RADIO/VIDEO (04.10.08)

SSM GAZETTE out this days. Cover and a black and white photo reportage, without journalistic text, on 6 pages. A PAYED assignment done at the IFA messe in Berlin.


Even travelling by train from one swiss languistic region to the other I do wedding postproduction on my macbook. I'm overwhelmed with stuff to do. My eyes hurt bacause of the screen. But it's a nice period and a lot of things happen without really wanting it... and again I've seen the friends I really care about and wich whom everything has the taste of a great adventure.
I also have taken, during this days, the decision to quit the collective Strates, for reasons I don't need to mention here. I hope now that I'll concentrate definitely more on shooting my projects in Berlin and eventually rebuild the relations with Milan, closing a bit more the door to an eventual confortable swiss life. I have learned a lot of things recently and I would like to take the entire responsability for everything happening to me, without wishing and hoping for agencies to find clients or for someone selling my pics... I will get back to the simple pleasure of telling stories with my camera, connecting sincerely with the subjects, and simply let the energy flow freely... without great expectations, just for the true pleasure.
photos ©
Ho-ney! what do you do for "photo-graphy" :)

THE END OF THE LINE (19.10.08)

photo © igor ponti (perpignan 08)

Never before I spent so much days one after the other working constantly that much: postproducing all the things I've done since july! I spend all my time in front of a computer (it's scary)... I just hope that at the end of this all, some money will be there to invest in a personal project, in a trip to somewhere: in a reportage.
I see the number of visits on this blog getting higher and higher but the reactions to my new site are coming from just a few friends (I appreciate so much). I did cancel all informations about my identity from the blogspot profile but still by searching my name on google you'll find this place. And that's not good at all. So I want to start a new retangolo from zero (probably because I like the idea of a reto's perspective, angle, corner and cubby) But for what? I guess just in case of travelling again, I really loved to write about the trip to the west bank and the feedbacks where cool. Or maybe I should just switch the blogging thing definitely down. I won't even ask what some of you think about: it's no use, I guess.
News about my activity, about my location, are to be found on my home page and the one picture you were seeing sometimes realated to each post is there too... Just it's not that fun anymore. And I can't see how many visits I have and if somebody "gives a ph..oto". But thanks to those passing by occasionally! We'll keep in touch anyway! I just don't want this part of my thoughts to be found on google anymore...

IT S REALLY SCARY! i created a retangolo gm"ecs" dot net mail adress. my real name mentioned Anywhere. wanted to create a retangolo2 bloxpot blogg and the names they suggested, even the name appearing then as author!, where related to my real name (not mentioned anywhere) or "menefoto"... whatever we do on the wweb from a specific computer's ID leaves traces wich are kept. That's why by searching my name on the google you'll constantly find the stupid stuff too. I guess retangolo has to be shut down. But I'm not very happy with that idea... suggestions bout how to clean the web behind us? going to internet cafes?
My personal professional web page is almost ready!!!
No official announcement has been done yet and, before, I would like you, my blogging friends, to check the site and give your professional opinion... (as a comment here, even anonymous, or by writing an e-maill).

This is very important to me... Thank you very much!!!

link to the page by clicking (HERE)

EMPTY WALLS (22.08.08)

©julien gregorio / strates (HUG)

My site isn't ready yet. My agenda looks wired. I have a lot of postproduction to be done still... too much. 
I discovered having an exhibition in Geneva, at the hospital (see picture). An assignment I got thanks to Julien, back in June, became apparently a show wich makes the kids (sick and probably bored) happy... My name isn't there, nobody cares. And somehow that reminds me what it all should be about, doing photography. I like it. I like the idea.
Wich makes me think about the exhibition my Palestinian pics will have at the end of october in Morbio (POSTPONED TO FEBRUARY), at a vine producer's cave... I really hope that this show will happen and I'm very excited, and I hope it will be more about the subject than the author of the pictures. Let's see...
Now I really have to focus on photoshopping and mailwriting. I have some more weddings to shoot and I'm very happy having taken the decision to go to the "Visa pour l'image" festival in Perpignan in september. I will try to focus more on the pictures wich are shown that on portfolios and agencies... I'm happy beeing more relaxed about all of this. It has probably something to do with the fact that I have some assignments (some are interesting, some really not) and that keeps my brain occupied. It has to do with summertime. But also with a general attitude wich I try to work on. ;)
Will I see some of you in Perpignan for a couple of beers? Would be nice!

PARDOn (080808)

From the 6th until the 16th of August I will be in Locarno at the International Film Festival.
Since Aglaia is here too and working at the "Teatro Pararvento" and since the artist wich is officially exhibiting has left a free wall in the VIP zone... I took the chance and exhumed 5 prints of my "army" series, wich most of you know. Now they are to be seen by a new public...
This year I again have the chance to work for some nice clients: for the press but also for a prestigious company I worked for allready last year... and this time I will not act stupid and I will keep the details of my photographic adventures top-secret! No more counterproductive blogging! But hope having soon a web page to show you...
And: the peacechairs - the still unsold ones - are to be seen also at the Teatro Paravento during the Festival, and can be bought. The money would help children in Chechenia.
Infos (HERE)

JODL&ROLL (29.06.08)

29.06.2008 Punk holds a souvenir image of himself at the jodlerfest. His head having been digitally added to traditional clothes.

