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Backs turned, ‘Les Adieux’



With backs turned, as we grow older, we begin to think of the goodbyes, our own and of others we have experienced for so many reasons, and of those who walk away turn their backs, or sit and ignore us lost in their own thoughts or loneliness.

Shot with a leopard at sunset. Rome, Piazza del Popolo, May 10th 2022.

On the one hand, we identify with those who, alone or, more fortunately, in company, seem to be moving towards ineluctable goals; on the other, it is reassuring to stand still and watch, and perhaps take a photo: “A questa tanto picciola vigilia de’nostri sensi ch’è del rimanente”, it is better when it is others who turn their backs to leave or retreat, locked in their own lucubrations.
And above all, it is necessary not to make a drama out of it, but rather a small elegy of the shoulders turned; to cast a glance, now mocking, now melancholy, at the shoulders that surround us and to try to make them speak too.

To face ‘Les Adieux’ with tranquillity and curiosity, because when the time comes to turn our backs and leave, we should be able to say like Ulysses:

“E volta nostra poppa nel mattino
Dei remi facemmo ali al folle volo
Sempre acquistando dal lato mancino”

(Dante, Inferno, Canto XXVI)
Thoughts. Rome, Piazza Fontanella Borghese, May 4th 2022.
Three friends. Rome, Piazza Venezia, March 29th 2022.
The dark door: entering with difficulty. Rome, Piazza Navona, May 25th 2022.
Loneliness around the corner. Rome, Via del Governo Vecchio, May 30th 2022.
Dragging oneself under a scornful gaze. Rome, Via Zanardelli, June 9th 2022.
Old man with an umbrella: endless walk. Rome, Via dei Condotti, April 22th 2022.
Walking towards nowhere. Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo gardens, June 9th 2022.
“Petit dejuner sur l’erbe”. Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo gardens, April 20th 2022.
Sunset Boulevard. Rome, Piazza Cavour, June 1st 2022.
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Pietro Coppa

Nato e vissuto a Roma, fotografo per antica passione.

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