/Persephone_ the underworld/

According to the Greek mythology, Persephone was the beautiful offspring of Demeter, the Goddess of agriculture, ground and fertility, and Zeus, the King of the Gods. One day, while she was gathering flowers, Hades, the God of the Underworld, dazzled by her beauty, abducted her in order to marry her. Demeter’s failed efforts to find her daughter all over Earth, led to her despair; thus, no crops were let to grow and human beings were threatened to extinction due to famine. Helios, the observing Sun, eventually revealed Demeter where Persephone was.

After not complying with Demeter’s request to let her daughter go, Hades agreed, due to Zeus’ intervention, to let Persephone reunite with her mother. Persephone was released, but once she had tasted the Underworld’s food she was obliged to spend a third of each year in the Underworld as the wife of Hades and two thirds of each year with her mother. As long as Persephone is in the Underworld, Demeter was mourning and refused to allow crops to grow, until she gets her daughter back again.

/Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking_ the underground/

The term hydraulic fracturing or fracking is referred to a contemporary mechanical engineering technique, via which the recovering of non- easily accessible gas and oil is made possible. The procedure consists in the drilling of shale rocks by injecting into them a high pressure mixture, made of water, sand and chemicals, which releases the desired “product” to the earth’s surface.

/Persephone’ s Nightmare/

The epicenter of the Persephone’ s Nightmare project lies in the field where the ancient- greek myth and a contemporary earth- exploiting practice come one; this is exactly what it wills to investigate, by depicting another human intervention to the landscape, through the presentation of sites around UK, in which fracking is being applied. The continuous Persephone’s movement between two worlds gets connected with the resulting nature’s and communities’ change caused by fracking.

Using analog camera and film, the photographers ostensibly create images of nature’s serenity. In a closer look though, these images reveal a second level of elaboration; as their films have been buried in the ground of the fracking sites referred above, the distorted images produced become witnesses of the uncertain situation about to emerge. The effective, yet random, alteration of their surface caused by this transition, articulates captures of underground traces and their potential expressions.

Text by Pavlina Kirkou

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