On display in Bergamo 10 photographic projects by the author that explore 'non-places' in a visionary and disenchanted journey. Urban and social suburbs, spaces on the margins and fractures of the soul

From 2 October to 1 November 2021 the curtain rises on the new edition of Photographic - Bergamo Photography Festival. Dedicated to the theme of the suburbs, it takes place this year in two locations of great charm: in the former Monastery of Carmine in Bergamo Alta and at Daste in the Celedina district.

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Exploring various non-places are photographers of the caliber of Gabriele Basilico, Monika Bulaj, Francesco Faraci, Sergio Ramazzotti, Giovanni Diffidenti, Silvia Alessi, Fausto Podavini, Valerio Bispuri, Emile Ducke, Christian Rota. The visual synthesis of Fuori dal Centro is entrusted to their gaze: ten exhibitions that tell different declensions of the word periphery, in a daring, visionary, disenchanted, punctual path. Urban suburbs and spaces at the margins, far or near, social peripheries and fractures of the soul.

Not just a frame but a great protagonist, Bergamo is the flagship exhibition of the festival. The shots by Gabriele Basilico are a meticulously documented journey through the city. A journey that connects architectures and spaces, contradictions and assonances thanks to a capillary study and a meticulous eye. The fundamental gesture of the photographer is looking, declared the famous photographer in a interview from 1998.

Emile Ducke, on the other hand, takes us aboard a hospital convoy that travels to remote Siberian cities. Diagnosis is his photographic story of the train of San Luca which for two weeks, ten times a year, crosses the Russian hinterland, to offer health care otherwise lacking to those who live in those distant and cold lands.

Francesco Faraci's images are an itinerary in the bowels of Palermo. In the photographic project Malacarne: Kids come first, collected in a book, it is the children who emerge, who come first, even in those realities perceived on the margins of society, where unwritten laws are in force which, at times, have forced to know and assimilate as real rules of being in the world.

Silvia Alessi portrays the everyday life of the populations who live in one of the peripheries of the world located between 3 and 4 thousand meters above sea level. The Little Afghan Pamir is a collection of images that immortalizes the Wakhan Corridor, a long strip of land a few kilometers wide in north-eastern Afghanistan, which has become a dead end following the closure of all borders, patrolled on sight, making it impossible to exit.

Mirella and Luigi have been together for 43 years and in the last 6 they have been fighting Alzheimer's, a degenerative disease that blurs memories and has hit - and changed inexorably - l ' man. MiRelLa is the photographic story by Fausto Podavini , which began as a study on the disease but soon became a narrative of everyday life. A story without borders, emotional and intense tale of a sort of suburb - un non-place - of the soul.

In Baraccopolis, Sergio Ramazzotti offers a look that reaches straight like a punch to the stomach on a phenomenon that affects the existence of a human being out of six. Extreme periphery of the city, of society and of human dignity, the slums also affect our country closely. Cellars, caravans, cars and shacks: non-places that arise on the edge of urban contexts, on the edge of reality.

The other side, between Verdellino, Zingonia and Ciserano is the photographic project by Giovanni Diffidenti which narrates the activity of Sguazzi Onlus A Beautiful Wave. The images show the recovery work of the association in these municipalities of the lower Bergamo area between 2018 and 2019. They are stories of girls and boys who live, interact, want to confront and get involved with each other 'the other'.

Finally, the Prisoners of Valerio Bispuri are the inmates of Italian prisons: the invisible who live in a non-place, which has always been on the margins of society. His narration explores the conditions of daily life of the prisoners to understand difficulties, needs, emotions.

As part of the initiative, a rich calendar of workshops, special events, conferences and screenings is also proposed: from meetings with Mario Calabresi and Monika Bulaj, workshops with Podavini and Bispuri, from the conference Periferia a Memoria to the screening of Sergio Ramazzotti's docufilm Baraccopolis.


Cover photo: Gabriele Basilico, Crossing Bergamo, 1998. Ph. Courtesy Gabriele Basilico Archive