Posts from the ‘black & white’ category

1970s design

Design is in the details, Ha Noi 2007

Una cosa che facevo spesso quando vivevo ad Ha Noi era andare a fare un passeggiata in quello che viene chiamato Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound. Il compound era la zona nella quale vivevano le famiglie dello staff delle ambasciate negli anni settanta. Nel 2007, quando ho vissuto ad Ha Noi, rimaneva solo l’Ambasciata della Libia. Negli appartamenti vivono oggi famiglie vietnamiti.

Mi piaceva passeggiare tra i condomini anni settanta e notare il design delle finestre o balcono come quello nella foto. Appartenevano al passato un’era nella quale il mondo era diviso tra Stati Uniti ed Unione Sovietica.

One thing I often did when I lived in Ha Noi was go for a walk in what is called the Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound. The compound was the area where the embassy staff families lived in the 1970s. In 2007, when I lived in Ha Noi, only the Embassy of Libya remained. Vietnamese families live in the apartments today.

I liked walking among the seventies-style apartment buildings and noticing details in the design of the windows or balconies like the one in this photo.

Pindi Boys

Pindi Boys, Islamabad 2019

The Pindi Boys come from Rawalpindi, an old city 25km from the capital Islamabad. They drive their motorcycles to Islamabad just before sunset and do their tricks while taking videos on smartphones.

One photo a day


Carpenters, Ha Noi 2007

Il costo della manodopera rimane basso in Asia. Ma per quanto tempo durerà?

Labor costs remain low in Asia. But how long will it last?

One photo a day

The city is always on the move

City workshop, Ha Noi 2007

Lungo Kim Ma il traffico è sempre intenso. Un flusso constance to automobili, motorini, furgoni, e qualche bicicletta. Questa città è sempre in movimento. Milioni di veicoli che ogni giorno percorrono i boulevard, le strade, i vicoli. Sette giorni su sette. Dove vanno? Cosa trasportano? Come si muoveranno quando la popolazione di Ha Noi sarà doppia di quella di adesso?

Along Kim Ma the traffic is always intense. A constance to cars, mopeds, vans, and a few bikes. This city is always on the move. Millions of vehicles that travel the boulevards, streets and alleys every day. Seven days out of seven. Where are they going? What do they carry? How will they move when the population of Ha Noi will double?

One photo a day


Ceramic artisan, near Ha Noi 2007

Il laboratorio era molto piccolo. Un sottile strato di polvere di ceramica copriva il pavimento. L’aria era immobile. Il rumore elettrico della ruota sulla quale gli artigiani davano forma all’argilla la quale, una volta terminata la fase di cottura, si trasforma in ceramica.

The lab was very small. A thin layer of ceramic powder covered the floor. The air was still. The electrical noise of the wheel on which the artisans gave shape to the clay which, once the cooking phase finishes, turns into ceramic.

One photo a day

The balcony

The balcony, Ha Noi 2008

Vivevamo vicino al vecchio compound diplomatico di Ha Noi. La sera mi piaceva uscire di casa appena prima di cena e andare a correre tra questi edifici a tre o quattro piani costruiti negli anni 60 e 70. Mi piaceva osservare le facciate di questi condomini. La luce della sera dalle finestre. I balconi degli appartamenti. Le famiglie che si apprestavano alla cena.

We lived near the old Ha Noi diplomatic compound. In the evening I liked leaving the house just before dinner and going for a run between these three and four-story buildings built in the 60s and 70s. I liked to look at the facades of these buildings. Evening lights from the windows. The balconies of the apartments. The families that were preparing for dinner.

One photo a day

The old flag

Somewhere in rural Vietnam, 2019

Il paese era silenzioso. Gli uomini e le donne forse erano nei campi per la raccolta del riso. Camminavo senza una meta precisa lungo vicoli e piccole vie traverse nelle quali poteva la massimo passare un motocicletta. La bandiera sembrava che fosse stata lì per anni. Il rosso e giallo erano stati sbiaditi dal passare del tempo.

The village was silent. The men and women were perhaps in the fields for harvesting rice. I walked without a precise destination along narrow streets in which only a motorcycle could pass. The flag looked like it had been there for years. Red and yellow had been washed away over time.

One photo a day


Market in North Vietnam, Sapa 2007

Ricordo che era Dicembre e che era un giorno di pioggia. Una pioggia fine che non si decideva a trasformarsi in nebbia. La città di Sapa era avvolta nelle nuvole invernali. Il cielo era grigio ma nelle strade c’erano i colori del mercato pomeridiano. Un uomo controllava una rete da pesca da usare in uno dei piccoli laghi della zona. Sua figlia gli stava vicino e osservava le persone che camminavano lungo la per strada.

