After the fall of the Berlin Wall, you were able to travel through countries where movement had previously been restricted. Can you talk to us about what you took with you on your journey? What were the practical things that you needed as a photographer?
In 1993 during one of my longest trips, I arrived in Crimea with an old clapped-out Citroën but I made most of my trips with a Volkswagen which I loaded with a tent, a stove and a sleeping bag. I always had a supply of Campbell’s soups with me and I bought bread and vodka along the way. In winter I always wore snow chains and I never forgot to put oil in the engine of my car that would resist freezing even with temperatures of minus twenty degrees. I would also carry two spare tires in case luck wasn’t on my side. To photograph I brought a Leica, three Nikons and a hundred rolls of films. I slept where I could, sometimes in the home of people that I met along the road, otherwise in the woods or in front of a monastery waiting for a pilgrimage to begin. Once, in Vukovar, during the Yugoslav wars, I slept in the boot of my Volkswagen. The best moments were when I would make tea and listen to the sound of the rain on the roof of my car, waiting for a good light to return.
You shoot exclusively in black and white. What does black and white have that colour lacks?
I think it is possible to take very intense and deep photographs with colour but, in my case, I think that black and white are the two colors that allow you to more clearly trace the symbolic aspect of a deeper reality. Black is central in the image; time hides in its folds; in its unexplored areas the mystery is hidden.