Giovane Fotografia Italiana #10

Giovane Fotografia Italiana #10 | Premio Luigi Ghirri 2023

Promoted by Comune di Reggio Emilia, in partnership with Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Stoccolma and Triennale Milano.
Cultural partner Crédit Agricole Italia.
In collaboration with GAI – Associazione per il Circuito dei Giovani Artisti Italiani, Fotografia Europea, Festival Panoràmic di Granollers, Barcellona; Fotofestiwal Łódź, Polonia; Photoworks, Brighton. With the contribution of Reire srl.

For the last ten years Young Italian Photography has been the project of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia aimed at supporting the work of emerging artists who use the photographic medium to elaborate on the role played by Photography in today’s visual culture as well as in the perception of contemporary world issues.


Belonging is the theme of the tenth edition of the festival. The sense of belonging represents a fundamental need for human beings; however, several phenomena of the last generation (from the digital revolution to telecommunications, migration and scientific progress) are challenging relationships and social structures we were used to. Now more than ever, tension arises among different perceptions of what belonging is: on one side the inclusion in a community whose identity is well defined, which can sometimes react with oppression or resistance. On the other side we find a liberal tension towards new forms of community based on shared values, from micro-communities to the creation of cultural areas on a much larger scale, Europe being one, possibly reaching new global concepts like species membership, or like the holistic view on nature, without forgetting those relationships that are more intimate in nature.


More than 400 applications were received, and an international jury selected seven finalists’ projects that offer different photographic reflections on the theme of Belonging: Eleonora Agostini, A Study on Waitressing; Andrea Camiolo, The Manhattan Project; Sofiya Chotyrbok, Home Before Dark; Davide Degano, Romanzo Meticcio; Carlo Lombardi, La Carne dell’Orso; Giulia Mangione, The Fall; Eleonora Paciullo, Teofanie.


The selected artists will compete for the Luigi Ghirri Prize, which provides financial recognition, the opportunity to present a personal exhibition at the Milan Triennale and, starting from this year, a special mention for Nuove Traiettorie (New Trajectories) – GFI In Stockholm, an opportunity promoted in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Stockholm offering opportunities for an artistic residency as well as an exhibition in Swed


Listen to the words of the curator Daniele De Luigi


Eleonora Agostini. A Study on Waitressing 

A Study on Waitressing looks at the phenomena of self-representation, by questioning the fictionalised image of the waitressing woman through the study of the stage, the backstage and the performative.

The relationship between image and performativity is investigated through the image of my mother, her postures, movements, and behaviours during her job as a waitress. Her figure is used as a vehicle to address concerns on the visible and the hidden in relation to private and public behaviours, with a particular attention to the social roles we play in our every-day when we interact with our public.

The work is deeply rooted in the psychological and sociological interests of the work of Erving Goffman and his writing on the theatricality of the everyday and on the function of the body in the interpretation of social roles.

The restaurant becomes the space where the body acts as a connector between the observer and the observed.

A Study on Waitressing presents itself as a collection of photographs, collages, texts, archival images and videos that explore the different layers and meanings of existing within a social situation, engaging in face-to-face interactions, and playing a character that moves between individuality and social structures and exists between the real and the staged.”


Andrea Camiolo. The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project collects photographs of various experiments related to the use of nuclear explosives conducted in the 1940s. The negatives were found in an abandoned U.S. military base in Sicily. Due to time, the images have suffered considerable deterioration that produces an overabundance of grain and less sharpness.”

This could be a perfect incipit to deceive the viewer, a story that makes sense of photographs that make no sense. In fact, these are not even photographs; they are photo-realistic images produced by A.I.

Starting with descriptions and scans of photographs in the book Evidence (1977) by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel an A.I. generated new images that I later manipulated to make a series of fake pictures.

What are we standing in front of? To whom do these images belong? To the photographers who physically took the pictures in the 1940s? To Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel who selected them from hundreds of thousands by digging deep into U.S. federal archives in the 1970s? To those who took the 12 billion photographs through which this A.I. generated these images? To me who clicked the “generate button” with a computer mouse?

