After the forced pause that led to the cancellation of last year’s events, Fotografia Europea 2021 starts from a verse by Gianni Rodari – Sulla Luna e sulla Terra / fate largo ai sognatori! (On the Moon and on Earth / make way for dreamers) to highlight the importance of imagination, in its creative meaning, in generating meanings and visions.
“Utopia is as educational as the critical spirit” says Gianni Rodari in the Grammatica della fantasia, reminding us of the importance of creativity in the educational process.
What remains of Rodari’s teaching today? What remains in a completely transformed world in which all aspects, even those related to creativity, have passed through personal and global processes of rethinking and re-evaluation?
Does it still make sense to use the word “dream” in such a transfigured world? How did we get here? How can we look beyond?
The past year has profoundly changed our way of life, making us all discover ourselves as more fragile humans and perhaps even more human; what are the new paths to take as such? Are there any old paths we had forgotten?
Fotografia Europea 2021 questions the role of images and visual culture in this particular moment, focusing on their complex and multifaceted nature which makes any unique definition difficult. But it is thanks to these characteristics of lack of determination, temporariness, ambiguity and complexity that images are a good starting point to help us rethink the world we live in.
Fotografia Europea 2021 is therefore open to all those projects capable of activating answers, generating doubts and raising questions, prompting us to look at, review and rethink the creative process at a time of transition like this – towards new and other ways of being and living.
All this without forgetting one aspect that has always characterised the history of images: their ability to generate beauty, to give comfort to the eyes and spirit, to implement processes of cure and healing, to unite and generate a sense of shared belonging.
The 2021 edition sees a renewed artistic direction. Alongside Walter Guadagnini, the team will include Diane Dufour – founder and director of the Parisian exhibition space Le Bal, who had already collaborated with the festival from 2015 to 2017 – and Tim Clark, English curator and lecturer, founder of 1000 Words, an online magazine that is a point of reference for contemporary photographic culture.
Walter Guadagnini is the director of CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, teaches History of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and is responsible for the photography section of Il Giornale dell'Arte.
After being director of Magnum Photos from 2000 to 2007, in 2010 she founded LE BAL, a contemporary space in Paris with Raymond Depardon, dedicated to the documentary image. pic by Patrick Tourneboeuf
Tim Clark, English curator, writer and founder of 1000 Words, an online magazine that is a point of reference for contemporary photographic culture.