ANTI-DO-TO reminds us the power of the music

ANTI-DO-TO reminds us the power of the music

Andrea Tuzio · 9 months ago · Style

ANTI-DO-TO, the Milan-based activist post-streetwear brand, presented its second social project since its inception in 2020 after funding Ha’ramba, the first skatepark on the Gaza Strip dedicated in toto to Gazawi youth.
In this second venture into the social sphere, ANTI-DO-TO reminds us of the incredible power of music as a tool for expression, redemption and reintegration.

In the coastal city of Douala, Cameroon, lies the chaotic, suffocating and overcrowded New Bell prison, one of the harshest and most difficult in the entire country. 
More akin to a refugee camp in New Bell live, in conditions at the limits of humanity, 3000 inmates all crammed into a space designed for only 800 people.
Of these 3,000 detainees, 70 percent have been incarcerated for years without trial or conviction because Cameroonian law does not provide for limits on pre-trial detention. 

Voiceless, cast aside by society and left to their own devices, inmates struggle to reintegrate because of stigma, and right in the midst of all these difficulties Jail Time Records was born.

Jail Time Records is the collective that runs the record and audio-visual production label composed of prisoners and former prisoners, founded in 2018 in Douala Central Prison by artist and filmmaker Dione Roach.

From being a recording studio for inmates , the first ever set up in an African prison, the project expanded its horizons by going outside the prison and soon became an aggregator of talent and artists.

After learning about the project in 2021, ANTI-DO-TO decided to support the project by fully funding the construction of a new recording studio in the Deido neighborhood of Douala, and thus, this time, outside the prison.

Starting in mid-May and for the next six months, purchasing any item will participate in the project by refinancing it through 50 percent of the net profits from the sale. 
The project aims first and foremost to reintegrate formerly incarcerated rappers, producers and artists within the community, to give them a chance to cultivate their talents and to keep themselves away from what brought them to prison.

“Thanks to ANTI-DO-TO, we were able to realize the dream of creating a recording studio outside of prison, and this for the artists of Jail Time Records definitely represents a real breakthrough. Music has changed their lives in prison, but once they get out it is necessary to be able to keep them focused. It is the most critical time. Having a place to get together, continuing to record for free, comforted and supported by those who know their reality well, means giving them a new life”, these are the words of Dione Roach, founder of Jail Time Records.

A capsule collection dedicated to the project was also created under the artistic direction of designer Federico Curradi. The graphics were created by the inmates themselves thanks to a workshop organized in prison by Dione herself, where art has become a fundamental tool for escape and freedom of expression.

In support of the project ANTI-DO-TO has made a short film in which the true essence of what is being accomplished comes out and the incredible and disruptive power of music as a pivot around which to build something good and useful for the community.
Below you can take a look at the trailer for the short film while you can see the entire short film on ANTI-DO-TO’s website.  

ANTI-DO-TO reminds us the power of the music
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ANTI-DO-TO reminds us the power of the music
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One Shot: light in the shots of Sasha Elage

One Shot: light in the shots of Sasha Elage

Laura Tota · 1 month ago · Photography

One Shot is Collater.al’s column that delves into the work of a photographer starting from a single shot, describing his style and imagery. This episode’s guest is Sasha Elage, a photographer of Russian origin and naturalised French citizen.

Sasha Elage | Collater.al

Self-taught photographer, he does not use corrective methods for his photography: his incredible photos are taken with any corrective device, simply exploiting natural light and playing with the simple over-/under-exposure of the images or with flash and colored gels.
What is intended as a photographic error, soon becomes an peculiar stylistic code in Sasha’s research, thus making light the protagonist in the shot and in restoring consistency and personality to the Sasha Elage is a photographer of Russian origin, a naturalized Frenchman. Self-taught photographer, he does not use corrective methods for his photography: his incredible photos are taken without resorting to any corrective device, simply exploiting natural light and playing with the simple over-/under-exposure of the images or with flash and colored gels.

What is captioned as a photographic error becomes an unmistakable stylistic code in Sasha’s research, thus making light the undisputed protagonist in the shot and in restoring consistency and personality to the portrayed subjects/objects.
Where humans are present, faces are deliberately hidden or unreadable, reducing the face to a simple reflective surface for a light that blinds the observer.
The goal is to recreate images characterized by a strong aesthetic sense, transforming the photographic act into a game, a form of entertainment in which Sasha challenges the human eye; his photographs break conventions and scenographic conjunctions through optical tricks and a combination of inventive minimalism.We asked Sasha to tell us about one of his shots to explain his research and share it with us.

