Milan (Italy). This is a photo of 10 Corso Como courtyard facade, and it is a typical residential architecture typology in Milan. I went there last Saturday because I wanted to visit the 2016 World Press Photo Exhibition at the Galleria Carla Sozzani.
I’m not a very big fan of 10 Corso Como Cafe, and I normally does not visit the shop – it’s definitely not my style. But I do love the bookshop, probably one of the best place in Milan where to find interesting books and magazines about art, photography, architecture and design. And, of course, I love the many exhibitions hosted here.
As said, the reason of my Saturday visit was the 2016 World Press Photo Exhibition. The World Press Photo today is one of the most prestigious contest in the field of photo journalism and reportage, and the current Syrian war – with its dramatic migrants crisis – inspired several photographers this year. I must admit that I was shocked by some images, they literally opened my eyes on this tragedy, and during my visit I thought frequently about the huge responsibility that photo reporters had in the course of history – and still have (probably even more than in the past) nowadays.
From the beginning of photojournalism, facts became stories thanks to photographers, which frequently put their lives at risk to give everyone the possibility of being informed and develop her own consciousness. “We see, we understand. We see more, we understand more”: I think it’s true, although manipulation is always just behind the corner…
One of my favorite book – “Slightly about Of Focus” by Robert Capa – has probably changed my way to interpret, live and enjoy photography. It’s a fantastic book – an autobiography – talking about Capa’s experiences on assignment for Collier’s magazine with the Allied Forces following (and photographing) the World War II. He’s generally recognized as “the century’s greatest battlefield photographer” (this definition was created by John G. Morris, Magnum Photos’ first executive editor), but the book shows also his life of human being, with his failures, difficulties and – of course – fears.
For this reason, visiting the World Press Photo’s Exhibition, I tried to put myself not only in the position of the subject, as it normally happens; but also in the position of “the one behind the camera”, trying to get – for each shot – the feeling of the author in that exact moment. Was s/he conscious that s/he was capturing history? Was s/he aware that – by definition – he was telling the truth (in a world in which truth is more and more a chimera?). And – most important – was s/he feeling the great responsibility embedded in that action?
Obviously, I could not answer to all those questions and I left the exhibition with a knot in my stomach. Leaving 10 Corso Como, when I took my camera to capture this image published here, I understood how easy is life for
photographers like me…