Stefania Orfanidou’s Pendulum
“Pendulum is the approach of a return journey to the city of L’Aquila in central Italy. My relationship with this place started 12 years before I was born, when my parents met each other accidentally there. I grew up listening to their narrations about this city, I visited it with them as a child, and I moulded their story in my mind.
Words by – Stefania Orfanidou Photography by – Stefania Orfanidou

I moved there, only a few years after the earthquake, in order to work as an architect in the reconstruction of the city, but in reality it was a return to my fictitious roots. During my stay, I experienced the post-seismic terrain in a very bizarre way. The sense of familiarity I had developed in my fainted childhood memory collided with the uncanny new condition the city was in. The natural disaster caused a violent change at the body and the life of this place and led to the displacement of its citizens towards the suburbs. The heart of the historical centre, where I lived, was left empty and a strange silence prevailed in the narrow streets. L’Aquila was a pass-through in a transitional period of my life, a temporary pause in a place that reminded a non-place. I experienced this pause as an oscillation in the air. The quake’s resonance created a rupture in my mind. I tried to heal this rupture by capturing photographically its imprints and its aftermath, as a process of rewriting this place in my memory, as a personal quest to restore a relationship. However, I left L’Aquila before its reconstruction was completed. The pendulum’s movement was interrupted, the oscillation stopped; it stayed unfinished.”