As a photographer, Alfio Tommasini [CH] is particularly interested in people’s relationship with the territory in which they live. During November and December 2022, the artists and director of Verzasca Foto Festival [CH] set on a research trip in the Andean Region.
Travelling through Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, he met with several local artists and visited cultural spaces. He also conducted portfolio reviews and learned about those countries’ artistic scene and landscapes.
“I would describe this project as an opportunity for human and personal growth. The artists I met showed me appreciation in being able to share, confront and show me their projects. Discussions about possible collaborations with artistic residency projects were very stimulating. I would emphasise the desire of those organising cultural activities to network.
As I expected, I saw a lot of creative ferment. I believe that, especially in Bolivia and Ecuador, they are at an important moment regarding the emancipation of auteur photographers (in Peru, this process has already been going on for some years).
The women photographers also seemed very active and determined to convey their messages through images. I would underline that the appointments I had were never hurried, taking the time to listen with an openness to surprise. This allowed me to discover further aspects of the context around the artists, be it regarding territory, politics, or history. Thanks to a network of mutual support between the artists, I was able to discover and meet more people and visit more places than I had imagined”, recounts the photographer.
The experience should lead to future projects and collaborations, and Alfio plans to exhibit some of the artists he met during Verzasca Foto Festival.
Alfio Tommasini[CH] was born in Lodano, a small village south of the Swiss Alps. After years of work and training abroad (Great Britain, Mexico, Central America, and a master’s degree in documentary photography in Madrid, Spain), he returned to Ticino, drawn by his love for the mountains and rivers of his place of origin. He has received awards such as the bronze medal at the Sony World Photography Awards (contemporary issues), first prize Phodar Biennal (Bulgaria), first prize Emergentes international festival Encontros da Imagen (Portugal), finalist Prix Photoforum Pasquart (Switzerland), and Head On Photo Awards (Australia). In 2013 he co-founded Verzasca Foto Festival, for which he is in charge of the artistic direction and curatorship of the exhibitions. The book of his project «Via Lactea» was launched by Edition Patrick Frey in Zurich.