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Occasionally I decide to go out with an old 35mm camera… This happens now and then. I don’t have a wish to feel like Cartier Bresson, you see?
Maybe it’s because of Paris itself that I took out my Yashica GSN Electro 35 and went down in the streets of the Marais.
One hour was enough: the old Yashica GSN weighs a lot, but its autofocus was fast enough to capture the different souls of the neighborhood. 35mm “language” is different, perhaps today few understand its aesthetics… (a Rollei RPX400 roll film loaded in camera).

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Afterhours, Le città invisibili di Calvino, Triennale, Milano, mid February 2003_01 72

Storage could kill a frame. The mind of a photographer is always focused on shots to come. The shots then flee from memory until someone retrieves them. When Afterhours’ celebrative box set (book + 4 CDs) was released in 2017 I was deep in my photo projects so I hadn’t paid much attention to that record release dedicated to the band I had loved so much in the early 2000s. Two years later I bought the box set at a cheap price and I discovered that one of my shots had been included in the book.

The frame in question, taken in Milan, mid February 2003, portrayed the band in action at the Triennale Museum in Milan: it was a special live performance (2 sets) in the middle of an art installation inspired by Italian writer Italo Calvino’s book Città Invisibili. During the photo session (with a Pentax Espio) I took care to portray the scene comprehensively, showing the band really immersed in the art installation and in touch with the audience. Manuel Agnelli, the Afterhours frontman, appreciated my point of view and asked for prints for his personal archive. At the time I had some meetings and lunches with him because I was in contact with the indie label Afterhours signed with. That shot of the Afterhours’ Triennale performance is a lucky frame: it risked ending up lost in my photo archives but it was saved by a publishing project.

Below more pics from the Afterhours’ Triennale shows.



Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1970s 72

Hey folks, I’m looking for a producer/sponsors willing to support me to transform my 1960s-1970s NBA original 35mm negatives private collection into a public photo exhibition. If you love superstar basketball players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J”  Erving, Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Wali Jones, Jo Jo White  etc., please contact me.

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Now in bookstores my new book, Un’altra musica. L’America nelle canzoni di protesta (Mimesis Edizioni 2018), an ideal spin-off of my Unseen Sixties photo collection exhibition at Expowall Gallery. The shot used for the cover is one of the pictures of the exhibition.  If you like the cover shot and you want to buy a fine art print by Mario Govino, please contact my gallery. ENJOY!



ExpoWall Gallery, via Curtatone 4, Milano

Openig: November 8, 2017, 6 PM

I began collecting old 35 mm film negatives seriously when I was writing Tutti i colori di Obama. L’altra storia delle elezioni americane (Franco Angeli 2012). 

Tutti i colori di Obama‘s main academic goal was to rediscover those political figures who, running for the U.S. Presidency, anticipated the appearance of Barack Obama in the national political arena: comedian and activist Dick Gregory, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and reverend Jesse Jackson.

Looking for more data and details to complete my volume, I began to rely on iconographic sources, in particular pictures from national and local newspapers and magazines. These shots revealed new perspectives on the political lives of the people I was writing about. A friend’s advice then led me to explore the possibility of buying old negatives on-line: in this way, my historical report was further enriched with new stories and new characters. My background as a historian and my photographer’s eye helped me in the choice of negatives (they were often badly catalogued by the sellers: no subject; uncertain dates…).

Since then, I have specifically bought negatives from the Sixties era, in particular frames dedicated to the main events and characters of Sixty-Eight. I understand “Sixty-Eight” not in a strictly chronological sense, but in its broadest historical perspective, as that period, from 1964 to 1970 circa, during which people all around the world attempted to “revolutionize” society.    

My collection – more than a hundred frames – comes mostly from newspaper archives of the Midwest, Chicago in particular. During the Sixties the Windy City was the epicenter of the national political scene and its Mayor, boss Richard Daley, was the most influential politician in the Democratic Party. 

In August 1968, Chicago hosted the Democratic Convention – Hubert Humphrey was elected to run versus Republican Richard Nixon. During the Convention, people poured into the streets and in the parks of Chicago to protest against major political choices of the Democratic Party: a series of peaceful rallies, sit-ins, free concerts and free-performing events organized by New-Left, Anti-War and countercultural groups was strongly repressed by local police and the National Guard. Radical activists like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, New-Left leader Tom Hayden, pacifist David Dellinger, poet Allen Ginsberg, co-founder of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale, Dick Gregory, folk singer Phil Ochs and the MC5 rock band were some of the leaders of the protest during those days, a tragic moment for U.S. Democracy.

These unseen shots – frames which were not selected for publication by newspaper editors – can help us enrich the photo album of the United States’ “Sixty-Eight” with unseen and unpublished details.

Along with well-known faces – U.S Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; West Coast psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane; counterculture leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin; African-American Boston Celtics basketball star Bill Russell; heavyweight champion Joe Frazier; young reverend Jesse Jackson – there are unknown individuals who kept the “wind of change” blowing.

For the 50th anniversary celebration of “Sixty-Eight”, ExpoWall Gallery presents a rich selection of my 35mm private collection. Pamela Campaner, Alberto Meomartini and Denis Curti’s help was very precious in the choice of the frames. Mario Govino‘s print art was equally important for the project.

Unseen Sixties is the result both of missed meetings – the photo reporter shots not selected by American newspaper and magazine editors in the 1960s – and successful meetings, those animating today my city, Milan, and the documentary photography world the city inevitably refers to, to celebrate “the year that rocked the world”, as author Mark Kurlansky wrote in 2004. 

Welcome then, to this never seen cutout of history. The Unseen Sixties are waiting for you to discover them.


Alla ricerca della natura perduta, Milano, late September 2016 [Rollei 35 LED +IlFord HP5]


Around Naxos island, Greece, with my little black Rollei 35 LED and IlFord HP5 Plus films. Greek beers and Aegean sun did the rest. “YAMAS!”