Alessia Rollo © 2022
“How are you” is a four hands project between me and Kenaw developed during Novembre and Decembre 2020. Pandemia was spriding around and additionally a civil war started in Tigray, close to Kenaw place.
We decided to mould a dialogue between us into an audiovisual project to find a way to give an answer to a question very relevant at that moment: How are you
As well as photographer i was asking myself how was possible to inform and working on news been home.
We decided to mix the diary of Kenaw in his house with images i was recording close to my city.
The towers that appear in the video are real, historical places used as defence and communication system in the XIV century in Apulia. I have staged the scenes to stress the impossibility to communicate and inform due the internet lockdown in Tigray. I felt myself as a relay.
The texts are Kenaw diary’s written in between November and December 2020. We did not modify anything but in the edit we didn’t follow a strict chronological order but an emotional one.
We made this video together to wonder if is possible to erase the difference between subject and object in photojournalism: both of us are either one and the other.
I decided to appear in the video to revendicate the chance of another storytelling based on a personal, female, intimate, contemporary perspective.
The project was realized in dicembre 2020 as result of the residency at the Italian Cultural Istitute of Addis Ababa in march 2020.
Extract from video
Parallel eyes is a multimedia project still in progress about the convintion of South Italian and mediterranean culture as a backward one. I am working to offer a decolonized gaze on our heritage, an inner point of view and a historical reframe the realism and capitalism visual materials produced in the last decades on South Italy.
Menhir, Salento. They represent collective burials but as well sacreted place of celebration in pagan time.
Chiara Samugheo picture of a Tarantata crisis: analogue intervention on paper by painting.
In between 1950 and 1960 South Italy, the place I am coming from, it was studied, classified, judged by a group of anthropologists, filmmakers and photographers . The idea of “la questione Meridionale”, “the south italian problem” born at that precise moment: while Italy was pushing to be a example of modern and technologic country, the way of living of South Italy, the rituals and traditions were considered intollerant for economical and social reasons.
The result of a process started by the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino at that time was the conviction of our culture as a subculture, ignorant and completely dominated by the irrationality and religion.
“Parallel Eyes” is my personal research about the culture I belong: my aim is to built a “parallel gaze” in order to open to a more complex analyses on South Italian culture and to re-consider in visual, historical and sociological terms the contruction of identity of mediterranean culture.
I started a complex process that include 2 bodies of work. The first consists in the manipulation through analogue and digital techniques of archive materials (photo and video) produced in the ’50 and ’60 by the photographers and videomaker of the “scientific expeditions” of De Martino . On the other side i am working on documenting the rituals still existing in South Italy. I introduce back in the images i take the magical andritual aspect has been deleted by the scientific approch of the photographers of the past decades.
Preparation of “Focara” a bonfire of 25 metre hight built in Novoli (Apulia) every 16th of January to celebrate Saint Antony. This ritual has pagan roots and the usage of the fire is common in all fertilizations rituals in the winter time in Mediterranean area and Europe.
Relationship between menkind and nature was been convicted as witchcraft and banned from south italian culture after the antrophologic studies in the ’50 of the last century.
I extract a frame from “Stendalì” movie by Cecilia Mangini. She recorded this documentary film in 1960 to record the funeral lament ritual of women of a small village in South Italy. I nailed the frame to introduce back the presence of the mystical side of the cerimony.
Campanacci of San Mauro, man dresses in the typical way. I decided to stage the picture in the night and in the field as the old tradition establish.
Nail intervantion on Franco Pinna picture “la macara di Colobraro” (the witch of Colobraro)
Unknown forses of nature. Analogue intervantion on picture.
Video e montaggio: Alessia Rollo
Musica: Oh Petroleum