Inspired by the poetry of Albert Camus, the 17th edition of the Reggio Emilia Festival returns to the banner of the inner forces that take us through that invincible summer to the heart of man

"I was finally learning, in the heart of winter, that there was an invincible summer in me": from the quotation of a famous poem by Albert Camus, the title and the inspiring theme of the Festival della Fotografia Europea 2022 in Reggio Emilia originate. From the verses of Camus (who in 1957, three years before his death, received the Nobel Prize for Literature) the capacity of human nature to resist adversity, not to be overwhelmed by the difficulties of the moment, to persist not thanks to hope ( which Camus despised because it was “equivalent to resignation”) but through concrete choices of the present in all conditions (favorable and unfavorable) proposed by reality: discovering love in hatred, a smile between tears, tranquility in chaos. Going through "the winter" in the awareness that there really exists, within us, "an invincible summer". A hymn to life, despite the cruelty of the world.

Moments of transition and transformation

The Festiva translates these themes into the language of photography and, by extension, of visual culture, focusing on the themes of resistance, on the different reactions possible in the face of new and unexpected realities: moments of transition, which involve the transformation from one condition to another. On display: "The Lives of Women" stories of women victims of prejudice and social injustice portrayed by Mary Ellen Mark, the biography of San Benedetto il Moro, "Binidittu", reconstructed by Nicola Lo Calzo, the works of Hoda Afshar with the project "Speak The Wind" which tells the extraordinary landscapes of Iran, the "Fire on World" series by Carmen Winant (hundreds of slides describing social disorder and dissent), the Japanese Seiichi Furuya with "First trip to Bologna 1978 / Last trip to Venice 1985 "first and last trip with his wife Christine Gössler, Ken Grant's long-term project on a port district near Liverpool, the images of the young Guanyu Xu with" Temporarily Censored Home ", by Chloé Jafé with “I give you my life”, by Alexis Cordesse with “Talashi” and Jonas Bendiksen's experiment that spreads chaos in the photojournalism community with “The Book of Veles”.

A widespread exhibition

All this from 29 April to 12 June in the numerous exhibitions (of great masters and young beginners) spread throughout the city between the Cloisters of San Pietro, Palazzo da Mosto, Cloisters of San Domenico, Panizzi Library, Santa Maria Gallery, Spazio Gerra, Museums Civici, Maramotti Collection, I Theaters Foundation and spaces of the OFF Circuit. At the base of the Festival, under the artistic direction of Tim Clark and Walter Guadagnini) stories and tales that are often intimate, at other times more open and brash. In both cases, with the aim of stimulating new points of view and a reflection on the complexity of the world and the threads that intertwine its inhabitants in the four corners of the planet. Multiple views on contemporaneity through the medium of photography, to question the role of images and visual culture in this historical moment.

Trajectories and narratives

“We have collected a series of wonderful photographic projects, sometimes poetic, often characterized by thoughtful reflections on society and cultures. With patience and endurance, there is an abundance of concern, involvement and commitment on both a personal and political level. Collectively, they lead to an intellectual and creative awakening after a period of great upheaval, to a time of transition and growth following the extraordinary adversities and crises that have come to shape our age, ”explains Tim Clark. "We believe that there is a lot of layered richness to be sought and meditated on in this particular exhibition program, an odyssey of trajectories and narratives that are well suited to a new edition of European Photography".

Telling stories

In the manner of Camus, the Festival invites us to reflect on the forces that guide humanity as individuals, which influence human actions, in every moment of life, through real choices and potential reactions to the emergence of this new reality: privileging paths of various kinds that involve a process of transformation, co-creation and interdependence. Photography is an extraordinary language for telling public stories and private events, and the exhibition showcases the images in which these aspects appear simultaneously, providing the widest possible view of the most recent events in international photography.

Seasons of life

“We have identified authors and authors coming from different areas of the world and who use photography in the most different ways, trying to respond to the suggestions coming from the title of this edition. Obviously, these are seasons of life, which affect each of us and to which the artists, photographers, react with a particular sensitivity: the charm of these events arises precisely from the comparison between different languages, from the possibility of opening up to new interpretations and new representations ”, continues Walter Guadagnini. "Fake news and endless wars, the female question and the processes of decolonization are just some of the themes that gave rise to the research presented by the ten authors present at the Cloisters of San Pietro, to which the great anthology by Mary Ellen Mark is counterbalanced. an absolute protagonist of post-World War II world photography ".

From Ghirri to Valsecchi

The appointment with the Young Italian Photography is back, bringing together the most promising names in the Italian photographic panorama in a collective exhibition, curated by Ilaria Campioli and Daniele De Luigi. There are five exhibitions of partner exhibitions located in important institutional locations in Reggio Emilia. Above all, “On a different scale. Luigi Ghirri, Italy in miniature and new perspectives ”dedicated to Luigi Ghirri at the Palazzo dei Musei and that of Carlo Valsecchi to the Maramotti Foundation. The absolute novelty of this edition is Fotofonia Europea: a musical project in two evenings curated by Max Casacci, producer and founder of Subsonica, in which the mixture of images and electronic music constitutes the musical variation of Fotografia Europea.

For info on the program and times of the Festival, click here.