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Tbilisi Days…

What a wonderful experience!

Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2013 has been a revelation!!! Many wonderful photographers getting together for a week long of exhibitions, workshops, lectures and a lot of fun!!!

Here is a short visual diary of these wonderful days!

One,

Mimi

 

(ITA) Lettera ad un amico Grillino

This is what I wrote to a dear friend of mine who supports Grillo.

Sorry is in Italian!

Ciao ——–!!
….Ne parliamo la settimana prossima o quando ci vediamo, spero presto…!!

Il punto —, è che un cambiamento ci vuole e come, ma un cambiamento radicale non può essere manovrato da un Grillo che impone le sue direttive per scopi di potere.

Se le elezioni hanno promosso l’idea di cambiamento di Grillo e i suoi seguaci, questo può andare anche bene, ma rifiutare la dialettica e il supporto a Bersani, ciò dimostra che il punto per Grillo non è il cambiamento ma l’affermazione del suo ego indiscusso e indiscutibile, visto che crede di essere il detentore della verità…

Quell’imbecille della Lombardi, che parla con Bersani come se lui fosse Berlusconi, lamentandosi di 20 anni di governo corrotto e inaffidabile…fa esattamente il gioco di Berlusconi e in più, mi chiedo chi mai lei avrà votato in questi 20 anni, perchè certamente Berlusconi non è stato nominato da Dio….Berlusconi ha governato quasi esclusivamente lui per queste ultime legislature, certo la sinistra avrebbe dovuto fare di più, certo sono deluso da una Sinistra che non ha mostrato i muscoli contro la dilagante Destra affarista e imbrogliona, certo che Bersani e i suoi colleghi non sono il massimo a cui ci si potrebbe affidare, ma rimangono una valida alternativa in una fase di delicatissima transizione.

Dimmi un pò, che cazzo ci vuole a dare la fiducia a Bersani, che i grillini stessi potrebbero revocare quando e come volessero, votare le leggi che più premono e sono importanti sia per M5S che per il Pd, per non parlare dell’Italia, e non appena Bersani o lo stesso sistema dovesse fallire, allora voi ne uscireste ancora più forti, e allo stesso tempo i grillini potrebbero imparare un pò come si fa politica…..Niente da perdere, solo da guadagnare per loro e per il Paese.

Quello che mi fa insospettire, e seriamente non capisco come tu e gli altri sostenitori di Grillo non ve ne rendiate conto, è la chiusura totale e inopportuna, a mio riguardo, e la violenza delle accuse il blocco di Grillo che non solo fa malissimo a negare l’esistenza di una Destra e di una Sinistra, ma condanna egualmente tutti i suoi oppositori senza fare differenza tra i veri imbroglioni e chi invece di disonesto non ha proprio nulla.

La democrazia si basa sulla dialettica di varie forze politiche…quindi non è accettabile, non è democratico che Grillo pensi di governare senza tener conto delle altre forze politiche….e poi non ne ha il diritto. il 5S sarà la forza politica (chiamalo movimento o partito) che ha ottenuto più voti, ma non come coalizione. Anche se in modo super risicato, la coalizione capitanata dal Pd è quella che ha ottenuto il mandato dagli Italiani e dal Presidente della Repubblica, ed è giusto che gli si consenta di governare.

I grillini dovrebbero essere più realisti, aperti, e lasciamelo dire, più modesti, visto che stanno giocando con le sorti di un Pease intero. L’euforia post elettorale sarebbe dovuta servire a dare voi reali speranze per un futuro migliore, non per giocare sporco per il potere di un burattinaio vestito da Gesù.

——, ti prego di riflettere su questi punti. Sono molto molto importanti. Ti prego di valutare con attenzione cosa stai supportando, se un cambiamento o un individuo che fa il bello e il cattivo tempo.

Ti abbraccio con tantissimo affetto,
Mimi

Miscarriages of Justice in The UK

This was shot on assignment for The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Winter 2013. The story deals with four different cases of miscarriage of justice here in the UK. Janet Wilson, Wendy Cohen, Susan May and Brigitte Butcher have all been involved on a personal intimate level in cases where the justice system has shown serious shortcomings […]

Mobile Life

We dial, we speak, we share, we tweet, we text, we send, we receive, we follow, we like… I love how mobile phones have helped us being connected with each other at all times, but sometimes I wonder how easily we become enslaved by technology…thinking we are exercising our freedom…but in reality we unconsciously enter […]

Grillo’s Cult

Grillo’s success came to no surprise in the recent and latest Italian general elections a few weeks ago.

What was rather surprising was the amount of votes Berlusconi managed to gather, despite the tragic sequence of scandals where he is still involved…but that’s another story..!

Back to Grillo and his 5 Stars Movement, we cannot do much else now, other than waiting for what will happen next and who will lead a country in such delicate moment.

What I wanted to write here refers specifically to one aspect of Grillo’s success, in that he managed to gather an extraordinary consensus throughout Italy, which needs to be analyzed in time.

