FESTIVAL OF ETHICAL PHOTOGRAPHY OF LODI, EVER MORE IMPORTANT YEAR BY YEAR, MOVES US WITH 2020 PLANETARY PORTRAIT
Text by Fiammetta Cesana
2020 is a year we surely won’t forget. Our daily habits, personal and professional relations, workplace as well as natural environment have changed dramatically. Attempting tirelessly to get accustomed to the new life’s rules, despite the unpredictability of the health crisis and the consequential government’s restrictions, we now barely know which are, and how to deal with, the conditions in our own home and urban ground. If we are still trying to find out what’s going on in the nearby, most of us are totally blind or almost about the situation in the other side of the world or in the country next door.
For its 11th edition, the Festival of Ethical Photography of Lodi presents ‘Sguardi sul Nuovo Mondo’ (Looks on the new world), providing us with an outstanding photographic documentation of today’s global reality. Breaking the wall between ourselves and the other, the exhibited operas compose a planetary mosaic of the new life, offering with art an emotional window to the world which may prevent individualism’s intensification typical of tough times and of our self-centric society.
From tremendous impacts of pandemic among health system’s operators, to the Russian war captured by unexpected, hidden angles, social issues brought with Brexit as well as with the drop of major industries around the globe, to the visual narration of a rare genotype, till unique animal stories, the desolation of a kangaroo amid huge flames in Australia and the happy ending of a Caribbean red flamingo… the Festival of Lodi collects both public and intimate pages of 2020’s memorabilia exploring all cultural facets of these controversial times.
One of the biggest novelties of 2020 edition ‘Sguardi sul Nuovo Mondo’ (visible from September 26 to October 25) is the multi-sites structure of the show, comprising indoor and outdoor courses, which add to exhibitions in Palazzi other within parks, as a way to diversify visitors’ experience and help Covid’s prevention with social distancing. Not only, the festival, being realized this year thanks to the support of Lodi and Codogno (the first city of Italian red zone), welcomes its public also in the central courtyard and in the chiostro of the old hospital of Codogno, making the battleground of the world war against the pandemic integral part of this articulate expressive journey.
Amid the various categories and prizes that characterize the festival, the World Report Award is still central. The jury – composed by Alberto Prina and Aldo Mendichi of Festival of Ethical Photography, Sarah Leen, former photo editor, Peter Bitzer, director of Laif – awarded artists in six sections: Master (Nikita Teryoshin’s Nothing Personal – the Back Office of War), Spotlight (Mary Turner’s Dispossessed), Single Shot (Francesca Mangiatordi), Short Story (Rosa Mariniello’s Vitiligo), Student (Ingmar Björn Nolting’s Measure and Middle), Madre Terra (Dario De Dominicis’s To the Left of Christ). The works that most impressed us are Francesca Mangiatordi’s single shot of Cremonese nurse, a touching depiction of the draining working hours during major sanitary emergency, and the student’s prize won by Ingmar Björn Nolting, who captured an evocative portrait of 2020 German lovers’ isolation resembling the harsh division of West and East Berlin of the cold war.
In the Park of Isola Carolina, you will see a series of works about the issues of nature worldwide and its inhabitants, including Pablo Ernesto Piovano’s Mapuches: The awakening of ancient voices, telling about the struggle for survival of Mapuche community in Latin America. Coming indoor, at Palazzo della Provincia, you will discover a photographic narration of Hong Kong’s protests and the world changed by the pandemic, also brining back with Matthew Abbott to the Black Summer, which gives a look on the violent blaze of flames in Australia.
A brand-new dedicated space of the festival is ‘Storie di Coraggio’ (Stories of courage) which occupies the former Church of the Angel. While the remarkable work Don’t Leave Me Alone by Alessio Romenzi, who followed doctors without borders in Lodi’s area, is shown at Palazzo della Prefettura.
The chiostro of the old hospital of Codogno is dedicated to the Non-Profit, collecting photographs of local territories linked to the pandemic, provided by the Croce Rossa. In the courtyard of Renzo Piano-designed building of Fondazione Banca Popolare di Lodi, the Non-Profit section continues with the project One day, I will. The latter is a beautiful series of portraits by the French Vincent Tremeau, who claim the importance of education especially during a global crisis by immortalizing young ladies of different ethnicities playing what they dream to be when grow up: doctors, teachers, policewomen…
Another important recognition is given to Giorgio Negro who, exploring the ambiguous, fragile line between Good and Evil, which gets dangerously blurrier in times of war, won the Prize Voglino. Then, to further enrich the city with the beauty and formative power of art, also this year FFE-OFF circuit is spread among bars, restaurants, galleries and other public places showcasing the works of different talents without theme’s or genre’s restrictions.
‘Sguardi sul mondo nuovo’ is a surprising edition, probably the strongest one since the birth of the Festival of Ethical Photography of Lodi. It’s impressive to be able to enjoy such a full and variegated program, including free-entrance exhibitions, brought to life despite all the hindrances faced by the cultural field due to the lockdown and severe governmental measures. The shows will also be supported by a series of lectures, encounters with the artists and educational activities for the youngest. And thanks to an free app you will have access to multimedia contents, guided tours and captions, to deeply experience the journey among Palazzis and lush parks at the discovery of these memorable times.
To find out even more about Festival of Ethical Photography of Lodi, know how to book your visit (respecting Covid’s limitations of gatherings), and support with a donation this unique cultural project in Italy, go to the website: Festival della Fotografi Etica di Lodi
You have time till October 25!