Estelle Hanania’s images explore otherworldly spaces, the sharp realness of her photographs a startling contrast to the ethereality of their subjects — burning hands, glittery crystals, spookily-real human scarecrows, and men dressed as eery, totem-like birds. Exploring the allure of ritual, costumes, and folk traditions, Hanania’s photography is a beautiful reminder of a certain eccentricity inherent to all cultural beliefs and behaviors.
Hanania tells us, “I don’t take pictures on a daily basis, and everyday life is more visually boring to me than inspiring, most of the time. Visually, I like when strange things collide and provoke questions.” Of her photographs of costumed men at carnivals (which she’s been taking since 2006) she ways, “I’m attracted by a feeling of disorientation and excitement that you can find in these gatherings and costumed traditions…. I loved this kind of situation where everything gets confused and uncertain, but you still can define the most familiar shape which is the human figure, vanishing.”