Reportage from the Jodlerfest by retangolo & julien: click (HERE)
Backstage images of two photographers on a mission: click (HERE)
Infos about Jodlerfest (HERE)

EMERGENCY (21.06.08)

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 21.06.08, p.57

See a slideshow of pictures by clicking (HERE)

This morning, in shorts and sunglasses, I went to the Kiosk buying the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. It has been the first (press) job I had through Strates agency (thanks to Julien), the first job for the NZZ and a real reportage assignment (wich becomes rare), even if the event to report last only a couple of hours. I am happy with the pictures, the agency was happy and the picture editor too... I could not wait to be sitting somewhere having a cappuccino: I searched for the page walking into people. Looking at it I had thoughts about the colors, the editing, as usual... but then remembered to be happy.  Some 160.000 copies are sold per day, and they estimate having 308.000 readers... It's saturday. A sunny day. People will take a short look at the paper on a terrasse, sipping their coffees, and throw it in the garbage (eco recycling separated save the earth compost amazonian tree help garbage, of course). And still I'm happier that way thanhaving an exhibition, and I am more motivated running for an assignment than for a personal project. Now I sit. Waiting to see what will happen next. 


Geneva: Turkish Fans ©ralbertalli

So many things to say. I'm so impressed about a lot of things, again. I really do appreciate a lot your comments on the last post. It has given me motivation. Thank you! I'm impressed about people I met expecting new posts on this blog, some comments telling not to shut the blog down. I shall keep on writing down my own business.
I'm in Geneva since a week now. The weather has been grey until today. The Euro08 soccer thing is just a big nothing. I spent the last days in my buddy Julien's appartment, toghether with his girlfriend and their one year old son. And I am sooo impressed about this school times's friend having given life to a new guy walking on earth. It looks hard. it looks wonderful. Until now I had one assignment and the person helping me most, accomplishing the task, was Julien. Not happy he is sahring some work with me. A thing today. Another tomorrow. And what could I be else than Impressed.
Thierry came back from Mexico City, from his dream assignment. Something is alive down here in clean switzerland! But I still wonder if I will come "back" to Switzerland... It's SO expensive!!!  The appartments, the food.... life. But there is work. And when I have a bit of work I smile. I walk through life full of energy. I feel strong enough to go back to berlin and kick asses. But I somehow suspect that I will fall again. It's about seasons, also. It's about the weather. Friends.  It's about friendship. Is it about photography?
West Bank pics to be seen again by clicking (HERE). 
Same pics but new link.

PARANOID (31.05.08)

Lost in my truck driver editing. Since days, now. My mind brought me back to school and I thought of the super-teacher motivating me never giving up during the "boxe" project. The first time I proudly showed him my reportage, after one month of shooting, he put all the prints in a box, closed it and said: now you are ready to start your project. Today I think I'm exactly at that point again: zero. Put everything in a box, take your camera and start your truckdrivers project. But how comes I got no "real" work and still no time for really taking one month and live on europe's highways. I have been a week around with this driver, fifteen days west bank, a wedding... run out of money and spent almost every minute of this last month editing stuff!!! Or preparing a still unexisting exhibition with Aglaia. Or planning my web page. Computer, computer, computer. A sense of beeing useless. A bit sad. It feels like when I went to school as a kid: what I do is enough, but never excellent. "Your son could be more, he just doesn't want...". What is it? What have I to do? Loneliness is one part of the solution I guess. But who wants to be alone? Or is there just a normal thing going on here. I guess the only thing to do is to start from zero the truck project. In black and white film?

ROAD TO PEACE (12.05.08)

After all this words you can take a look at the sequence of selected pictures from the trip to the West Bank, by clicking (HERE)
You speak french? For a betther understanding please click once on the small picture wich goes bigger: click on it. Now choose the picture interesting you. On the right side click "descriptif" and you'll see short but precious infos to read.

About the post song-title: listen (HERE) and read the lyrics (HERE)

BACK IN BLACK and white (07.05.08)

I had nightmares about empty film rolls. Almost had a heart attack discovering the price of professional processing. But the contact sheets seem ok now. I really like some pictures on it. Balck and white is wonderful. The sensation of holding something real and precious is great. And the way you shot is different than digital. 
No story. A portfolio. A "carnet de route". Without having seen anything a wine producer and art lover (and friend) wants to have an exhibition of this pics somewhen in autumn. No magazine seem interested and since our exhibition in berlin has been "postponed" to betther days no hurry for editing. 
Scanning negatives in 30M would cost 50 ChFr pro picture. A thousand bucks for 20 scans? 
This morning my mom told me (she's my news source!) that since Switzerland is not invited to Israel's 60's celebration (I like my passport again) a group of politicians and professors will take a trip to palestine on their own costs. Occasion for publishing a recent portfolio? So I will probably take a train to Lausanne and do my scans there, wich is less expensive then at the pro's lab! Everything has to be ready before the 14th (day of celebration). Let's hope. 
By he way now discussions with collegues and friends are about war photography and ethical donnowaht, and classical photography, and doing this in YOUR way, and different...
First of all I have been to Palestina. But NOT in Gaza. I have been in the West Bank. There I did a lot of classical stuff on check points and soldiers and beautiful arabs... and kids with stones. Wich is not Club Med but there was no big danger. I did it black and white. It has been my personal project. That means that I payed for everything and I did what I wanted. Wich sometimes leads to a personal vision of a known cliché but sometimes also allows you to have pure pleasure and truly let go of all intellectual pressure and do what YOU REALLY like. It has been my holydays with Aglaia, we had fun and we played the game for our common art project: I tried to find dramatic moments to make the place look scary and with her fiber art skills she will draw what more there is to be seen... and told. So let's keep the photo school discussions for a next occasion!
Now my mom called in for letting know that trucks are stuck on the highway down here in Chiasso. Some are tuned on the police frequency: I have my mother knowing betther :)

