All roads? Perhaps not …

I’ve never been totally comfortable with Rome. To be honest, I’ve always had problems with authority and authority figures, and there’s no city more populated with both than the old Roman capital. And that’s not even saying anything about the Vatican. I can be relatively sure that my ancestors paid a price to the Romans, and it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end when I walk down the present-day beautiful and elegantly-appointed streets and see the wealth and power that’s the product of that price.

On the other hand, the world has moved on, and I have too. I’ve always been attracted to temperate zone cultures, and Italy is no exception. But all my previous experiences were in the northern tier of the country, especially in the Veneto (Padua, Vicenza, Venice).

So Rome was a new experience for me. I’ve posted a ⊕portfolio of photographs of the city. The old part of Rome is really set up to be a tourist magnet. As such, it certainly doesn’t let one down. There is a casual, un-curated feeling that makes being there a pleasure. Overlaying the old is the modern jumble of chaos that passes for Italy, complete with savory and unsavory overtones. I am always trying to scratch under the surface and see what I find, and I found a lot.  I have no blood history with Italy but it’s easy to see the racism, the governmental chaos, and excesses along with the society’s appreciation for living life and the long and real investments in art and culture. In short, it’s a fun place to be as a person and a photographer who doesn’t have to live there, and has the privilege of being able to dip in and out.

 

Posted in Europe, Photography, Travel

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How Many Roads? is a book of photographs by Jonathan Sa'adah, available for order, offering an unglossy but deeply human view of the period from 1968 to 1975 in richly detailed, observant images that have poignant resonance with the present. Ninety-one sepia photographs reproduced with an introduction by Teju Cole, essays by Beth Adams, Hoyt Alverson, and Steven Tozer, and a preface by the photographer.
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