For Indian photographer Arko Datto la notte is the perfect time to build stories that offer new perspectives on social and political issues. After the first book Will my mannequin be home when I return?released in 2018 and set in his hometown, Datto continues the trilogy on Southeast Asian nights with What news of the snake that lost its heart in the fireabbreviated on the book cover in Snake fire.
This time his gaze moves between Malaysia and Indonesia, starting from a fact that really happened: the story of a python, the longest ever seen so far, which comes out of the jungle and arrives at a construction site in Penang, Malaysia, where it gives birth among the astonished eyes of the population and dies a few days later.
Penang, in fact, is a city upset by building speculation and deforestation caused by the cultivation of oil palm. And there Datto sees a harmony between nature and human beings now lost, a worn-out paradise perfect as a background for his shots.
By adding other metallic and fluorescent colors during the press, the photographer replaces all the variations of black with blue, pink, orange and red, which enter the scene as electric shocks. Snake fire he recreates a restless hallucinatory state, in which the real elements merge with a fevered dream, where the loss of control of humans over nature is manifested once and for all.
What news of the snake that lost its heart in the fire (Snake fire) is published by L’Artiere and will be followed by a third chapter dedicated to Bangladesh.