Inhabitants, habitats, habits€ 3.00
Humans are the inhabitants of Earth. Yet since the dawn of our adventure, we have sought out and chosen where and how to inhabit the planet. As nomadic hunters, we sought above all shelters, caves. As sedentary farmers our new lifestyle drove us to build dwellings: lair homes, hut homes. Many huts became a village, which led to cities, then megalopolises. We developed new ways of being human, of living together. Most recently, the demographic explosion and industrialisation have led to other people building our homes and cities, and often our dwellings no longer resemble us. Or worse, we perceive them as alien, even enemies. Perhaps it’s become impossible to recount the alienating life of the suburbs because those structures were built not to be inhabited, but to be photographed and published in architecture magazines. Are our dwellings, and indeed we their inhabitants at risk of being transformed into images?
Ferdinando Scianna, one of Italy’s leading photographers, started his career in the 1960s while he was a student of Humanities and Philosophy at Palermo University. In 1963 he met the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and together they published the first of their many joint books, Feste religiose in Sicilia, that received the Nadar Award. Henri Cartier-Bresson introduced him to Magnum and he was hired by the agency in 1982. Since 1987, Scianna enjoys international renown owing to his work as a photo reporter, a portrait artist, as well as a fashion and advertising photographer. In the last few years he began writing critiques and articles for Italian and French media. His books include: Marpessa, un racconto (Leonardo, 1993); Altrove: reportage di moda (Federico Motta, 1995); Viaggio a Lourdes (Mondadori, 1996); Altre Forme del Caos (2000), La Geometria e la Passione (2009), Baaria, Bagheria (con G. Tornatore, 2009) for Contrasto; Etica e fotogiornalismo (Electa, 2010); Lo specchio vuoto. Fotografia, identità, memoria (Laterza, 2013); Piccoli mondi (2012), Ti mangio con gli occhi (2013), Visti & scritti (2014), In gioco (2016) for Contrasto.
Marco Belpoliti, an essayist and writer, collaborates with la Repubblica newspaper and l’Espresso magazine and teaches Literature and literary criticism and visual arts at the University of Bergamo. He manages the Riga collection with Elio Grazioli for Marcos y Marcos: with Stefano Chiodi he coordinates the web magazine and publisher doppiozero.com. His most recent books include: Diario dell’occhio (Le Lettere, 2008); Il corpo del capo (reprinted, 2018); Pasolini in salsa piccante (2010); Da quella prigione. Moro, Warhol e le Brigate Rosse (reprinted, 2018); L’età dell’estremismo (2014); Primo Levi di fronte e di profilo (2015); La strategia della farfalla (2016); La prova (2017); Chi sono i terroristi suicidi (2017) with the publisher Guanda; and Camera straniera. Alberto Giacometti e lo spazio (2012); and Il segreto di Goya (2013) published by Johan & Levi. He curated the 1997 edition of Primo Levi’s Opere and the new three volume edition Opere complete (2016) for the publisher Einaudi.