Bassano 2010

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Bassano 2010
Tags: , ,

This page contains photos, diaries and interviews from Boxing Bassano 2010

Please click here to listen to the BBC OUTLOOK radio programme 

Please click here to HEAR and read the article in  DW – World Article

Please click here to see the    Boxing Bassano photographs by Lara Platman

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poster photo by Safaa Ezzaouia (one of the children in the project)

 

Documentary photos of the room in the Palazzo Bonaguro

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Photos on the walls by Lara Platman, diaries handing are by the elders and children participating in the project. The elder’s boxes contain elements from their lives and the children’s boxes contain photographs and items collected on the walks around the town with the elders.

Please click here to see   Boxing Bassano photographs by Lara Platman

PROJECT

So with part one of the Boxing Bassano project over, it leaves us now to look forward to the exhibition and all that goes with it.

With tremendous thanks to Leica for supporting me with camera equipment, Manfrotto for supporting the project and the OperaEstate Festival, Roberto Casarotto from OperaEstate festival, without whom this whole project would not have come to fruition and of course without whom I would never have understood a word or been understood, and finally the Municipality of Bassano del Grappa along with the OperaEstate festival for believing in such a gem of a project.

‘Boxing Bassano’ opens on the 24th August 2010 at the Palazzo Bonaguro, Bassano Del Grappa, Italy

For more info please see: OperaEstate festival

With tremendous thanks to Leica and Manfrotto

Leica_thumb4 new_manfrotto_logotagline_thumb3 logo30_thumb3 tassotti_thumb4

DIARY

Day one

Today I met the elders and the children at the English tea party which I hosted with most of everything arranged by Roberto and Alessa. Eight children eight adults. All with a story to tell. Scones and jam and English Breakfast tea along with Rob and my favourite Earl Grey. We discussed the week ahead and handed out the diaries and boxes – hand made by Bassano’s oldest paper printer. Some children started writing immediately and the adults more considerate. What a super eclectic bunch: retired bus driver, construction worker, professor, shop keeper, poet, housewife. All with their stories to tell the children from Nigeria, Columbia, morocco… With Rob translating my introduction, my Italian needs improvement somewhat. I may indeed by a whiz at Italian before 10 days time. Who knows. Just asking for Brushetta and I seem to be understood!

This is my first diary instalment of 6

Day off from the Leica – missed you baby. X

Day two

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Francesca and Margherita

After the initial meeting with English tea and scones the day before, Roberto and I met up with two couples today. Went first to a shopping mall, where Margherita had previously worked for many of her years, before moving to another location, a shop in central Bassano.. The two got on really well and Francesco was keen to ask questions. This was the first of our encounters and all the planning in the world can not prepare you for what we discovered between to people meeting for the first time.

Instant warmth and a friendship that would not normally be formed with these two age groups, unless it was with family. This project is about family. it is about community and about the cohesion of two different cultures both nationally/ internationally and with age.

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  • Cesar and Carlo

Our next encounter was Cesar and Carlo. Well, I am not sure how words can describe the instant bond between these two. Cesar had been adopted and had some scars on his arms. Without any hindrance, Carlo enquired, but more than that he had on learning that Cesar did not have any colouring pencils at home, brought some for him and throughout the afternoon Cesar made some colour drawings. for Carlos visit we went to a well where his grandmother lived.

This project is about stories and we certainly started with two great episodes. a great start to this project.

Day three

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Giovanni and Anis

With such a beautiful day yesterday, I knew that already this project would be a success. who knew that these children and elders would get on and so far so good. the photography both on my part and the child’s seemed to be working well. and an hour and a half is just not enough time, but perhaps it is plenty long enough.

Today we met at the Hospital and although I understood that we were going to be meeting a construction worker, or rather retired construction worker, I had no idea that he had built most of the hospital. Little Anis I wonder, if he knew what we were going to be walking around too.  It transpires that Anis’s father had also worked a little in the building trade and so the two were slowly became friends, when Giovanni explained how the stairs and walls were built etc. Anis has a gorgeous smile and A simple look from him made me melt.

We then went to Giovannis’ sisters house where, he built the walls and fireplaces. The small holding (small farm) had a cow shed where, for this little boy who had never touched cows before, was quite a site and holding fresh. and I mean really freshly laid eggs. It could have been a mess but Anis managed to keep the eggs in his hand thank heavens.

Roberto and I went back to Anis’ house for Moroccan tea and cake. Very very very tasty.

Day four

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Antonio and Ricardo

A perfect match. Roberto is beginning to think he makes a grand match maker. Indeed he is quite right in thinking so.  These two are of a similar ilk and when we finished the the tour of Antonio’s Bassano, Ricardo said quite proudly that it was much better than going to a museum. Older than the other children we have, Ricardo was happy with the tour and with all of his school commitments, this tour was probably well timed; learning about the war, the river Brenta, the stones and geology, thinking about how buildings were used and who had worked in them.