BERLIN (30.04.08)

The pictures illustrating my trip to Israel and Palestina are not part of the reportage I did!
As soon as the bw films processed and the editing done I will share the work with you

ReDrum: happy retangolo behind electronic drums in Haifa :)))

Some have might noticed that the posts about the recent trip to Israel and Palestine disappeared during the last days. After all we've heard from journalists and NGOs  I got scared that the security guys at airport would find the evidences to prove that I'm telling lies about the "forbidden" labs in the west bank just googleing my name. In facts almost everybody told us to prepare a lie: "if they ask where you've been never tell a muslim place". So we wanted to go for 5 days Tel Aviv, 5 Jerusalem and 5 Haifa. We were getting pretty nervous. I bought a not so beautiful israeli beer t-shirt wich I wore at 3 a.m after severel hours fighting against sleep on an airport chair. Last rehersal: "tel aviv, jeru, haifa" "tourists"... if they can prove we've been in the west bank we''ll both have to have the same lie "we went to hebron but got scared and returned to israel". If they could prove more "inch'allah". At 4 a.m we were standing in those crowded lines. We also were told that they give you a colored sticker on the passport: green ok, yellow soso... red: not good at all. A girl asked us a couple of routine questions until she saw my iranian visa. Three guys arrived. "why have you been to iran?" "why not?" by the way they were looking at me I went "ok ok no problems... i like photography and travelling and..." A couple of stickers on the bags. But they all were white. Dam'! Pass the bags through there and there, x-ray this and that. Open the bags, slowly. What's this, what's that. Thank you. Good bye. We checked in. The bags were sent. The roll films inside. The backup cds also. I got nervous. It wansn't for shure over! I mean: they didn't even  ask where we've been! So we moved on to the boarder police check. Tension in the stomach and almost falling asleep. The girl-cop there checked my passport with a big smile, put a big stamp on it an good bye. We had time to buy a duty free vodka and enter the almost empty airplane. Was that really it? That's it? The tension going through my body was telling me it was not over. But then I fall asleep. 
In berlin the police was standing all around the El Al plane with machineguns and a green kinda tank. Feeling sorry for history. A customs officer checked the vodka bottle. We are back home.

HAIFA (26.04.08)

We went to B'lin and I probably got my photographs of stonethrowing palestinians (oh yeah). But what a circus! It looks a bit set up for a kind of activist or press tourism. Of course it's important locally to the main actors. Well... let's see the pictures once home. Unfortunately my EOS1 got broken and I had to do the whole thing with my little olympus mju2 . Wich was not that bad because between teargasses or plastic bullets, stones or whatever was flying through the air, it was nice having that small and discrete camera. In the end I was very happy not beeing hurt. A cameraman got shot with those rubber shots precisely on the lense.. well he's not happy. At all. 
Today we arrived to Haifa, and we'll finally stay at Aglaia's friends home. They are Israelis and very nice and cool people. We could take a big shower, shave, get our clothes washed... it feels good! Here I have internet connection again. The good news I received via internet is that Simone, the photographer (see last post), is ok. Police got his cameras back and he had full support of the local population and authorities. He lost a bit too much of his blood (as he wrote) but now everything is ok. Wow. The bad news come from Berlin. The gallery in Berlin wrote a mail telling we will not expose anymore in may. That is really hard. I almost had tears and my stomach went bad. Yeah I am that hard ;). And if it was my own it probably wouldn't be that sad, but it's really undeserved for Aglaia. And that's how our brain unfortunately works: one bad news and everything looks gray... What happens to us is nothing compared to what we have heard those days. But still... I cannot do anything against my feelings. And: how comes about this gallery? I hope it's not about Berlin and Israel and Palestina... It's for shure again about vendibility. And that's politics too.

