20 novembrer - 12 december 2021

Festival Marenostrum


Marenostrum", international festival of Mediterranean photography now in its sixth edition, was born seven years ago in Mazara del Vallo from an idea of the photographer Roberto Rubino, president of the cultural association "The alleys of the Mediterranean" and artistic director of the Festival. In these years the festival has hosted inside important photographic exhibitions signed by the most prestigious names in the panorama of international photography. These are photographic projects that focus on the Mediterranean and that document humanitarian disasters, migration, wars, famines, rescues at sea.
The sea remains the central element, which gathers around itself characters, destinies, stories of peoples and civilizations, but "Marenostrum" tells at the same time the extraordinary beauty of the landscapes, the cities that overlook this sea, the streets, alleys, squares, the markets, the colors, the faces of the men and women who populate them.
These visions are intertwined with stories of welcome, integration, work, building paths of peace not only through photography but also with the help of cultural events that animate and enrich the program of the festival: debates, workshops with exhibitors, book presentations, concerts, conferences, with particular attention to the theme of rights, solidarity and peace.

The photographic tale
Women and children are the main victims of humanitarian crises. It is women and children who have paid the highest price for humanitarian emergencies in recent decades. Three million children in the world know nothing but war, thousands of children are killed, maimed, died crossing borders or the Mediterranean Sea. Those who managed to survive will carry indelible scars. Women are forced to flee their homes, to abandon their families of origin, to cross countries and continents with young children, sometimes in an advanced state of pregnancy. Women beaten, tortured, raped in the camps of North African countries and often then sexually exploited and forced to live in situations of socio-cultural degradation even in our western cities. Representative in this regard are the photos of Giovanna Vacirca starring twelve women in a reception center, photographed from the back but surrounded by light, where anonymity is protection of privacy but also a symbol of identity broken: They are women who have lost everything, including the sense of self that needs to be rebuilt.

Migration and humanitarian disasters.

The Mediterranean Sea has been at the center, in the last twenty years, of one of the greatest migratory phenomena in the history of humanity. Sea that promises salvation and future prospects, but also sea of shipwrecks and cemetery of bodies: this is the Mediterranean represented in the photographic works on display at the festival, as in the photos of the rescues of Alessio Paduano Among these, Olmo Calvo’s photographs of the migrants' routes, which immortalise the tragedy of the shipwrecks from Libya to Italy, from Turkey to Greece, the rescues by Ngos, the despair in the eyes of women and children, are also forcefully imposed. The scars, wounds and mutilations in body and soul are revealed in their overwhelming intensity in the images of Afshin Ismaeli, which witness the massacre of the Kurdish people, the hell of the island of Lesbos and the fire of the refugee camp of Moria that destroyed the slum and the detention center. The recent crisis in Afghanistan, with the return to power of the Taliban who are suffocating in blood the freedoms laboriously conquered by Afghan women in the last twenty years, is documented by the photographs taken by photojournalist Alessio Romenzi witness, Last summer, the withdrawal of the Americans from Kabul and the advance of the Taliban army.
Migrants do not only run away from wars and conflicts, there are millions of refugees, refugees and environmental migrants. Climate change, with the consequent environmental emergencies, causes the rural population, consisting of farmers, shepherds, fishermen, villages and countryside to abandon, due to drought, cold or flooding, to take refuge in the cities. Alessandro Grassani testifies that with his photos he documents desertification in Kenya and floods in Bangladesh with devastating consequences on the local population, condemned to migration and poverty.

The metal wall and barbed wire between Ceuta and Melilla divides Europe from Africa, that is, Morocco, from the autonomous Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, in order to prevent illegal immigration. This barrier caused the death of 4,000 people, drowned in an attempt to cross the Strait of Gibraltar and enter Spain illegally. These impassable and armored walls are recounted by Enrica Senini in her photographic and narrative diary "Boundiaries"

Mazara and Palermo, multi-ethnic and multicultural cities
The city of Mazara, Europe’s gateway to the Mediterranean, in the photos of Roberto Rubino reveals its deep maritime identity, linked to the fishing of red shrimp and at the same time its nature as a city of hospitality: It is in his casbah, that maze of narrow streets and courtyards of Arab origin that, for at least fifty years, lives the largest Maghreb community in Italy, immigrated from Tunisia to work on fishing boats and already reached the fourth generation.
Even Palermo, like Mazara, is distinguished by its character as a multicultural and multi-religious city, attentive to the theme of rights and promoter of policies of peace and hospitality.  

The authors

Afshin Ismaeli, born in 1985, is a photojournalist, war photographer and researcher graduated in journalism at the University of Oslo. In 2005, Ismael began working as a journalist in Erbil, Iraq. Since then, Afshin has devoted his time to documenting wars, conflicts and humanitarian issues. He has worked on numerous photographic essays in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Bosnia. In Iraq and Syria, it covered conflicts and wars against the so-called Islamic state. He is a photographer with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. Afshin Ismaeli’s work has been published in most Norwegian newspapers and in international media such as the New York Times, BBC, Foreign, Policy, Wire, Global Actions, New Humanitarian, Forbes, Tirto, RTP etc.

