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FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA returns to Reggio Emilia from April 29 to June 12.


FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA returns to Reggio Emilia this week with an examination of inner strength.

Opening events take place from April 29 to May 1. The main festival runs until June 12.

This year’s title is UN’INVINCIBILE ESTATE|AN INVINCIBLE SUMMER, drawing on the phrase coined by Albert Camus.

Works will explore the inner strength leading us towards that invincible summer at the heart of humankind.

Artistic directors Tim Clark and Walter Guadagnini have brought together international outlooks and various forms of artistic sensitivity.

As always, the basis of the festival will be stories and tales.

A portrait of a migrant surrounded by roses, on show for FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA
Ernest con le rose di santa Rosalia, artista togolese. Villa Giulia, Palermo 2018, series Binidittu © Nicola Lo Calzo/Podbielski Contemporary

Chiostri di San Pietro

The Chiostri di San Pietro will act as the hub FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA, hosting 10 exhibitions.

Nicola Lo Calzo’s Binidittu offers a reflection on migrants in the Mediterranean through the figure of Saint Benedict the Moor.

Saint Benedict the Moor was the first black saint in modern history. He is now considered an allegory of our times.

Hoda Afshar’s Speak The Wind reveals the extraordinary landscapes of Iran, its people and their rituals.

By photographing wind and the intertwining traditions it entails, Afshar forms a visible record of the invisible.

American photographer Carmen Winant weaves multiple narratives through hundreds of found slides in her Fire on World series.

The individual slides depict scenes of protest, birth and social microcosms .

When put together, they form a larger picture of social unrest and dissent.

Japanese photographer Seiichi Furuya’s First trip to Bologna 1978/Last trip to Venice 1985 recounts the first and last trip he and his wife Christine Gössler made.

Intimate portraits and still images allow him to reconstruct memories, right up to Christine’s suicide.

English photographer Ken Grant presents Benny Profane, a long-term project on a port district near Liverpool.

His photographs become a form of immersion into a space and those who depend on it, an account of kinship and challenges.

Guanyu Xu’s Temporarily Censored Home transforms the conservative domestic space of his childhood into a scene of revelation, protest and queer reclamation.

He uses a mosaic of images gleaned from Western fashion and film magazines, as well as portraits of himself with other men, staging both a deeply intimate and political performance.

Intimacy and history

Chloé Jafé’s I give you my life tells the often unknown story of the women of the Yakuza.

The Japanese mafia is one of the most legendary in the world.

This exhibitions tells the stories of the wives, daughters and lovers who orbit around the male gangsters and have dedicated their lives to them.

Jonas Benediksen spreads chaos in the photojournalism community with The Book of Veles.

This project brings together fake news generated in the small, unknown Macedonian town of Veles.

It aims to demonstrate – through a mixture of classic reportage, 3D avatar models and AI text-generation systems – that visual disinformation can lead even trained media professionals astray.

French photographer Alexis Cordesse’s Talashi meditates on the Syrian civil war through personal photographs taken by those living in exile.

Talashi means ‘fragmentation’ or ‘disappearance’ in Arabic. This is an act of collective re-enactment, midway between intimacy and history.

A black and white picture of a girl jumping over a wall
Mary Ellen Mark, Girl Jumping over a Wall, Central Park, Manhattan, New York, USA, 1967 © 1963-2013 Mary Ellen Mark/Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Mary Ellen Mark

This year’s FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA historical exhibition is hosted in the frescoed rooms on the ground floor of Chiostri di San Pietro.

It is dedicated to documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark.

From 1964 until her death in 2015 she produced intensely vivid and ground-breaking photo essays.

Mark explored the reality of people, especially women, in a variety of complex and often difficult, sometimes almost impossible, situations.

Mary Ellen Mark: Lives of Women, curated by Anne Morin, embraces the humanity of these women and shares it with a wider audience.

Open call winners

Projects by winners of this edition’s Open Call will be on display in the new FOTOGRAFIA EUOPEA space: Galleria Santa Maria.

