The most evocative photo stories of the month

Modern day witches, documenting life’s regrets and most painful memories, Thailand’s underbelly and Uganda’s riotous party scene – Fotografia share April’s best photos

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Michele Sibiloni’s Fuck It
Photography Michele Sibiloni

Good photography has always felt tangible – like you could reach through your screen and right into the lives of those in the frame. It feels fitting then that this month’s collaboration with Fotografia magazine – an online platform dedicated to showcasing the work of new and established photographers – comes with the news that they are looking to launch their own photo book shop, FotoMarket. A place that will see the fantastic work that they champion move off-screen and into IRL. As you (hopefully) help them reach their goal (click here to donate), below, founder and editor Graziano Ferri takes us through some of his favourite photo stories from the site this month.

ALÍZ VERONIKA ÁCS

“Fortunately, witch hunts are a thing of the past: the incredibly obscure age when humanity would label certain women as witches and torture them in terrible ways has been over for a few centuries now. Nonetheless, there are still individuals – both female and male – who are marginalised and stigmatised, even though on accuses other than witchcraft. In her two bodies of work Witch and Walpurg, Hungarian photographer Alíz Veronika Ács recontextualises the idea of witchcraft in contemporary societies, and at the same time creates fascinating experimentations by physically manipulating her printed images.”

ARSENI KHAMZIN

“Upon relocating to Brooklyn, Canadian photographer Arseni Khamzin started taking walks along the J, M and Z subway lines that cross the borough to explore his new environment in terms of texture and materials. So it happened that Khamzin collected a set of colourful images that expose the steel, rust, discoloured paints and garbage to be found in Brooklyn’s streets. What is really great about Khamzin’s work is that when you think about it, you can actually associate certain cities with certain materials: you got stones for Rome, marble for Dubai, neon lights for Tokyo, and so on and so forth.”

STEFANO MARCHIONINI

“Arles is a dear name for photography lovers: it’s the historical city in the south of France where every summer one of the most prominent photography events, Les Rencontres d’Arles, takes place. But when he moved to Arles due to ‘a decision that wasn’t entirely mine’, Italian photographer Stefano Marchionini wasn’t too happy about it. Such state of things originated Regrets, Marchionini’s latest and ongoing project, which expresses his feelings in a non-literal way through the combination of delicate images charged with a special atmosphere.”

MARTA ZGIERSKA

“In 2013, Polish photographer Marta Zgierska was involved in a major car accident that had both physical and psychological consequences for her, including a nervous breakdown. That episode of her life was one of the inspirations for Post, a project that explores the impact of traumatic events in carefully crafted images of a bleeding hand, a naked tree, a little girl lost in her thoughts, etc. In her interview with Fotografia, Zgierska emphasises that Post is not ‘a form of therapy’, but ‘the result of my natural need to create out of what was important to me at a given moment, what constituted me.’”

FRANCESCO MERLINI

“In Thai, the term ‘farang’ is used for everything that is foreign and comes from the western world. Italian photographer Francesco Merlini’s series Farang was partly shot in Thailand, and Merlini found it appropriate to use that term as a title because the pictures that belong to the work were all taken in situations that were new – or foreign – to him. Although the photos capture scenes as diverse as a stripper performing for a crowd of men and a young boy disguised as Batman, the photographer’s gritty black and white creates a strong relationship among them all.”

MICHELE SIBILONI

“Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, has nothing short of New York, London or any other international capital when the night comes down. Italian photographer Michele Sibiloni moved there in 2012, and was immediately struck by how lively and even wild the nightlife in Kampala can be. ‘There’s a strong contrast between the religious, conservative place that is Uganda during the day, and what people do at night,’ Sibiloni told Fotografia in a recent interview. The title of Sibiloni’s photobook, Fuck It, was inspired by a girl’s self-explaining tattoo but also references the forget-about-it attitude that people take on with the cover of the night.”

ANNABEL OOSTEWEEGHEL

“If you love staged photography and the 1960s, you don’t want to skip Dutch photographer Annabel Oosteweeghel’s photobook Oblivious. The whole work started when Oosteweeghel stumbled upon two perfectly kept bungalows from the 1960s: ‘It seemed as if time had stood still in there.’ Annabel came up with two photo stories to stage in there, one for each bungalow. The first is about a long married couple – both husband and wife wonder when they stopped communicating, and whether life could have been different. The second is inspired by the true story of one of the bungalow’s owner, a woman who became a widow short after getting married, never started a new family and eventually became demented.”

TOMMY KEITH

“Restoule is a rural town in northern Ontario, Canada, similar to many other small communities located across the region. When a new highway was recently constructed in the area, some of these communities benefitted from an increased traffic of tourists, to the detriment of those further away from the road. While Restoule isn’t among the most affected towns, young Canadian photographer Tommy Keith decided to photograph it before it changes, and did so in beautifully gloomy pictures of Restoule’s people, places and landscapes.”

MASSAO MASCARO

“Growing up in the north of his native France in a big family, one day photographer Massao Mascaro started wondering: ‘Why are we the only ones eating pastasciutta and playing scopa?’ Unknowingly, he was starting to realize that his family had Italian origins: indeed, his grandparents moved to France from southern Italy. In recent years, Massao decided to go back to the small town in Calabria where his genealogical tree has its roots, and photographed the “chaotic” vegetation he found there as a metaphor for his family’s ramification as well as a form of celebration of nature and all living things.”

KATRIN KOENNING

“We are used to thinking of the distance between us and those we love but live far away as something that induces nostalgia. With her beautiful, poetic series Indefinitely, Australian photographer Katrin Koenning wants us to think otherwise. One member of a family scattered throughout the globe, Koenning actually celebrates distance by capturing the great amount of beauty it is filled with – sky, oceans, fire, mountains, birds, etc. – and offering a new, soothing way to approach long distance relationships.”

Support the launch of FotoMarket! Fotografia is setting up shop. Help launch FotoMarket, an online photo book store, and get your hands on this collectible set of nine beautiful photographic postcards in exchange for your contribution. Get all the details here

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