur, Rural Carnival, 2016–. Courtesy of the artist.
Ramin Mazur, Rural Carnival, 2016–. Courtesy of the artist.

In a 5-year-long exploration of rural traditions in Romania, Ukraine and Moldova, photographer Ramin Mazur documented the ethnological peculiarities of this region’s carnival traditions. The series of masked portraits is part of a project which portrays various supernatural characters of carnival manifestations whose names vary from place to place. Whether it is “Tigani”, “Jidani” or “Iuflele”, these characters’ main role is to deconstruct the concept of the permissible and often simply to display grotesqueness.


Ramin Mazur, Rural Carnival, 2016–. Courtesy of the artist.

Ramin Mazur (1987) was born on the left bank of river Dniester in the Moldavian Soviet Republic, which became the unrecognized state of Transnistria after 1991. He graduated from the Journalism Department of Moldavian State University in Chisinau. His works have been exhibited in Pasinger Fabrik in Munich, AFF Galerie in Berlin and Taras Shevchenko Museum in Kyiv among others. Mazur worked with different print outlets in his country as a photo reporter. A desire to dedicate more time to personal subjects led him to start working on independent projects. After receiving the Human Rights and Photography Magnum Foundation Scholarship in 2013, he focused mostly on independent storytelling, based on observation of his own and nearby countries' realities during their time of transition.

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