Bird in Flight Prize ‘19 Finalist: Alexander
Project by Polish photographer Michał Siarek shortlisted for Bird in Flight Prize ‘19.
Michał Siarek, Poland
“Alexander” is a multi-platform documentary, first published as a book and a digital archive. Based on the relationship between politics, history and culture, revolves around the construction of a national myth in the (Former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia – a state with no name, fixated on a dispute with Greece about origins so distant that they may have never existed at all.
The very first thing I saw in the capital city of Skopje was the construction of a 25-meter tall figure of a warrior on horseback. As I found out later, the statue of Alexander the Great was the crown jewel to the nation-branding policy, likening the modern day Macedonia to its ancient archetype.
On February 13th, 2019 the country was officially renamed to the Republic of North Macedonia. All previous claims to its ancient provenience were dismissed. While the new government pushes for removal of previously built monuments and squares, me and my collaborators want to create an account to these transformations.