A charming ancient village and some of last century’s greatest photographers: the big picture of the 20th century and the small village of Abruzzo weave their stories over a century.
From Cartier-Bresson to Giacomelli, Scianna and Elliot Erwitt, from Berengo Gardin to Maurits C. Escher the village of Scanno – nestled and isolated for centuries in the mountains of the Abruzzese Apennines – has had the great privilege of having been immortalized by some of the greatest artists of their era, celebrating in their work the unique spirit of this territory. But why Scanno, why all that interest?
“Scanno, the Village of Photographers” is a little booklet and guide whose aim is to fill a gap in the history of photography in Scanno and to answer exactly that question: Why Scanno? The history of Photography of the 20th century and this small village in Abruzzo have now intertwined their stories for over a century.
Few places in the world have a reputation in the history of photography as that of Scanno. Only cities much larger and more famous such as New York, London, Paris or Tokyo, can boast equal fame.
Why this interest? Why just Scanno and not another town in southern Italy? Maybe the beauty of the landscape? The charm of a village inhabited by women only, all dressed in black, who seem to be perpetually waiting for their husbands to return from the transhumance or to come down from the mountain pastures? Maybe the mystery of its narrow streets? Or the grace of the women’s typical dresses and of their antique jewellery? Or the village’s ancient traditions, which still survive after all this time…?
In the words of Paolo Monti, an Italian photographer: “It was a great place where time seemed to have stopped: medieval, no cars, women dressed in black, a strong rural footprint, chickens and children, children and chickens, beautiful costumes. And despite what you might think, it wasn’t poor: there was decorum and there was also the sign of a certain size, in the eighteenth-century style of the buildings, the neatness of the houses. It made me want to see it, to listen to those who had been there”
We haven’t found the answer yet, but by working at this book which is dedicated to those photographers and their followers, we hope to have helped them shape their own idea, following in the footsteps of the great masters.
Scanno, and Abruzzo in general, are full of photographic opportunities: with this clearly in mind we’ve just launched the new Photography Experience where Luca will have the pleasure of guiding you through Sulmona’s narrow side-streets showing you its hidden corners, while sharing with you his technical expertise to help you to get the best out of your pictures.
To celebrate the launch we are giving away 3 copies of “Scanno, the Village of Photographers” – all you have to do to enter the competition is submit one or more of your best Abruzzo related urban or cityscape shots to our Facebook page before July 31. Our talented friend and photographer, Luca del Monaco, will pick the 3 lucky winners. Calling all amateur photographers out there!