Alessandro Grassani recounted major international events such as the funeral of Yasser Arafat, the eviction of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, the earthquake that destroyed the city of Bam in Iran, the Israeli military operation "Summer Rain". Over time, his focus has shifted to a photography of in-depth research on important social issues that have led him to travel to over 40 countries; he works, among others, with The New York Times, CNN and organizations such as the United Nations, Doctors of the World and UNOPS. His works have been exhibited in festivals and museums such as the Musée de la Porte Dorèe in Paris, United Nations Palace, International Center for Climate Governance, Royal Geographical Society in London, Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan. They have also been awarded internationally, among others, twice at the Sony World Photography Awards, Days Japan International Awards, Luis Valtuena Humanitarian Photography Award, Marco Luchetta Award, Amilcare Ponchielli Award and Memorial Mario Giacomelli. Alessandro is a Sony Global Imaging Ambassador and professor of documentary photography at the John Kaverdash Academy in Milan.

Alessio Romenzi has been a freelance photographer since 2009. He works mostly with Agence France Presse, UN, International Red Cross. His images appear in major international newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, Denver Post, Le Monde, Le Figaro, El Mundo, El Pais, La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera, Il fatto quotidiano, Internazionale, L'Espresso, Der Spiegel, Verdens Gang (VG), The Guardian and The National. He won among others the World Press Photo in 2013 and the Unicef Picture of the Year First Prize.

Enrica Senini Since 1973 she has been exploring the world with all her senses. Her first trip alone at the age of 12 gave birth to her passion for people and their environments, and for the magic that all populations have in common: life.
After several explorations in the most remote corners of the planet, he decided to take the camera to document what he saw, focusing mainly on personal long-term projects in distant places, real magnets of his research.

Alessio Paduano was born in Naples on August 4, 1984. He studied one year in Paris at the Université Paris VII - Denis Diderot on a scholarship. In 2007 he collaborated as an editor and photographer with various Italian newspapers. In 2009 he graduated in Sociology at the University of Naples Federico II with a thesis in journalism, where he analyzes the newspapers "Le Monde" and "Corriere della Sera". In the same year he obtained the National Register of Publicist Journalists. In 2010 he studied photojournalism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Some of his works have been exhibited at the Pan-palazzo Arti Napoli (Italy), Biennale di Bibbiena (Italy), Palm Spring Photo Festival (California), Tel Aviv Photo Fair (Israel), Fotoloft Gallery (Russia), Photowalk (United States), ICA space (Japan), Historical Museum of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). His photographs have been published by major national and international newspapers and magazines including Internazionale, La Stampa, Newsweek, The Guardian, Time, The New York Times, Le Monde, Stern, The Wall Street Journal, etc.

Giò Vacirca, born in '73, Trapani moved to Padua to follow the course of studies at the Higher Institute of Photography and Visual Arts.
Graduated in 1998, she stayed in Padua to work in the retinue of Master Gastone Scarabello, at the Blow Up Studio, in Rubano. Back to Trapani, working at the photo studio "Leonardo" by Leonardo Frusteri. In 2001 he opened the photographic studio "IMAGO".

Olmo Calvo, Santander 1982 is an independent photographer based in Madrid. He develops his work in Spain and in other countries of the world, both on commission and on his own initiative. In recent years he has made reports in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Iraq, Bangladesh, Niger, Morocco, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary or the central Mediterranean, focusing on the violation of human rights.
His photographs have been awarded and selected in prestigious international competitions.

Roberto Rubino, free lance photographer, has collaborated with international events, his reports published on national newspapers. He worked on a committee for national periodicals. He mainly deals with portraiture and reportage, with the direction of several workshops and personal exhibitions to his credit.

The Program 

Saturday 20 November 2021 - Palazzo Sant'Elia - Sala Cavallerizza
h.17.00 - Opening exhibition to the public

Tuesday 23 November 2021 - Corridors of the Palazzo Comitini
h.17.30 - Concert "Cruzando Aguas" of the pianist M° Fabrizio Mocata accompanied by percussionist M° Salvo Casano.

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November 2021 - Palazzo Sant'Elia
h. 09.30/13.00 , 15.00/18.30 - Workshop directed by Francesco Bellina: "How to build a photographic reportage".

Thursday 9 December 2021 - Palazzo Comitini - Sala Martorana h. 17.00 - Conference/ debate "Mediterranean: a sea of rights". With the Mayor prof. Leoluca Orlando.

Saturday 11 December 2021 - Palazzo Sant'Elia - Sala Cavallerizza h. 18.30 - Presentation of the book "La cala. One hundred days in Libyan prisons" and debate "The alliance between Christian and Muslim women in international dispute resolution processes". Guests Catia Catania and Giuseppe Ciulla authors of the book, Giorgia Butera sociologist, writer, president of the association Mete Onlus and human rights activist, Rosetta Ingargiola and Nawres Ben Haddada protagonists of the book.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 20 November until 12 December at the following times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00 to 20.00 (last admission 19.00)


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