Illustration by: Criss Barsony
I was in Gyumri, Armenia, in a cold cold late afternoon of December, almost by the end of the year. I was wandering into the old town, and walked into the Orthodox cathedral, to shelter myself from the cold for a moment. The cathedral was immersed in darkness, and a light mist of incense created a unique atmosphere. There were several women, all huddled together, praying with their heads bowed, all covered in heavy coats and woolen handkerchiefs, dimly lit by candlelightI. I stood next to them for a while, then turned myself around and saw a scene that I can still remember very clear after many years. There was a young lady, wearing a dark cape with a hood, kneeling before an altar on which some candles were shining. She was holding a child in her arms, all bundled up, with his cheeks red from the cold. She turned to me, probably having seen me as a ‘foreign’ presence out of the corner of her eye. So I saw her beautiful face, the only thing that candles could illuminate in that darkness, and her big eyes shone out of the incense mist. At that moment I didn’t want to raise the camera out of respect for her and the whole situation, but I really wished I had taken that picture.
Annalisa Natali Murri approached for the first time to photography at age 27, while attending Architectural and Urban Photography School in Valencia (Spain). After completing her studies in engineering, soon she began to alternate her work to photography, focusing on personal research works and documentary projects, mainly inspired by social issues and their psychological consequences, with a particular interest in the effects of history and collective memory in determining an individual and community identity, as well as their influence in the origination of many contemporary questions. In 2014 she was selected as an attendee for LOOK between mentorship program and in 2015 she was named one of the 30 emerging photographers to watch at PDN’s 30. Her works have been awarded and highlighted in several international contests and awards, including 70th and 71st POYi, Sony World Photography Award, Burn Magazine, Emerging Photographer Fund, Catchlight’s Activist Awards and PHM Women Photographers Grant. As from 2018 she is a member of CAPTA Images.