JAYYUS (23.04.08)

We left Hebron early in the morning, after we (Aglaia and I) spent our night in an immense appartement with roof balcony and "cheap" 1000 and 1 night forniture. Jumping from taxi to minibuses all the way up through Ramallah and Qalquiliya, passing those unesthetical check points, walking across barbwired blockades, reckless of the soldiers in the tank calling us back. It's incredible how you get used to this all and how unspectacular it is! To us now the feeling is of total security. 
But then arrived in Jayyus, a very small palestinian village, the phone rang... The last days in Hebron we met Simone, italian press photographer investing in a pretty longterm project in palestina and israel. We were told he was beaten down KO by some palestinian youngsters (become unconscious and went to hospital) and his WHOLE material was stolen!!! He was changing apprtement so he had just EVERYTHING with him: computer, hard disks, cameras... everything gone! ... ... ... 
He is ok now. But that must hurt so much. He allready got shot with plastic bullets in B'lin, was threatened heavily by israeli soldiers don't know where... 
But still we want to keep the vision of these places positive.
Later we went to a gate wich the NGOs are monitoring here in Jayyous. A desolated place. Some soldiers showed up with an enormous Hummer jeep (gift from the u s army) for opening the gate and letting the workers come back from the fields (wich belongs to them but are divided by the fence). "Who are you! (?)" - "Hello!" - "Have nottin better a do then stay here?" - "Oh I do pictures". The israeli soldiers where very young. One opened the door next me. Can I take picture? "No". "Common, just details of the hand". "Oh nice I have studied photography for three years, I love pics of the hands"  "Cool. So: can I?" "No. ... Ok I ask the commander". A kind of a white rapper walked towards me, his M16 machine gun hanging on him like a nu-metal guitarist (down somewhere between his knees and his feets). Braces. "Werare you from?". "Switzerland". "Oh you got a gun at home" "yes". "that's stupid" "mh". An old man on a donkey passes by. "We are the most moral army on the world" - "hm?" - "We use soldiers for opening the gate and let the enemy pass by". We kept on discussing. Aglaia not far away and the NGO woman next to her. He is young. Left russia as a kid for coming with his parents "back" to the "sacred land". His father says that the russians would have solved the problem with the arabs faster. He himself is scared to death by the muslims, wondering about my courage staying at their village. They all are  terrorists. After 9.11 the world is not save. Yes the Hummer jeep is a gift of the americans. "Fucking jeep, slow like a donkey, turning radius like a jet, you get litterally cooked inside... fucking jeep". Sometimes they get into the village, violent incursions against precise targets: terrorists. At least action, otherwise it's so boring. 
The conversation was ver interesting to me, really, and I had to control my words and often shut my mouth. Nobody else walked through. They closed the gate again. I took some pictures but he didn't want at all. Some more pictures of some soldier here. I'm really afraid I'm doing stupid clichés I will show to nobody. But it's an imprtant experience to me, to us. Very.
Back to the NGOs place, in the village, everybody hopes there will be no raids tonight. Kids are playing outside and souvenirs of my childhood of hot summer evenings, at my parents place in ticino, come to my mind. I try to concentrate also on souvenirs of the army, for a human understaning of the soldiers point of view. This is all so fucked up. 

H1 (20.04.08)

As I thought nothing happened during the night at the school we slept in. We already got used to the weapons, soldiers, check points, heat.... The guys from the NGOs are cool. The risk is down somwhere by zero. The chance to translate things in pictures also. But here I am and here I will persist. I was told to go to B'lin, a place where EACH friday, some 50 to 200 kids riot against the wall confronting police and soldiers during one hour or two... kind of posing for the press (only the kids, but the soldiers shoot plastic instead of bullets, wich is nice also)... then they have an ice cream... and see you next week! Wich is really ugly, but for our common work it's an interesting chance : reflections about journalism. Maybe friday I'll have my mayday in B'lin instead of Berlin! And I would lie if I wouldn't be somehow proud of a good picture of a stone throwing palestinian kid in my portfolio... ;) It's just not worth a broken leg. 

As I shoot b/w film you can easily understand that the pictures related to the recent posts are souvenir snap shots and have nothing to do with my reportage.

HEBRON (19.04.08)

Hmmm what to say? It would be politics. And it wouldn't be objective. Can it be objective?
Hebron is divided in H1 and H2. Palestine and Israel, and all the settlements. 
Our first checkpoint. Then the first incredible scenes. Taking the temperature: can I shoot freely? 36 poses are gone so fast, I'm not used anymore to roll films and I always check an unexisting screen on the back of my camera... 
Long moments of talking, drinking coffee... watching videos of palestinian kids getting stones thrown at by jewisch kids after school, and always that impatiente in my legs and my head. 
We're gonna spend the night iside the empty school, probably the colons could attack it during the curfew... and we will be there in the dark trying to get some pics. Sounds exciting probably, to me a bit idiot, but it's worth the experience for shure. I really don't think it's dangerous. 
I just cannot believe that all this happens for real here and how the world looks at it. 

JERUSALEM (18.04.08)

Jerusalem is an incredible place! Walking through reminds me so much about summertime in Venice. A soldier here and then. It's hearing what really goes on tht makes your feelings go up and down (...). The separations between religions is evident, but maybe because we live in berlin it's not so impressive as I expected. Still the old city is really an awesome place and soooo beautiful!!!
Today, first day of the Shabat (my 29th birthday) I have seen THE wall for the first time. I stud there in the heat with my two cameras hanging on my red-burned neck... waiting for something moving me from inside. Again I really had to to think a lot about the theory, and translate, in my imagination, the situation in one closer to mine. I tried to do some pictures, but again nothing was realling happening inside (nor outside) of me. It's hard to me not beeing impressed by thinngs, it somehow makes me sad. On the other hand than little and apparently meaningless situations inflame my senses. Travelling is just an immense pleasure, with or without taking pictures or bringing home a "story"... 
The news we get from the West Bank, from Hebron where we will be tomorrow, are a bit different, and we are prepared for stress (no real danger). I'm expecting to face real life situations about the life here. My body wan't uderstand theory, and my brain seems to forget important things. Is that the reason for my need to do photos? To stuck ny nose into situations.

