Rise and Fall 2019

Matteo Ceschi and Jim Marshall‘s Rise and Fall multimedia art exhibition (with high-patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina) at Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zmaja od Bosne 5, Sarajevo)




Walls are absolutely central to the history, experience, interaction, culture and condition of humans. From ancient paintings on the walls of caves, to the Great Wall of China, to the Walls of Jericho, the Wailing Wall, and the Walls of Babylon, to the modern perspectives of the Berlin Wall, right-wing dreams of border walls, and contemporary graffiti, not least in the context of the internationally recognised works of Banksy and Blu, et al.

While walls can divide and exclude, they can also function as shared, inclusive, even sacred spaces. They can communicate cultural, historical and political events and experiences through fading signs, plaques, shrapnel marks, other more subtle features, and of course street art.

Urban environments, such as Milan and Sarajevo, speak through their walls, telling stories of often tumultuous change.

Jim Marshall and Matteo Ceschi’s photo project presents a dialogue between two different contexts and artists, reflecting the humour, the horror, the light and the darkness of the stories told by the walls of our cities. Stories of events and of empires, and indeed of walls as they rise and fall.




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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)



I left for Sarajevo with the reports of a couple of friends and Giovanna Volpi’s essay Sarajevo Maybe, 1994 in my pocket. In the bag, I also had a couple of cameras: a FujiFilm X30 and a small Ricoh GX100. The program included a photo exhibition entitled ko.existence. *



Those few notions I lost once in town. There, other friends – professor Tatjana Sekulić and photographer Jim Marshall, my partner in the ko.existence exhibition organized by the Universities of Milan Bicocca, Sarajevo and East Sarajevo with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Sarajevo – pinned on my notebook some names of places and sketches from the past.

But I was living the present.

And this Present was full of new inputs: it was almost unable to contain its stories. The Baščaršija, the Ottoman market district; the Faculty of Political Science; a Sunday marathon; the alleys, a covered shelter during the long siege (1992-1995) away from the shots of the snipers; the numerous and silent cemeteries that embrace the city from the hills. Every aspect of Sarajevo told me stories of a present in progress. Everyday life survived the war and committed to stopping the resurgence of nationalisms and waves of fundamentalisms.

In this present in progress citizens of Sarajevo do not seem tired to defend the urgent sense of coexistence.

My task, as a street photographer, was to record all these inputs and send them to you as series of postcards.


FREE DOWNLOAD SJJ 016 Postcards from a Present in Progress


* The title of the exhibition came from a suggestion of one of the directors of the Summer School: the original co.existence became ko.existence better tailored to the life of Western and Eastern metropolises. “Ko”, in the Bosnian language means “who?”, so the title is a pun implying a challenge to the viewers to rethink their notion of coexistence and avoid the danger of a social knock out.



Sarajevo, September 19-24



Opening, 7 PM

Public Room Evergreen

Avdage Šahinagića 6, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tuesday-Saturday (4-9 PM)


KO.existence is a b&w photo reportage by Italian photographer Matteo Ceschi and British based in Sarajevo photographer Jim Marshall inspired by the theme of the 2016 International Summer School “Rethinking the Culture of Tolerance” (organized by University Milan-Bicocca, University of East Sarajevo and University of Sarajevo with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Sarajevo). Two photographers, without ever meeting in person, took pictures in their cities, Milan and Sarajevo, with a street photography approach. The title of the series (50 shots) came from a suggestion of one of the directors of the Summer School: the original “Co.existence” became “KO.existence” better tailored to the life of Western and Eastern metropolises. “Ko”, in the Bosnian language means “who?”, so the title is a pun implying a challenge to the viewers to rethink their notion of “coexistence” and avoid the danger of a social “knock out”. People sharing spaces and places every day, in fact “coexist”, in a neutral situation that has not yet developed into good or bad relationships. Starting from this initial position, each photographer has developed in his own style the different issues of contemporary co-existence trying to give substance to the suffix word “KO”.

“I started to shoot in a restricted central area of Milan with different cameras and different lights. I was looking for this kind of neutral situation, neither good nor bad. Each of my 25 frames – I collected 40-45 shots for this project – represents a possible first step for neighborly co-existence. Asian and African women at the open air market, a group of smiling Asian men as background to a businessman on the phone, a thoughtful tall man sitting in the local café – in my viewfinder all these subjects become the crossroads of co-existence. No judgment or opinion from me, just a well-trained passion for recording the world around me. Quoting the last Michael Jackson, This Is It!”