Celebrating the Mediterranean at Lucca’s Photolux Show

The diverse and colorfully weaved tapestry of Mediterranean culture will immerse photography fans at the 2017 Photolux Festival in Lucca. Showcasing 24 exhibitions of work from an array of photographers of the region and others who have focused their cameras upon it, the event provides an in depth appreciation of Mediterranean life.

The theme was chosen with the aim of building a dialogue about the history of the region through a cross-cultural conversation, in a timely link to the ongoing refugee crisis.

Exhibitions of the festival cross generations, gender, and culture, hosting works from artists such as French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui, French-Algerian photographer Marie Hudelot, surrealist Australian photographer Polixeni Papaetrou, and many more photographers from all walks of life, each with a unique vision of life on the Mediterranean.

One retrospective, Diary of a Century, edited by Alessandra Mauro, presents the work of Jacques-Henri Lartigue, born in 1894 in Courbevoie, France. Lartigue meticulously documented his life through journals and photographs. Over the course of his life, he filled 130 albums with intimate and artistic snapshots of his everyday happenings in the twentieth century, such as a joyous snapshot of three men leaping in ice skates on a frozen pond and an artful candid of a fur clad woman walking her two dogs as a horse drawn carriage and an early car drive by in the background.

Well-known fashion photographer Albert Watson’s work is displayed in Villa Bottini, exhibiting his take on the Mediterranean. His black and white photos of Morocco highlight the beauty and movement of Moroccan landscapes and distinctive portraits of its inhabitants.

Another display showcases photos by Josef Koudelka, who traveled to nineteen Mediterranean countries between 1991 and 2012, focusing on Greek and Roman ruins. His haunting black and white photographs of archaeological landscapes provide a bold and cinematic gaze at remnants of the ancient past.

The festival will include 18 lectures and nine photography workshops by Italian and international experts, covering intensive topics of lighting, editing, color composition, and more. Portfolio reviews will also be held, awarding artist residencies to the best portfolios. For a full calendar of events, visit the Photolux Festival program. (Photolux will run from November 18 through December 10, in a variety of historic locations in the heart of Lucca).

Tickets to the event cost €20 per person and can be purchased at Chiesa San Cristoforo (Via Fillungo) or at Fondazione Banca Del Monte (Piazza S. Martino, 4) in Lucca. For more information, visit the Photolux Festival webpage.

An accompanying event, also running from November 18 through December 10 in Lucca, celebrates the winners of a social media photo competition, in a collaboration between The Italian Historic Houses Association, Photolux, and IgersLucca. The competition challenged Instagram users to post photos highlighting the beauty and spirit of Tuscan palaces, villas, and gardens. At Palazzo Tucci (via Cesare Battisti, Lucca), 100 selected photos are included in a slideshow, while the 25 best photos are on display. With free entry, the exhibition is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 7:30 pm. (kathryn schultz)