If Photography Is Freedom, Photographing a Prison Is…?

by Bernardo Ricci Armani May 25, 2016 0 comment
If Photography Is Freedom, Photographing a Prison Is…?

Milan (Italy). Last Saturday – after visiting the World Press Photo 2016 exhibition – I spent the evening at a friend’s home for his housewarming. I did not bring my Leica Q with me, but in my pocket there was room enough for the Ricoh GR. And I was happy to use it in front of this interesting urban landscape, glorified by a very intense sunset.

When I was preparing the camera to capture this image, I was becoming more and more thoughtful about the sharp contrast in front of myself: photography, for me, is the quintessence of the sense of freedom; so, what can be the sense of photographing a prison?

Yes, the large building photographed here is the San Vittore prison, located in the heart of Milan (it dates back to 1872) and hosting more than 900 detainees: it was a bit impressive watching its tall walls, and the two different sides of it. On one side, there was the city, its traffic, people: in one word, there was freedom. On the other one, nobody – except some guards monitoring the situation and a sense of discomfort. The sunset was painting this strong juxtaposition with a gentle tone of blue and orange, and the clouds were making the sky agitated and a bit restless. Like myself, thinking about what at the end became the title of this post.

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