In a short circuit of belonging, these images ask many questions without providing answers. The vision of an explosion and images related to it is what we are left with.

Non-real images that speak about reality and the present, fake archival artifacts that connect perfectly to the present day, days when we are back to talking about world war and nuclear testing.


Sofiya Chotyrbok. Home Before Dark

Home Before Dark stems from a biographical episode of the artist linked to the renunciation of his birth citizenship, Ukrainian, for the acquisition of another, Italian, by adoption. This event gave rise to a layered research focused on the individual and collective definition of the self, at a time when its geographical and temporal foundations are becoming more uncertain. Starting in February 2020, a series of trips to Ukraine have punctuated a creative process of identity rediscovery and belonging to the post-Soviet context, whose boundaries and definitions are now more blurred and complex than ever. The starting point of the artistic process is an archive, a place of memory by definition, here materialised in a chruščëvka (Soviet flat) and in the objects and images it contains, symbolic relics that are both familiar and alienating. It is in the familiar textures of carpets, family photos, among tea cups or in the pages of disused telephone directories that the research is articulated, making visible, without filling them, the gaps of memory through a series of camouflages, erasures and concealments. The images, whose languages combine self-portraiture, staged photography, collage and archive research, dig beneath the symbolic hegemonies that shape collective identities and reveal, without providing a definitive solution, the nostalgia of a past lost in the folds of a secret.

(Text by Rosa Cinelli)


Davide Degano. Romanzo Meticcio

Romanzo Meticcio studies the Italian post-colonial condition as a fundamental element of the contemporary life of the Bel Paese.

In my research, the prefix “post” takes on a progressive historical value. It creates a connection between the present, the colonial past, and the intranational and international migratory waves inviting a critical attitude toward the legacy of the past and a careful analysis of the effects on today’s society. The Italian State, since its unity, has created a narrative based upon the identification of places and people considered marginal. The suburbs, the South, minorities, and second-generation Italians, and the question of fascist ideology that has never been dormant and has never been addressed and resolved in an open public debate. Indeed also placed on the margins. The photographic medium in the 1930s was a fundamental tool to justify colonial policies and to represent certain situations as marginal. Photographs became a performative act of exclusion. If the process of removing colonial history has pervaded Italian culture since the Second World War, Romanzo Meticcio wants to bring this past to light. It creates new imaginaries and cultural scenarios for the future by questioning Italian identity to its core. My research does it by placing at the center what is marginalized, scarcely considered, and conceiving migrants and the following generations of new Italians in ways that go beyond rejection and victimization.”


Carlo Lombardi. La Carne dell’Orso 2019-2022

That was bear meat. Now, many years have passed, and I regret having eaten so little of it. I think and hope that each of you has gleaned from life what I have. Well, none of these things, not even remotely, has the taste of bear meat: the taste of being strong and free, which means free to make mistakes; the taste of being your own master, which means master of the world.

(Primo Levi, The Periodic Table, Iron)

The project aims to provide a vision on the fragile relationship between human and nature through an investigation into the ethical, symbolic and anthropological evolution of conservation practices adopted over time to protect the Apennine bears. Juxtaposing contemporary photographs with historical images from the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park’s archive presented as “evidence” for factual context, the work brings attention to the anthropocentric approach behind the supposed objectivity of conservation efforts – the aesthetic and symbolic identification with animals as well as our longings projected on nature. It’s a reflection on humanity’s role in conservation endeavors and the subjective factors that drive our choices to protect nature and consequentially define it.


Giulia Mangione. The Fall 

“I am sitting in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck. Between me and the man driving leans the long barrel of a shotgun. Around us the grass has turned yellow in the dry heat. Scattered in the fields, the bunkers stick their heads out of the ground, their spacious bellies underground. I am alive and you are dead, I think as I drive past the world’s largest survival community.

The place is infested by rattlesnakes. A gated community, but some bunker owners chose to have a barbed wire fence around their property too. Despite the snakes and the isolation, people claim to feel safe here, safer than they felt in their houses in Minnesota, California or Arizona.”