By the way Julien told me to read a book wich I really suggest to all of you, especially tohse trying to make a living out of photography. French title; L'homm
e qui voulait vivre sa vie. By Douglas Kennedy, I'm not through with it by now, but I like it!


Ever experienced the feeling of beeing at the wrong airport? It's horrible and you would like to disappear. But a taxidriver saved our trip. 
Ever stud there like an idiot remembering your iranian visa on your passport while israelis looking at it? It took some more controls and time but we finally passed all the security checks with cameras, film rolls and the whole stuff...
"Going to West Bank?" "Nooooo too dangerous! We're here for holydays at the sea!"
Now we're at Momo's hostel in tel aviv. By opening the bags we found our stuff not the way we packed it and a letter from the security guys... Normal. But strange anyway.
Yesterday  we had a beer at the sea, walking in the sand. Wow that changes from Berlin (hahaha)!
Maybe we'll move directly to Jerusalem. But if the journalist Iwould like to see here in Tel Aviv has time for me, we'll stay another night. Hope having internet soon again. CIAO

TURN THE PAGE (11.04.08)

self.  inside truck cabin (Venlo NL - Milan - Rotterdam -Venlo)  ©ralbertalli

It has been been exciting... And boring. Very normal, very unexpected. Superficial but deep. It has been human, very silent. Too intimate. Not close enough. The smell of cigarettes while getting up sometimes at 3 a.m. The beers for getting asleep, sometimes at 6 p.m. French fries, meat. Beers again. The motor still running in my head. Asphalt. The intermittence of the white lines: Hypnotic. Different countries, different people... different languages. Same places. Same faces. 
It has been so boring. I'll do it again: as soon as I can!!! :)

And now let's turn the page. And prepare for Israel!


Reinhard enjoying his sunday in Chiasso. I'll spend one week with him in his truck's cabin! 

I take a look at my "next locations" on this page and there's a feeling like "wow!" that looks like what I always dreamed of! 
Sunday I will leave berlin for going to a german truckdriver's home and then monday morning we'll leave with his truck to Holland. There he will charge and we'll drive through Europe, down to Chiasso, and finally to Italy. And back. Finally this project seems to happen!!! After all the waiting and calling... :))) I met Reinhard (the driver) in Chiasso precisely the 4th of november! It's exactly half a year ago!!!
I'll be back on saturday the 12th in the evening and on the 15th Aglaia and I got our plane to Tel Aviv. There we'll move to Jerusalem and meet several contacts, there and elsewhere, for our "photo/ fiber art" project.
We'll catch our flight back the 30.04... Probably It would be too much doing the May Day this year! (hehehe) Also because I have a wedding the third of may and we fly back to Ticino the 2nd at 6 a.m.
The 16th of may we got our exhibition "Doppio Filo" (as seen at Galleria Balmelli in Bellinzona last year) at the Abel Neue Kunst Gallerie here in Berlin Mitte, wich means a whole lot of stuff to be done... After that I'll process and edit almost one month of shooting!!! 
Now it feels like: OK! that's motivating! That looks like the life I want to live! 
It has been some strange days this last days... The "second berlin assignment" was canceled and again I had to say "no" to different swiss photo editors because they needed me in a short delay in Ticino (Switzerland), and not up here in grey Berlin. That, mixed up to my feelings, and I quick fell back into a kind of black hole... Then, as soon as the people we contacted in West Bank sent us very positive and nice anwers, and the truck driver called for "action!", I seem to defrost from my lethargy.... slowly. But certainly.
But it would be impossible to take control of your own situation without the people around you, and their precious and selfless help and support...

p.s. oh yes and then in june I'll test, during one month, photographer's life in Geneva! By the way during the soccer EM08.


Ticino: wine cellar. published on SonntagsZ eastern issue ©ralbertalli

Back to snow stormy Berlin, from my short but intense Tour-de-Suisse, the phone rings and again I got a chance to do a photo job for the NZZaS, from here (to be done next week). I'm really happy! Still I wonder how it comes that things always happen when you're about to quit. I have almost taken the decision that my life will soon or later continue in Geneva, next to my friends photographers... where we can mutually motivate us and collaborate on reportage projects. The split is alway between beeing a zero in this big "artistic" Berlin living together with my girlfriend (wich i really like), or making a living as a photographer in "still big but no that big" Geneva. And exactly as I plan to quit, work flows in even here (after more than one year waiting). The real problem is that appartments in Geneva are not to be found so easily and they do cost TOO much, but a base of body of work (photography !) would already be waiting for me and a room 20 min from city also... I will go to this place for one month and have a try.
By the way: there is no way for me to go to Gaza. So I'll keep up the truck-driver project and start again with the jeezus rockers or the wall project. It's hard to motivate yourself. But no use talking about it. Now the sun shines outside. We're also thinking about taking a trip to Cisgiordania (english?)... 

