Paolo Verzone

Arctic Zero

The Arctic is a vision of the future that I have explored for more than seven years by documenting the communities and lives of the Svalbard archipelago, one of the last inhabited communities before the North Pole. Svalbard is the perfect alchemy between millennial balances and the sustainable future. They are one of the places where climate change is documented in the most precise way, thanks to these balances that guarantee exact measurements. I have documented the work of scientists who provide us with primal information for our future. I traveled into the past by entering ice caves where the air bubbles visible in the ice contained the air of a thousand years ago. This corner of the Arctic is a place of stability and paradoxes. Here it is forbidden to be born and die. The permafrost consistently below zero is in constant movement, and the bodies could return to the surface after years. It is the metaphor for our transitory condition in its most beautiful sense. The coal industry is giving way to new forms of sustainable energy. The ancient mines are closing, and the whole archipelago is the scene of countless research missions from climate to space, all in compliance with a quest for harmony with our environment. It is one of the most pristine places in the world where the air itself has its consistency that remains impressed by its purity as perhaps one of the strongest sensations experienced.

Spitsbergen is the title of Verzone's latest book published by the German publishing house Mare, which collects the photographs of 'Arctic Zero' and will be presented in Ibla, during the opening days, by Benedetta Donato together with the author.

Paolo Verzone, (Torino, 1967) Member of Agence VU since 2003, he is one of Italy's leading photographers. National Geographic, Time, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, he has been working for both newspapers and long-term projects for almost 30 years. Since 2014, Verzone has been documenting the inhabitants of one of the world's northernmost communities, Ny-Ålesund, in the Arctic. Awarded at World Press Photo in 2000, 2009 and 2015. His desire to represent the world is clear from his earliest personal work. Whether it is the series of portraits of Europeans on the beach, Seeuropeans (1994/2002), or the Moscow Project (1991/2011), produced in collaboration with Alessandro Albert, the ensemble of people photographed opens up a reflection on the multiplicity and singularity of each individual. His photographs are kept in many international collections, Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris), Instituto Nazionale della Grafica (Rome), to name a few.

Giuseppe Leone

Memoria Iblea

Nell’anno del decennale Ragusa Foto Festival intende coinvolgere il territorio nella ricerca visiva dedicata alla cd ‘movida’ della comunità iblea. Prima si definiva “dolce vita” – più comunemente chiamato divertimento, tempo libero. Un tempo specifico, libero dagli impegni quotidiani e dedicato agli incontri con amici. Un fenomeno individuale, nel territorio collettivo e territoriale per i processi di rigenerazione urbana innescati nei centri storici, nelle città, nelle località balneari, nei luoghi pubblici per eccellenza.
Attraverso la raccolta di immagini che racconteranno il divertimento che scaturisce dalla condivisione di momenti e piaceri, insomma, dalla socialità, a partire dagli anni Sessanta ad oggi e che la pandemia ha ridotto e letteralmente trasformato.
Le immagini di Giuseppe Leone, il fotografo della civiltà iblea, raccontano della città da cui partì il «Rinascimento siciliano» dopo il devastante terremoto del 1693. La Sicilia seppe rialzarsi e nel tempo, Ragusa, sebbene terra agricola, visse il benessere dell’industria e del boom economico che Leone racconta per immagini: dei suoi monumenti, delle sue feste, dei costumi e della vita tutta, compreso il divertimento.

Davide Degano

Romanzo Meticcio

Thanks to the partnership with Mia Photo Fair, the international art fair dedicated to photography in Italy, one of the winning projects of the 3rd edition of the New Post Photography Prize is on display.

The project studies the Italian post-colonial condition as a fundamental element of the daily and contemporary life of the Bel Paese. The prefix post, in my research, takes on a progressive historical value. The Italian state, since its unity, has created a narrative based upon the identification of places and people considered as marginal, compared to people and places that instead have a central position. My research analyses the multiple meanings that the word "colony" assumes in the Italian language and culture that have left visible and tangible traces with its architecture, infrastructure, education, and political structures inside and outside the country.
Reflecting on my family history led me to reflect on the complexity of the changes in Italy in the era of mass culture and how marginality is a product of a series of spatial and power relationships.

Tim Carpenter

The Ancien Regime

The photographs in The ancien regime came about as a reaction to the quality of late summer light in my home region of central Illinois in the United States. At that time of year, the air often holds up to 80 or 90 percent humidity. This heavy moisture scatters the sunlight entirely, and has pronounced effects on Tri-x film, blowing out skies and creating a soft glow all around. I noticed a similar luminosity in the landscape work of the french photographer Eugène Atget. So I adopted the name for my project from the book and exhibition of Atget’s pictures by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. I like the sense of permanence and solidity that the title gives to transitory things like houses and trees.

