L’istante e la storia

Reportage e documentazione fotografica.
Dalle origini alla Magnum.

Sala Phil Stern — Le Ciminiere, Catania

L'istante e la storia

It contains more than a hundred years of history about the reportage and the photographic documentation the book by Ezio Costanzo L'istante e la storia. Reportage e documentazione fotografica. Dalle origini alla Magnum (Le Nove Muse Editrice, 2017), in which the author, a well-known Sicilian historian of photography, starting from the origins of the reportage and considering each photograph as a document and witness of time reviewing the many protagonists who have immortalized local conflicts , world wars, revolutions, social life and changes in the whole world.

He essay, made with the contribution of the Fondazione OELLE Mediterraneo Antico, was presented to the public on Friday 1st December at 10:30 am, in the Phil Stern hall – 1943 Landing in Sicily Museum, inside the Le Ciminiere complex in Catania. Together with the author the speakers Carmelo Nicosia, photographer, professor of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania and director of the Fondazione Oelle Mediterraneo Antico, Enzo Tromba, professor of Theory and method of mass media at the Academy of Fine Arts of Catania and Fabrizio Villa, photo-journalist.

«Seeing young scholars of photography coming out of the classrooms entering the real questions of life fills us with satisfaction» Carmelo Nicosia opens the presentation: there are many students, in fact, in the hall of the 1943 Landing Museum in Sicily dedicated to Phil Stern.

«This book, which tells not only the exponents of photo reportage but also history and technological changes, can be considered an attempt to put some order in the great historical archive that revolves around those who have started the splendid practice of photo journalism - explained the author - that leaves from afar, exactly in 1842, when two new photographers turned a made of news, the fire of Hamburg, in images that we can still see ».

In the text, Costanzo accompanies the reader in an excursus that focuses on an emblematic aspect, that of wars, which characterized the evolution of photo reportage.

"If in the First World War the photojournalists were enrolled in the ranks of the army and had to submit to unimaginable censorship - Ezio Costanzo has clarified - from the second are figures like Robert Capa, emblematic example of what the photo journalism should be. As Phil Stern also claimed, the photographer must have an opinion. There is no aseptic, journalistic photo, which contains an absolute reality, because that immortalized is the reality of those behind the lens".

On the charm and the powerful role of photography as a mass medium, instead, the intervention of professor Enzo Tromba has focused, which has underlined how "the camera is the only means able to fix a moment in time, isolating it and making it history. . There are moments in the history of humanity - he continued - that are indelibly fixed in the memory of us all by a photograph. Like that of the naked girl who runs trying to save herself with the burning villages behind, symbol of the Vietnam war ". Also Fabrizio Villa has made an important contribution, reasoning with the aspiring photographers on some self-censorship experiences. "At the beginning of my career, I found myself in a psychiatric hospital having to take pictures of people with extreme discomfort. Initially I was so traumatized that I didn’t take photographs, but then the mission of having to witness what was going on there gave me the strength to work. " The same force that today accompanies it on the Navy ships to photograph the migrants. "Seeing human unease, for those who don’t know the real suffering, is something that remains inside".

The conclusion of the meeting could only be dedicated to the role of photography today, at the time of smartphones and Instagram filters. "On these social escamotages we use them all, even professionals as we are - Villa intervened - but never to give information because we don’t have to alter the reality. Truer is a photograph, even at the expense of quality, the better it is.


December, 1st, 2017


Sala Phil Stern
Museo dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943
Le Ciminiere
Piazzale Chinnici
95100 Catania, CT


Fondazione OELLE
E. segreteria@fondazioneoelle.com

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