1. Describe your photography research in three words.

Inventive, persistant, Implacable 

2. How did you get there? I mean, did you cross any other approaches that brought you where you are now?

I’ve always wanted to be a painter, when I was a kid I did a lot of painting but somehow stopped at the age of 11 and discovered photography late at the age of 24 and I knew right away that this is what I want to do all my life. I use the camera to transform reality rather than just record it (like painters do..), I overexpose with natural or artificial light, underexpose, use colored flash ( Since my early days in 2004, back then I was experimenting by placing a pink plastic cd case in front of my flash to get this effect, nowadays colored gels are supplied in kits with most flashlights.) I also use long exposure and a variety of other techniques..I am also not ashamed to create beautiful images, as beautiful art is almost a taboo nowadays. I like the idea of exploring all the possibilities when I’m working on something and looking at it from every angle to make sure I haven’t missed a photo; I enjoy surprising myself.
I never use digital software to edit my photos; the creative process takes place within the camera, which is very very important to me. I have complete faith in photography, and I believe that using filters and Photoshop is betraying photography

3. What photographers inspired you?

To be honest today I am more inspired by music, nature, and the people I love; my mother is my greatest inspiration.

4. Tell us the process behind this shot and if there’s any funny fact to tell our audience.

As I previously stated, I frequently use overexposure in my work to alter reality; this photograph was taken in a dark covered street in Dolceacqua, Italy in 2021, it’s part of an ongoing series called “And God created light”.
The sun only penetrated the street at one point, so I asked my woman to simply look at the light and overexposed the photo to create this effect; my way of enticing the viewer to imagine a face rather than seeing it.
Many people believe that this photograph has been digitally altered, that I used a powerful flash, or that it was taken in a studio; I even shared the making-of video on my Instagram so that they would believe me.

Sasha Elage | Collater.al
One Shot: light in the shots of Sasha Elage
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Domenico Matera and the essentiality of memories

Domenico Matera and the essentiality of memories

Tommaso Berra · 1 month ago · Photography

The series of shots taken by photographer Domenico Matera goes straight to the heart of a life’s memories. A native of Basilicata, he chooses the Lucanian Calanchi and its network of cracks in the clay to reconnect with a sphere of memories.
Matera wants to reconnect with an idea of landscape that creates continuity in memories, because it brings us back to a condition of essentiality that is that of memory, untainted by the present and our eyes on the contemporary.
The bare landscape of the photographs is a metaphor for this search for essentiality, also favoured by the choice of white monochrome, a fog over memories that unifies and envelops them.
The landscapes and horizons thus become more and more distant, a borderline can barely be seen, while the alternation of wide shots and close-ups confuses the ideas of what is micro and macro. A world to be reconstructed through memory.

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Dialogica: the poetry of the metropolitan microcosm on Instagram

Dialogica: the poetry of the metropolitan microcosm on Instagram

Laura Tota · 4 weeks ago · Photography

A crossing point par excellence, the subway represents the converging point of hundreds of worlds that, in the time of a journey, share a space and time infinitely limited compared to an entire existence.
Yet, especially for those who daily travel by subway, this microcosm becomes extremely familiar, a concentration of recurrences, rituals and rhythms often automatically experienced.
Always lighted by the same light, during the opening hours every action repeats equal to itself, victim of a potentially eternal repetition: an alienation interrupted only by some careful looks, able to grasp the magic (and even the irony) of everyday life.

Thus, the photographic image becomes the ideal tool to capture the true essence of the subway, actually made of hundreds of small details and moments of pure poetry or fun.
To this thousands of posts are dedicated on Instagram, the social that more than all allows us to share immediately the fleeting of a unique and blinding moment in the monotony of always equal days: nothing like Instagram contributes to creating shared visual imaginaries of places, events or people.
In this first appointment, Dialogica wants to put in dialogue two Instagram accounts, which find their habitat in the subway par excellence, the New York one, although driven by two extremely different researches.

Subwaycreatures  is a serial profile in which the author Rick McGuire collects photographic contributions and videos of thousands of authors able to capture the funniest and bizarre moments that occur on the subway. The page, active since 2013, has quickly become a social phenomenon and represents one of the most important collectors of images on the New York City subway.

No attention to the composition, the framing or the colors: this creates an independent visual research that does not fear the so-called “ugly” and distances itself from a predefined vision both from a formal point of view and content

The real protagonists of each contribution are in fact only the “creatures” (almost fantastic) populating everyday the subway. Each carousel collects images and/or videos linked together by the same theme: scrolling the feed, it will not be difficult to come across the best and weird disguises met in the subway, or a selection of dogs transported in bags or plastic bags (by law, on New York subways only “handbag dogs” can travel).

