Italy meets Africa through a lens is a tribute to a world so alive, mysterious and full of contradictions, told through the lens of Italian photographers who have worked or lived in African countries. Their shots capture moments of life experienced between daily hardship and urban or natural scenarios of extraordinary beauty. Through their eyes, we can see the depth and detail of the myriad faces and the essence of a multiform and complex culture, only geographically distant from our own.
The initiative collects images taken in 2019 for the exhibition “Italy, Cultures, Africa”, in collaboration with the African Embassies and Italian Cultural Institutes.
Côte d’Ivoire | photo by Raffaela Mariniello
Raffaela Mariniello is one of the best known photographers in Italy. She completed an artist residency in Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The result of her experience was the work Nature Culture Artifice, for the project Under the Spell of Africa curated by Adriana Rispoli, in which the author illustrates the strong dynamism of this African country with her characteristic use of contrast between light and shadow.
Eritrea | photo by Antonio Politano
Passage in Eritrea and Ethiopia is a tale of travel in the two countries edited by photographer and journalist Antonio Politano and by Associazione Cultura del Viaggio as part of the “Italia, Culture, Africa” 2019 programme, with a group of Italian, Eritrean and Ethiopian photography students. After leaving Ethiopia, the group reached Asmara and continued across the Eritrean plateau to more remote market towns and islands.
Ethiopia | photo by Antonio Politano
Antonio Politano, photographer and journalist, produces reportages for various newspapers (La Repubblica, National Geographic Italia). He lived for three years in Africa, working for the United Nations, then resumed travel and research in various areas of the world. He is the director of Sguardi, an online photography and travel magazine, and is programme curator for the Festival della Letteratura di Viaggio of Rome.
Kenya | photo by Leni Frau
Maddalena Stefanelli, under the pseudonym Leni Frau, is a socially active travel agent and photographer. Co-author of the book Sotto una lanterna africana, written with Freddie Del Curatolo, she lives and works in Malindi, Kenya. It is precisely of this beautiful country that Leni Frau offers us vibrant shots taken in the capital Mombasa.
Senegal | photo by Marco Gualazzini
Born in Parma, Marco Gualazzini began his career as a photographer in 2004. His work includes photo features on microfinance in India, freedom of expression in Myanmar, discrimination of minorities in Pakistan. In recent years he has been devoted to Africa. In 2019 he was awarded the first prize “Environment, Stories” in the World Press Photo Contest.
South Africa | photo by Tommaso Fiscaletti
Tommaso Fiscaletti is a young photographer who has lived in Cape Town since 2013. His research focuses on the relationship between humans and their awareness of their experiences. The shots shown here are part of the Between Home and Wisdom series: men and women that Fiscaletti portrays in their daily life, in family ties and in the memory of ancient traditions, standing out against the backdrop of Cape Town.
Tunisia | photo by Gigi Sorrentino
Gigi Sorrentino is an Italian teacher of foreign languages. Born in France, he has travelled the world to capture the soul of distant cultures through his lens. In these shots of the Medina of Tunis, Sorrentino offers us magical fragments of a reality in which he stayed for a long time.