It is out of reality that the most peculiar tale of all is born…Some call me the Elder Granny, others, the Dryad, but my real name is Memory. It is I who sits on a tree that keeps on growing, and growing; it is I who reminisces and tells stories.

—Hans Christian Andersen


This fairy tale is like a spell cast in an attempt to disenchant the past. It is an act of creating a new reality in which illusion is the truth.

They say that childhood is a time when one’s mind is asleep. Acting as a guide, leading my daughter to consciousness, I intend to implant in her a belief that “fairy tales are more than real: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they make us realize that they can be conquered.” (G.K. Chesterton).

—Marta Berens

Editors’ note: Berens’ project Suiti was a Juror’s Pick in last year’s Magnum Awards. The 2017 Magnum Photography Awards are now open for entries—submit your work for a chance to be recognized by leaders in the photographic community from National Geographic, Aperture, Magnum, LensCulture, and more. You can also check out the jury and prizes for the Magnum Awards 2017 on its Call for Entries page.