Presented at the Berlin Film Festival in 2020, arriving in Italy on Sky in September 2021, “Minamata” directed by Andrew Levitas has unfortunately passed into obscurity due to the legal issues involving Johnny Depp.
The film traces the events of the famous war photographer William Eugene Smith during the last years of his life, when he was convinced to leave for Japan to investigate some events that have involved for years the inhabitants of the town of Minamata. Here, through the power of images, Eugene manages to tell and show the world the damage that Mercury poisoning had on people, but also to denounce the factory responsible for this disaster.
“Minamata” tells a touching story related to photography and that also relies on photography and image more than words.
June 2 – Italian Republic Day – is a day that has the power to make feel patriotic even the Italians, who are famous for not being patriotic when compared to others, such as the Americans or the British. In fact, if we must be honest, there are more times when Italians criticize her, Italy, than the times when they pause to appreciate and love her. Perhaps, the times when Italians love her the most is when they are away from her. When what they miss is even a simple plate of spaghetti or the crazy horns in traffic. Photographer Irene Ferri, with her project IT∀LIA, reasons precisely about this. On “Italian dualism,” on the hate-love that characterizes their feelings toward what is their land. A dualism that recurs often in Italy, North and South, sacred and profane, tradition and innovation, and that characterized that day, June 2, 1946, when the choice was made between Monarchy or Republic, between an old Italy or a new, renewed and democratic one. With IT∀LIA, Irene Ferri challenges these contradictions and takes Italians to celebrate their country through a participatory project that has lasted since 2020. Online she opens a box in which she invites Italians to answer the questions: What ties you to Italy? What do you miss when you are far away? In this way, the thoughts of hundreds of Italians are translated into evocative shots capable of making us smile and move.
The Italy project stems from the personal story of photographer Irene Ferri who, after years living in Los Angeles, felt the call of her homeland. In the States she was surrounded by people who constantly told her how beautiful Italy was and how much they appreciated it. “I usually hear more appreciation from foreigners than from Italians. We are a very critical people compared to others. Social media is teeming with negative and heavy comments on everything, on every decision, even on the weather.” says Irene. Hence the decision to create something for Italians, a photo archive to remind them that this nation is worth loving. Despite the fact that they choose to leave it for a while or forever and even if they can only appreciate it if they are a little further away.
Back in Italy, Irene Ferri tells us how what she missed most of all was the concept of the square, that mingling of people and the din of laughter, of words spoken aloud. “On my return to Italy, I had a positive shock,” says Irene, “I went to the supermarket and once at the cashier’s desk, while I was rummaging through my wallet looking for money, the cashier said, ‘Don’t worry, if you don’t have it, bring it to me tomorrow.‘ I was stunned. It had been three years since I had heard something like that.“
Reflections like Irene’s come flooding into her inbox, and from here her Italian journey begins, in search of that Italian-ness and those memories evoked by people. Irene Ferri’s archive is now full of shots that are sometimes romantic, sometimes more ironic, telling Italy through the eyes of those who love it, from near or far. From the laundry spread out in the sun to the rosary swinging from the rearview mirror. From set tables to somewhat improvised soccer fields.
Below are some of the photographs, accompanied by the suggestions received.
After his performance at Coachella 2023 not without controversy, we are back to talking about Frank Ocean but for completely different issues.
Homer, the independent luxury brand launched two years ago by the Long Beach artist himself and whose main focus is on making and selling jewelry such as pendants, rings, necklaces, diamond earrings, and bracelets made of recycled silver and 18-karat gold, all handcrafted in Italy and featuring fun shapes and bright colors, has released a photo book.
As a matter of fact, since a few days ago it has been possible to order Mutations, a 48-page photo book that represents a retrospective of works made between October 19 and December 22, 2022, mostly photos taken by Ocean himself, on Homer’s website at the price of 90€. A series of shots that show us a new, unique side of the U.S. singer and that show, once again, how refined and refined his aesthetic is.
Alana Celii is an American photographer who redefines time and meaning by capturing landscapes and subjects with a melancholic and timeless aura. Alana currently is a photo research editor working in tech. Previously she worked at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and TIME. Her first monograph, Paradise Falling, is a series of photographs that redefine the feeling of loss by showing what it means to feel lost through metaphors that delve into astrology, myth, and symbolism.
For Celii, nature serves as a starting point, sometimes captured seamlessly and spontaneously. After Paradise Falling, the photographer embarked on a new project exploring the landscapes of the West Coast after moving to California. In these images, the Californian influence is evident in the textures and vibrant colors, which are unmistakable in the vast landscapes captured by the photographer.
To discover more of Alana Celii’s photographs, visit her Instagram profile.
Nicolas Polli‘s photography captures unpredictable moments, giving life to everyday objects. Not only a photographer but also a graphic designer and publisher, Polli seems to never stop. In his still life images, there is nothing ordinary; each element comes to life, assuming new meanings.
In 2012, he co-founded the photographic magazine YET with Salvatore Vitale, and in 2016, Atelier CIAO – an independent studio specializing in editorial design and still life – constantly collaborating with luxury brands and design. Now also a resident artist at Atelier Robert in Bienne, Switzerland, Nicolas Polli focuses on still life. All of this, after inventing an expedition to Ferox, an imaginary planet, in 2017.
In Ferox, The Forgotten Files: A Journey to the Hidden Moon of Mars 1976–2010 Polli plays with our inability to discern the real from the unreal. In his still life works, he reflects on our fragile relationship with everyday objects. When the familiar shapes of these objects change in unusual ways, everything changes, including our perception. In When Strawberries Will Grow on Trees, I Will Kiss U, the combination of a banana peel, a croissant, and some cigarette butts takes on a particularly disturbing meaning, but it all works, managing to show us the objects of our daily lives from a completely foreign perspective.
Ph. courtesy Nicolas Polli
To discover more of Nicolas Polli’s shots, visit his Instagram profile.