publication of six books and several photograph exhibitions. You won’t find captions
describing where or when the photos were taken or the particular religion featured.
This long period of research has reinforced my conviction that faith, both individual
and collective, meets a need shared by all humanity. The precepts, rituals and prayers
differ but the deep roots they share reveal more similarities than differences. If we
want to find meaning in the chaos, we might start with individual prayer, where the
most profound spirituality seeks answers and consolation, and culminate in collective
celebrations, where belief becomes a symbol, an event or a sharing of values. It is
these similarities between the faiths, manifested in the similar gestures used across
different religions, that led me to explore different beliefs, places and symbols.
A selection of photos taken by Andrea Pistolesi over the ten years spent in Asia, shooting stories for magazines and books. Ten years when he lived in the continent, facing the dramatic changes that modernization was introducing at an unprecedented pace. This is not just a photographic gallery: is a document of the evolution that the continent has experienced in a crucial period of human history. The introduction and notes by Massimo Morello, the journalist that produced the “written side” of the stories, is the ideal completion of the whole work.
These were the edges of the humanized world. Natural borders, where life still followed ancient rhythms because it was conditioned by the power of the environment. Or artificial, political borders, marked by history and by the contrasts of centuries. The former were already fading thanks to the rapid spread of technology, of the social networks that followed satellite television. The latter seemed destined to disappear thanks to economic globalization, the creation of free trade areas, the elimination of visas and passports. However, lines remained where contrasts and conflicts were concentrated, migratory flows and escapes from unlivable situations, walls that divided a world of apparent well-being from another that aspired to achieve the same conditions.
Then the reaction came. The opposition to the openings of the borders, the return of nationalisms, the fears of the different, have in fact slowed the commonality of thought that social networks were spreading over all humanity. In my view this is only a nostalgic and futile slowdown of a huge and inescapable process. Opening the umbrella when a dam gives way. However, it comes too late to save that cultural diversity that is now compromised. What differentiates today those who are on both sides of our political lines is only the economic condition, not the set of values that everyone carries in his backpack. So these are no longer the boundaries that I was exploring before, the places where diversity was evident, confronted, sometimes exploded.
Those last cultural fringes continue to fade even when the walls are raised.
This is not intended to be a travel guide but a source of inspiration to choose which regions and which roads are closest to your expectations. Norway is a country that changes every time depending on the climate and light, in summer as in winter, so everyone will make his discoveries. Have a good trip!