Category Archives: Event

THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2019

It has been the hottest Carnival ever, with temperatures above 30 degree.
More than just a street party, the Carnival was first held in 1959 in response to a series of racist attacks and rioting that spread in west London. The Carnival was put together to celebrate of the local community, people from the Caribbean coming to London in search of opportunities.
 
As always, there is a lot of fun, great energy and positive vibes, music and street food, beautiful costumes and dance from the London samba schools.

Once again, a great job from the Notting Hill Carnival organisers. https://www.facebook.com/NHCarnivalLDN/

Also posted in Culture, Documentary, Editorial, London, People, The Notting Hill Carnival, Traditions Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Il Gioco del Ponte, Pisa, 2019

Commonly known for the Piazza dei Miracoli and The Leaning Tower, Pisa remains a town rich in culture, historical sites, and traditions. The month of June offers a number of events, such as the “Luminara”, the “Regatta” and the “Battle on the Bridge”, when thousands of people come to overcrowd the southern and norther banks of the river Arno, called “Lungarni”.

The Battle, which sees several neighbourhoods, organised in two main coalitions, the southern side of the river, or “Mezzogiorno”, and norther part, or “Tramontana”, and evokes medieval battlefields among factions in Pisa. The first edition of the game took place in 1568. 

The overall game is divided into several stages. The historical parade, the formal opening of the battle, the challenges made by the ambassadors and the battle itself. The most picturesque part of the events are the historical parades, which start simultaneously on both sides of the river.

The sunset light is gentle on the beautiful medieval costumes. The Pisans have arrived in great numbers, sitting and standing on the parapets along the Arno. Everything is well organised for a family-oriented event. The “Gioco del Ponte” begins under the sound of the troops marching and drumming along the Lungarni. 

I have chosen to follow the “Tramontana” coalitions as the troops pass by the popular street of “Borgo Stretto”, one of the most characteristic and picturesque sites at the heart of Pisa, with coffees, restaurants and the authentic fruit market. The Borgo Stretto is where the social life happens, where the university night life takes place, where curious tourists are willing to discover the town beyond the Duomo, where to enjoy the  stunning sunset on the Lungarno. 

The overall historical parade consists of twelve teams, each one representing a different faction of Pisa. Each has its own motto, costume, drummers, warriors, and captain. They walk by the Arno to finally gather at the opposite side of the main bridge or “Ponte di Mezzo”, where the battle will begin. From there, a “challenge” is made deciding which team is going to fight next. In return, the ambassador from the opposite collation will announce the opposing team.

The actual battle happens in the middle of the bridge, where rival teams compete to “conquer” the bridge by pushing against each other a special trolley which moves on the track. The winning team is the one who makes the other team retreat, by triggering a flag at the end.

As in the medieval battlefields the troops needed to be highly trained, so are the man pushing the trolley. Physical strength alone is not enough to succeed. Mental preparation and a strategy under the command of a team captain are needed to win a battle. In the hierarchical organisation of the game, the captain is the charismatic leader the team relies on. Some have been leading a team for many years collecting memorable victories.

Six battles might not seem a lot, however a single encounter might last for many minutes of exhausting and strategic push-retreat-push. This was the case this year with the last fight, lasting for about twenty minutes, which sees the strongest teams from both sides. The awaiting during the push is nerve wrecking for the supporters on both sides, as the trolley does not seem to move to any directions. Supporters’ cheering blends with the noise of the drums. 
A last final push and the overall victory this year goes to Tramontana. As the game is over, supporters pour out to the streets to celebrate with the winning coalition.

The Gioco del Ponte is a source of great pride in Pisa, and it is supported by the “Amici del Gioco del Ponte” association, committed to support the game with awards linked to the best roles and costumes.

It is much more that a game. It is love, respect and celebration for the Republic that Pisa once was. The town was a power in the Mediterranean at the time of the Maritime Republics. Not by chance, the overall motto of the Gioco is “Vinca Tramontana o vinca Mezzogiorno, sempre Pisa vincera’“ (translates like – whoever wins between Tramontana and Mezzogiorno, Pisa will always win). The greatness of Pisa always win. 

 

Resources: 
Amici del Gioco del Ponte – link in English: 
http://www.giocodelpontedipisa.it/pisa-battle-on-the-bridge.php 

Thanks to the Comune di Pisa for the support I have received to produce this work. 

Also posted in Documentary, Editorial, Italy, People, Pisa, Traditions, Travel Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2017

An emotional Notting Hill Carnival this year, marked by poignant tributes to those who lost their life in the Grenfell tragedy. Nevertheless, it was a time to put aside the sadness and celebrate the street party. Once again, I have witnessed two days of amazing costumes and colours, energy and madness from the carnival goers.

