a cura di Paolo Barbaro e Margherita Zazzero
Antonio Sansone’s photography has been commonly read as a chapter in the story of the neorealist taste. In Italy, the neorealist taste has been interpreted in an anthropological way by Franco Pinna or Tino Petrelli and, in the image field, through the civil commitment marked by the contrast between the officiality of the big agencies and the pro-government press organs and an independent and militant practice.
A survey on the archive – more than half century of images narrating the entire second half of the twentieth century – tells a story that is part of a much broader context than the one described by his best-known images: the vivid investigations of Naples, the faces and rituals of Italian politics often captured with salacious accents, of course, but also the indocile narration of the countries that were once “beyond the Iron Curtain”. Sansone brings together the official rituals – which, we find out, are not so different from those in the other West – and investigations into the everyday life, the ferments running through Europe, from Ireland to France to Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania.
Antonio Sansone (Napoli 1929 – Farfa Sabina 2008) was one of the most important exponents of the photojournalism of clear civil commitment.
After quitting the medical profession he founded theRealfoto agency with his brother Nicola, Caio Garrubba, Franco Pinna and others; he also worked with the Granata agency. He had a militant vision, close to the historical Left and the New Left. His photographs have been published in many Italian and international newspapers. In 2003 he left his entire archive – 248,000 images including negatives, slides and prints – to the Photography Section of the CSAC of the University of Parma.