Tim Carpenter (Illinois, 1968) is editor, photographer, writer and co-founder of TIS Books, an independent photo book publisher. He lives and works between Brooklyn and Illinois. Among his monographs: A house and a tree (2015, TIS), Local Objects (The Ice Plant); township, a collaboration with Raymond Meeks, Adrianna Ault, and Brad Zellar (Dumbsaint / TIS, 2017).

Alfredo Corrao

In the Middle

In the wake of Roman adolescent memories linked to the clash of opposing political factions, acts of terrorism, and the drama of those who found themselves "in the middle," the 'project by Alfredo Corrao aims to consider an inconvenient period in the history of Italy. From a re-examination of mimeographs, leaflets, and newspaper clippings, Alfredo Corrao reconstructs the tension of the era in which words dried up, erased, being gradually replaced by bullets. Words that become weapons, and later ordered and schematic syntax, pronounced by the State through the Code of Criminal Procedure. A reflection on the importance of documentation, archiving, and the narration of violence as an interlude of everyday life. A critical ensemble that resurfaces today through images.

Alfredo Corrao works since 1983 as a professional photographer with a primary interest in the documentation of cultural heritage. In 2000 he joined the MiC (Ministero della Cultura) and contributed since then to the documentation and dissemination of cultural heritage through visual multimedia and interactive photographic means. As an educator, he has collaborated with different schools and courses at Università degli Studi 2 “Tor Vergata” of Rome, Università degli Studi I.S.I.A. of Urbino, IC-PAL Higher Education School in Rome, CCR of Venaria of the University of Turin.

Harmony. A mutual understanding

The exhibition "Harmony. A mutual understanding", in collaboration with Urbanautica, brings together the works of 16 authors from different countries of the world and a plural exploration of the complexity that underlies the quest for harmony. The invitation is to take off the role of the spectator who investigates the point of view of others and to welcome one's vision of the whole among the many possible and ever-changing; as is the very concept of harmony, not an ideal point of balance but a practice of the perennial transformation of the cosmos. The result is a path with variable geometries in which the gaze moves along a plot of settings, memories, suggestions, perspectives, intentions, and faces. In this apparent disorientation, it is up to the visitor to trace relationships and experiment with a possible compromise between the parties.

Featured artists: Ciro Battiloro, Marion Belanger, Iole Carollo, Panos Charalampidis & Mary Chairetaki, Matteo Di Giovanni, Anna Laura Festa, Daniel Fleitas García, Gary Green, Tatiana Grigorenko, Hanne Lamon, Tommaso Rada, Georges Salameh, Maria Siorba, Tim Smith, Rob Stephenson, Luke Swenson & Jack Dash, Alys Tomlinson.

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli

Double Portrait

Double Portrait is a communication of an artistic calling through photography and an archive of a personal journey of joy and sorrow that comes with love and birth; fear of loss, identity, childhood, motherhood, memory; a questioning of portrait traditions and the psychological aspect of photography. It's about remembering what it means to be held, and experiencing what it means to hold regardless of cultural norms related to gender. A process that records 9 years of research into a real-time system of observation on the mother-child relationship through different lenses. Double Portrait is a cartography towards the complex relationship between mother-child and the unfolding process of motherhood. It is also a visual response to the unimaginable death of everyone’s mother. It speaks of something we all know about emotionally, but can’t articulate all that easily. We know it when we see it. We know it when we feel it. We know it when it is absent. We carry it when we have been held and we carry it when we have not been held.

Cemre Yeşil Gönenli is a Turkish photographer and a visual story teller living in Istanbul. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally including The Guardian, International Centre of Photography New York, British Journal of Photography, Colors Magazine, La Fabrica, 6 mois, Istanbul Modern Museum, and Salt Beyoğlu. Her 2020 book Hayal & Hakikat was shortlisted in Paris Photo Aperture Photobook Awards for the Photobook of the Year Category. She was also nominated for the Paul Huf Award of Amsterdam Photography Museum FOAM in 2014 and 2021, for ING Unseen Talent Award 2016 and for Lead Awards 2016. British Journal of Photography - Ones to Watch issue (February 2015) introduced her amongst the 25 most promising new talents in global survey of emerging photographers with the work For Birds’ Sake (in collaboration with Maria Sturm). She currently lectures on photography at Falmouth University MA Photography and Istanbul Bilgi University BA Visual Communication Design. SHE is also the founder of FiLBooks; a space dedicated to photo books, artist talks and workshops which in 2017 became a publishing house in Karaköy, Istanbul.

