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

Curator Giorgio Barrera with the participation of Atlas Alp

with the support of the Municipalities of Saint Vincent and Torgnon and Donnas library

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

Atlas Alp: Andrea Botto, Laura Cantarella

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

Where

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

Final presentation and debate: Saint-Vincent

When

26 – 31 August > Excursions, photographic campaigns and workshops

1 – 2 September > Final presentation and multidisciplinary debate

Subscription and registration fee

Subscriptions are open until July the 31st

Early registrations until May the 31st: 390€ (vat incl.)
Registrations from May the 31st to July the 31st: 440€ (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.

Andrea Botto

Andrea Botto (Rapallo, 1973) is photographer and lecturer. His research investigates the unstable balance that governs the landscape through the aesthetics of destruction. Since 1999 he has exhibited in numerous international museums, obtaining important awards. Some of his photographs are exhibited in public and private collections. He organizes workshops, gives lectures and curates various cultural initiatives. His most recent books are: “19.06_26.08.1945”, Danilo Montanari Editore (2014), “KA-BOOM The Explosion of Landscape”, Èditions Bessard (2017).

Laura Cantarella

Laura Cantarella (1972) is photographer, independent researcher and professor. She combines her profession as author to the landscape planning and coordination practice with particular attention to the most vulnerable territories. Architect by education (Politecnico di Torino) and researcher in Humanidades (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona),Laura collaborates with universities and institutes as professor of photography and contemporary visual culture. Her works have been exhibited in numerous museums and cultural institutions in Italy and abroad.

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 from 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 territories”. 

 

Programme

During the week, the headquarter of the workshop will be the Library of Saint Vincent (Address: Via A. Vuillerminaz, 6, Saint-Vincent, AO), space for revision, debate and project’s  development.

26-31 August: EXCURSIONS, PHOTOGRAPHIC CAMPAIGNS AND WORKSHOPS

A week of site visits, photography campaigns and workshops combined with meetings with local actors and experts to build a collective project able to steer a reflection on the changes undergone in this territory in the last decades.  

Depending on the selected themes, the participants will be organized in groups. The territories which will be object of the photography work include the municipalities of:

Torgnon, Antey-Saint-André, La Magdeleine, Chamois, Montjovet, Valtournenche and Cervinia. 

The workshop is curated by Giorgio Barrera and conducted by the collective Urban Reports, with the methodological contribution of Atlas Alp represented by Andrea Botto and Laura Cantarella.

1-2 September: PUBLIC PRESENTATION AND PROJECTION OF THE COLLECTIVE WORK  AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY DEBATE SESSION

The first weekend of September will be dedicated to the public presentation of the collective work. Projections, meetings and a round table will take place in the towns of Saint-Vincent and Torgnon with the aim of showing the results of the photographic work stimulating a debate with the other disciplines that deal with the territorial dimension.

On Sept 2nd, one day of public gatherings, meetings and discussions with experts of contemporary photography, curators, researchers, historians, anthropologists and representatives of the local communities.

Participants must have their own vehicle in order to reach the sites of the photographic campaigns.

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:

390 € (vat incl.) early registration fee until May 31st
440€ (iva incl.) registration fee until July 31st (closing date)

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: 

We will support all participants looking for accommodation in the structures affiliated with the Municipality of Saint Vincent.

Cancellation: 

Once the payment has been made, the amount will not be refunded except in case the minimum number of participants wasn’t reached. 

 

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