(Journal entry. 4 September 2022. Edgemont, South Dakota)

The Fall is the result of a four-year photographic research project that looks at popular myths surrounding the apocalypse and associated conspiracy theories. It is an exploration of how belonging to a community or a religious cult makes people feel safer and protected from what they fear may happen. From La Palma in the Canary Islands, to the United States and the Greek island of Patmos, where the Book of Revelation was written, I investigate how society is preparing to face potentially catastrophic events.

Chance meetings with strange men looking for their mother’s lost wedding ring in the middle of a desert, survivalists, preppers, religious cults and bunker-dwellers. Each encounter resulted in a series of photographic portraits accompanied by interviews, field recordings and a hand-written journal.

Feeding on the popular genre of the photographic road trip I drive alone into the American West, with fear and awe, down the road of the apocalypse. The Fall builds on my background in journalism and fine art, combining documentary photography and fiction to reflect on society’s collective fears, imagined and real, rational and irrational.



Eleonora Paciullo. Teofanie

The contrada is a small rural hamlet in Locride, once a land on the fringes of society where rites and ceremonies proliferated, giving it an aura of magic. Almost ten years later, trying to heal the wound of my grandparents’ disappearance, I have returned to the contrada to regain possession of its rites and stories, in an attempt to bring to life the ‘re-enchantment’ of the magical place of my childhood.

The project thus began from a need to rediscover and recognise that place where Persephone and the poetess Nosside were celebrated. The Locrian area is a place where religious and pagan rituals, true stories and myths have always taken place. In this context, I decided to use not only photography but also video-performance, in which I re-enact some rites and stories of the place.

The contrada is therefore both the place of manifestations of the sacred for the Greeks and the magical place of my childhood. Hence the title Theophanies.

Eleonora Agostini (b.1991) is an Italian artist based in London. She received her BA from Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan in 2013 and her MA from the Royal College of Art in London in 2018.

Eleonora’s practice shifts between photography, moving image, performance and sculpture, exploring and analysing the difficulties of how human experience is constructed. Her research is strongly connected with the experience of our surroundings and she is interested in finding a possible fracture within our socially constructed rules and the spaces we inhabit.

Eleonora refers to the every-day as a space full of potential and possibilities for quests, incorporating ordinary objects and activities within her images to express and navigate its different layers and meanings.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions including galleries and museums such as Almanan in Turin, Forte Belvedere in Florence, L21 Gallery in Palma de Mallorca, South London Gallery and Borough Road Gallery in London, Leeds Art Gallery in Leeds, Museo Castromediano in Lecce, MAR Ravenna, National Museum of Gdansk, and festivals such as Getxophoto International Photo Festival, Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia, Photo OpenUp in Padova, Circulations Festival in Paris and Format Festival in Derby.

She was one of the artists of Futures Photography 2021 (selected by Camera Torino) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019. She was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2021 and she is currently one of artists shortlisted for Premio Luigi Ghirri 2023.

Eleonora’s work has been featured in multiple printed and online publications such as Der Grief, Unseen Magazine, Wallpaper, GUP Magazine, among others.

Her work A Blurry Aftertaste is part of the Government Art Collection.



Andrea Camiolo (1998) is an Italian photographer. In 2020 he graduated in Photography at the European Institute of Design in Turin and in 2023 obtained an MA degree in Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania.

He has been selected as one of the finalists of the Paris Photo Carte Blanche 2022, he won the Comisso Award 2022 and the Best Portfolio Award at the Ragusa Photo Festival 2022. Andrea has exhibited his work in the group exhibitions of: Camera Work 2021 Ravenna; Verzasca Photo Festival 2021; Comisso Award 2022, Treviso; Photo Open Up 2022, Padua; RAK Fine Arts Festival 2023, UAE; Ragusa Photo Festival 2023, Ragusa.

He is co-founder of DORSOPRESS, an independent publishing house focused on contemporary photography.



Sofiya Chotyrbok (1991) is a Ukrainian visual artist. She lives in Milan, where she graduated in photography at Cfp Bauer in 2019.

