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"La Lunga Strada di Sabbia" opens in Lisbon
Portal of the Italian language

“La Lunga Strada di Sabbia” opens in Lisbon

Categories: Culture and creativity -Visual Arts
Pictures, videos and documents of the reportage made in 1959 by Paolo di Paolo and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
La lunga strada di sabbia
La lunga strada di sabbia

On the 100th anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s birth, the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon presents “La lunga strada di sabbia”. The exhibition features photographs by Paolo Di Paolo and texts by Pier Paolo Pasolini and it is curated by Silvia Di Paolo, in collaboration with Fondazione Sozzani and under the patronage of the Centro Studi Pier Paolo Pasolini.

In 1959 Paolo Di Paolo was a 34 year-old who had been photographing for five years for the historic monthly magazine “Il Mondo” and its Art Director Mario Pannunzio. Pier Paolo Pasolini was a promising 37 year-old writer who had published “The best of Youth”,” The Street Kids” and “A Violent Life”. He was not yet a film director. In Italy, the economic miracle had just begun. The newspapers tended to offer to Italian families a microcosm of mythical characters as a diversion to the dullness and fear of war, emigration, and poverty. Arturo Tofanelli, director of the monthly “Successo” and the weekly “Tempo”, entrusted the two young men, Di Paolo and Pasolini, who did not know each other, to do a report on the Italian Summer Holidays.

The writer and the photographer set off from Ventimiglia together, with the plan of traveling through the coasts of Italy to the south and climbing up to Trieste. But they have different visions. “Pasolini was looking for a lost world of literary ghosts, an Italy that no longer existed,” recalls Di Paolo. “I was looking for an Italy that looked to the future. I conceived the title “The Long Road of Sand” meaning the strenuous road traveled by Italians to reach well-being and holidays after the War.”

A complex, delicate partnership was born between Pasolini and Di Paolo, uniting them only for the first part of their journey. That first experience would later be consolidated in mutual respect and trust. “La lunga strada di sabbia”, the extraordinary picture story by Paolo Di Paolo was accompanied by texts by Pier Paolo Pasolini and was published by “Successo” magazine in three issues (4th July, 14th August and 5th September 1959). It told the story of Italians on vacation, from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic seas; from Ventimiglia to Ostia; from Torvajanica to Sicily; from Apulian Santa Maria di Leuca to Trieste.

The exhibition “La lunga strada di sabbia” was presented for the first time at Fondazione Sozzani, Milan in 2021.

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