On the other hand, the Subwayhands profile is driven by a totally different aesthetic, it’s a project conceived and created by photographer Hannah Ryan who dedicates this account to one of the most communicative parts of our body: the hands.

The hands tell in an honest and sincere state of mind, they do not lie and they speak more than we can imagine, and that’s why Hannah began to photograph them.

Hands shaking, hands flicking, hands holding objects, gloved, cured or neglected hands: every hand becomes a world, a synecdoche that explores feelings, relationships, situations and stories and becomes the kick-off to invent fantastic stories.

In this shots, there are poetry, care and formal homogeneity, they are taken at a close distance, enough to clearly suggest the place where you are (thanks to a cool artificial light that does not hide, indeed, emphasizes the scene), but not too much to break the magic of the moment.
With discretion and delicacy, Hanna photographs individual hands, couples or groups of hands, without ever revealing people’s faces: the intent is to suggest stories, to portrait the universality of proxemics and everyday life poetry.

As the hands holding the sign “Will you marry me?” tell about the personal story of a marriage proposal (ended with a yes from the bride, as we learn from the comments to the post), so other older posts testify to epochal events such as the #blacklivesmatter protest or even the pandemic period during which the hands were protected by gloves or other devices not to come into contact with the surfaces.
The eye of the photographer, whether a professional or an amateur, returns a varied and heterogeneous cartography of another world living underground, far from the rules and social distinctions that regulate the surface world: all these looks, also invite us to look more carefully at the details during our trips.

Dialogica: the poetry of the metropolitan microcosm on Instagram
Photography
Dialogica: the poetry of the metropolitan microcosm on Instagram
Dialogica: the poetry of the metropolitan microcosm on Instagram
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The lightness of bones in Anne-Laure Etienne’s photographs

The lightness of bones in Anne-Laure Etienne’s photographs

Laura Tota · 3 weeks ago · Photography

I’ve always wondered if we’re really aware of the power that images have over us. We are daily overwhelmed by them, yet, when we deliberately choose to use images, or to create new ones from scratch, something magical happens.
A clear example of this, is the self-portrait practice, often used as an instrument of imagination, self-analysis and identity reflection (as for example the dramatic self-portraits by Francesca Woodman) or of civil, social and existential investigation (as for example the female investigation perpetrated by Paola Mattioli) almost as a balm capable of leading to a greater oneself and the outside world awareness.

When the lens meets the tangible matter of one’s body, it actually detects much more: it highlights fragility, fears, awareness, messages in the bottle that take shape through the image itself.
And this is exactly what lies behind the shots of the “Tissues and bones” project taken by the French photographer Anne-Laure Etienne.

Since 2017 and for 6 years, Anne-Laure has self-portrayed in the places of her land, beautiful unspoiled landscapes in the South of France. In a moment of great psychological and physical weakness, she found in photography a means to reconfigure herself representation and express her discomfort.
Her body imprisoned in the tissues, becomes an evidence of a sense of psychological claustrophobia from which to get rid. The bones mentioned in the title of the project constitute the most secret part of our body, the one that resists time and even death, and for this reason they are the most authentic testimony of our intimate essence. What initially seems trapped, compressed, suffocated, soon changes: from constriction cage, the tissue becomes placenta, a soft protection that protects, but does not inhibit, light veil that caresses, but does not force.

The lightness of the bodies, immortalized in aerial dances or moments of physical effort in tension, testifies to a flowering, a rebirth, just like the landscape in which they are captured. In this sense, the natural context is never a simple backdrop that poetically frames the scene, but constitutes a dialogical and evolving element, painted with bold and energetic colors. Thus, the geography of space gives way to a geography of self-representation.

The subsequent healing allowed her to photograph friends and relatives, giving them the opportunity to enter into deep contact with the most hidden part of themselves and Nature.
With a few scenic expedients, Anne Laure’s creativity and artistic background allow to reconstruct suspended microworlds in which the real, symbolic and imaginary dimensions meet: so tulle fabrics, voile and organza dialogue with the textures that Nature offers to careful observers, creating levels of reading and games of light and shadow in which the body creates soft and light lines.

In this project, there is a message of joy, hope and strength: like the one in the photo where, wrapped in a fabric of clouds, Anne Laure stands proud and down to earth, but with her gaze turned to the sky she seems to be part of.

Anne-Laure Etienne | Collater.al
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