How I had (a rough time choosing 15 pictures for) an exhibition with a friend.

Back in June 2016 me and a friend, Pietro Consolandi, decided to consider making a joint photo exposition – focusing on the pictures we took during our respective trips to Japan in that same year: I went with a friend for new year’s eve holidays while he went later in spring by himself.

We both had also previously been to Japan – my first trip was by myself, his in a group – and we shared the belief that a certain degree of knowledge of a country is required to enjoy it. I don’t mean that one has to have a complete understanding of the place one is travelling to, but the aim of the trip should not be just discovering it: it should not be solely history and social matters, but even just the everyday dimension of how the inhabitants live their own streets and country.

Speaking for myself, I tend to try being invisible – not to catch what they wouldn’t want to show a tourist, but just to be perceived as one of its own by the country itself, the shops, the streets and the poles, being given the chance to experience the same calmness and silence one feels when at home.

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How I ‘hiked’ (but mostly ate) my way through Japan in 15 days.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique.

I first went to Japan in 2012. It was by myself and some of the trips I had were part of organised tours: I deeply enjoyed my experience, but also felt that I failed to get the whole experience that the country had for its visitors.

Last summer I finally managed to organise another trip to Japan: I wouldn’t have been by myself, it would have been for 15 days – instead of just 10 – and we would have also visited Hiroshima – other than Tōkyō and Kyōto which I already stopped at in 2012.

Me and a close friend of mine wanted to get in touch with the rather subtle realm of what we think Japan is like. Such an idea usually involves mostly food and temples, while it rules out the imagery of Japan as a land of dark ages’ warriors, modern buildings and anime. Speaking for myself, the country lays between those extremes, and it resembles what’s depicted by photographers such as Moriyama Daido, Shomei Tomatsu, Nishimura Junku and Hashiguchi George. I think of Japan as a land of narrow alleys, unglorified open spaces and publicly open people.

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How I sailed (and slept) through a storm in Croatia.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique. The photos can also be found on behance.

I have longed to make a boat trip with my friends since I got my sailing license in 2011, but my desire wasn’t accomplished ’til this summer. A good friend of mine was already used to spending his holidays with his childhood friends and his parents while growing up, and he spent even more holidays with such peers once he became an adult: most notably, they drove to Cape North in 2009. Even I went by car with the same group of friends to Corse in 2012. We spent an entire week going around the island clockwise and they proved to be amazing travel companions. One complained about the other’s snoring, the other slept on the beach and woke up drenched, but we all camped together and shared the experience.

This once, we all decided to organise a two-boat sailing trip across the Croatian islands: me and four more people booked Orion – a 37.9 feet boat suited for six people – while other eight people went for  Klementa – a 41.9 feet one for eight people. They were just two random boats given us by the cheapest charter that we managed to find, but gave us no problem and just  pleasant memories. We left from Sukošan on August 15th and got back there in seven days.

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How I drove to (and through) Istanbul with two friends.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique. The project can also be found on behance.

Back in August 2014 I was in either London, Brugge or Strasbourg with i Birbanti – the amateur theatre company I work for as a technician – and my friend said “Let’s go to Istanbul for New Year’s Eve”. Either, as I cannot recall exactly where and when he made such a proclama, since it was not indeed considered much weighed as a proposition; it is even hard for me to locate ourselves through our trip to London for the Camden Fringe Festival when my friend foresaw what he would have then neatly planned once the state of soberness had welcomed him back in Milan, as such an exclamation sure seemed an ideal mind image of his, depicting what would have been our ‘next breakaway from ordinariness’. Nevertheless it first grew to be a desire – contagious among the three of us, who grew together for almost twenty years – and then a proper plan.

We would have driven through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria to land in Turkey, resting online twice – in Zagreb and Sofija. We longed to visit hammams, the Grand Bazaar, hooka bars and any place that could provide us with food, but I myself mostly wanted to roam the streets with my camera.

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