The first of three residences of Mediterranea Youth Photo project was held in Braga, Portugal, 19 to 25 September. The period coincided with the opening week of 25th edition of the international photography festival “Encontros da Imagem”. The first meeting of all the curators and the artists involved in the project was therefore carried out in a very stimulating environment and rich in opportunities.
Federica Landi, Emeric Lhuisset and Ana Catarina Pinho had the chance to meet for the first time and to compare their experiences. Furthermore, Landi had a show at the festival and was able to concretely show their work to colleagues.
The first meeting between the artists and the curators had the purpose of presenting to colleagues the artistic development of each, retracing the experiences and the most significant works, up to the latest research, and those still in progress. Subsequently, the artists explained the ideas they have in mind for the design of Mediterranea Youth Photo and proposals were discussed together, trying to draw the outlines of the collaborative work.
After that, some encounters were organised. The first one with Andrea and Magda, a duo of photographers from France and Italy exhibiting at the festival “Sinai Park”, an exploration of the consequences of mass tourism on the territory of Sinai, Egypt. They live and work mostly in the Middle East since 2008 and their work focuses on the effects of globalization on society, economy and territory in the Middle East. This was a chance to debate the relationships between people from a common ground but living on the opposite shores of the Mediterranean sea.
The second meeting was with Maya Byskov Gadegaard, artistic director at The Independent AIR, an international non-profit cultural organisation based in Silkeborg, Denmark. The Independent AIR aims to create and promote meaningful relationships between young international artists, and aspire to challenge, rethink and develop the roles of photography and lens based art as well as conceptualise the permanent exchange between the image and the viewer.
Byskov is a social scientist with a profound interest in aesthetics and contemporary visual culture. She holds an MSc in Economics and Development Studies and a BA in International Relations. Her multidisciplinary approach to contemporary arts allowed the three artists to have a constructive dialogue about possible solutions to develop a visual discourse able to challenge social and political issues regarding Europe.
Finally, the curators and the artists discussed next steps of the project, including practical and technical issues, and talked about the organisation of the residencies in Reggio Emilia and Paris.
Daniele De Luigi, curator of Mediterranea Youth Photo