Emilia Photography Exhibition

Emilia mostra Silvia Casali Fotografia Europea 2016

Life sometimes is slow, it never changes and days seem endless and boring. On the other hand, it might happen that life speeds up and you realize that months slipped away in a blink of an eye.

This has happened the last six months. I have just realized it’s been that long since I last wrote a post. Many things changed in my life: my career, my relation with death and illness for instance.

But the call to be more creative is still there, growing stronger each and every day. And my last photography exhibition is the perfect example of “going with the flow”. The original project for this year Fotografia Europea Week exhibition was a different one.

But things were not going exactly as planned, so I was forced to change my mind and present a project that was almost there, kept in a drawer for years.

Ten photographs, ten portrays were not enough. I decided to let the models narrate their stories with videos, and I also took photographs of fragments of their homes. At the end, a small project became a meaningful one, loaded with emotions and history.

Here it is, this is E m i l i a


The Perfect Gift

Il Regalo Perfetto silvia casali 2015 copyright (1 di 1)


What are you doing? Why do you want to take a picture with me and this gift-wrapped box?”
“It is for my friends, Mummy. Every year I send a Christmas card to my friends. I need a picture to go with it…”

“Ok. And what’s in this small box?”
“Nothing. It’s empty. It’s just for the shot.”

“Ok… But why do you want my hands in it?”
“Because they are beautiful. I find them beautiful”

“….Alright then,” she says, but is still hesitant. “But don’t take a picture of my face” 

As I was taking this photograph, I realized she held the perfect gift, the best gift she could ever think of for me: a moment in which her hands thoughtfully held my desire to create and to express myself. A moment in which my need became real, alive. A moment in which her wise, weathered hands crafted a true present out of an empty gift-wrapped box.


“Mommy, why are you crying?”
“Nothing Matilde…Do you like the picture of your grandma? “

Yes, I do. Her hands are beautiful. But what’s then in that package?”
“There is the Perfect Gift. Do you know what it is?”

“Mmmmm…to me it’s you! But now, stop crying..do you get it?”

Wishing that you will give or receive the Perfect Gift this Christmas

Buon Natale, Merry Christmas and a wonderful and happy New Year



cornelle zoo bergamo italy silvia casali copyright 2015

2015 is going to end soon, and I am forcing myself to take a look back at the many photographs I have shot during these months – to find a reason to keep on working on photography, to study post-production, to recall the past that has gone so fast.

My 2015 Lightroom Archive showed many images not yet edited, just uploaded and left there. Among these many there were the shots taken during my last visit at the Cornelle zoo in Bergamo (Italy). I remember that when I imported them I found them not that interesting, this is why they were there, unedited.

But today, my perspective changed.

It might be the cold and grey winter day, it might be that I am trying to push my boundaries beyond the ordinary me trying to see things differently..I don’t know what it was, but those shots deserved deeper attention and care.

Those shots changed from a quite banal report of a day at the zoo into something different, dressed with a sadness that I have never seen before.

I would like to know your opinion about them

Milan EXPO2015

Expo 2015 silvia casali photography

Last October I visited the Milan Expo with my daughter Matilde. We wanted to enjoy the experience in its wholeness, skipping the long, huge lines to enter the pavillons – actually any pavillons, October showed to  be the worst time to visit Expo2015.

We focused our attention on food instead, eating streetfood in so many different countries that we lost count of the many delicious experiences we had. I remember the tajine from Morocco, a snack from Indonesia, then noodles in Vietnam, stroopwafles in Holland, then fajitas from Mexico, a yummy date cake from Bahrain, something I don’t remember the name from Uzbekistan, coffee from Congo and saffron tea from Iran.

And  since my attention was captured by what I was eating, I did not take any #foodporn image.

In my opinion, at least a week was needed to really understand the educational experience offered by Expo 2015 – too much information in a short time can make visitors dizzy and unable to appreciate the cultural value of it.

But Matilde and I loved this very quick  virtual trip all around the world – we wish we could to it for real very soon!

November 13, 2015: a night to remember

foofighters bologna concert nov 13 2015 silvia casali copyright

November 13th, 8.30 pm Bologna Italy: Foo Fighters Concert

My first rock concert after my hearing partial loss. I was worried not to be able to stand the high volume and vibrations, these last ones causing me a severe problems with my “broken” labirynth. But everything went more than fine, actually, it was an amazing experience, from the music, social” and ethics point of view.

Unipol Arena in Bologna was packed: everybody was there for the concert, not for fighting or exhibiting their immense ignorance. They were there for music.

And music is what we all got back. Two hours and a half of an unforgettable powerful and excellent rock played by Foo Fighters who were able to enchant a very wide audience ranging from kids to grown adults who were dancing and shouting as teens, as I did

November 13th, 10.30 pm, Paris France: terror attack at Bataclan

And as soon as I left the concert premise, a friend of mine sent me a message saying: Paris under attack, you might not know this..” I was shocked, and I was even more shocked when while going home I read that there were people that were kept hostage and killed inside a concert premise, Bataclan.

And all that craziness started right when I was having fun, miles and miles apart, during a rock concert.

You all know by now what happened and I do not want to add anything more to all the many comments that filling the web, the tv and the press.

