Every week WHAT IS ON tells the protagonists and the events that animate the Apulian contemporary art and culture. Today we have the pleasure to talk with Andrea Laudisa, one of the founders of BitumePhotofest.
Since 2013, Bitume Phofest brings the protagonists of the panorama of international photography to Puglia. Andrea Laudisa, founded the festival in 2013 together with Beatrice Bambi, Gioia Perrone and Valerio Nicoletti, four very different people but with the same intent: the idea of a photography festival different in form and content, compared to what the city of Lecce had seen.
The festival is a real cultural and social operation because it is based on a long research and curating, which connects the amateurs and the public to feel together with a single community that lives photography.
In fact, the real challenge of Bitume is to experiment, which was possible thanks to the surprising participation of artists from all over the world, Peru, Brazil, Thailand, Japan. Artists who have passed through the festival and share the experience as true friends.
Activities such as “Photojouer”, is a first exposure to the world of photographic education through the formula of the quiz, conceived together with Matteo Balduzzi. We must also remember the portfolios’ electives in the swimsuit or the breakfasts with the artist.
Bitume is a pun which refers to the bitumen intended as asphalt, so the road is the the exhibition space of the festival. It also refers to the Bitumen of Judea, used by Niepce for the very first picture of history.
Bitume is definitely not a conventional festival under any point of view. From the beginning, it acts in an unconventional way, going against the formal rules typical of photography festivals.
Every year the festival renews itself, changes the graphics of the logo. It changes the exhibition spaces, the seminars creating a melting pot with the culture of the place.
Bitumen is a slow festival because it has a strong human sense and lets time act and gives you the opportunity to enjoy what you are observing and doing. Bitumen is a reality, a collective way of sharing and beauty.
In this regard, Andrea, in fact, reminds us “Take for example the last edition, the one just ended, an exhibition on Japan that related an exhibition with albumin of the late nineteenth century and books by Japanese authors of new generation, were years I dreamed to do an exhibition like this, where the formality of ancient prints collided with a 150-year time gap. “
Bitumen’s work would have a short life if it were not incardinated in a system on several levels. There are special places like LO.FT by Alice Caracciolo and Francesca Fiorella, gallerists and brave artists. Or the White Photogallery by Federico Patrocinio, which often offer quality events. Then there are the associations of amateur photographers such as Diaframma Zero, FotoFucina, Photosynthesis.
Bitumen therefore as we have said previously, is a cultural operation. In fact, he works in the area with particular attention to local talents, with whom he wants to create a bridge with international artists.
Bitume’s hope for Puglia is positive. It recalls the need for bridges with the new generations, with the enlightened administrations and with increasingly qualified cultural operators. It takes a more educated and involved public in cultural processes, it takes a lot of work from everyone.
Translation of Sveva Gallo