Elena Gallina sifts through beauty and resistance in this episode of the Clerestory Podcast.
“Can you hear it?
the world singing-or have they taken that from you too?
Ever since I was little, I’ve sensed the world speaks to us.
Certain environments hold mourning in the earth, other places exude soft yellow and deep green.
The way the sun strikes at a particular hour, the facial expression of a kind old man on a park bench, a collective moment choosing to dance despite oppression
it comes unannounced
catches you by surprise
And defies particular standards–despite thousands of years of philosophers’ efforts to make sense of it.
I call this Beauty.”
Elena grew up in Kosovo in the aftermath of the war there, has since lived and worked in various conflict settings across the Middle East, and is currently based in Oxford, England on a Rhodes scholarship. Her research and photography explore the quiet moments in often misunderstood and sensationalized environments, with particular focus on womxn’s empowerment and bodily self-confidence. Raised by American Christian parents in a majority Muslim country, she was questioning approaches to faith from a very early age. She now identifies as non-religious but committed to a concept of the Divine; 24, white, from a working class family, bisexual, cis-gendered.
Read Elena’s full essay here.