by Nils Stelte

Between documentation and distortion, Renaissance explores the broad supply of spiritual eclecticism in urban communities that strives for stress relief. In forests, community halls, hospitals and hotel lobbies urbanites gather for rituals apart from major religions in the search for mental catharsis and regeneration. Although emerging as an individual psychological burden, stress is a societal symptom conquering todays everyday life, condensed in the city. Desiring security, relief and optimism its dwellers perform symbolic acts to replace their previous outlook on life with new meanings and altered experiences. In seemingly staged photos Renaissance shows individuals in the quest for means to overcome personal crisis. These operate between self-optimisation and self-realisation, between spiritualism and pragmatism, and add up to a list of possibilities designed to make us resilient. I photographed Renaissance during a mentoring Program of Parallel Photo Platform funded by the European Community, conceived by Procur.arte.