The Black Sea has been a crossroads between Europe and Asia for millennia. Its coasts are meeting places of contrasting cultures, religions and ideologies with just as much potential for serious conflict.
During a number of trips, Bert Spiertz followed this more than four thousand kilometer long coast through six countries, with Istanbul as the start and end point.
Tales from the Black Sea takes you from the Bosphorus and Turkish port cities such as Trabzon to Batumi in Georgia and the fashionable Russian spa town of Sochi. But also to the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia and the Ukrainian cities of Cherson and Odesa, to the beautiful but endangered water world of the Danube delta and the Bulgarian Riviera.
It turns out that history is often not over here and lives on painfully in the stones, the landscape and in the minds of many people. It is an area where there are problems when it comes to geopolitics, religion, minorities and the unprocessed past.
Olaf Tempelman, foreign editor of de Volkskrant, wrote in an essay included in the book:
“Bert Spiertz put together a beautiful photo book from all the images he took with him from his travels along the coasts of the Black Sea”