Maria Sturm & Cemre Yeşil

Maria Sturm

born in Ploiesti (RO), 1985
lives in Germany

Maria received her diploma in Photography and Media from University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld in 2012. Maria has won several prizes including the New York Photo Award 2012 and the DOCfeld Dummy Award Barcelona 2015 with the work “Be Good”. Next to working on personal projects and commissions Maria also worked as a freelance producer for Vice Germany in 2015. She’s currently doing an MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and therefore received a Fulbright and a DAAD scholarship, as well as a RISD Fellowship, a Graduate Division Fellowship and a GS grant.

Cemre Yeşil

Turkish photographer based in Istanbul and London. Her BA is in Photography and she holds an MA in Visual Arts from Sabanci University. She is a current practice-based PhD student in London College of Communication. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally. She was nominated for the Paul Huf Award 2014 of Amsterdam Photography Museum FOAM. A selection from her “An/other” series is in Istanbul Modern Museum’s photography collection. Apart from her personal projects, she lectures in Istanbul Bilgi University and Koç University. She is the founder of FiLBooks, a space dedicated to photo books, artist talks and workshops in Karaköy, Istanbul. Cemre is represented by Daire Gallery in Istanbul.

For Birds’ Sake
2015

text by Elena Carluccio

Questa è una storia d’amore ambientata ad Instanbul tra due giovani donne e degli uomini gentili che profumano di tè verde, fuggiti dalle loro vite per tutta la vita. La cosmopolita capitale turca è da sempre interessata a ricevere grosse migrazioni di uccelli che vengono accuditi in alcuni centri specializzati, attraverso impegnative attenzioni giornaliere che oggi rischiano di essere smantellati. Questi uomini costruiscono gabbie, curano gli alberi su cui cresceranno i nidi, registrano i cinguettii dei cardellini e li allevano, notte e giorno, con un misto di meditazione e dipendenza. La collaborazione di Sturm e Yesil accarezza le debolezze e la forza di questi “birdmen”, studiando con discrezione questo legame misterioso e magico, quest’amore intriso di libertà e di voglia di evasione. Gli uccelli non sono presenti nelle fotografie, ma si avverte il loro canto che al buio è ancora più dolce.

Outdoor installation
Piazza S. Oronzo

This is a love story, set in Istanbul, between two young women and some polite men who smell of green tea and who had escaped from their lives forever. The cosmopolitan Turkish capital has always been an important destination of great bird migrations. These birds are taken in care in many specialized centers through daily demanding treatments, but nowadays these centers are running the risk of being dismantled. These men build cages, take care about trees where nests will grow up, record goldfinches’ twitters and breed them night and day with cogitation and dependency. Sturm and Yesil’s partnership entertains the weaknesses and strengths of these “birdmen”, discreetly studying this love which is imbued both with freedom and longing for escape. Birds are not taken in photos but you can feel their singing which is much sweeter in the dark.

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Marta Zgierska

Marta Zgierska

born in Lublin (PL), 1987
lives in Poland

Marta Zgierska holds MFA in Photography (The Leon Schiller National Film, Television and Theatre School), MA in Theatrology and MA in Journalism. She lives in Warsaw, where she develops her artistic projects. She is interested in trauma studies and a process of withdrawal. Her work was exhibited at Esther Woerdehoff Gallery (Paris, France), Maison de la Photographie (Lille, France), Photokina (Cologne, Germany), Malmo Fotobiennal (Sweden), Fotofestiwal (Lodz, Poland). Her series “Post” has been selected for the Circulation(s) Festival in Paris presenting most interesting young photographers from Europe. In 2015 she was named one of Lens Culture’s Top 50 Emerging Talents. In 2016 she won one of the most prestigious photography awards – Prix HSBC pour la Photographie and also Reminders Photography Stronghold Grant, FotoLeggendo Giovanni Tabo Prize and Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award. In the same year she was nominated for the ING Unseen Talent Award.

Post
2015

text by Andrea Laudisa

L’artista polacca Marta Zgierska attraverso la serie fotografica Post, scrive la storia di un dolore personale, costruendo visivamente la disamina introspettiva di un trauma vissuto sulla propria pelle. Un silenzio e un’inquietudine che celano un cambiamento attraverso la sofferenza. La presenza costante del bianco nelle composizioni, si fa portavoce e deposito di liberazione, gli oggetti, come pensieri fitti dialogano scientemente col passato e l’inevitabile catarsi percepita si mescola all’immediata ricezione immaginifica delle ferite dell’artista, rafforzando la consapevolezza che l’identità di ogni essere umano sia un processo in divenire.

Outdoor installation
piazzetta Chiesa Greca / Whitephotogallery

The Pole artist Marta Zgierska writes the story of a personal sorrow through the photographic series Post, thus visually building an introspective close examination of a traumatic event that the artist experienced. Silence and restlessness hide a change through suffering. The constant presence of white colour in the composition becomes mouthpiece and safekeeping of relief. Things consciously dialogue with the past as if they were deep thoughts. The unavoidable catharsis that one can perceive gets mixed up with the immediate reception of the artist’s pain, thus strengthening the awareness that the identity of every human being is a becoming process.

