Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Without Words Without Translation ... a photo exhibit by Stefan Zebrowski-Rubin...

"The traveler who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the corruption of the papacy, may return remembering nothing but the blue sky and the men and women who live under it" - E.M. Forster

My semester spent abroad in Italy served as a sort of visual awakening. Everywhere I went I was seduced by what I saw and pushed by my curiosity to observe, learn and remember. Moments of awe compelled me to pick up my camera: the excited ascent into La Scala for an opera, peering through windows from the vaporetto on the Grand Canal at night, the emptiness of a rainy day at the beach in Monterosso, Cinque Terre. This is a collection of those moments, those inspiring still instances that pressed me to capture and click, my Italian moments. I present a photo exhibit of 24 images that represent a loose narrative of my journey, in its meditative and curious capturing of a new world. I come back remembering the seemingly always-blue skies, the colorful fabrics, the bronzed skins, the delicate aromas of coffee, and the art everywhere I looked.

From September 2006 through January 2007, I studied at the Università degli studi di Ferrara with Middlebury College, having spent the summer working at a photo agency in Milan and volunteering on a farm in Tuscany. In the fall, I lived with two Italians and an American in an apartment, cooked for myself, spoke nothing but Italian, struggled with and triumphed over cross-cultural challenges. Travel was made easy by my optimum location in Ferrara, a quick train ride to Florence, Venice, Padua, and Bologna among others; I made weekend trips whenever I could, always carrying my Casio Digital Camera QV-351, snapping whatever caught my eye. At the end of the day, living new adventures all the time, I sent home snapshots and stories, wanting to reach out and share this period of discovery. In total, I took 2,400 photos; these are the 24 I have chosen to share with you.