This last weeks I had to refuse some 4 or 5 pretty important press jobs (!!!) because i had other jobs or was in the wrong place! This is just SO AWESOME then they never happen in those periods when you are dying of boredom. Unbelievable.

ABEL (08.03.08)

Some of you might remember the first blog I had toghether with Aglaia... so you probably see on wich common project we worked and some of you may even have seen the exhibition back in homeland Ticino... A year has almost past since, and finally, thanks to Aglaia's focused motivation, a gallery in Mitte Berlin will show the work. It's really great news! An important goal; especially for her. More details on Aglaia's blog (here).

And for the courious among you: the nzz.a.s issue of last week, publishing my first berlin assignment. click (here)

As Aglaia (click here) reminds me (kindly) it was NOT my first Berlin assignment since I shot some gigs for a heavy metal magazine... I wonder WHY I don't consider it serious work (...)


Well well, after one year and a half in Berlin I was asked today to do some pictures HERE. 
A very nice assignment from an important swiss-german sunday paper, a real reportage (!) about some "cool" places in Berlin. I will not tell you more unless it's done! Feels great! :)

POZNAN (20.02.08)

For Aglaia's birthday we visited Poland, for the first time since we live in Berlin, by spending two days in Poznan. A selection of souvenir pictures I shot to be seen by clicking (HERE).
My old kosovo pics to be seen under ==> boite
spero tutto bene
Grazie abbiamo ricevuto il Kosovo,bello, complimenti
speriamo! lo proponiamo all'estero tranne germania e svizzera vero?
DB (gn)

K.O! so: wo? (16.02.06)

I really thought I would go to Pristina this weekend, for the illegal independence day. Flights a bit to expensive, a bit too much journalists in the same spot: no chance selling the pictures. And finally it woul not be a "story". But I checked my archive: I was in Kosovo in 2005 for a reportage on the Swiss Kosove Force Company (Swisscoy) and spent some days travelling alone. I sent some single pictures to the agencies... I'm not expecting too much but it's worth a try! And I found this italian text of mine wich nobody has seen before... A bit too long... And not finished!
©ralbertalli. Testo non finito per Illustrazione Ticinese in seguito a decisione presa di non pubblicare il servizio fotografico del mio soggiorno in Kosovo. 2005

