Blognotes from a photographer life...

Sep 24, 2009

RUSSIAN ELDERS

Elder people are the real victims in modern Russia. It breaks my heart to see so many of them walking like strangers, but I should say ghosts, in the streets of the city. They were educated and grown in the socialist culture: everything was planned for them. All they had to do was working and follow the rules. What was important was the social equilibrium. They liked culture, reading a lot, art, social venues. Then suddenly found themselves in a strange, out of a new world new era. Some clever guys stole the economy from them (the modern “oligarchs” in fact sustained by the political elite), and the young generations jumped into the new life system. Money and personal success, a complete new concept, are central to it.
And here they are: hopelessly trying to cope with the new world, trying to survive it for the few remaining years of their life. And this is exactly what the government is hoping for: for the old generation to disappear leaving room to the new capitalistic oriented new one.
It’s a change, ok, but a too sharp for most of them. I see them climbing on the crowded tube, shying into a seat, discomforted with their cheap clothes, their eyes lowered to the floor all the time. This was their land, their country. They fought and worked for it. And now all they asked for is to die as soon as possible. All is given them is indifference, a big nothing.

Sep 22, 2009

MOSCOW: ANGELS AND DEVILS


Moscow 17 years after... after my first, and only time here... Changes? Many, changes... But not so many, after all... The atmosphere is still the same. I feel like Socialism has gone from a short time and people are living still in a transitional era... Many poor are begging on the sidewalks while BMW and Hammers are jammed in the traffic a few steps away.
This is not just an impression: everybody is confirming that life is difficult for most of the Moscovite. For a few is just basking in gold. I wonder how is life far from the capital: some says is desperate.. And this is a super-power? A resources-rich country? So much to say, so much to criticize, still all is a deja-vu, the useless cry of an unjust world...
Angels and devils are populating days and nights in Moscow. But I think angels are turning into devils when time comes: nobody is innocent here. I would divide the city among clever guys and naive survivors...
You walk in the street, you rise a finger and a car stops to carry you anywhere you want. It’s not a taxi but all you need to do is discuss a price. Just like 17 years ago. Just like any undeveloped country.


Sep 10, 2009

SHOW AT FOIANO FOTOGRAFIA

On October 17, in Foiano (Arezzo, Italy), will be inaugurated the Foianofotografia photography festival, dedicated this year to documentary images of the world (Casa-Mondo is the title).
I'll be present with a 15 images shows dedicated to my new project on "Chinese Shadows over Asia". This is in fact, and I titled it accordingly, the starting point of the project. The images are more like "notes" of what I'll be looking for, rather then a presentation of what the work will look like in the end. I like to throw stones in the water and see the reactions, understand the feelings and interests, focusing on the path that can be too wide and misleading..

FESTIVAL DEL VIAGGIO - WORKSHOP IN PISA


On October 15-17 I'll be teaching at the Festival del Viaggio in Pisa at the workshop "Writing and Photography in Travel", an intense 3 days full immersion with a lot of brain-storming. For further details see the Festival del Viaggio website.

Nei giorni 15-17 ottobre sarĂ² tra gli insegnati del workshop "scrittura e fotografia di viaggio" tenuto da Festival del Viaggio a Pisa. Tre giorni con molti interventi, gran brain-storming, e una full immersion nella materia. Per ulteriori dettagli consultate il sito relativo.

Sep 6, 2009

FRENCH MIRRORS (& LIGHTS...)

Paris is the Ville Lumiere, we know... photographers paradise since the beginning of photography. But we have to recognize the French an incredible sensibility for underlining the value of their beauties: fashion and make up for women, labels for bottles of wine.. and of course light for photographers. Nowhere like here (well, maybe in some Chinese metropolis, but they copied) the lighting of streets, monuments, shops and homes is done with so much taste and skills that seems organized by photographers themselves. (Hei, we have a new job!)..
And now I found also mirrors! In the Convent de Jacobins in Toulouse, where the gothic roof is the main feature, they placed a large polarizing mirror on the floor so that you don't need to look up and imagine... The flower-like arches are sharp below you, and you can admire (and photograph) with ease... It's not a big thing, but shows a sensibility for vision that is rare in this image-rich imagination-poor world...

Sep 4, 2009

PERPIGNAN & FRIENDS...

video
Still, the real reason why to be in Perpignan is still worth, of course, are friends...

CAFE' TITANIC.. PERPIGNAN

I repeat myself, again, and again, and again... But I'm like the watcher on the Titanic that is screaming not "Iceberg! Iceberg!" (that was a while ago) but instead "water, lot of water in the ship! we are going to sink soon!!"...
And the reaction at the Grand Cafe de la Poste (the "salotto" in Perpignan's VISA) is still the same: more wine, and beer, and hidden-under-the-table-bottles-of-whiskey.. No, not to forget. On the contrary.. Still talking more of the future in photojournalism, the coming projects, the ever-under-the-arm portfolios to show at any given occasion...
But very few professionals (photographers, agents, photo editors) are in Perpignan this year, or, at least, much less then usual. Who works and lives producing images (we hope good, valuable, useful images) feels like VISA is not helping in these troubled times. What we should be talking about in here is how the future should shape itself rather then keep doing less and less of the old same..
Where would be a better place and occasion then at this world forum where all the actors are congregating for a week? And I find ridiculous that on the VISA website the very opening is declearing that "photojournalism is dead" and then is proposing no discussion and confrontation on the matter: what is this, a requiem?
I see good, strong photos in the exhibitions, and is sad to know that very few of them will find some pages where to be published (therefore being seen, fulfilling their journalistic mission..)
Where are the discussions on the new media, the new ethical parameters, the problems of accessing the real news for the ever more controlled reporters? Where?
Somebody is still asserting that the real important thing is to stick to the technical limits inherited from the chemical darkroom!!! What? Whaaaat?
The world is changing, changing fast... and the Titanic is sinking, even faster... Let's save all what is worth saving of our precious, essential part of culture and information..