“A FRIEND” BY IBRAHIM MAHAMA

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A Friend, an Ibrahim Mahama’s large-scale temporary installation (sponsored by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi/curated by curated by Massimiliano Gioni) in Milan. The Ghanese artist wrapped Porta Venezia Gateway with hundreds jute sacks. (Shots taken with Fuji X100)

<Through his research and the transformation of materials, Mahama investigates some of today’s most important issues: migration, globalization, and the circulation of goods and peoples across borders and between nations.> (A Friend press kit)

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EAST END: FROM JACK LONDON’S EXPERIENCE TO BANKSY’S DISCIPLES

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The original idea for this photo project was to go looking for Jack London’s traces/footprints in the East End area – London visited the East End ‘hoods in the early twentieth century (see The People of the Abyss, 1903). Topography excepted, nothing remains of that early XXth century London.

Starting from the area of the docks and the London Docklands Museum (immortalized in the first two shots) I pursued my research in Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Whitechapel; very soon an initial disappointment was superseded by the curiosity for the “punk” scenarios/scenes that opened up in front of the lens (I shot with FujiFilm X30 and Fuji X100).

Maintaining a historic storytelling, I physically abandoned the first decade of the Twentieth Century and pushed myself closer, towards the present days. So, I discovered the disciples of Banksy (they could be disciples or… might very well be Mr. Banksy himself operating under new pseudonyms), along with melting pot scenes and punk/street attitude.

No Jack London traces were found, but I consider the famous American writer guided me in a subliminal way during a three-days photo walk. Without sinking into the abyss as he did – at the time, Jack London lived eighty days in the slums with the poorest people in London – I pushed myself beyond “the easy job” and I started to collect photos that interacted with each other (in pairs), turning the visual sketches into a document. Each couple of frames is a single voice in a wider story where social and architectural geometries blend or merge into each other.

London, late January 2019

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ONCE AGAIN IN SARAJEVO

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Once again… I’m very proud to participate in the 2019 International Summer School Bicocca, Sarajevo (BH), September 16-22. Hey folks, I’m ready for a new photo exhibition with friend Jim Marshall. Stay tuned for more news! (Poster shot: Sarajevo, late September 2016 – FujiFilm X30)

NINO ROMEO’S “DROIT AU BUT”

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There have been so many ways to narrate migrations. In the last century photography has recorded the stories of those people forced to abandon their lands of origin – because of war, globalization, famine etc. etc. The project of friend photographer Nino Romeo does not focus on people’s faces – the chosen solution by the press and the media – but he prefers to “interrogate” objects that were washed up or abandoned on the beaches. In 2016 Romeo turns up with his camera, a Nikon Coolpix P7800, on the iconic beaches and bays of Capo Teulada, South-west Sardinia, in the places where a landing occurred. Shoes, t-shirts, plastic bottles now faded by the Mediterranean sun seem to have become part of the local wilderness: there is a delicate sense of continuity between the human need/urgency to migrate and Mother Nature’s unchanging and apolitical welcome. Nino Romeo does not judge what he sees; but his twenty color frames launch a cry of alarm to civil society.

NINO ROMEO, Droit au but. Io nato in occidente/Uccidente e i fratelli migranti nati nel mondo di sotto, Abnormal Edizioni 2018

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Photos: © Nino Romeo

ANTI-FASCIST RALLY IN MILAN

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Anti-fascist rally in Piazza Duomo, Milan, September 30, 2018. #intolleranzazero #fuckfascism #fuckracism (Shots taken with FujiFilm X30 and Fuji X100)

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EUROPA SENZA MURI

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This afternoon while The Italian Minister of Interior was meeting The Hungarian Prime Minister and discussing how to destroy Europe, 15.000 people joint a pacific rally not far from the place of their meeting. Anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and civic collective joined with ordinary Milanese people to say #stayhuman and #stop hate.

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TEACHING BY PICTURES

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A photographer is a witness. If he arrives in the right place at the right moment he can become a storyteller. Frames are almost always ready, around us. Little details can make powerful the story the photographer is about to tell. “THE CONTINENTS MIGRATE TOO” say the rough graffiti on the wall. Two groups of young ladies – second generation Italian girls or tourists/travellers – sitting in front of the graffiti amplify the message and make it stronger: melting pot elements magnify and make unstoppable the migration that leaves the wall and becomes real. Racists have to bend in front of this truth: humankind has grown thanks to the curiosity that has led people to migrate since the dawn of time. #fuckracism