On 20 December 2019 Burundi, the poorest state in the world, was hit by a violent flood. Some rivers and lakes flooded the peripheral areas of the capital Bujumbura, covering them with water and mud. The dead are probably hundreds. Many are children. The media ignored the news entirely. For us, it is as if nothing had happened.
I have received dozens of photographs and some videos of the event from a group of missionary nuns, who live in Bujumbura. The shots were made with a cellphone and documented the flood in its simple raw reality: they show bloody bodies, dead children piled up and caressed by a hand, water and mud flowing, people digging, an excavator at work inside the riverbed of a stream.
It became urgent for me to understand how to use these photographs: I have decided to print them and display them framed and covered with a transparent black plexiglas, so that from a distance they looked completely black. It means that the flood had never happened, because of the silence of the media.
Approaching, the underlying photograph gradually emerges from black and reveals the drama, but also the concept: the reportage of the flood of Burundi, taken by the nuns, belongs to those who use it and how they use it. And the fact, obscured by the silence of the media, comes to light in all its crude reality when you get close to it.
Dear friends, artisan practice cannot be divided, as Salamov teaches in a beautiful page of the Kolyma Tales, from artistic creativity and intellectual research. I am a professional fine art printer and photographer, who grew up among books and who started his way with writing and philosophy. I graduated in Humanities with a thesis on the rite in the medieval theatre I published three collections of poems and short stories, I was a journalist and director of a magazine called "Cenalora", born within the CRT Research Center for the Theater of Milan , which dealt with theatrical anthropology. At the Teatro dell'Arte I came across with photography and video many years ago. I dealt with archives, restoration (Grotowski's Apocalypsis cum figuris taken up by Ermanno Olmi) and started developing techniques and practices that later became my profession: new digital technologies, scans, digitizations, still photography and fine photographic printing art. My artistic choices have always gone hand in hand with my work, my readings and my travels, real and philosophical. Here I am collecting a part of these works.