A new Photography Festival in Casale Monferrato. From 25 March to 12 June an exhibition on the culture of images that focuses on young people and women

One of the purposes of photography is to visualize what is not visible in us, an identity in which we do not always recognize ourselves. In its first edition, MonFest, directed by Mariateresa Cerretelli and promoted by the Municipality of Casale Monferrato, also seems to tell this aspect of photography. Together with international ambitions, a strong involvement of the territory and a close comparison between the arts, these are the distinctive features of the new Festival in a land that has entered the collective imagination thanks to the stories and narratives of writers (Cesare Pavese, Beppe Fenoglio) and photographers (Gabriele Basilico).

The shapes of time

The subtitle of this debut edition is Le forme del tempo: “Expression inspired by Italo Calvino who defined cities as the shape of time. But that we ”, says curator Mariateresa Cerretelli,“ extend to landscapes, to the realities of portraits and to the creativity expressed by the photographers who will be on show here ”.

Make way for young people

What is striking is a particular choice of MonFest: to focus on young people and women. The students of the Leardi Institute of Casale have designed the logo of the Festival, the young students of the Casalesi high schools will be the protagonists of the guided tours and reception services, the same students have made the photographic portraits of the owners of the shops and other activities of the city. The images will crowd the windows of the commercial activities, in an original widespread exhibition that is divided into the city. The involvement of the city and of photography enthusiasts can be perceived by over 90 participants in the From Casale to Po to the Monferrato hills competition and the 30 images selected by a jury of experts will be rewarded with an exhibition and an artistic video at the Castle.

A festival for women

But MonFest will also be a female festival. Mariateresa Cerretelli has chosen as curators for some of the most important exhibitions: Giovanna Calvenzi, Renata Ferri, Elena Ceratti, Daria Carmi and Benedetta Donato. Valentina Vannicola will be one of the authoritative authors, present with her Living Layers project. The Soroptimist ladies have decided to support the Leardi youth project and a second project aimed at female photographers, invited to tell Stories of Women, chosen by a parterre of leading photography experts.

An ambitious project

"With this project", underline Deputy Mayor Emanuele Capra and Councilor Gigliola Fracchia, "Casale Monferrato wants to bring great photography to the national level. Starting from Francesco Negri, father of some of the most innovative modern photographic techniques, we want to get, through important names in world photography, to the direct involvement of the new generations. An ambitious project, which the Unesco Monferrato area will be able to make the most of ".

The great exhibitions

Among the major exhibitions, Monferrato land without borders, a tribute to the territory with images, almost all unpublished, by Gabriele Basilico; Vittore Fossati will propose Il Tanaro in Masio; from Piedmont to Pompeii images by Claudio Sabatino; Living Layers, a work by Valentina Vannicola, reinterprets a specific area of Rome; the world of Silvio Canini will offer a glimpse of the fervent creative activity of the Romagna artist. And again, Sea of silence, poetic and unusual vision of the beaches of the coast in the middle of winter; Raoul Iacometti, with #homeTOhome, talks about dancers from all over the world portrayed with their mobile phones in their homes in plastic positions during the lockdown. There is also a tribute to Francesco Negri, lawyer, mayor of Casale Monferrato from 1881 to 1888, known for his activity as a photographer and experimenter in the field of microphotography who photographed, among others, the bacillus of tuberculosis.

The exhibitions will remain open beyond the days of the Festival for a period of three months, accompanied by workshops, portfolio readings, talks and many other activities.