 
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The Art of Spectating – Exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia

The Art of Spectating

The ‘Art of Spectating’ exhibition is open from the 8th to the 20th of May 2017  at the Bartcelona Art Gallery, in Belgrade, Serbia.
 
Text by Jacqueline Stojanović
 
“The much-pondered notion of whether life imitates art or art imitates life is manifested in Francesco Marchetti’s photography series The Art of Spectating. Undertaken at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it presents the intimate moments of contemplation and at times uncanny physical relationship shared between the spectator and the spectacle within a gallery context. Described by the artist as an extension of street photography each shot is candid and represents the ordinary people, with no interaction made between the artist and his subjects. In the latter’s regard the images differ from traditional street portraits in which communication plays a key role in abstracting a captivating photograph, instead within the historical museum the observer plays a voyeuristic role in voyeurism itself, blurring the line between the audience and the artwork while creating something entirely new in the process.
 
The photographs reflect the passage of time between the creations of the master’s artwork displayed in the museum to the present day, where we see contemporary art viewers pondering the same subjects centuries later and at times imitating the masterpieces themselves. This mimicking of their bodies presents a visual linkage that continues to propel this project, posing the questions of mere coincidence or perhaps a deeper subconscious psychology that is adopted in the museum context. It makes one wonder again whether art imitates life or life imitates art.
 
In turning to the art viewers as his subjects Francesco subtly shifts a social hierarchy in viewing by bringing those on the sidelines, the viewers, to the forefront. The audience and their interactions within the gallery space become the focal point, and we as his audience are made further self conscious of our own position in viewing the artwork.”
 
 
 
Jacqueline Stojanović was born in Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Fine Art and graduated from Monash University and The Victorian College of The Arts. Currently based in Belgrade, Serbia, Jacqueline works on different personal and commissioned projects
 
Reviews:
 
Link to SerbianMonitor (www.serbianmonitor.com) in Italian
Link to SerbianMonitor (www.serbianmonitor.com) in English

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THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2016

 

This year is celebrating the 50th year of the Notting Hill Carnival.
As always, the largest street party in Europe is about people energy, odd characters, the beautiful costumes and choreography from the UK leading samba schools.

 

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Bye bye and see you again next year!!!

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The Notting Hill Carnival 2015

Another year, another great Notting Hill Carnival…

The music, the ongoing street party, the energy, people from all races, class and age, the beautiful costumes and colours…

 

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Bye bye and see you again next year!

Francesco

 

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Notting Hill Carnival 2014

 

It is time for the Notting Hill Carnival, the Europe’s biggest street party.

Prior to the parade, Notting Hill offers a very different scenario to what we are normally used to see. It is silent, empty and majority of the locals left for the bank holiday weekend.

Preparation begins the night before, when shops are boarded for protection along the main artery of the Parade’s route. It is an opportunity for a small army of street artists to show off colourful graffiti.

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Majority of the shops are closed and only few businesses will remain open during the Carnival offering drinks on the street.

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Some residents will be offering food and drinks on the street during the Parade, and organisation starts early in the morning.

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The forecast for the weekend is variable.

It is a sunny day on Sunday, traditionally the kids parade. This year theme seems to be a “paint me beautiful” approach to celebration, which does not spare policemen engaging with the crowd

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(a colourful selfie is a must)

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Monday it is the party for grow ups, but it looks like they will be dancing in the rain.

I am either early for the parade or the show is delayed because of the weather, and I kill the time around Portobello Road. Will be people put off by the adverse weather and decide to stay at home? It does not look like, even bananas are used to keep the shoes dry.

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As the rain stops around midday, the parade finally begins. The overcast sky makes the light favourable to photography.

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Why bother to buy expensive gear? Mobile phone photography is just fine!!!

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It pours with rain again later in the afternoon, but this does not stop performers to keep dancing and smiling. The weather will not defeat their playful mood.

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It is a very wet Carnival. I managed to protect well the gear from the rain, but I am soaked. It has been a learning experience shooting an event under this weather conditions, interesting and memorable. Probably a one-off opportunity as it is usually hot and sunny. At least there is no harsh light to worry about.

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As the day comes to an end, street performers are replaced by a mass of drunken people, and the sound of police sirens begins to overlap with the fading noise of the Carnival. For the London police the “party” starts now, and it will be a busy night. For me, it is time to go home.

The music, the ongoing street party, the energy, people from all races, class and age, the beautiful costumes and colours…

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I am a bit sad this is over, and I am looking forward for the next year.

Bye bye Notting Hill Carnival

Francesco

London

 

 

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