Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Journey to Find Firenze's Voice

Now that I've been her for nearly a month, I've gotten past the "honey-moon" stage and I'm beginning to see more of the real Italy. Don't take this the wrong way though. The more I find out the more fascinated I am. The viewpoint of locals, their attitude towards any given situation, their mannerism; it is all interesting on so many levels. The more I find out the more I desire to know. As a photographer, I've been wondering "How can I show Italy from a different viewpoint?" Part of being a photographer is being able to get a point across via an image, even if that point is not what one would think of without the photo to aid them.

Rather than looking at Italy from the typical beautified tourist perspective, I want to dig down deep under its skin and find out what really lives behind this fortified wall that I've been looking at for the past few weeks. Every place has its own unique voice and attitude. It's now become my desire to find out what Italy's, or at least firenze's voice is. I've taken a new approach with my photography, as I was trying to say before. I've been looking at the little details that most people are overlooking. Let me present these photos that I took today:

Here's one to start with. What do you see? Why of course, it's a seemingly beautiful and extravagant shop with a intricate looking fa├žade. However, behind it you will see graffiti. Such a stark contrast exists between the shop and the door, only a few feet (well meters, since I should probably comply with the European standard) apart. It's not as if this is a rare occurrence though.

Now, here we have just another street artist. In the background you will see some magnificent sculptures as well as people passing by with nothing more than a glance at either the sculpture or the artist. These people that occupy the frame are, for the most part, not locals but tourists of some sort. However, many of these street artists are locals, Florentines. It's these men and women that speak with the voice of firenze that I'm searching for. They speak the language, as well as understand it.

I'm not yet exactly sure where all of this is leading to yet, but I'm currently on a path towards this near impossible goal: to discover what it is to be a Florentine, in a matter of (let me count quick) 85 days. There's much to be discovered and uncovered. As time goes on, I assume I'll learn more and hopefully get even 10% closer to my goal. After all, that 10% is more than I would've had otherwise.


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