The Ragusa Foto Festival takes place in Ibla, the most ancient quarter of the historic city centre. In the Baroque heart of Sicily, the event, now in its 11th edition, features ten monographic exhibitions on the theme of ‘Relations’. The programme also includes talks, workshops and portfolio readings. And Ragusa with its monuments (declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), its urban fabric and its history is an exceptional context for observing and reading images capable not only of documenting and bearing witness to stories and facts but also of creating relationships.
Grouped under the theme of ‘Relations’, the projects deal with contemporary people, with the body, the territory, reality, imagination. According to Stefania Paxhia, the festival general director, “this international event dedicated to photography has opened the doors of this territory to a quite interesting experience of cultural innovation”. She also highlights “the communicative role of photography and its social responsibility”. “Photography festivals are an opportunity to exhibit as well as a key moment of dialogue and growth”, the artistic director Claudio Composti adds.
The exhibitions of the Ragusa Foto Festival, with projects by well-known and emerging young Italian and international authors (with a special focus on Sicilian authorship), are on display in Ibla, at Palazzo Cosentini, the deconsecrated church of San Vincenzo Ferreri and the Antico Convento dei Cappuccini in the Giardino Ibleo, a veritable belvedere overlooking the Iblei mountains.
The authors are Federica Belli, who highlights the mediating role of photography; Ruben Brulat (whose installation tells of a creative relationship with the Etna volcano; Mari Katayama, who aestheticizes her own disability through art, while Alessandra Calò’s project links creativity and fragility for new social inclusion opportunities. Davide Monteleone, a well-known contemporary author, focuses on the relationship between man and nature, investigating the effects of various forms of colonialism, globalisation and the relations between power and individuals in today’s China. Lisa Sorgini presents a story about relationships within family, especially during the social distancing all through the lockdown. Carlotta Vigo tells of the link between the Sicilian territory and its past and future, traditions and sustainability, with a project on fish processing. In the Miglior Portfolio and Progetti con Menzione 2022 section, the photos by Andrea Camiolo analyse the Sicilian landscape as an archetype, the research by Giulia Gatti delves into the lives of women living in southern Mexico, and Sara Grimaldi’s autobiographical account reflects on the relationship between psychological malaise and food.
Finally, a heartfelt project from the Ragusa Foto Festival, tells the story of the daily life of migrant workers living around the Caritas Italiana Presidia in Italy. The Presidium of Foggia set up an experimental initiative, created in collaboration with the Caritas diocesana of Foggia, Perimetro, an international photography platform, and New Old Camera of Milan. Two professional photographers, Arianna Arcara and Alessandro Zuek Simonetti, led the workshop offering new skills to six young workers who took pictures to tell their stories, hopes and desire for redemption.
Ragusa Foto Festival XI edizione “Relazioni”
July 20 through August 27, 2023