First thing that comes to the mind of the ones involved in the current Italian political debate is questioning if and how, Grillo’s movement is “political” enough or, if its winning point lays on a non-political approach, that appeals to a more vast heterogeneous crowd and that reaches to the guts of its audience.

Unfortunately I suspect the latter one is the most probable option.

Beppe Grillo, at ease in front of cheering crowds because of his past as a stand-up comedian, is not naive when it comes to convince and allure the masses due to his confidence and charisma. To be fair though, it is not that difficult to gather consensus, when the national political scene has proven to be weak and the world economy has collapsed, any “new” voice would sound a better alternative, however Grillo  has shown a great ability in reaching out to an unexpectedly impressive audience.

But Grillo went even further! He didn’t only enjoy the fruits of a successful and up-to-date electoral campaign, but he managed to create an obedient and dedicate collective-clone of his image. Grillo supporters have found their new Messiah!  The grillini love their leader, they blindly trust him and would go to any length to defend his Word…..Now..hang on a minute….are we talking about politics or religion here? ……Ah! YES! This is the point I intend to make. Grillo has not created a political “movement”, but virtually a religious one!

A political movement or party, to be as such, has to identify itself in one of the three ideological and policy-making areas, Left, Centre or Right. The 5SM has branded itself as a non-Left, non-Right and non-Centre movement, being as a result an amorphous entity of which any possible agenda, other than vaguely campaigning for honest and clean politics, would and could not have any clear content whatsoever.

Instead, the 5 Stars Movement tactics are secretive as in a cult, organized in a pyramidal structure like any monotheist religion and its strength relies on the visceral creed of the obedient followers, like any kind of spiritual association.

The Grillini even use the same words spoken by their leader, when they parrot his sermons, follow his mood in any direction and do not welcome any form of criticism, just like Scientology.

As for what regards the not-so-charming words used when Grillo publicly addresses journalists, like any in any religion, its leader fears uncontrolled exposure and need to ridicule and diminish the value of free press by labeling it as evil and unreliable.

Another example of how closer Grillo’s Movement is to a cult, as opposed to the political sphere, lays on the fact that inside his sect any pluralism of ideas and opinions has been swiftly amputated and got rid of, because ultimately, a good religious leader has to keep hold of power, not only by creating vague illusions of a brighter future, but s/he will have to instigate fear.

Kate Middleton official Portrait by Paul Emsley

KMiddleton_Portrait

This is where it comes to!

The effects of a mass-diffused visual culture, sustained by the ever increasing use of visual icons (be that of celebrities or the much hated Facebook duck-faced time wasters), has shown what it really is about. Ugly or Beautiful?

These are the two shallow answers to the question about the quality of the official portrait Paul Emsley presented of Kate Middleton.

While talking with friends and colleagues I have noticed how quickly my peers offered their judgement on such painting. Typically they say: “It’s just ugly” or “Kate does not look like that at all!” or, even worse, “This is not faithful to reality…” and so on. My concern comes from the way people in general seem in need to be reassured by the expected, the obvious, the objective…

The daily use of the photographic/video medium in social networks or as the main source for google/news/curiosity information gathering has indeed left no room to ponder on much we come across through our television, internet and so forth. We are used to retrieve and process visual information at the speed of light, and therefore feel the need to reduce our processing criteria to essential esthetic categories such as “ugly” and “beautiful” or “yes” and “not”, as in the binary system there is no other option other than 1 as in “On” and 0 as in “Off”, which recalls our daily gestures we use to switch on and off our mobile phones or computers. But, are we that simple?

Going back to our Kate, such inarticulate approach to her portrait translates into a far too simplistic and unforgiving sterile judgement of what I rather believe being a  complex artistic interpretation of a person who represents an equally complex range of qualities.

Since Kate Middleton came under the media spotlight for marrying Prince Charles’s son William, no one can deny how much she’s been associated with the image of the late Princess Diana, and we can figure out why…

We cannot forget either how the royal family is represented on the 21st century’s media and how much the shadows of doubts and intrigues related to them weights on civil society, from the countless scandals to more serious interferences with politics….

All the above and much, much more I believe is present in Emsley’s portrait, where Kate does not look like she does on photographs, and precisely, we are not debating on a photograph but on a painting enriched by the artist’s interpretation and views. The grim on Kate’s face is quite spectacular and haunting, her aged figure offers this painting a further dimension in time and her rising eyebrow allows the painting itself to speak back to the viewer in real time. The black background is also adding mystery to this public figure we are yet to discover, while the bags under the eyes reflect a more human figure, closer to us mortals…

I personally do not care much, if at all, about the royals, William or Kate, but I do care about the work of an artist, when this has to be dismissed or accepted with a simple switch or swipe just for the sake of our thirst for a quick visual fix.

Finally, I would eventually come to a conclusion and possibly make my mind up on a number of question remained so far open, but this will come in time, after I will have fully digested the values of Emsley’s portrait.

Regards,

Mimi