This walk could have happily gone on for the day, but certainly another few hours. This match has made the project reach far past my expectations of what we have been working on. Ricardo is taking photos all the time and I try to catch up. The Leica M9 has a fixed lens and I work on manual, this is real reportage at work. I almost feel like a street photographer today.

L1004581 Gino and Basma

‘A simple story’ Gino apologises to Roberto. ‘I was just a bus driver’ he says.

Well to a little girl from Morocco (Anis’s sister) who uses the bus each day for school, a story of a retired bus driver is not so simple and for me to learn that Gino started to drive his bus from the 1950’s was not going to be a simple story at all.  Our location: the old bus garage, now a car park.   Basking in the glorious sun, we encountered an obstacle of how do we make a car park look interesting in a photograph. how do we make a little girl want to take photographs when all we see are cars parked.

This is where my photography tuition begins, with the others, it was simply ensuring they knew how to use the camera as their were photographs jumping out at us all over the place.  But for Basma, what were going to do with all these cars. I dipped down to her height and began to look.  We stole a few shots but the story had only just begun. We did have to tease the story out of Gino but when we did we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around to where the new bus station is situated and there begins the magic that is photography. Basma is a fantastic voyeur. Once she started looking she didn’t stop. I hope she doesn’t stop. What a gift to be able to look with your eyes,, I mean really look. From where this little girl can see,her eyes manage to find some really gorgeous shots and our poster image is shot today.

Day five

Friday and Roberto and I thinking that we have create quite a stir in the Bassano community, everyone is talking about it and Manfrotto who supported us with the tripod and portable backdrop stands are going to be attending the buffet tonight along with the Cultural Attache. Meanwhile we have two couples to see today and the weather is looking overcast to say the least. I have this week been editing the children’s photos and running off prints at the lab, here in Bassano, the good old fashioned way, these photos will be used in the boxes and from them we may see other great shots like yesterday ‘Elliot Erwitt’. (photographer who has made a career of fat human bottoms and dogs… bottoms).

We start  earlier today as we are going up to the mountains. But yes, I did indeed forget where we were going, I have rather liked the surprise of it all, not knowing the route. However today we meet the BBC Worldwide reporter and things will work slightly differently, evidently as I write this in the evenings, today went amazingly, even with the rain and even with wearing Infradito. You see, Sara and Nicola are two peas from different pods, but they are two peas, who understand each other,  both into wildflowers and wildlife and both very very happy to spend a tremendously rainy afternoon up in Rubio,  high above the hills of Bassano.

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What could have been a rather difficult day was in fact totally beautiful, although today photography was not flowing and we had to choose our moments wisely. the rain had almost stopped play.

After a lovely cup of tea in a cafe up in the hills, (seriously a lovely cup), we ventured back to Bassano to meet Safaa and Rina, where we walked around the Bridge area of Bassano and went to her favourite cafe.  Roberto, Danny the BBC reporter and myself were rather happy to sit and chat  and listen to Rina’s story. Safaa enjoyed snapping away and I did too. A very easy afternoon and afterwards we went to the Buffet at the Palazzo Unaguro, where we were welcomed by The Cultural Attache of the Bassano region and the owner of Manfrotto. I got busy with the Manfrotto portable backdrop stands and took portraits of the couples.

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With only one more couple to meet tomorrow, we had almost completed the first part of the project.

Day six

L1004696 Robin and Caterina

Rain again on our last morning but we could take cover by the rose bush and the tree that is the central point to this story. I once again worry for the photos, are we getting enough from this final part of the project. did I think about rain on a tight schedule. usually rain is a wet day and a photographer waits until a dry day, but this project had such a tight program.  Well we managed really well and the photos from the wet days are a beautiful compliment to the warmth of the other dry days.

The Nikon D100 does not take to kindly to green subjects, so I welcomed the rain to provide that effervescence. however, the Leica M9 has proved to be a completely versatile camera allowing for rain, sun, cloud, moonlight and I think I might have to start providing weather conditions on my metadata, just like the traditional photographers with their notebooks.

The project ends and the final days are spent editing photos and organising the exhibition, We meet up with the gorgeous sixteen the week later and discuss the planning for the installation and show. so far so good.

please click here to see      Boxing Bassano photographs by Lara Platman

With tremendous thanks to Leica for supporting me with camera equipment, Manfrotto for supporting the project and the OperaEstate Festival, Roberto Casarotto from OperaEstate festival, without whom this whole project would not have come to fruition and of course without whom I would never have understood a word or been understood, and finally the Municipality of Bassano del Grappa along with the OperaEstate festival for believing in such a gem of a project.

‘Boxing Bassano’ opens on the 24th August 2010 at the Palazzo Bonaguro, Bassano Del Grappa, Italy

For more info please see: OperaEstate festival

With tremendous thanks to Leica and Manfrotto

Leica_thumb4 new_manfrotto_logotagline_thumb3 logo30_thumb3 tassotti_thumb4

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