Rick van der Klooster

The Day the Birds Stopped Singing

The exhibition collaborates with the Dutch Embassy in Rome, and the 'Blurring the Lines' program, a partner of the Ragusa Foto Festival, which annually rewards talents and graduates' work worldwide.

“The Day the Birds Stopped Singing” is a poetic photo series about the challenging feeling of growing up in a dying world. Portraits of my contemporaries and city birds come together in twilit urban parks, where it is neither day nor night. For young adults, the illusion exists that the world lies open for us and that we can be like the birds that are flying high above our heads. But what use are our wings if we soon have nowhere to land? The project also invites us to reflect on the construction of social relations, in relation to nature, and animals. The importance of a search for harmony in our surroundings became evident during the pandemic.

Carlo Bevilacqua

A Chijana Da Spiranza

Carlo Bevilacqua reflects on the normality, the stories, the hopes, and the fears of people living on the margins of our communities. They represent a universe that though summarized in clichés, still contributes to the development and growth of our territories.
The project intends to tell the everyday life of immigrant workers, mostly Africans, present in the territory of the Piana di Gioia Tauro, in the province of Reggio Calabria, where the Presidio entrusted to the diocesan Caritas of Oppido Mamertina - Palmi is present.
Acceptance and integration are the leitmotifs of the extensive reportage with which Bevilacqua gives a name, a face, and dignity to the workers now 'observing' the viewers through his pictures. The project invites people to discover their stories without emphasizing the precarious housing conditions so often central to the narration of the place. In doing so, the "farm hands" become visible and no longer bound in anonymity or indifference.

Pietro Motisi


This story's fulcrum lies in exploring the concept of living and its re-meaning. Pietro Motisi reflects on his photographic imprint among the sensitive shelters of the homonymous camp run by the diocesan Caritas of Crotone, and his pictures become spaces to attract thoughts, light, and intention. The experience of the other is not a reason for denunciation but an opportunity to rebuild the invisible foundations on which the meaning of a civil community lies. A crater on the surface of Mars bears the name of Crotone. Therefore, this installation is a site of impact where we reconstruct and measure ourselves with the idea of ​​home.

Nanni Licitra

Hell end in hell

Portfolio Award 2021

These frames outline the epiphany of Western posture and the categories through which it manifested itself into the world. Figurative plans reveal the vain attempts to structure a stable form, mold a self-evident coherence, and organize a sterile knowledge—an effort to develop a socio-cultural paradigm never subject to change.
Thus consolidating the outcome of a conflict that, on the one hand, human beings hope and try with all their might to overcome, on the other, is inscribed in them. Reportages of a crumbling universe where the human, through definitions, inferences, assertions, cultural models, social and religious schemes, confronts the army of Chaos, trying to bend it and give it an order. Every culture, every generation, every age, every individual: every day in this Chaosmotic war.

Andrea Iran and Barbara Cucinotta

This Was Tomorrow

Special Mention Portfolio Award 2021

Often, ordinary places are at risk of being overlooked and photography can reveal unseen areas, both of the city and of the soul. We counted on photography as capable of being both a mirror and a window, in addition to the viscerality of the graphic-pictorial mark and the cathartic value of writing. With authentic participation, while focusing on the photographic analysis of places, we also focused on listening to awakening emotions: that’s how, as a watermark, latent contradictions and involuntary poetries have been allowed to surface. That’s also why this workshop, organized by the Mental Health Hospital Department of Modica, has become a path towards awareness of the gaze, meant as the immediate reaction to surroundings as well as the rereading of passages of experiences underlying certain points of view on reality. We have walked through the streets of the neighborhoods near the Department, shooting mainly with our mobile camera, together with the authors. The latter, then, have worked with scraps, pens, colors, writings, on the images chosen by us. The outcome is a mix of visions imbued with liveness and melancholy, clearness and incommunicability: a lucid personal and collective transfiguration, which then went to flow into the book “This was tomorrow”. As curators, we encouraged and aided the creative process of the authors and we conceived, designed and developed the book.

Greta Valente

Tre Mesi

*Special Mention Portfolio Award 2021

"New Sense. We have to pour ourselves entirely out of us to be" is an excerpt from the project "Tre Mesi", a ninety days research that took place in the South of Italy between the provinces of Naples, Salerno and Caserta.
The reason why I decided to take these images was a need to surprise myself with the everyday, away from stereotypical creativity, straddling the line between physical travel and inner exploration. Along this path I had the need to detach myself from any fear, from any wall that human beings are used to create, from the alienating monotony in which many times I got lost. Somehow, I felt the need to become a child again, to marvel at the landscapes and marginal details, which we often take for granted or far from the common sense we attribute to what is aesthetically beautiful and perfect. With a somewhat nostalgic outlook, I tried to get entirely outside of myself to exist.