CURATED BY BERENICE ANGREMY
Photographing disasters has been a mission of photojournalism since the very beginning of photography. And before photography, it was artists who were sent to the scenes of disasters. While some have the capacity to report shocking or captivating testimonies, others, faced with tragedy, permeate their images with soul and internal reflection.
Just as Goya, who terrorized himself and his public with his famous work The disasters of war, denounced the absurd horrors of war through his drawings, photographers like Oscar Motuloh give off an atmosphere beyond the image of the tragedies themselves.
Disasters, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides are the landscapes of Soulscape Road, a series of photographs taken before 2011, showing an Indonesia tortured by the elements. Oscar Motuloh, photographer and curator, created the Galeri Foto Jurnalistik in Antara. He is the key figure of the Antara News Agency. The black-and-white photographs he captures of places crossed by disaster are timeless but also frozen in time. They dwell close to the earth, drought, crevasses and trees disfigured by storms.
Photographs first, then book, Soulscape Road has recently been made into a film in cooperation with musicians Toni Prabowo and vocalist Nyak Ina Raseuki, whose soundtrack is throbbing and bewitching, like a call of the earth.