[ENG] // The Street as " Non-Place"

I have been thinking a lot and carefully these past few days about the meaning of street in its photographic acceptation. 
After reading Leonello Bertolucci’s authentic and interesting considerations a few weeks ago, I had two work opportunities where I was asked to give my contribution. Due to the nature of the events, I had to carefully analyse “my street photography” to being able to share - at least partially - my point of view with the participants.






And I have come to what I think is an interesting conclusion.
I realised that “street”, in very truth, is a mere way of saying. It is just the most comfortable and suitable for all place to freely interact with primordial actions without being able/having to operate any control. Actions, reactions, emotions, sensations: all these ingredients can be found in the street, free and with no chance of being somehow foreseen or controlled.






Therefore, the street is the celebration of everyday life and spontaneity, and when we choose “street photography” we turn our attention in this direction.
However, if we stop for a while and think, it is not only the street that offers these kind of situations. Any opportunity where actions and emotions collide, becomes a potentially useful ground for an instinctive human investigation which can be documented through photography.





Giacomo Canali, participant in the workshop (2 pictures)

Therefore, for any photographer, the “street” can be a “non-place” different from a grid of roads, squares and monuments where looking for an astral collimation of lights, contrasts and subjects. “Street” can be an event, or a limited and narrow environment, and, generalizing, it can be life itself, caught in its most spontaneous representation.






Massimo Pietralunga, participant in the workshop (3 pictures)

The street itself is the major representation of this concept. Squares, streets and public places have always hosted life, human activity and debates. It’s the street itself that tells the story, the life, the past, present and future of a place, the habits of people, the culture of a population, etc. It’s always been a place easy to reach, to live, to freely explore (with the due attention and limits).







Giuseppe Genovese, participant in the workshop (3 pictures)


But if we try to broaden this concept, we’ll find that “street” is present in many aspects of the everyday life. We just need to grab the camera, a little dose of curiosity, and enter the fray - which is what Leonello states in his intervention, mentioned in the introduction.





Francesca Capozzi, participant in the workshop (2 pictures)






Michela Ghidini, participant in the workshop (3 pictures)





Cristina Faccini, participant in the workshop (2 pictures)

But, why all of these considerations? Because often it’s words themselves that limit us and build walls which trap us, but we don’t know why. When we give too much importance to the reason and the meaning of words, and we create too many rules, then the “street” becomes a sort of prison for our ideas, instead of being wide and free.






Backstage pictures by Ilenia Ognibene

The pictures in this post were taken during an instructional afternoon for the opening of “Oggetti Spigolosi”, an art exhibition within the context of Guatelli Contemporaneo (for further information, click here). Together with those who participated, I tried to bring the concept of “street” not only within the context of an event, but also in a well-delineated and delimited space.
I was very surprised to see the result, and astonished by the power of certain pictures that seemed to be taken in the “street”.

“But then, many are the things we can’t see because we don’t watch them, and we would be astonished to see them if there were someone who showed them to us...”

Ettore Guatelli





Pictures by Ugo Baldassarre, where not otherwise specified.



For further information on the next events, workshops, photographic walks and initiatives, please visit my website:

www.ugobaldassarre.com (calendar section)

Profound gratitude goes to Chiara Allegri and Fogg Photo Gallery (Parma); without them, this could not have been possible.
I would like to thank also Stefani Cognata, curator of the exhibition “Oggetti Spigolosi” (“Angular Objects”) within Guatelli Contemporaneo, and all the people who worked to this project.


Finally, I am truly thankful for all the participants in the workshop who have shared with me this beautiful experience with enthusiasm.


English Version By Anna Caruso.

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