Andrea Pistolesi likes to think of himself as a traveller who takes photos rather than a travelling photographer, although time has done much to reshape the original idea. Following his geographical studies he has published reportage in leading Italian and international magazines as well as numerous monographs. A project lasting more than ten years on the world’s major religions produced more than six books. His style of composition, strongly influenced by his Florentine origins, is combined with his very personal rendering of natural light. One of the pioneers of digital photography (in 1998 he published the book Back In Town dedicated to his early experimentation with the technology), he uses colour as one of his most personal traits. He is an enthusiastic supporter of digital fine art printing (he was one of the first Digigraphie® artists), which he considers, along with new techniques in general, the “retaking of the darkroom by colour photographers”.
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.