My trip to Chişinău (ki-shi-nyov), Moldova, was actually mainly a family trip. I knew I had less time wandering around the city than I would prefer and am used to. The upside was that being with my family sometimes gave me perfect cover, made me much less suspicious and got me going to places I normally would probably not go. It made me feel safe because I don’t speak the local languages, Moldovan and Russian. However, I did wander the streets alone as well.
About being safe, Chişinău is, ofcourse, not like my hometown Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Even in the city centre, I would hardly meet any other tourist or anyone carrying a camera. People were very aware of me and that made me uneasy, like I was the one being watched instead of them. However, after a while I found that people were equally uninterested or shy as they are anywhere else. Although I did avoid police and other tough guys, more than I would at home, where I know my rights and can always explain what I’m doing…
Since I been to Chişinău before, I knew where I was going and did think about what I wanted to photograph. Mainly I thought of what I did not want to photograph.
Instead of making a social reality series, automatically showing the unfortunately poor state this country and some of the people are in, the clichés of eastern Europe, I decided to do what I always do: take candid photographs of everyday life, find the curious in the obvious.
So the series does show Chişinău, in a more positive way than most western newsarticles do, through the odd events that happen there like they happen everywhere, all the time.
But naturally, Chişinău has it’s own colors and funnyness, and people do dress, look and behave slightly different, like they do in any other country or city, which is ofcourse inspiring. Being perhaps the first photographer to do genuine street photography in the untrodden Chişinău, Moldova, certainly gave me a thrill.
See the complete series at http://www.casparclaasen.com/series-Chisinau-Moldova-2011-n301m238
Which one of these images from Caspar truly speak to you? Leave a comment below and show him some love!