Odessa Heat and Glaciers:
Dia Takacsova’s Portfolio
How to be an Odessan, how to live where the days never end, and find yourself in a changing state -- Dia Takacsova from Slovakia studies unusual places and small stories that can tell a lot.
Born in Slovakia, currently based in Calabria, Italy. Studied Mass Media Studies and Photography in Slovakia and Romania. Her works were featured at The Calvert Journal, iGNANT or Huck Magazine, she received a Slovak Press Photo 2016 award.
— Photography has been a part of my life since I was in high school but it was during my university studies when I had the opportunity to learn and it became way more important – a way of life. I like to look for unusual, isolated, or forgotten places and smaller stories that tell more about the whole picture. Some of the topics I am interested in are identity and how do we perceive it, the human condition or our relationship to nature and the environment.
I was working on a series about Odessa during my second visit to this city. My first visit was in the winter of 2013 when the Black Sea was frozen and everything was snow-covered. I returned in August 2016 and the summer face of the city was very different: vibrant, attractive, and full of tourists. To Be Odessan was my project shot during True Lies, an edition of workshops by Shift. Shape. Mobilize. I already knew about the interesting character of the city so there were things I wanted to capture such as the coexistence with the sea or the role of religion, but there were some others that just appeared. I woke up, walked the streets, met people, spoke with them — that’s it. There is a lot of material from that week which I am happy with.
Land: Unknown is my ongoing exploration based on my personal roots, questions of identity and my curiosity about the human impact on a piece of land as well as nature’s impact on humans. I was born and raised in Slovakia, so the East wasn’t something unknown or exotic for me. However, as the country is transforming nowadays and moving towards Europe, my travels often lead me further east where I always try to more intently observe, leaving out the direct messages of ‘where’ and ‘what’.
The Longest Day is capturing a very special place, an Arctic archipelago with a small community where the sun doesn’t set for months and where humans are the only visitors — equal to everything living there. When I visited Svalbard I was fascinated by the harsh conditions, the repeating patterns, and by the fact that one can feel very small there, surrounded with bare mountains, glaciers, and canyons. Svalbard has special rules for everything and living here is only temporary as one cannot be born or die there.