Interview to Antonio Losco and Rosaria Chimenti
Today, I had the opportunity to visit the Imago Photo club headquarters, and to interview the president Antonio Losco as well as the secretary Rosaria Chimenti.
They told me about the activities they organise inside the association, several projects they participated to and Arezzo&Fotografia, an event that attracts internationally renowned photographers to the city.
Let’s start by talking about your Association. When was Imago born what is its aim?
Imago was born in 2001 as some of the co-founders felt the need to create a group that would represent photography as culture in Arezzo. We stand out from other associations because we believe photography is art, and we try to promote, emphasise and spread the concept of photographic culture, which struggles to be recognised not only in Arezzo but all over Italy.
What activities do you offer to promote photographic culture?
Every year we organise an expressive photography course during which, not only do we teach photography basics but we also try to make our students understand the importance of search for self-expression, rather than photography as research of technique.
During our classes, our students have the chance to study authors and participate to exhibitions. Moreover, we organise author evenings with guests coming from Arezzo as well as all over Italy. As a cultural club, associated to FIAF (Italian Federation for Photographic Associations) we have the possibility to invite teachers and organise workshops; last year, for instance, we hosted a workshop on reading photography, this year on Photoshop and the darkroom. At the end of the course, participants can exhibit their own photos in the gallery inside our headquarters and create a portfolio containing all their works, which will be exhibited in Coffe O’Clock and La Senese café.
Tell me about a few of the project you have partaken in
For about 15 years, we have been following people with intellectual disabilities, firstly with the Progetto 5 cooperative and then with Centro Helios. We gave these people the opportunity to experiment with the camera as a way to express themselves and communicate, and then they exhibited their works; in this context, photography becomes therapeutic, a way to talk about oneself and feel equal to others. This year we have followed a group of athletes during Play the game – Special Olympics, an event where disabled and non-disabled athletes challenge one another. We took pictures during volleyball and ping-pong competitions and then we exhibited the images in our headquarters. Last November, we collaborated with Pronto Donna association and La piccola Etoile dance school and we created L’arte della rinascita, a cultural event focused on the battle against violence on women. The event consisted in an art performance, which mixed photography, musical activities, dance and theatre performances, all inside the Archaeological Museum in Arezzo.
Arezzo&Fotografia is among your most important initiatives. What is it about?
Arezzo&fotografia is a biennial photography festival, which has now come to its eighth edition. It involves internationally famous photographers, Italians as well as foreigners, and it allows us to make ourselves known on a national and international scale. In 2012 we organised an exchange with a group of Japanese photographers, which exhibited their pictures in our headquarters; then we went to Tokyo to exhibit ours. In the 2018 edition many authors, among which Osher Partovi, Douglas Ljungkvist and Ekaterina Bourindine have participated spontaneously to the exhibition opening. Arezzo&Fotografia is an initiative, which is fully run by our association: from the search of sponsors and places, the selection of artists and photographs, to the printing and assembling of the frames. Thanks to this event, we managed to attract in Arezzo a wide audience of photography enthusiasts coming from all over Italy.
Are there any projects you are currently working on ?
Our association is open to collaborations with other realities of the Arezzo area. Imago is not a classic photo club where we merely discuss photography, but we are available to participate in many projects that are presented to us, and even if this requires a lot of commitment, for us it leads to great satisfaction.
Translated by Giuliana Vargetto
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/imagoarezzo