Lalibela, timeless

The series "Lalibela, timeless" offers an immersion among the faithful of the monolithic churches of Lalibela. A major place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia, the "Ethiopian Jerusalem" includes a group of eleven 13th century rock churches. The churches are connected to each other by a network of tunnels and galleries as if they were one piece.

The faithful of Lalibela immerse themselves for hours in the heart of these churches which links them to the history of Ethiopian Christianity, a cult that appeared in Ethiopia in the 4th century but is rooted in an ancient heritage steeped in legends. Draped in their traditional shawls, priests and devotees seem to be an integral part of this timeless environment and appear to the objective as guardians of a millenary heritage.

Immersed in this contrasting microcosm, the uninitiated discovers another relationship to space by observing the connection of the faithful with their place of worship. In this group of churches, the sacred space seems to have no limits and the devotees maintain an intimate relationship with the rock which, in every place, connects them to the whole site.

Thus the discovery of the churches of Lalibela is accompanied by a loss of reference points that forces the reflection of visitors whose societies have often segmented time and space, assigning to each segment a role, a utility.  

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All Images and Original text © 2015-2019 Antoni Lallican