Her research is focused on the theme of identity in the post-Soviet society and on the archive as intimate and domestic memory, transformed into universal human matter through photography, video and fabric. Her works have been exhibited at major international festivals and museums including Triennale di Milano, Paris Photo Off, Odesa Photo Days, Mana Contemporary (Chicago).

She won a scholarship in 2022 for the narration and research course held by Lina Pallotta at Officine Fotografiche in Rome and from 2023 she is an artist-inresidence at VIAFARINI in Milan.



Davide Degano (b. 1990) is an Italian artist who graduated with a BA in Visual Arts from the Royal Academy of Art, in The Hague, receiving an honorable mention at the Paul Schuitema Award.

Degano focuses on story-telling and long-term projects where the medium of photography becomes a tool with which he explores and reflects upon contemporary issues related to his own experiences. Degano’s work revolves around the concept of “local” as he investigates his identity and the Italian identity in a post-colonial world. He creates visuals and stories influenced by his family background. Degano’s work can also serve as an anthropological study. He uses portraiture, landscapes, environmental details, archival material, and video documentation to present the story using an interdisciplinary approach.

Since his academic years, his work has been part of several groups and solo exhibitions and featured by prestigious platforms such as Urbanautica, British Journal of Photography, ItsNiceThat, Icon Magazine, Der Greif, etc. He has published with Penisola Edizioni his first photo book, Sclavanie, in collaboration with Urbanautica Institute.

Davide Degano’s work is represented in Italy by Studio Faganel gallery, in Gorizia.



Carlo Lombardi (b. 1988), based between Milan (Italy) and Vilnius (Lithuania), works on long-term projects and commissions using a multidisciplinary approach that involves photography, archive and text. His praxis reflects on how photography can open the space for questioning our motives and desires – bringing out the paradoxes that clash with our beliefs and values, revealing how much they are influenced by the cultural and political context in which the observation takes place. In his projects, he often delves into identification of collective symbols and biases behind singular narratives of exclusion.

Since 2018, he has been collaborating with photographer Miriam Stanke as a collective, addressing topics such as the aftermath of war, national identity and transgenerational trauma.




Giulia Mangione (b. 1987) is a visual artist working with photography, moving images and writing to explore identity and belonging.

She earned a Master in Comparative Literary Studies from Goldsmiths University of London and then a Master in Fine Arts from the Art Academy in Bergen. She also studied Advanced Visual Storytelling at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Denmark.

Her first book Halfway Mountain, published by Journal in 2018, launched at The Photographers Gallery in London. The book was selected for the Prix du Livre at Les Rencontres d’Arles and nominated for MACK First Book Award.

Her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York, Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne, Foto-forum in Bolzano, Fotogalleriet in Oslo and Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen. She is currently part of the 6th edition of the Norwegian Journal of Photography, a biannual program funded by the Fritt Ord Foundation aimed at developing projects bridging documentary photography and art photography

She lives and works in Oslo, Norway.



Eleonora Paciullo (b. 1993) is an Italian photographer, book designer and photo-editor of The Light Observer magazine. In her artistic practice she explores places, whether real or hyperreal, mental or physical, experimenting with different media. In her projects, the female figure is central whether taken from a video game, a real country or a mythological past.

Her latest project Almar’a was exhibited at COTM 2022, while the project This is L.A. was exhibited at the festival Circulation(s) 2021, Paris, and has been published in 6mois and PhMuseum. She has also been published in The Light Observer and in Lezioni di Fotografia by Corriere della Sera.

In addition to her artistic practice, Eleonora has worked for several publishing houses. She has also collaborated with the photographer Joan Fontcuberta on a wide variety of projects.

30/04 SUNDAY


H 12


with the councilor Annalisa Rabitti and Raffaella Curioni, a representative of Gai. Association for the Circuit of Young Italian Artists and Francesco Di Lella awards the Special Mention New Trajectories. Gfi A Stoccolma

The jury consisting of  Lorenza Bravetta, Paola Di Bello, Francesca Lazzarini, Adele Ghirri, Walter Guadagnini awards the Luigi Ghirri Prize


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