10 Portraits Against Prejudice

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 L’INTENTO

#10PortraitsAgainstPrejudice è un progetto fotografico-editoriale a cura di Davide Scalenghe, Flora Ciccarelli e Giovanni Mauriello, e di tutte le persone che ci hanno creduto e ci hanno regalato il loro tempo, mettendosi davanti ad un obiettivo, in queste bollenti giornate di un luglio torinese. Grazie.

Dieci volti e dieci storie per raccontare in prima persona cosa significa vivere con il pregiudizio – quell’attitudine, quel processo per il quale si attribuiscono ad una persona sconosciuta i tratti e le caratteristiche tipiche del suo gruppo teorico di appartenenza – marchiato a fuoco sulla pelle: troppo grassa, troppo effeminato, troppo aggressiva, troppo strano. Corpi e menti che sfuggono ai canoni di una società che ci vorrebbe tutti alla stessa maniera. Tutti uguali.

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DON’T ASK ME WHERE I’M FROM

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The hardest question for me to answer when I meet someone is: where are you from. Truly. I was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and grew up in Turin, Italy. I spent my 20s in London, UK, where I graduated and began my professional journey, to then work and live in several other countries. I have Italian origins, but my biological family now lives between the USA and Greece. Some call me Italian. Some English or German. Some others yet, multinational, or a global citizen.

Naturally, I was very intrigued when I recently watched a TED speech by Taiye Selasi (a writer and photographer), as she analyzes exactly that sentiment when it comes to defining origins: countries are not absolute, they are a concept – they appear and disappear.

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WHY SO MANY FOOD PROGRAMS?

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THE CULTURAL MEANINGS OF FOOD AND EATING CONVENTIONS ANALYZED THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGICAL CONCEPTIONS OF CULTURE.

1) Following R. Benedict’s definition of anthropology as “the study of human beings as creatures of society. It fastens its attention upon those physical characteristics and industrial techniques, those conventions and values, which distinguish one community from all others that belong to a different tradition”, in these notes I will try to analyse the conventions of food and eating. I find the topic most interesting, in that it asks to discuss a matter that offers a number of insights into human societies, and its symbols and meanings. Food is everywhere… food, and the way, and the reason why, too, we eat certain foods, in certain contexts.

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PASOLINI: REALITY PRECISELY AS IT IS

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NEOREALISM WAS THE KEY INFLUENCE IN POST-WAR ITALIAN CINEMA. ITS STATED AIM WAS TO BRING AUDIENCES TO ‘THINK ABOUT REALITY PRECISELY AS IT IS’ (ZAVATTINI).

I was twenty, not even – eighteen,
nineteen… and I had been alive for a century,
a whole lifetime
consumed by the pain of the fact
that I would never be able to give my love
if not to my hand, or to the grass of ditches
or maybe to the earth of an unguarded tomb…
Twenty and, with its human history and its cycle
of poetry, a life had ended.
(from Pier Paolo Pasolini, A Desperate Vitality)

On the one hand, without a doubt neorealism was the key influence in post-war Italian cinema.

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THE BODY IS A CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION

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A fundamental concept in the history of medicine is the body. A basic definition of medicine is “the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.” That is, medicine deals with the body. But what exactly do we mean by the word “body?” Is it an objective, biological, clearly defined entity, or is it a cultural construction?

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STARDOM AND AUTHENTICITY

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IN POPULAR REPRESENTATIONS OF STARDOM/ CELEBRITY, THE STAGING OF ‘REVELATIONS’ SETS UP THE PROMISE OF ESTABLISHING THE STAR’S AUTHENTICITY BEYOND THEIR PUBLIC IMAGE.’ WHY IS THE SEARCH FOR ‘THE AUTHENTIC’ CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT?

The matter of authenticity in our so called post-modern society is of great interest, in that it cuts through a number of satellite issues: in a media saturated age, it relates to art, audience reception, democracy, accessibility to information, education, politics and so on. The point is that with the rising importance of Fourth Estate, in its dialectics with ideology, it becomes harder and harder to discern the fake from the real, the authentic from the manufactured.

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IS SEXUAL IDENTITY THE PRODUCT OF A CULTURAL SYSTEM?

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You cannot learn, through common sense, how things are: you can only discover where they fit into the existing scheme of things.
Hebdige, D. Subculture, the Meaning of Style

“There is no such thing as a human nature independent of culture. Men without culture would not be the clever savages of Golding’s Lord of the Flies thrown back upon the cruel wisdom of their animal instinct; nor would they be nature’s noblemen of enlightenment primitivism or even as classical anthropological theory would imply, intrinsically talented apes who had somehow failed to find themselves. They would be unworkable monstrosities with very few useful instincts, fewer recognisable sentiments and no intellect: mental basket cases”.

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