L’aereo che mi stava portando da Basilea a Dacovica era pieno di soldati svizzeri nella famigliare uniforme da combattimento, e se non fosse stato per il simbolo della KFOR, con la sigla doppia: (una volta in cirillico) su sfondo blu e bianco, avrei potuto credere di essere a un corso di ripetizione. L’atmosfera era distesa e i ragazzi davano un impressione simpatica. E l’unico a non esser riuscito ad addormentarsi dopo un po’, nonostante fosse partito da casa alle 2 del mattino, ero io. Cavoli: stavo andando in Kosovo! Solo il suono del nome evoca tutto un immaginario alimentato da anni di informazioni e documenti d’orrore. Ripensavo ai grandi reporter che ammiro e alle loro immagini indelebili scattate ormai dieci anni fa. Ripensavo a tutto quello che mi raccontava al bancone del bar il mio amico Ivan, che era stato soldato della Swisscoy nel decimo contingente, proprio quando sono scoppiati gli ultimi grossi problemi a marzo dell’anno scorso. Studiavo la cartina che mi aveva disegnato sul blocchetto “da cameriera”, suddivisa in “task forces” e etnie. Sapevo che la situazione è stabile, anche se la pace è imposta militarmente. Che il peggio erano le mine.
Ero stato in alcuni paesi dell’ex-Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia,…) l’estate prima e, nonostante mi sia soffermato solo all’apparenza delle cose, lo scenario che mi si sarebbe presentato, di case rase al suolo, cimiteri che si perdono a vista d’occhio e buchi di proiettili ovunque, avrebbe dovuto apparirmi in modo un po’ meno destabilizzante… Il che speravo mi avrebbe permesso di andare al di là di quel che resta delle facciate per impregnarmi un po’ più di ciò che mi interessa veramente: l’essere umano. Ma non mi facevo illusioni: avrei passato sei giorni da turista, da solo, nell’attesa che i militari svizzeri mi recuperassero per permettermi di realizzare il reportage sui soldati ticinesi, nei quattro restanti giorni previsti. Ma ero comunque in viaggio per fare il fotoreporter, probabilmente per la prima volta per davvero: con un mandato professionale. E ne andavo intimamente molto fiero.
All’atterraggio, una volta aperto il portellone il paesaggio che mi si è presentato era inatteso e nuovo per me. C’erano veicoli militari ovunque, filo spinato ad ogni angolo e imponenti elicotteri da guerra che ci sorvolavano da ogni direzione, in ogni momento,con un frastuono assordante. Ma i ragazzi in divisa fumavano le loro sigarette. Chi tornava dal congedo salutava con qualche battuta quelli che stavano per volare a casa. E io mi chiedevo dove diavolo ero finito.
Una volta saliti sul bus che ci avrebbe portati al camp degli svizzeri, lasciato alle spalle un imponente check-point di soldati italiani, armati, davanti ad un enorme cartello “Benvenuti: Aeronautica Militare Italiana”, mi è venuto il vago dubbio che forse, ma solo forse, quello scenario da film “Apocalypse Now” era abbastanza normale… per un aeroporto militare.
Guardando dalle finestre, sulla strada per Suvareka il paese mi dava un impressione arida e desolata, ma una cosa che subito mi ha colpito erano le villette monofamigliari in mattonelle rosse che parevano spuntare a caso, come funghi. Sembra che il paese avesse reagito prontamente e, una volta la pace imposta dalle nazioni unite, avesse badato alla ricostruzione immediata delle abitazioni distrutte. A parte il continuo sfilare di convogli militari la situazione mi sembrava pacifica.
Dal camp “Casablanca” dove convivono Austriaci, Tedeschi e Svizzeri sono stato accompagnato dalla P.I.O (Public Information Officer, ovvero: addetto stampa) della Swisscoy al mio albergo a Suvareka. Per accertarsi che tutto vada bene la giovane ragazza dai capelli biondi raccolti in una treccia, in uniforme da combattimento con pistola alla gamba, mi ha accompagnato in stanza e poco prima di congedarsi, guardandomi coi suoi occhi azzurri mi ha confessato candidamente che lei non è sicura che passerebbe sei giorni completamente sola da queste parti, che la mia scelta è ammirevole, ma di ricordarsi che in nessun caso l’esercito è responsabile per me nei giorni antecedenti l’incontro prefissato e che in caso di bisogno io non sarei stato una delle loro priorità. Mi ha comunque lasciato il suo biglietto da visita plastificato, prima di raggiungere il soldato con fucile che attendeva nella jeep all’entrata. Rassicurante.
Il mattino dopo avevo preso la decisione di percorrere la strada principale della cittadina con la macchina fotografica alla spalla, per sentire che aria tira. I negozianti stavano pulendo le scalinate davanti alle loro entrate e al mio passaggio si fermavano alzando la testa e mi guardavano con quello che mi sembrava uno sguardo ostile. Magari scambiavano due parole col vicino e ricominciavano a lavorare. Ricordo essermi detto che non sarei durato a lungo, ma poi accennando un saluto con la testa e sforzando un sorriso ho avuto in ritorno grandi sorrisi cordiali, e i visi che sembravano cosi duri si accendevano di una luce simpatica. “Mrdita” rispondevano. Buongiorno dunque si dice “merdita”! E con un associazione mentale non delle più fini me ne andavo in giro trattando tutti di quello che mi sembrava un insulto spagnolo. Ma funzionava alla grande.
A mezzogiorno mi sono fermato a comprare un hamburger e una Coca Cola (da buon “anti tutto ciò”) alla fermata dei bus. Mentre stavo contemplando un autopostale giallo, dalle insegne PTT e l’autocollante “CH”, che portava i suoi passeggeri a Pristina,sono stato interpellato dal venditore con un “what are you doing in Kosovo?” che suonava come un dolce messaggio di salvezza.
Ed eccomi a discorrere con la persona di cui avevo bisogno. Durante la guerra portava giornalisti nei punti caldi per 60 dollari all’ora. Ha visto tutto quello che non avrebbe voluto. Può spiegarmi in lungo e in largo tutto dei Serbi che vogliono eliminare gli Albanesi del Kosovo dal paese che tutti considerano di diritto loro. Della resistenza dei partigiani dell’UCK e dell’arrivo delle Nazioni unite. Della violenza reale che non è quella che ho letto sulle guide turistiche ma quella che è palpabile nello sguardo di quest’uomo e tutti quelli che incontrerò in questo viaggio. “You are from Switzerlan, eh?” Si ricorda di un capodanno passato a Losanna. Si ricorda dei volontari sul ponte de Bessières che impedivano a chi volesse di suicidarsi. Lui avrebbe aiutato, in caso di dubbio, a buttarsi, gridava. E’ inconcepibile per uno che sopravvive alla guerra vedere gente ridotta alla solitudine come conseguenza di una scala di valori sfalsata in nome della riuscita economica, tanto da voler togliersi la vita. Silenzio.
Mi consiglia di viaggiare. Il paese è quattro volte più piccolo della svizzera e con qualche euro i bus ti portano per lunghe distanze.
Di gente dal cuore buono come lui ne incontrerò in ogni bar, in ogni bus e ad ogni baracchino di cibo. Ho avuto la fortuna di ubriacarmi nella ridente Prizren con un ex combattente dell’UCK, artista e scultore, che si offendeva se volevo pagar da bere. Di attraversare per la prima volta il ponte di Mitrovica che “separa” la Serbia dal Kosovo con un ex prigioniero di guerra nelle terribili prigioni Serbe. Di discutere ore con operai partiti in Italia, in Svizzera o Germania, di finire con loro in discoteche parlando liberamente dell’immagine dei Kosovari all’estero, della loro natura fiera, imprevedibile e della loro predisposizione alla violenza nonostante una bontà di cuore indiscussa. Sono stato seduto in un ufficio con la faccia di Bill Clinton incorniciata al muro, tutto un pomeriggio ad ascoltare la lista quotidiana delle atrocità avvenute durante la guerra nella sola città di Suvareka, mentre tre uomini adulti dai visi scavati dalle rughe erano in lacrime nonostante la posa fiera e impassibile. Ho giocato a scacchi coi vecchietti in bar freddi e fumosi, che continuano anche quando per l’ennesima volta va via la corrente e qualcuno deve uscire a lume di candela per accendere un generatore a nafta. Non mi sono sentito in pericolo una volta sola. Ho sempre trovato persone generose che non avrebbero lasciato che avessi un minimo problema. Disposte a capire la mia ignoranza e a spiegarmi in lungo e in largo i problemi etnici legati al passato e l’odio del presente. A mostrarmi i luoghi, le cicatrici e raccontarmi le loro storie. Contenti che qualcuno si interessasse in qualche modo ancora alla loro condizione, dimenticata dalla ribalta dell’attualità… da un opinione pubblica occupata dall’ennesima ingiusta violenza che non lascerà nient’altro che massi di pietra incenerita e vite riempite solo di dolore e odio. In nome di una causa etnica religiosa pilotata, senza che ci sorprenda più, da interessi puramente economici. Ma quel che resterà dell’attualità di oggi sarà un’altra terra devastata e dimenticata di cui nessuno vorrà più ricordarsi.
Si preferisce commemorare il passato remoto, ripromettendosi che non succederà più, senza ammettersi che più recentemente è riaccaduto l’impensabile. E questo proprio vicino a casa nostra.
Dopo che altre immagini hanno invaso i nostri schermi, non sembra più necessario chiedersi in condizioni versano questi luoghi. Eppure la Svizzera che otre alla decisione presa, proprio durante questo mio soggiorno, di andare in Indonesia, non ha moltissime missioni all’estero di rilievo paragonabile, dovrebbe voler sapere perché c’è ancora bisogno di una tale presenza militare.