Simona Ghizzoni’s Isola narrates how she managed to re-establish a relationship with nature and people during COVID-19.

Ghizzoni left Rome and sought refuge in the Apennines of Emilia Romagna during the pandemic.

Spanish photographer and filmmaker Gloria Oyarzabal sets the focus of her investigation on the concept of the museum, particularly from a colonialist perspective, with the project Usus fructus abusus.

Maxime Richè from Paris measures himself against humanity’s ability to adapt to the consequences of environmental upheavals.

Paradise focuses on the fire that burnt through the Californian town of the same name in just four hours and the people who go back to rebuild their lives where life was so brutally wiped out.

A woman with a red head scarf sits with her back to the camera.
Hoda Afshar, Untitled, from the series Speak the Wind, Iran (2015-2020) © Hoda Afshar

Palazzo dei Musei

On the 30th anniversary of Luigi Ghirri’s death, a new exhibition draws on In scala – the photo series produced by Ghirri from the end of the 1970s to the mid-1980s.

It explores the themes of the double, fiction and the very notion of reality by creating a dialogue with the collection.

Luigi Ghirri. Montagne che non si possono scalare. Italia in miniatura e nuove prospettive is on at Palazzo dei Musei.

Also at Palazzo dei Musei, Incontri! Arte e persone is back to focus on the theme of the encounter between fragility and creativity.

Visual artist Alessandra Calò was intrigued by the rich collection of herbaria housed at the Palazzo dei Musei.

Due to their fragility and historical value they are not on public display but stored in elegant containers that show all their delicateness.

For The Flowers Remained Pink, Calò guided seven participants in the creation of a herbarium through the use of ancient contact photographic printing techniques.

Reggio Emilia

Spazio Gerra presents Maria Clara Macrì’s project In Her Rooms.

The exhibition explores the relationship between empathy, intimacy and the contemporary representation of women.

Gerra captures the complex and intense nature of femininity today, freeing it from stereotypes and sexualisation.

The Biblioteca Panizzi’s exhibition Vasco Ascolini: un’autobiografia per immagini, curated by Massimo Mussini, recounts the artistic and working life of the Reggio Emilia photographer through 40 years of shots.

It aims to make the public more aware of the photographer’s contribution to the cit.

The Collezione Maramotti dedicates its exhibition to Carlo Valsecchi.

Forty-four large format photographs make up Bellum, recounting the ancestral conflict between man and nature and between man and man.

All of the images are included in the volume accompanying the exhibition and 20 are on display.

Fondazione I Teatri presents Arianna Arcara’s La Visita/Triptych that Fondazione I Teatri.

Theatre and photography are once again placed side by side as Acara interprets the work of the Belgian dance-theatre company Peeping Tom at the Festival Aperto 2021.

The Palazzo da Mosto will host a new exhibition by Jitka Hanzlovà.

Hanzlovà is returning to Reggio Emilia after 17 years.

Her series Doorway portrays adolescents with a migration background, trying to find their place in the world.

A portrait of a woman linked with the Yakuza, on show for FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA
I give you my life © Chloé Jafé. Courtesy Akio Nagasawa Gallery Tokyo


Once again, the collective, independent event CIRCUITO OFF will run exhibitions alongside the main FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA programme.

Professional photographers will exhibit alongside amateurs in the city’s shops, restaurants and homes.

This also includes the OFF@school project, involving schools throughout the province.

The evening of May 7 is dedicated to CIRCUITO OFF when the winner of the Max Spreafico Prize will be announced.

Training project, Speciale Diciottoventicinque also returns this year, helping young photographers stage exhibitions.


FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA is promoted and produced by the Fondazione Palazzo Magnani in collaboration with the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and with support from the Emilia-Romagna Regional Council.

The Special Sponsor for the 2022 edition is Iren.

Exhibitions will be accompanied by lectures, book presentations, portfolio reviews, a book fair and live music.

Click here for more information and to view the full programme.