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Luigi Fiano | Maramures

When I first started to work as freelance photographer in 2007, I went to Romania because I wanted to show the social changing of this country after its entrance in the EU.
Arrived in Bucarest, I suddenly realized that this transformation was deeply started, almost twenty years before, after the end of Nicolae Ceauşescu dictatorship in 1989.
So I decided to reach Maramures, one of the ancient Romanian districts in the North of the country, a region almost untouched by the industrialization process where the economy is mostly founded on agriculture, farming and woodcutting.
The reason was to get in touch and try to narrate a world that probably in few decades would have disappeared.
The selection here presented is the result of a journey through the little villages of the Viseu and Iza valleys. (Luigi Fiano)

Interview with Luigi Fiano

(realized by Anna Mola)

Anna MolaObserving your works, I see some influences by contemporary reporter’s styles. How much importance do you give to technical aspects and research of style in your photography?

Luigi Fiano: Through the years, I have learned that more rules you give yourself during the realization of a project more freedom to photograph you get. This observation deeply changed my way of look at the world through the lens and helped me to find my own style.

A. M.: In these pictures, we can see scenes of everyday life: people that cooking, family portraits, chatters between friends; but anyway we can recognize a different way of life from our. Is it the right sense of these shots? What’s your point of view – after several reportages – about Romanian people and about photography?

L. F.: The sense is exactly this. Observing and living simple things of everyday life provide you with a powerful instrument to understand a different community. Is the ordinariness that reveals someone in a more sincere way then an extraordinary event.

A. M.: Another element that I noticed is the strong presence of the nature: there are woods, trees, animals, even houses built with wood and straw. An economy based on agriculture. In your opinion, this can be a “disadvantage”, a raison or risk of poverty for these regions or rather it represents a more genuine relation between the people and the ground, the nature, the ambient?

L. F.: I don’t want to be hypocrite celebrating the “bucolic” life as the the best way possible, but every time I get lost in places like Maramures or just walking in the countryside along the Po river, here in Italy, I strongly feel a sense of something unique that we’re going to miss.

A. M.: We’re going through a global crisis and, we know, the reportage isn’t a kind of photography particularly gainful. How do you live your condition of italian reporter?

L. F.: Sometimes is really frustrating. Many times people ask for your work and your skills but they don’t recognize to them a value. The global crisis have just increased this problem that exists since long time, especially here in Italy.

A. M.: I usually finish with a question about the future, but to you I want ask something about the beginnings: how do you become a photographer?

L. F.: I’m a self-taught photographer, but I’m not saying it with pride. I discover this passion at University, while I was studying Communication in Perugia. I have to thank a really passionate person who taught me the bases and provided me with an improvised darkroom where to print by myself my first b/w images. Since then to be a photographer for me has been a slow conquer.

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