University: University of Westminster
Statement: As a young photographer I found myself in love with photography but not clear about what kind of photography I wanted to pursue. At the beginning I spent most of my time looking at the classics and probably I then followed that path that excited me the most. I didn’t choose rationally where to go rather found myself doing what felt was relevant to me. That’s the principle I always try to follow. Especially when it comes to photography, such a personal practice, I believe we have to do what we deeply feel.
Click here to see a video of Across the Sea.
What university did you attend and when did you graduate? I completed my BA in Italy where I studied Arts then, after a few years working in Milan as a photojournalist, I moved to London where attended a MA course at the University of Westminster in Documentary Photography.
What is your favourite photobook by another photographer? There are so many amazing works and they are all so different, I don’t feel like I have a favourite one ever. It depends on the period I'm in and what am looking for at that moment.
For now I would say Kurdistan, in the Shadow of History by Susan Meiselas as I'm researching and working about Kurdistan.
However, again, I am sure tomorrow it might be another one.
Direction: I decided to produce a short photobook as part of my MA graduation project. I felt it was a strong piece of work and thought that a book as an object you can touch and flip through was the best to present that piece of work to the world. I researched a lot before printing it and changed my mind so many times. I asked for help with the layout and the sequencing from many people like colleagues and other friends in the industry. I also printed different versions and worked very close with the printing house through the whole process.
Considerations: As I said before, I felt that that was the best way to present that specific piece of work but it does not mean that it has to work for every series. I have another project would like to publish, it has also been shortlisted in a contest aimed to publish a book, but I'm not sure what is the best way to present it. In my opinion you have to consider also who you want to be your audience, how to make your book unique and what message you want to spread through it. If you want to reach as many people as possible then you have to print something not too expensive and in a large amount, on the contrary, if you aim for an ‘artbook’ you will probably go for something costly and will print just a few copies.
Interior: For the cover of my booklet I decided to combine together about 30 images from the project presented in the book, at the same time, I felt that a strong text was needed to make the project understandable. Therefore I split the series in three chapters and wrote some text to join the three parts to each other. Moreover I used quotations from ancient literature and constantly referred to history and Ancient Greek culture to make the work easier to understand and more universal. The layout was very simple, I alternated singles to double spreads, doing that I wanted to give some rhythm and highlight those which are, in my opinion, the most relevant images of the piece.
Inspiration: I researched a lot before starting working on the book. I buried myself in the university library and dug out all the photobooks and images I liked. After that I started separating them, studying the layouts of the book and made dummies in black and white, using low quality images to have a preview of what the book would look like. It was like going back to primary school; a lot of glue and scissor work but it helped me a lot. You cannot really know what a book would look like until you have it in your hands.
Advice and Future Goals: For the future, I mentioned before that there is a project I would like to publish as a photobook and I'm working on a new piece made of several stories, that seems to be my way after all. I don’t know what is going to happen and when those will be complete as there are so many projects running in the background but it will happen for sure at some point. Obviously to find a publisher would be nice but, at the same time, when you are self-publishing you are much more independent and can follow your own taste and beliefs. However, that can be amazing on the one hand but a problem on the other, I always look for others’ opinions and suggestions and find that a great resource.