I published 3 books so far... they sum up my photographic experience and collect my best pics.
Collection of pictures of a trip through Uttar Pradesh to Varanasi: it explores the relationship between pilgrims and holy waters of river Gange. Varanasi, as the holiest city in hinduism and jainism, is an explosion of people, animals, shops and sadhus that altogether paint the city in incredible colors. Energy here is outstanding, specially at the ghats on the river where devotees bathe early in the morning and at sunset: a rituos body and spiritual cleansing that intrigues the visitors and holds the stage in these numerous embankments on the river.
Pupil, from latin pupillae, means ‘small doll’ and refers to your own image reflected in the eyes of the person you look at from close distance; it is the tiny reflection of yourself in the eyeball of the person in front of you.
PUPILLAE refers to an intimate and very personal portrait, that is made possible by a very close interaction with people extremely different and incredibly rich; it’s about portraying the look and its energy, its proudness, its pain, its passion, its joy. But it’s about inner search, too.
PUPILLAE is altogether symbol of the relationship between photographer and subject, and metaphor of the search of the inner self through confrontation with others.
This project started from two expeditions in Ethiopia, through the remote areas of Omo valley, to meet the indigenous people who live in almost prehistoric state: Hamer, Karo, Bodi, Mursi, Bana, Tsemay, Nyangatom, Dassanech, Erbore.
Life in Omo Valley
I visited the valley twice between 2011 and 2012 as I wanted to deeply discover the amazing tribes that live in this arid land. During these expeditions I would travel during the day and I would spend afternoon with the tribes and, if they’d let me, I would camp just outside villages at night. Most of the times we would share a meal and spend the night by the fireplace drinking sorghum beer and trying to communicate. I would wake up in the morning to drink coffee with them and play with the kids. In these moments I found the most authenthic experience, as they would forget about the camera, stop posing and start being themselves.
Thanks to an anthropologist I came in contact with a secluded Bodi tribe and I managed to be hosted in their village for a whole month. I remember the 6-hours walk in the bush, following those barefoot people: I couldn’t understand a word from them and I was headed somewhere I had no idea. I was by myself and even if I was scared, I was so excited!
When I was introduced to the families, some small kids started crying as it was the first time they saw a white man. I was carried around as the guest of honour: they sacrificed goats and cows for me! I was living at their pace and by their means: boiled sorghum and some tree leaves were the only food. Water was collected by a small brownish river nearby. Being there was a dream for me and a truly unforgettable experience.
I became part of the village: I was named Loochbong, the white bull.