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Kalpesh Lathigra

Kalpesh Lathigra

born in London (UK), 1971
lives in United Kingdom

After leaving the course in 1994, he was awarded The Independent Newspaper Photographer Traineeship. Kalpesh worked for The Independent as a staff photographer for one year before freelancing for the national newspapers in the UK for 6 years covering news and features. In 2000 , he gave up working for newspapers and made the decision to work on long term projects and magazine and commercial assignments. In the same year he was awarded a 1st Arts prize in the World Press Photo.
In 2003, he embarked on a long term project documenting the lives of Widows in India, receiving The W.Eugene Smith Fellowship and Churchill Fellowship. He is currently is working on a series with Syrian Refugees and his first book “ Lost in the Wilderness” , a body of photographs on the Lakota Sioux and Pine Ridge Reservation was be published in 2015. Kalpesh was a commissioned Artist for the Brighton Photo Biennale co authoring the project “ A Return to Elsewhere”. Kalpesh continues to work for the leading international magazines on documentary and portraiture assignments alongside his personal practice.

Lost in the Wilderness
2007

text by Alessia Venditti

Nel 1970, in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown narra della conquista del territorio americano da parte dei coloni bianchi. Scrive in modo lucido, distaccato, schivando l’edificazione letteraria di indolenti ripari a favore dei nativi. Il risultato è una testimonianza storica delle vicende che hanno segnato lo sterminio di intere popolazioni. Nel 2006 Kalpesh Lathigra riceve una copia del libro, intraprendendo, un anno dopo, un viaggio verso Pine Ridge, riserva indiana del Sud Dakota.
L’esperienza catapulta l’autore di Lost in the Wilderness in una comunità di nativi americani tra i quali regna povertà, disoccupazione, alcolismo, violenza e un alto tasso di suicidi.
“In un primo momento ho fotografato molto poco, ho voluto incontrare la gente indigena, vedere e sentire la terra”. Lathigra mette alla prova la propria abilità di connessione con la grande determinazione di questi uomini di preservare le tradizioni, di mantenere viva la lingua Lakota.
Il risultato sono ritratti, luoghi ed espressioni, permeati da grande senso di dignità, da una fierezza che racconta di un esperimento riuscito: “mi hanno trattato con gentilezza […] le mie paure sono state presto sepolte dalla facilità con cui la gente mi ha accettato”.
Sepolte, come i Lakota Sioux da parte dell’esercito degli Stati Uniti d’America nel 1890, nella valle del torrente Wounded Knee.

Outdoor installation
Palazzo dei Celestini

In 1970, Dee Brown illustrates the conquest of the American territory made by white colonisers in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He writes in a clear and detached way, avoiding the building of metaphorical forts in favour of the Native Americans. As a result, the book is a historical record of the events that led to the extermination of entire populations. In 2006, Kalpesh Lathigra received a copy of that book and, after a year, went to Pine Ridge, an Indian reservation in South Dakota.
Thanks to this experience, the author of Lost in the Wilderness was propelled in to a Native American community in which poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, violence and a high suicide rate dominate. “At first, I did not take lots of photos because I really wanted to meet native people, see and sense the earth.” Lathigra tests his ability to connect with these men’s great determination in preserving traditions and keeping alive the Lakota language. The final shots are portraits, places and expressions steeped in a deep sense of dignity and pride which tells about a successful experiment. “I was treated fairly […] I could overcome all my fears since they welcomed me in such an easy way”. My fears were buried, like Lakota Sioux were buried by the USA army in 1890 near Wounded Knee Creek.

Sam Harris

Sam Harris

born in United Kingdom
lives in Australia

Sam Harris is a self-taught photographer. Throughout the 90’s he photographed portraits and sleeve art for numerous recording artists. He also worked as an editorial portrait and features photographer for leading UK publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine, Esquire, Telegraph Magazine and Dazed & Confused. The over corporatization of the music industry during the late 90’s became the catalyst for a big change in direction, both photographic and personal. Sam abandoned his career in London in favour of quality family time, turning his camera inwards and slowing down. After several nomadic years between India and Australia Sam & family settled in the forests of Western Australia.
In 2015 Harris published his acclaimed photo-book ‘The Middle of Somewhere’ which was the recipient of a 2015 Lucie Award and the Australian Photobook of the Year – People’c Choice Award as well as being shortlisted in POYi, Les Rencontres d’Arles Book Award, & GuatePhoto.

The Middle of Somewhere
2015

text by Andrea Laudisa

Perdersi nel mondo per ritrovarsi, potrebbero riassumersi così gli ultimi anni di vita di Sam Harris. Un cammino tanto coraggioso quanto tortuoso quello intrapreso dal fotografo, che ha coinvolto non solo la sua arte ma tutta la sua famiglia; abbandonate le certezze a Londra, la strada percorsa lo ha portato prima in India poi in un villaggio sperduto dell’Australia sud-occidentale dove attualmente vive. Durante questi viaggi Sam Harris si è spogliato delle certezze acquisite negli anni, ha iniziato a contemplare la bellezza degli sbagli, ha trovato la poesia nell’incontro tra gli occhi dei suoi figli e altre culture. Un viaggio identitario il suo, che incastra i tasselli di una bellezza del vivere quotidiano lento, come dissenso alla velocità del mondo.

Outdoor installation
Via Corte dei Mesagnesi

Getting lost in the world in order to find oneself again. This is how the last years of Sam Harris’s life can be summed up, a path full of courage as well as tortuous where his art and his family got dragged into. After the artist had left his certainties in London, his life led him to India first, then into an isolated village in south-west Australia where he now lives. During his journey Sam Harris gave up all the certainties acquired over the years and began to admire the beauty of mistakes. He found poetry where his children’s eyes crossed other cultures. This was his identity journey that entangles the tiles of slow everyday life’s beauty as dissent at the world’s fast flow.

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