To Search the Secret of the Forest
Pietro Lo Casto, Italy
A complex relationship between man and nature defines life in the village of Tangia Basti, South Eastern Nepal. A sprawling forest surrounding the community provides and, at times, even takes away. Inherited cultural beliefs and mysterious rituals bind the lives of the inhabitants to the land. A man climbs a tree to collect wood, hunts animals at night and knows his way miles deep into the jungle. A former Maoist soldier bathes in the river, he has found solace in the calm of the woods. An archaic tree sits silent, high as the sky, absorbing the darker spirits of the forest and preserving the natural balance of the community. A young girl with esoteric powers uses animal energy to heal those possessed by ghosts.
The community has been living in a state of uncertainty for more than 25 years due to the proposed construction of an airport. The village is completely cut off from the national electricity grid, houses have no running water and there’s no telephone connection. In spite of this fragility, people have built roads and schools, grown resilient and created a lively existence.
Pietro Lo Casto is an Italian Visual Artist working with images and video.
Born in Bologna, 1986. Currently based in Bangkok.
He graduated from the International Program of Photography at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.
Prior to photography, Pietro studied Marketing and worked in the advertising department of Apple in London. He stumbled upon image making through an exceptional encounter during a solo trip to South America, where he also experienced a profound personal connection with nature.
Lo Casto’s work explores social and environmental issues, with a particular focus on the impact they have on the relationship between man and nature.
In 2020 he is one of the three winners of the 15th edition of the Premio Canon Young Photographers.
Pietro is currently an Associate Researcher at the Center for Ethnic Studies and Development of the University of Chiang Mai, Thailand.