Today Foo Fighters cancelled all the remaining tour dates, Turin (Italy), Paris and Barcelona.

“In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can’t continue right now” Dave Grohl

Personally speaking, I do not feel at ease right now thinking about my being so lucky last night, being so blessed to be able to spend such a wonderful experience during a rock concert, while people were killed, the very same moment, during another rock concert. And I bet that Dave Grohl and his band are feeling the same.

While I was editing the pictures I shot during Foo Fighters‘ concert – very low quality since they’re iPhone shots- I felt like it was a good thing to share them all, together with a very short video of the live show


Human beings are able to create beautiful experiences, we are able to stay altogether in the same place feeling joy and happiness, and this thanks (also) to music. We must all focus our attention on the energy and power of wonderful collective experiences: let all be together in peace and happiness.

Don’t let hate kill life, don’t let hate kill music. Music is life

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Please share if you feel like this is worth, I hope it is. To me it is.

Muta Riflessione | Exhibiting at Fotografia Europea 2015

Mostra Muta Riflessione Silvia Casali ©2015 Fotografia Europea Circuito Off

In an attempt to push myself towards the “photographer” role, last January I decided to submit a project of mine to Fotografia Europea 2015, an international photography exhibition taking place in Reggio Emilia (Italy) each May.

At that time I did not know anything about how to organize an exhibition, I am still quite naive about this but now I can say that it is not an easy thing. And furthermore, what I made it was not a simple exhibition, since I had to design and make the steel and wood structures that carried the framed images.

The images belonging to Muta Riflessione (Silent Reflection) were shot in three different locations in Italy (Riccione, Dolomites and Peschiera del Garda) from 2012 to 2013, and narrated the sometimes strange relationship between manhood and landscape – new technologies have permeated our daily life, and we more often find it difficult to understand that what we are admiring is nature made through a process that lasted millions of years.

Is what is in front of us true or is it artificial? Might it be a carefully manipulated image projected on the widest screen ever made? Depending on the answer the behavior of the spectator might be of extreme care for what is seen as “unique” or total lack of respect when what is in front of him/her is considered “artificial”

Muta Riflessione, hosted by the Boiardo Hotel in Scandiano (RE) Italy, was conceived as a three act performance- The Wait, The Show and What is left. The video below shows you the whole experience

| Muta Riflessione | Mostra Fotografica from silvia casali on Vimeo.

I felt a little bit alienated when the set up was finished and the exhibition was to be opened.

It was like it was not me who shot those images and who made every decision with the support of incredible sponsors, a great friend and expert and my family. The result was something that left speachless many visitors – it was my first attempt to show my work, and many did not believe that was true. I was also very happy when I received a call from the Fotografia Europea organization informing that my work had been selected among the 327 other projects to participate to a contest. I could not believe it.

And frankly speaking, I still not believe I made it.

Artefiera #artseverywhere Photography Contest

Last week end BolognaFiere hosted one of the most important art trade show in Italy, Artefiera, whose past editions I have already documented in this blog. 

asma silvia casali

This year I was honored to participate to Artefiera as a guest – one of my iPhone photographs, Asma, ranked second in the #artseverywhere photography contest organized by Artefiera. I was thrilled, and this gave me enough endorphins to be able to forget the flu that was hitting me, take the train, go to Bologna, say something when interviewed by the Artefiera big boss and visit the trade show.

2015-01-25 12.45.34-2

I must admit that seeing my iPhone shot displayed on two big wall screens hanging on the main hall was very exciting – it was not that important if my photograph did not win the contest, my happiness was already at its zenith – even though I looked like a zombie!

Artefiera #artseverywhere 2015 photography contest winners

Garbergs for The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation| Hair-rising Ad

I know I might be “boring” with all this posting about goodvertising. There is so much violence and intolerance in the news nowadays that sometimes I wonder whether we, as human being, are going to evolve towards a good-deprived existence. I am against this overwhelming flow of negative news -I know life can not be all about joy, candies and holidays but still waking up each day short of breath and with panic is not the best way to live a life.

What I am going to share with you is not a happy and joyful ad, but it is a perfect example of a simple yet very touching and engaging experience created to raise awareness about the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, created by the Swedish Agency Garbergs. What is interesting is that the concept behind this ad is not completely new but is a “remake” of another great ad designed and implemented by Agency Akestam Holst. As Sedir Ajeenah, a copywriter at Garbergs, stated on a CNET interview: “It wasn’t as much theft as cooperation. We’re friends with the people at Akestam Holst, the ad industry in Sweden isn’t that big, you know.”


#WhatAreYouFor | The Smart project for road safety

To cross or not to cross? When I first went to U.S.A I was warned by my fellow mates to not cross the street when pedestrian traffic light was red, otherwise I would have got fined. “This is insane! It would never happen in Italy” was my comment.

But I was young and wild (well, a sort of wild) and cared not that much about law infringement, especially for such a simple and ordinary thing as crossing the street. Then I understood that in the U.S.A. even the “simple” things are taken seriously, as it should be.

When I watched this SMART “The Dancing Traffic Light” video I was amazed by how easy is to entertain people – just give them a chance to show off and raise the heartbeat and here they go! Sometimes we complicate things too much, while keeping them the simplest is always the best. From selling a concept to save life, simplicity wins.