Landscape photography workshop

A cross-disciplinary reflection on the role of photography as a tool to provide new visual perspectives on contemporary landscapes

26 August - 2 September

Valle d'Aosta (IT)

A project by Urban Reports and Poetica del Territorio
with Giorgio Barrera

with the support of the Municipalities of Saint Vincent, Torgnon, Antey-Saint-André, Chamois, la Magdeleine, Valtournenche, the library of Donnas and the Architects' Association of Valle d'Aosta

Photo: © Giorgio Barrera

Info

The workshop

The workshop consists of a week of photographic campaigns combined with meetings with local experts. The main goal is the production of a collective project encouraging a reflection on the landscape’s changes occurred in the Aosta Valley in the last decades. The collective work will be presented to the public during a multidisciplinary round table in Saint-Vincent on Sunday Sept 2nd.

Tutors

Curator: Giorgio Barrera

Urban Reports: Davide Curatola Soprana, Alessandro Guida, Viviana Rubo, Isabella Sassi Farías

Themes

  • The phenomenon of the second homes, territorial marks and communities 
  • Living in the mountains, a reflection on the places.  Paths across space and time
  • Mechanization and artificial landscapes

Program

Photographic campaignsTorgnon, Antey-Saint-André, Donnas, La Magdeleine, Chamois, Montjovet, Cervinia e Valtournenche

Final presentation and debate: Saint-Vincent

When

26 August – 1 September> Excursions, photographic campaigns and workshops

2 September > Final presentation and multidisciplinary debate

Subscription and registration fee

Subscriptions are open until August 15th.

Registration fee: 350€ (vat incl.)

Workshop

Every society creates interactions with the environment. It not only produces landscapes or modifies them whenever the socio-economic conditions of the context change, but those interactions shape that society depending on how the local culture perceives the environment, interprets it and transforms it.

What is the landscape with which we are confronted today? How can we describe it?

And how can contemporary photography help to give a face, to create an image of the territory, that brings us closer to the collective landscape?

This summer, between Aug 26th and Sept the 2nd, the territories of Aosta Valley will see a series of experimental landscape photography activities take place. Photographers (both amateur and professionals) will work together for a collective reflection on the landscape transformations that have shaped this territory throughout the last four decades. Photography can be a tool to classify and decipher territorial identity and cultural values, but also an explorative activity to investigate and reflect on future scenarios. A role that photography can play is indeed to provide a visual documentation; it can even  go beyond its limits, because it observes and brings in its own perspective on the effects of the post-industrial economy and the local cultural and social changes, trying to give representation of the current trends. This regional context looks particularly appropriate for an experimental reflection on the landscape due to its peculiar identity: a territory of great attractivity, rich in natural, architectural, historical-cultural and landscape resources, yet extremely fragile.

The workshop aims to create a series of photographic projects that can produce a new territorial narrative. Guided by local experts, and through the interaction with the communities, the workshop will propose the use of photography as an explorative document, a language and visual tool of a territorial identity and a unique landscape.

Themes

Through the contribution of experts and local administrators, the group will be able to dig into some of the main themes:

  1. The phenomenon of the second homes, territorial marks and communities
    The housing boom of the ’70s and’ 90s has created new building expansions that have absorbed the old historical villages and took away natural spaces: more than 40% of the housing units in Aosta Valley consists of second homes. Valtournenche is an emblematic case: houses that have been alive for a couple of decades and which today stand still and silent, coming back to life only a few days a year. The  shuttered windows tell about a generation change, houses that are only a mark on the ground. A broken chance: that of the family tourism, loyal to a territory, which spend holidays in the same place and creates ties with the community, sharing choices and desires for the future. Static immobility or promise of development? The chalet-condominium dichotomy or integration and inclusion of overlapping historical ages? How to make a narrative of the urban form in Valtournenche today? How can photography help to decipher these aspects?

     

  2. Living in the mountains, a reflection on the places. Paths across space and time
    The 1951 census recorded an important decline in the agriculture and mining sectors that has provoked the first migrations flows towards the valley. The phenomenon intensified in the following years leaving traces of memories made of stories, knowledge and urban forms lost in time. So today you will find small settlements where nature has prevailed and the memories and the industrious life of men and women are hidden in the woods, silent. Those villages are only accessible on foot across tracks full of memory and suggestions.But you can also find tiny villages that get alive few months a year, isolated hamlets and mountain pastures, which partially renovated, host touristic and productive functions. That’s the present and the past of living in the Aosta Valley. Explore and describe the way of living the Valle d’Aosta today is a physical and mental journey that we can fix with the use of photography. Through which elements can we explore this dimension? Search for the memories and the promises of future means making paths in time and space to build a new collective imaginary of this territory.

  3. Mechanization and artificial landscapes.

    The acceleration of the tourist industry shows the mountain like an amusement park, contrasting with its natural dimension. Increasingly modern, fast and efficient chairlifts and containment structures cut through the landscape. The sides of the mountain are covered by protective nets to reduce the risk of snow and rocks slide and are marked by disused pylons. All this represents a phenomenon of heavy antrophization of the territory (with no return). How can we describe this mountain and how can photography help to reflect on the impact of these massive infrastructures? What is the design and the shape chosen for these structures? What is the boundary between the artificial element and the natural one? How can they become compatible with the landscape and  object of wonder?

