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Show: Uncensored books charts a radical shift in contemporary photobooks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“We can not ignore certain political power dynamics – such as the 20-year Berlusconi era in Italy, contemporary terrorism, Donald Trump and Brexit – and neither the role that civil revolution can take in reversing power,” says Simone Sapienza.
“We need active and resilient minds to overcome this decade, in which many of the conquered ideals and values are gradually disappearing,” he continues. “Uncensored books can play a crucial historical role for the next generations, to whom we are delivering a collapsing society.”
We’re discussing the exhibition Uncensored books, which was curated by Natasha Christia and which opens today at Minimum Studio in Palermo, Sicily. Featuring publications by Valentina Abenavoli, Francesco Amorosino, Julián Barón, Lewis Bush, Patricia Almeida, Lukas Birk, Martín Bollati, Rigoberto Díaz Julián, Verónica Fieiras, Edmund Clark, Carlos Spottorno, Magnum Photos, and more, it’s a comprehensive look at books that consider the uses and abuses of the image in our society – especially by those in power.

Greenhouse Botanical Garden, Palermo, Italy © Simone Sapienza, courtesy of the artist
Both Sapienza and Christia hope the show reaches out beyond the narrow confines of the photo industry to reach the general public – and for Sapienza, a member of Palermo’s Minimum photography organisation, the work involved shows how image-makers can also break out of the usual confines in their work. He points to the authors’ use of photocopiers, stickers, archival work and YouTube, among others – the exhibition is dedicated to Lorenzo Tricoli, who passed away a few months ago, who was best-known for his book Pinocchio, which juxtaposes images found online with extracts from a novel to satirise Italian politics.
“I think it is important that there are photographers who give their active response, even questioning the role of the image and its credibility today, at the time of post-truth,” says Sapienza. “Many authors involved transcend the role of the photographer – if photography aims to represent the society which we live in, how could we ignore the speed with which it is changing?”

Anaesthesia © Valentina Abenavoli, courtesy of the artist
The last of the lucky © Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt, courtesy of the artists
The last of the lucky © Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt, courtesy of the artists
Memorial © Julian Baron, courtesy of the artist
Soft Touch © Brad Feuerhelm, courtesy of the artist
Soft Touch © Brad Feuerhelm, courtesy of the artist

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