The project, “What’s Left Behind” was born after a six-month-long photographic diary depicting arctic life during a journey from southern Norway to the North Pole towards the abandonment of the civilized world. The intention was to create an unorthodox guide for a “migrant body” who chooses to take the road less travelled by traversing on foot through Scandinavia. However, the desire to narrate the traveler’s identity through the experiences of nature quickly posed problematic as the tangle of others’ stories in various places and times simultaneously intertwined.
During the collection of photographic material, it emerged that the same route used by this explorer escaping from civilization actually exhibited a dual nature as an inversed flow through the channel of access to the Western world for those from Syria descending into Europe by way of crossing the exposed gap in the Arctic Circle. From here rose the opportunity to confront the topic of migration, uncoupling it from contemporary immigration and the dynamics of race and ethnicity, yet analyzing it as a general human theme, particularly as a fusion of distant worlds. The intersection between the arctic atmosphere, the photographer/traveler’s identity, a foreign world and the complementary milieu of the North Pole is realized through portraits of diverse peoples originating from central Africa. The Reporter’s Scandinavian memoirs retained from the journey are affected and worn by the portrayed subjects as if they donned his own identity and perspective within an utterly unfamiliar landscape. From the collaboration with Italian photographer, Maria Vittoria Piana Brizio, the photographic collection has become a publishing project for a Master’s degree in book design. Since May 2016, the contents of our work are online at WHAT’S LEFT BEHIND and in the exhibit of a travelling exposition. This exhibit had an undisclosed first phase in an abandoned hut on the top of a mountain, followed by a second phase, which will be succeeded by a public presentation of the work in early July at La Conigliera Theatre thanks to Anagoor collective and finally in late July, at Lago Film Festival XII.
About the author:
Alfred Agostinelli is a Venice based freelance photographer. He made a first appearance with a collective exhibit for Vogue Italia in 2011 then he recently took part in: international Lago Film Festival 2015. Harvest Tales, workshop for filmmakers. Dare Luogo, (bringing into being) Fronde’s collective project for the Municipality of Venice/Italy. He is a writer/contributor at Pixarthinking magazine. Since 2014 he’s been working with the Italian photographer Maria Vittoria Piana Brizio on What’s Left Behind project.