On August 7, 1971, the Apollo 15 mission ended (the fourth American manned mission to land - under the program of the same name). The crew then left on the surface of the Moon a small aluminum sculpture, made by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonc1 and a plaque with the names of 8 American and 6 Soviet astronauts who died during preparations to explore space. This memorial was photographed by astronaut David Scott with a Hasselblad Electric Data Camera (HDC) with a 500 mm Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar lens. The document remains a manifesto of courage, but also of human curiosity in understanding nature. The inert landscape of the Moon will keep that monument intact for millions of years.
50 years later, I took a series of photos, using almost the same technical parameters, on the outskirts of Bucharest, where the deforestation of the last forest areas and the brutal interventions on green spaces create the premises for a transformation of the natural landscape into a barren urban one. Keeping the logic of the monthly memorial, I placed a plaque with the names of two people who lost their lives in 2019 trying to keep intact the forests and wild areas of Romania2 and a small sculpture by the artist Valeriu Șchiau that reflects the same concept.
Illegal deforestation has become a common phenomenon, not only in Romania, but anywhere in the world. Slowly the world we know, supported by the fragility of an aggressed planet, will become a memory, and the adaptation of Homo Sapiens to the new climate formulas is already a struggle that can always be lost.
1 The small sculpture (8.9 cm high) made by Paul Van Hoeydonck, entitled Fallen Astronaut, resistant to extreme temperatures on the Moon, tried to represent all of humanity.
2 Liviu Pop lost his life fighting illegal loggers in a forested area of Maramureș. Raducu Gorcioaia was found dead in his car, a short distance from an illegal logging site in the Pașcani forest in the northeast of the country.