On May 7th, 2016, Stefania Adami, a resident of Gallicano born in 1962, received the prestigious “Insigne Fotografa Italiana” (Illustrious Italian Photographer) honor in the city of Merano.
She is the first woman to receive this important recognition, bestowed on artists who, through their photographs, have demonstrated great personality in documentary, narrative and/or creative abilities.
A small room with no windows in a house drenched in light. «Originally it should have been the dark room, then times changed», says Stefania Adami, welcoming me into her studio. Stefania’s works are lying on the carpet and they tell me their stories. There are black men, women and children living north of Dakar, in Senegal (Sale Nero created in 2003 together with her brother Italo - in the photograph).
Stefania’s words accompany pictures in black & white. Men extracting salt from the Rebta Lake, a lake that turns into an exquisite shade of pink during the dry season. Children playing under the trucks. Grains of salt covering black faces like drops of sweat. A lively percussion beat constitutes the musical background to a strenuous human assembly line and to Italo and Stefania’s photos, taken during ten days lived as a very extra-ordinary experience.
Space-time leap. On the carpet there is another series of photos. They span from the latest analogue work to the first digital, back in 2011. It is A dislivello del mare, “a project I am strongly attached to”. It is the story of contrast, set on a beach in Sardinia: a clear contrast of lights, a contrast between people experiencing the beach as tourists and those working on the beach as vendors, a contrast between the opulence of bodies in bikinis and the lightness of beach towels fluttering in the wind.
It is a story that starts with a solitary castaway and ends together, eyes to the sun, freedom to be shared.
(To be continued...)