Volcano Extravaganza 2012 – Giovanna Silva / Andrea Viliani

Giovanna Silva / Andrea Viliani,
Baghdad / Kabul, talk
August 2, La Lunatica, Stromboli




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Two different experiences, two cities and geographical contexts, both at the centre of attention of the media as well as (apparently) remote from the world of contemporary art.

Giovanna Silva, photographer and publisher, has developed the experience of her travels as an intimate involvement and prolonged attention that, thanks to her sensitivity and her artistic and narrative language, is able to convey the complexity of places, people and histories. The journeys and locations selected for her projects are often in critical or inaccessible areas, like Amazonia or Ethiopia, whose socio-economic dynamics and environmental and cultural emergencies, or historical traditions, evoke, in their interactions, unfamiliar scenarios of our contemporary world that the medium of travel reportage is able to present in all their fascination and their multiple, possible interpretations. Silva is launching a new series of publications, ‘Humboldt’, in which the gaze of a photographer is united with that of a writer to recount a journey they have made together. On Stromboli Silva is presenting her own experience of working as a photographer in the ‘green zone’ of Baghdad: an inaccessible place in which the dynamics of the war have profoundly changed the characteristics of the urban landscape, overrunning and rewriting its everyday existence. In her photographs, and in the editing of the publication Narratives – Relazioni / Baghdad / Red Zone, Green Zone, Babylon (Mousse Publishing) that contains them and that Silva will illustrate to the public, the author explores the surprising parallels between the ancient ruins of Babylonia and the archaeology of the contemporary city (the monuments that Saddam Hussein’s regime had raised in its own celebration, the green zone itself, documented at a historic moment of transition between the war, which we know only through the news, and a peace process that still has to run its course and that her pictures document in all its potentialities and contradictions).