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!

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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

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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.

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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.

#UnBacinoperAhmed |#KissforAhmed

Real Men Have Mustaches t-shirt

Real Men Have Mustaches t-shirt

I always try to see the positive side of things and do my best to see the marvel in life, and I act whenever it is possible, instead of complaining and doing nothing, this last being a very “traditional” Italian custom, which I think is blocking Italy in this time of economic turmoil.

Anyway…I am not going to talk about politics or economics, but I am going to share with you a GREAT example of how to live life’s problem in a very positive way. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, aka as Ahmed Barkhia, is young man living in Rome (Italy!!!), who has used his very positive-thinking nature and web knowledge to create the chance to find a solution for a very serious problem which is going to ruin his life for good.

Ahmed is suffering from pituitary dwarfism and since 8 years also Osteonecrosis of Achondroplasia with dysplastic femoral bilateral coxarthrosis, diseases that affect the area of ​​the basin and are gradually taking away the use of his legs. In May 2014 he discovers that he can solve this problem thanks to a specialist through an innovative treatment. The surgery is very expensive and must be done by November 2014 otherwise permanently lose the use of his legs.

For this reason, Ahmed, his friends and his relatives give life to the fundraising campaign #UNBACINOPERAHMED (#KISSFORAHMED) to win the race against time to reach an amount of € 75,000.00.

This morning I watched an interview by NinjaMarketing  (Italian only) during which Ahmed explained what led him to create the campaign, the pros of creating his own crowdsourcing platform http://ahmedbarkhia.net/ using WordPress+plugins – essentially the ability to cut the cost of each donation, keeping it limited to a 3% – and the parallel fundraising option offered by purchasing a custom Ahmed Barkia tee on TeeSpring 

Unfortunately Ahemd is still far away from is goal of € 75,000 but as he says “It is not important how much you donate..little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. I am in that ocean, now it is your turn! Donate on http://ahmedbarkhia.net/ or reserve a “Real Men have Mustaches” T-shirt on TeeSpring!

Donate a Kiss to Ahmed!

Riccione | Shades

Last June I “forced” myself to do something I had not yet even imagined to do, that is to organize a photographic exhibition. It all started with a visit to the beach where I usually spend the whole month of June in Riccione (Italy).

I noticed that the light blue painted wall of the beach huts of Zona74 (the bathing establishment were I always go) was itself creating a great atmosphere, but that the walls where a little bit empty and needed “something”. I have many photographs of Riccione in my archives, so I thought about setting up a little exhibit during the month of my stay. The owners of the bathing establishment were very happy to host it, so it was (almost) all set!

Six photographs would be enough to attract the passers-by attention without over-stimulating their attention, and knowing that usually people spend a whole week at the beach, I decided to change the exhibiting photographs every week-end. In total: 24 images to be selected among the thousands I shot during the past 3 years.

It was quite a difficult task to choose interesting images that were not too “commonplace” – orange/red sunsets represented almost 40% of the images in my archive. I wanted the exhibition to show the different shades of Riccione, those shades that are unknown to many people and that might let tourists appreciate this seaside small town in Italy not only for its nightlife but also for its soul.

I called the exhibit “Riccione Shades” and I chose four different themes:

  • Riccione, something more “traditional”, illustrating the typical Adriatic Coast hotel architecture and beaches
  • Zona74, documenting the ordinary beach life
  • Pescatori e Affini, a series of portrait of fishermen and people working at the harbour
  • Moto Perpetuo, documenting the early morning slowly walking on the water’s edge ritual, mostly followed by elderly people (and me)
  • Neutro, a collection of neutral tone images – not altered artificially in post production
  • Silences, a B&W series of evanescent sea landscapes
  • N.3, three images who shared the same post-production, aimed at depicting the roughness of the Adriatic sea.

I chose a very simple wood frame and a pretty wide passepartout to let imagination run free – the back of the wood frame was not sealed so that I could switch the images more easily every Friday.

The result really surprised me. I must admit that there is a huge difference between a digital photograph and a printed and framed one, the second makes you really feel like and artist and not someone who shots nice pictures. I pushed my boundaries even further, creating a catalogue for the exhibition.

I used iPhoto to create a hard cover photo book, had it printed via Apple services and voilà…the catalogue was ready in just a couple of days!

Many were the people who asked me for a copy of the catalogue, and many were those who did not understand that the images were all taken in Riccione – the images belonging to Neutro, Moto Perpetuo and Silences being the ones who surprised the visitors the most.

You can preview pages of the exhibition catalogue here, but feel free to contact me if you are interested in purchasing options – soon I will publish it in Kindle ebook format.

Enjoy!

 

 

Fuorisalone 2014 | ZonaTortona VenturaLambrate

The Milan Design Week is almost over, and the web is full of images and articles about what happened during these last four days.

This year too I visited Milan Fuorisalone – a faster than light visit to two of my favorite locations: ZonaTortona e VenturaLambrate.  While editing the photographs I took during those exhausting 12 hours, I noticed that there were not many objects that captured my attention. I did not find anything particulary innovative, if not for the works of young designers from Poland, Holland and Germany.

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The most “intriguing” installations were merely installations or work-of-art, not items conceived for mass production. Then a question arose: what is the difference between art and design? Isn’t it the possibility to mass produce the object? Or is it just a “virtual” difference relying on the ability of the work-of-art, unique piece of creativity, to communicate with the masses?