Tutors

Giorgio Barrera

Giorgio Barrera (1969), works with photography and video. His work is based on the visual language analysis that, through various experimentations and design methodologies, focuses his attention on the relationship between reality and subjectivity. He recently published an essay titled “The Battle of the Images”, which investigates the relationship between photography and sociality proposing a creative form of media-activism by using images. Alongside his artistic and professional work he worked as a lecturer and teacher at the Studio Marangoni Foundation in Florence and at the Bauer School of Photography in Milan.

Alessandro Guida
photographer
Viviana Rubbo
researcher
Davide Curatola Soprana
photographer
Isabella Sassi Farías
photographer

Urban Reports

Formed in 2017 by a group of photographers-architects based in different cities in Europe, Urban Reports is a collective adopting photography as a visual tool to investigate and explore contemporary landscapes. A European network of professionals able to activate partnerships and collaborations at the international level and develop projects and reportages at the urban and territorial scale. During its first year of activity, the collective has realized the project “Report from the edge of the city” a photographic campaign of the city’ boundaries in Milan, Rotterdam, Madrid and Turin. Urban Reports is also part of the interdisciplinary team coordinated by Mario Cucinella, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2018, involved in the creation of “Arcipelago Italia. Projects for the future of the country’s internal areas”. 

 

Program

The workshop’s headquarters will be the Library of Saint-Vincent (Via A. Vuillerminaz, 6, Saint-Vincent, AO)

SATURDAY 26 AUGUST

14:00 – 19:00 Introduction with UR, PdT and the curator Giorgio Barrera
Library of Saint-Vincent (Via A. Vuillerminaz, 6, Saint-Vincent, AO)

MONDAY 27 AUGUST – Visits with local experts

09:00 – 12:00 Torgnon (Theme 1,2,3) 
With local expert
Visit to the town center, to the ski lift area and the village of Petit Monde 

13:30 – 16:00  Antey-Saint-André (Theme 1,2)
Town center and the village of Herin

17:00 – 19:00  La Magdeleine (Theme 1)
With local expert
Urban development, tourism and second homes

TUESDAY 28 AUGUST – Visits with local experts

10:00 – 12:00 Donnas (Theme 2) 
With local expert
The industrial heritage on the bottom of the valley

14:00 – 19:00  Chamois (Theme 2,3)
With local expert
The village and the role of the infrastructures

During the evening: organization by thematic groups  

WEDNESDAY 29 AUGUST – Photographic campaigns

Photographic campaigns on the sites
With tutors

21:00 – 23:00  Revision of the work and editing

THURSDAY 30 AUGUST – Photographic campaigns

Photographic campaigns on the sites
With tutors

08:00 – 17:00  Cervinia – Plateau Rosá (Theme 3 only)
With local expert
Visit at the Museum “Una montagna di lavoro” at 3500m and excursion from Plan Maison (2500m) to the dyke of the lake Goillet and return (optional on foot) to Cervinia

 21:00 – 23:00  Revision of the work and first editing

 

FRIDAY 31 AUGUST – Photographic campaigns

Photographic campaigns on the sites
With tutors

21:00 – 23:00  Revision of the work and editing

SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER – Photographic campaigns

Until 14:00 Photographic campaigns on the sites
With tutors

15:00 – 18:00  Revision of the work 

SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER – Public presentation and multidisciplinary debate

10:00 – 14:00 Elaboration of the final results
With tutors

15:30:00 – 18:30  Saint – Vincent
Centro Congressi Comunale Saint-Vincent
Via A. Vuillerminaz n. 7 Sala A

Final presentation and debate with the partecipation of:

Oscar Torretta, anthropologist
Mauro Cortelazzo, archaeologist
Luciano Bonetti, advisor Association of Architects Aosta
Antonio De Rossi, architect, professor at Politecnico of Turin and director of Centro di ricerca Istituto di Architettura montana
Giorgio Barrera, photographer
Urban Reports, photographers
Maria Vassallo, Association Poetica del Territorio

Moderator Valeria Machet, architect and deputy mayor of Torgnon

Subscription

The workshop is open to both professional photographers and students but also to professionals working on landscape and related disciplines that want to experiment, through photography, a multidisciplinary approach and a collective reflection about contemporary mountain landscapes.

Required equipment:

  • Camera
  • Memory cards 
  • Laptop
  • Digital portfolio (optional)

Registration fee:

350 € (vat incl.) 
Registrations open until August 15th

Payment must be made by bank transfer within 3 working days from the registration on the site using the following beneficiary:

POETICA DEL TERRITORIO
Banca Credito Cooperativo Valdostana
IBAN: IT 68 F 08587 31540 000210105956  
SWIFT: ICRAITRRGB0
Subject: Subscription Landscape photography workshop

Number of partecipants:

min 20 – max 30

Language:

Italian and english. Support for French and Spanish if required

Accommodation: 

Both in Saint Vincent and all the other municipalities offer a great variety of accommodations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help. 

Transfers: 

Partecipants must be indipendent for transfers on the sites for the photographic campains. 

 

For further information and questions, please do not hesitate to contact Urban Reports at info@urbanreports.org

Please fill the form for the registration

Partner

With the support