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LODI 2023 : Stories to Discover at the Festival of Ethical Photography


Photography is a medium, an essential tool for telling and exposing social injustices in the world and for documenting the positive actions taken to combat it: yet images cannot always change our world, they can certainly raise awareness of these issues. The Festival della Fotografia Etica / Ethical Photography Festival, now in its 14th edition, offers testimonies of commitment in 700 images, collected in 20 exhibitions distributed throughout Lodi, with works by nearly a hundred photographers from 40 countries. All the characteristic elements of a photography festival are present, from thematic meetings to portfolio readings, author talks and workshops.

The exhibition program featuring images by international photojournalists is central to the event, starting with the World Report Award, held in Palazzo Barni, with its five sections. Evgeniy Maloletka won the category Master with his reportage The Siege of Mariupol, which tells of the devastation of the Ukrainian city by the Russians. The Spotlight category was won by Bob Miller for the reportage The Last Generation: Zoey’s Dream and Alessandro Cinque is the winner of the Short Story category with Alpaqueros which explores the climate crises and its impact on alpaca farmers in Peru. Gerd Waliszewski won the category Student with Between the Sirens, which depicts the harsh reality of war-invaded Ukraine, where young people try to live their daily lives which are regularly interrupted by alarm sirens; Mohammad Rakibul Hasan won the section Single Shot with the image The Blue Fig, a reflection on global warming. Lodi also hosts the international exhibition of the World Press Photo 2023, with 150 images signed off by major international publications.

The In-depth Analysis Area is dedicated to the project of the non-profit organization Vital Impacts founded by the photographer Ami Vitale, a National Geographic photographer, and journalist Eileen Mignoni. It is staged partly outdoors, in the city’s public gardens, showing some fifty images by environmental photographers who have been recognized in the Vital Impact Grant and Mentoring Program, and partly indoors, in the former Dell’Angelo church. These images are part of a collection that will be offered in the Vital Impact Print Sale from October 2023 to January 2024: proceeds will support the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, the first indigenously owned and managed elephant sanctuary in Africa.

The section A Glance on the World is on at Palazzo della Provincia: created in collaboration with the Agence France-Press, it deals with the climate crisis. Droughts, fires, floods, rising sea levels and melting glaciers: AFP photographers documented the effects and consequences that threaten both wildlife and people.

Since its first edition, the Festival della Fotografia Etica has paid special attention to the use of photography by organizations dealing with socially sensitive issues. The Nonprofit area in the cloister of the former Gorini hospital features four projects: Filippo Venturi for the PSCORE organization with Awakenings, a project that tells the story of the many North Koreans who try to flee the country in search of a better life; the Spaniard Maria Clauss for the NGO Medicos del Mundo with Where Oblivion May Not Dwell, about the victims of the reprisals of the Spanish Civil War; Davide Torbidi for the Camera del Lavoro of Lodi with the project I Will Never Forget What I Witnessed, on the issue of deaths at work in Italy; the project Savour Beauty of the Social Cooperative ONLUS Nuova Assistenza, that transformed some of the most famous works of art into photographs thanks to the operators-photographers and patients who decided to get involved in this collaboration.

Then Elegy from the Po River Valley by the reportagist Gabriele Cecconi, with experience in environmental issues, tells the territory in which he lives. He made a photographic exploration, significant for both the anthropological characteristics of the area and for the water crisis that in 2022 hit northern Italy, with dramatic consequences on the economic and social realities of the area.

In The Lives of Others Area, visitors can delve into the anthropological and cultural variety of peoples, to be discovered and preserved because therein lies the word “humanity” as a universal value. Laura Morton, a freelance documentary photographer based in California, in Wild West Tech, focuses on San Francisco, from the original gold rush to today, when the technology industry has created a modern-day gold rush in the city and Silicon Valley in recent years. Paul Ratje tells about the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai, in China, where he spent time focusing on modern life on and off the Tibetan plateau, where the younger generations, though bound to the customs of the past, are in search of a modern way of life. Toby Binber has spent many years on the streets of Belfast together with young people who want to break out of the old patterns and live a life as it happens in other parts of Europe today. But they still live in a place where violence and lack of perspectives are pervasive. Lastly, Lukas Kreibig documents climate change in Greenland and its impact on Inuit culture.

Parallel to the Festival FFE – OFF takes place too. It’s a circuit of photographic exhibitions, hosted in shops, bars, galleries and public spaces of the city.

Paola Sammartano


Festival della Fotografia Etica / Festival of Ethical PhotographyDate
26900 Lodi – LO

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