Nekyia is a concept used by the philosopher C. G. Jung in the early 20th century as part of his analytical psychology, for him the Nekyia represent the “introversion of the conscious mind into the deeper layers of the unconscious psyche.” More simply an inner journey of restoration for the whole man psyche. However, the word Nekyia comes from the ancient Greek ritual by which deceased’s ghosts were called up and questioned about the future. A number of sites in Greece and Italy were dedicated to this practice but the only oracle of death in ancient Greece it is believed to be located on the banks of the Acheron, a river that nowadays rises and flows in the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece.
The great classic poems: Odyssey, after Aeneid and later Divine Comedy’s Inferno, also underlined the river’s strong relation with the mythology of death, using the Acheron to indicate the sacred boundary between the mortal life and the afterlife. The main characters in these poems had to descent at some point into the underworld to acquire knowledge after facing various quests or dialogue with the spectres, this made them stronger, enabled them to understand the past and made ready to face the future.
Says Rocco: Using the river Acheron as a guide for my personal nekyia across Epirus, my aim is to create a metaphorical and allegorical perspective on modern day Greece, juxtaposing the mythology heritage of the region to the current political-economical situation.
Rocco Venezia – a documentary photographer, works as an assistant curator for PHmuseum and has co-founded the residency program Photo Meliggoi.