A Window on World Photography at Lucca’s Photolux 2018

One of the exhibits at Photolux 2018

The international photography shows of Photolux 2018—displaying outstanding works by renowned artists, competitions, workshops, talks and portfolio reading—are showcased at Lucca’s Palazzo Ducale and the Chiesa dei Servi through December 9.  The Photolux 2018 event is a smaller version of the larger biannual Photolux festival, which is scheduled in 2019.

This is a chance to admire the winning photos from two of the most prestigious exhibitions in the world.

Artistic director Enrico Stefanelli says, “The 2018 edition of Photolux represents an open window on today’s world, through stories told by the greatest photographers worldwide.” This year’s edition of the World Press Photo competition received more than 73,000 photo entries from 4,500 photographers representing 125 countries. The awarded photographers included five Italians; their shots will be displayed among many others at the Palazzo Ducale. The Leica Oskar Barnack International Photo Contest Award focuses on professional photographers who capture and express the relationship between man and the environment. Guests can admire pictures by several category winners and 10 finalists.

An show entitled Tokyo Tsukiji is on display at the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio Auditorium as part of the 2018 Lucca festival. Photographer Nicola Tanzini spent over two years documenting the Tsukiji district in Tokyo, then home of the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world which relocated to a less picturesque venue on the outskirts of the city in October 2018.

The market in its original location consisted of a few blocks of stalls, shops and restaurants and that became one of Tokyo’s most popular destinations for international visitors. The structure opened in 1935 and quickly established itself as the largest fish and seafood market in the world. Tsukiji was regarded as one of the best places in the city to enjoy seafood and typically opened at 5 am to offer fresh fish and sushi breakfasts to visitors.

Tanzini’s pictures focus on the moments just prior to closing time when activity slows and fish vendors can relax after more than 10 working hours. The black and white images emanate a humanist style by capturing simple actions such as vendors cleaning their tools, dismantling their stalls, joking with one another, smoking cigarettes and checking their phones.

Another show called “Fantasia” is dedicated the work of Italian-Moroccan photographer Karim El Maktafi. His photographs portray the equestrian sport of “Tbourida,” a traditional Moroccan cavalry charge in traditional costume celebrating man and his horse. A display titled “After the Flood” showcases the work of artist Joakim Kocjancic; his images document life in modern Cardoso, a town near Stazzema which was devastated by flooding in 1996.

Student photographers have a chance to show off their work thanks to “Scatta la notizia,” an initiative which was started a year ago with the intention of giving ages 14-18 the opportunity to document the beauty and flaws of their surroundings. The participants were mentored by 2017 World Press Photo award-winning photographer Antonio Gibotta. The 2018 Italian winners of the World Press Photo competition along with the “Scatta la Notizie” project will be presented on December 8 at the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio Auditorium (via San Micheletto, 8) from 6 – 7 pm.

An installation called “Simultanei, faces of the contemporary” displays a series of photographs of Akmolah, a province of Kazakhstan which contains the capital city of Astana. The city is currently in the midst of a radical transformation project expected to  be completed in 2030. The show will be dedicated to the relationship between culture and images.

The festival comprises a series of talks and classes on December 8 and 9 at via San Micheletto, 3.  Paolo Verzone and Azzurra Immediato will host “Cabinet Fantastique” from 9 am – 5 pm,  to explain how is lighting can be applied to its best use for portraits and utilized for aesthetics. Francesco Pistilli will conduct a workshop called “Instagram and social media for visual storytellers.” This course will take place from 9 am – 5 pm and will focus on the requirements necessary to compete in the market of photography and visual communication via social networks.

The Photolux exhibitions is open daily from 10 am to 7:30 pm. A full ticket with access to all exhibitions costs €12 and groups of at least 10 people and those under 18 qualify for a reduced price of €10. Primary and secondary school students are be admitted for €5. For more information, visit the website.