It was a real treat to be invited to Lecce in southern Italy for Bitume Photofest, where I exhibited ‘The Middle of Somewhere’ and ran a workshop.
The drive from the airport set the scene nicely, olive trees as far as the eye could see, deep blue sky and the hot, sweet scented Mediterranean air…
Arriving in Lecce was impressive; nicknamed “The Florence of the South” due to the large amount of Baroque architecture spread across the city, it made for a wonderful and very unique location for a photography festival.
The Middle of Somewhere
exhibited in the charming Corte dei Mesagnesi
One very nice aspect of Bitume Photofest was no doubt the great use of outdoor installations, all in extremely impressive historical locations, allowing for the public to engage with the work whilst immersing themselves in the relaxed splendor of Lecce. Where most festivals are over saturated with content, I really enjoyed the intimacy of Bitume, allowing for meaningful exchanges with some special people and the time to actually absorb and engage with the work on show.
Lost in the Wilderness by Kalpesh Lathigra
Kalpesh’s ‘Lost in the Wilderness’ investigates what remains of the Lakota Sioux Indians at Pine Ridge, an Indian reservation in South Dakota.
For Birds Sake by Cemre Yesil & Maria Sturm
Yesil & Sturm‘s ‘For Birds’ Sake’ explores the secretive world of the ‘Birdmen’ of Istanbul. Goldfinches are illegally captured from the wild and kept in small cages, nurtured, worshiped and entered into singing competitions.
BOOK FAIR: Bitume Photobook – Manifatture Knos
Situated in a reclaimed industrial space, Bitume Photobook provided a vibrant exhibition-market with some Italian and international independent publishers and several book presentations.
LO.FT gallery hosted the group show ‘Greetings from Salento’, In August 2015, Positivo Diretto invited seven photographers from Italy, Greece and Germany to take part in a residency program. The ten day residency offered an opportunity to see and discover the fourteen municipalities involved.
Humanae by Angelica Dass
Beatrice with Beatrice…
I had the pleasure of meeting and being photographed by Angelica Dass (for her Humanae project) last year at Delhi Photo Festival, so it was great to see her work being exhibited at Bitume. Angelica had a residency in Gibellina, Sicily as part of Urban Layers Residency Program, Spring 2016.
Humanae is an ongoing project that intends to create a catalogue of different skin colours. Adopting the codes of the PANTONE guide, whose range of colours invites viewers to reflect on the ambiguity of the word “identity,” when it is used in the sense of equality.