I remember it was December and it was a rainy day. A fine rain that could not be turned into fog. The city of Sapa was wrapped in winter clouds. The sky was gray but in the streets there were the colors of the afternoon market. A man controlled a fishing net to use in one of the small lakes in the area. His daughter stood by him and watched the people walking along the street.

One photo a day

The next trip

On the train to Helsinki, 2019

Travelling again today. Off to Helsinki Vantaa. The sun is bright. The train runs smoothly. The fields have been harvested. The countryside is getting ready for the autumn.

One photo a day


Levitation, Tampere 2019

I was at the bus stop and felt light. So light that I felt like levitating and floating over the group and managed a friend to take this photo.

One photo a day

My old hometown

La Bertazzola, Cremona 2019

‘What do you think?’, I asked. We had been for more then five minutes in the old piazza and she had not said a word.

We had got here at the right time. The sun setting. The marble facade of the Cathedral turning to a light pink/brown tint.

We walk a bit in the square. She took a deep breath and said: “It is nice to be back.”

One photo a day


Wings (somewhere over Germany, 2019)

The takeoff was smooth even though we had to climb through thick rainy clouds. The fields and trees on the ground disappeared very quickly. The clouds were very low. I looked outside the window and saw just fog. All of a sudden it all disappeared and we flew suspended over the clouds as the sun was setting.

One photo a day


This image is about modern architecture
Oodi Central Library, Helsinki (2019)

You walk down the stairs from the old Central Post Office, in between the Kiasma museum. You turn the corner and the new Oodi library suddenly appears.

It reminds me of an old piece of wood that has travelled a long time, carried by waves and the currents across lakes and rivers and that has finally reached a shore where somebody has picked it up and brought it home.

One photo a day

London tube

Baker Street, 2018

It was late that night. He opened the Tube app to check until what time the trains were running. There was still time. Few more trains before they would shut the doors of the stations until the early morning.  He had to change train in Baker Street and walked slowly to the platform.  A train had just stopped but he did not rush. He had his headphones on and had stumbled upon an interview on BBC Ulster. The host was interviewing Ciara O’Neill. They were speaking about her new album. They were talking and his mind rushed back to memories of living in Scotland, to a trip he took in Ireland (though not Northern Ireland) many many years before. He remembered the winters up in the north. The strong winds. The waves in the ocean. The rain. The hills. The daily runs along the river. The warm pubs. All that came back in a matter of seconds and the distance to the train changed and there was no need to rush anymore. He listened to their nice Irish accent and then she sang one of the new songs. He thoughts about her courage to pursue her dream and become a songwriter up there in Northern Ireland and, for a moment, in Baker Street’s tube station as well.

Winter wonderland series / 9

Over the knoll, 2019

The countryside in Eastern Finland, close to the border with Russia is more hilly than in the west of the country. There are these soft hills which resemble waves in the open sea. About 150 years ago this part of Finland was covered by forest and bug rocks. The farmers who settled here cleared the land one tree at a time, one rock at a time. Some of those rocks were used to build the foundation for the farmhouses. Hard work that in the winter had probably to stop to wait for the spring and the summer.

This is the last photograph fo this series. Next week I will start a new series of nine photographs from a different country. Different life stories.

Winter wonderland series / 8

The barn, 2019

The wind was blowing strong the day we took this walk. The radio and the weather apps where informing about this big snow storm coming which would touch more than half of Finland. People were advised to stay in for the night and the early hours of the following day. We had few hours of light and went for a walk in the countryside. The light was grey. The wind was carrying dry snow which made the air seems a bit foggy. It was not possible to take a tack sharp picture. The road followed the up and downs of the fields and its sides were one with the field nearby. The ditch that usually separates this road from the fields had disappeared under the snow. Then we saw this barn near a farm. People live here. Farmers own this land. I stopped for a second in the middle of the road. Listen to the wind. I thought about the life of those living here. How do these farmers cope with the long winter? How do they manage their farm and income? How far do their kids have to go to get to school? What do they think when they look outside the windows of their homes? I took this photograph as the cold wind from the east was taking my thoughts away with it. I put my hand in the pockets of my jacket to warm them and walked back to the cottage facing the wind.

Winter wonderland series / 7

Snow path, 2019

In winter there are the frozen lakes. The trees in the forest covered with snow. There is also the countryside where farmers live and where the life seems to pause during the winter. The are no birds. The is silence broken only by the winds and the noise of the snow under the shows when walking. It all seems very remote and distant as farmers wait for the spring when the winter will to let go and they can start again their work in the fields.

I will continue this series until I reach nine photographs and will then switch to a new series with new landscapes and context.

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