Three f50 members – Matteo, Keith and Steve – take on the challenge of interpreting the theme ‘After Dark’ in the context of their home cities. Here are the results with their reflections on their approach.
After the dark… the darkness remains. That’s my personal reading of Steve’s suggestion for this new project.
In Milan, as in every town around the world, violent events leave a deep and sad mark in the places where they happened. After centuries and years you can still feel the shadows of these events.
Milan – you have understood that by now! – is a noir/dark city, so for me it’s easy to go looking for that kind of places full of dark memories.
The “after the dark” tour started at “Villa triste” (Sad villa) an early XXth century house in a peripheral neighborhood of Milan, where, in 1944, a group of fascists, named Banda Koch, tortured people, resistance fighters. For me that was the most terrifying visit of the whole tour.
The second stop, was in Piazza Fontana: on December 12, 1969, a bombing attack organized by far-right terrorists exploded at the headquarters of Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura, killing 17 people and wounding 88. That event was the beginning of “Strategia della tensione” or “Anni di piombo”, one of the darkest period in modern Italian history.
With the third and fourth stops we go back further in the past. Vicolo Bagnera in the second half of the XIXth century was the scene of the murders of Milan’s first serial killer, Antonio Boggia, “The Monster of Milan”. The Piazza Vetra public gardens cover the area where the gibbet used to be for a long period (until 1840 circa).
Final Stop: Via Palestro, July 27, 1993. A car bomb placed by the Mafia killed five people: 4 Italians and 1 Moroccan.
People every day frequent each of these places: many people ignore their history; others feel the ghosts of the past. The elusive and marginal human presence in my frames is a bookmark, a yellow bookmark, for all those who don’t want forget the shades of darkness that inevitably accompany everyone’s life in town.
I took the subject of “After Dark” somewhat literally. This post allows me the opportunity to publish some work I don’t usually show. My nighttime work lets color to blend the artificial and ambient light. My nighttime wanderings are few these days unless it is with family in tow, to and from an evening out. Familial responsibilities at night keep me closer to home. Night allows me the time to let dreams wander.
So….’After Dark’ or to me EAT, DRINK and PLAY!
Well I’m usually an interpretive kind of guy with projects, but here I completely wanted to take the literal road.
I have lived in Liverpool, UK for about 25 years now and if there’s one thing I hold dear to my heart is the city at night! Liverpool like many cities on this Island comes alive at night. I’ve spent many hours inside and outside of it’s bars and nightclubs. It truly caters for whatever music, volume or style you could wish for, and of course it has a place called Matthew Street, which if you didn’t know is where those four cheeky scousers with mop tops played their pop in a club called the cavern. Do I need to tell you it’s The Beatles?
Of course this only scratches the surface of this wondrous place, but I felt drawn to head to this part of town for some technical reasons. The pictures you see here were shot on a Nikon FE film camera, using Cinestill 800T film. I’ve long been a huge real film advocate in photography. I find it has magical properties for me…. I think I forgive myself for what I achieve using film, I can be very self critical when I shoot digitally for reasons I’ll struggle to explain, but give me a roll of film and I’m back where I like to be, taking pictures, memories without a care in my 35mm world!
So…here you are… If you are so inclined and wonder why you see such fantastic halation in these images it’s because Cinestill is actually a motion picture film that’s had the Remjet layer removed which usually prevents this. I sometimes feel like this is how the real world looks at night in my eyes…at least after a few whiskies in those bars and clubs I was telling you about…Steve – www.streetframe.co.uk
**The idea of this “After Dark” post, comes from member Steve Coleman.