Silvia Rosi


partner’s exhibition


Conceived specifically for this space, the exhibition includes twenty new photographic works, several moving images and a group of archival photos that the artist collected in Italy – primarily in Emilia-Romagna – between 2023 and 2024.
Aided by Mistura Allison, Theophilus Imani and Ifeoma Nneka Emelurumonye, Rosi travelled across the area to gather hundreds of ordinary photographs, family snapshots that capture the everyday experience of people who came to Italy from Africa before the 2000s, and who over the years have taken pictures of
themselves and their lives in various contexts.

This exhibition is a starting point for Rosi’s broader project: an extensive community-building operation aimed at creating a network of Afro-Italian citizens and forming a family archive of the African diaspora in Italy, to explore new ways of passing on visual knowledge through vernacular images.

Vernacular photos play a significant role in self-portrayal and in shaping how we are seen; they are a tool for dealing with, or challenging, negative stereotypes about people of African descent, offering an alternative picture of individual identity and of what it can become.
The African diaspora in Italy has constantly produced images of itself, but they can be difficult to track down; one can imagine a collective visual archive binding these communities together, but it still seems instable, scattered, dis-integrated. It is only by coming out of the family circle where it originated, and receiving outside
recognition, that an image can truly enter the vernacular domain.


Inspired by the practice of artists like Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing, as well as by the studio work of West African photographers (Seydou Keïta, Malik Sidibé and above all Samuel Fosso), Rosi has chosen self-portraiture as a key stratagem to highlight the different facets that coexist in each individual,
turning personal stories into collective ones.

Moving through different creative realms—from the family album, as a private space outlining the past, to the landscape inhabited by Black bodies—this exhibition explores, restores, and presents, with wry humour, an imaginary of “Italianness” in our land today.

Silvia Rosi (born in Scandiano, Reggio Emilia, in 1992) lives and works between San Cesario sul Panaro (Modena), Lomé (Togo) and London.

After graduating in Photography at the London College of Communication, Rosi dedicated herself to the development of her own artistic research path, often starting from her family’s Togolese heritage and a confrontation with the concept of ‘origins’. Her work has been exhibited in various institutions and galleries in Italy and abroad, including: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2024); Camera, Turin; Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2023); Paris Photo – Ncontemporary, Paris; Centrale Fies, Dro (Trento); MAXXI, Rome; MA*GA, Gallarate (Varese); Le Centquatre, Paris (2022); LACMA, Los Angeles; CCC Strozzina, Florence; Les Rencontres D’Arles, Arles; Piccadilly Screen – CIRCA, London (2021); National Portrait Gallery, London; Jerwood Arts, London (2020).

Exhibition Venue

Collezione Maramotti
via Fratelli Cervi, 66
Reggio Emilia


Opening hours

28 April - 28 July
Thrusday, Friday › 14.30-18.30
Saturday, Sunday › 10.30-18.30

Collezione Maramotti