Una volta recuperato dalla P.I.O in albergo e presentato al contingente ero passato un po’ dall’altra parte della barriera. Adesso non sarei più stato in strada a veder passar veicoli verde oliva che sembravano venire da un altro pianeta, ma avrei percorso le stesse strade parlando qualche lingua nazionale e ascoltando DRS “drü” a bordo dello stesso Puch che ci portava in giro a scuola reclute.
Il mondo esterno ridiventava distante per me, e ho capito la fortuna che ho avuto di aver potuto prendere delle “vacanze” e visitare almeno le principali città da turista curioso.
Il mio programma giornalistico giornaliero era fitto e cadenzato in maniera precisa. Incontri, interviste, accompagnare sul lavoro, visita hot spots, volo in elicottero… Bello.
(scritto mai terminato)


THE WALL (24.01.08)

©ralbertalli Plusport in Saas Grund (VS) 2008

Swiss alps on sunny winter days are awesome! Boarding and supervising disabled youngsters is fun when you feel ok inside your own head. It reminds yourself that with your given potential you should definitely make more out of your days. On the other hand it shakes your priorities and you feel you should be happy with what you got here and now. Result: I'm unhappy with what I got and don't do more out of my days. I probably will regret one day all this precious time I m spending doing pretty nothing. But by now I leave inside a mental fog bubble. Can't really take serious all that's happening around me. I need action, I want to feel alive... I need more. I need a challenge. I need to go.  By now I should be pre
paring for shooting a festival on the Niger but it will not happen. All this illusions, this mental images you keep on building and, wich never seem to become reality. It hurts a bit somewhere. Instead it looks like the path of wedding photography is attracting me without any serious intention of mine. I m good in reportage photography so a wedding is a nice topic. Easy somehow. But if very soon I do not do something I can be sincerely proud of, something enflaming all my senses and passion, I will become a fat alcoholic wedding photographer (hehehehe). I m sorry if it sounds like suicide, don't pick up the phone for asking me if everything is ok 'cause: really, it is! I'm still standing. Still fighting. 
Still passionate and most of time smiling and making fun. I have this unfed hunger, this couriositiy, this will and strenght, fading 'cause of boredom... the will to do. I sometimes think that I don't know what I really want. That is wrong. I know exactly. By now I wanna be in Gaza. Pablo (infos) is there  and since too long I want to meet him in his "
milieu". I asked "him" but no photographer is needed. I could go on my own. I want to do that before the end of Pablos mission. It always seems like "today is the day" for beeing down there. I just feel that if I travel on my own I get really lost. Paying a fixer? How do I find one? How do I pay the guy? What happens? My whole body wants to be there... and my brain finds all sort of explanations for why I should not. Even my girlfriend wants me to go, else she probably knows that I soon will depress. That's just everything on my mind those days when I m not snowboarding (even then it's on my mind, to be sincere). I guess I would like to do a black and white negative work... stepping away from the speed of digital informations. Then having nice prints and only then thinking about agencies and publications and all that stuff. Yes. That's what I relly want. Si uniranno Batman e Spiderman nella lotta contro il male? To be continued...