The Pennsic War (click for statement)
This selection of images represent the gallery edit. A larger set can be found here: http://tricianeumyer.viewbook.com/pennsic/images-divided-by-years Upon arriving at the Pennsic War, it is customary for the volunteer at Troll to ask, “Have you been to Pennsic Before?” If the answer is yes, the response is, “Welcome Home.” This is not an exaggeration. Every summer thousands of people from all over the world and all walks of life gather at a campground in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, for two weeks of Medieval Reenacting. Pennsic is one of the largest events organized by The Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization which, since 1966, has been dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th century Europe. It’s also an enormous party, an epic shopping opportunity, a university of classes and a series of battles with lots of people hitting each other very hard with big sticks. My original goal at Pennsic 34 (2005), was to photograph my sister in her first year fighting. What I found was a place and time where who you are in the real world (Mundania) is put aside. Up to twelve thousand people, all dressed in various types of garb from cultures around the world including Europe, North America, China, Japan, and the Middle East, are essentially all playing the same game at the same time. Friendship are made, alliances are forged, titles are conferred, ancient crafts are passed down to new generations, battles are won and lost. What I expected to photograph were the battles, a kind of martial art in which training includes both how to hit and how to act when you get hit. What I discovered were bonds of friendship that extend across fifty weeks of the year to congeal into a new reality for those two weeks. The goal of the images has come to be to describe the ways in which people play the game, some take it very seriously and some are just silly, and to show the camaraderie and joy which comes from being your real self in an unreal place. This project has evolved technically into an analog/digital hybrid, kind of like me. The earliest photographs were captured on Tri-X with a Hasselblad 500C. I still have that 500C, but I generally use my much newer 500CM (54 and 29 years old respectively). I still prefer to shoot on Tri-X film, but have been making new pictures using the Hasselblad CFV-50 digital back as well.