Inevitable Hero

Photographer Ramin Mazur focusses his camera on just one recurring face in the Moldovan landscape.

Moldova gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1992. It had the same centralised ideals and heroes as any other communist country for over fifty years. Independence freed this space, and people needed to revive symbols that would underlie their identity. The king of the 15th century Moldova, Stephen the Great, became the newly chosen national hero. Following the tradition of the busts, statues and portraits of great leaders, Moldovans placed his portrait on walls, in school halls, and on currency. The personal symbol of The Great Moldova is even printed onto grocery bags.