When I am not traveling on assignment, I often choose my travel destination from a picture I see of a place or an object. A picture that fuels my curiosity. It happened to me for Buenos Aires, where I traveled for a picture of a great Street Art mural. It happened to me for Hoi An Vietnam, where I traveled for a picture of the Full Moon in Tet Festival. It happened to me in Naples, where I traveled especially to shoot hanging laundry. And it happened to me in Menton in the French Riviera, for a picture of laundry hanging outside a yellow colored house. (Thanks Millie Brown for your blog).
I am always in search of interesting areas and locations to shoot laundry as part of my on going personal photography projectIntimacy under the Wiresand when I saw that picture of laundry in the French Riviera, I knew it had to be my next destination.
So here I am. After an intense shoot in Paris, both for the Patisserie Guide to Paris and the food shoot of Rue du Nil, I have decided to take a train down south and search for French Laundry in Nice, Menton, Villefranch Sur Mer and Cap Ferrat.
I was so thrilled the other day to get an email from the Photo Editor of the New Review magazine, part of The Independent on Sunday.
‘I’ve seen your project “Intimacy Under the Wires” and I thought it wold be good for our Portfolio section which is a double page spread in the mag featuring photography’ she wrote me and I couldn’t hide my excitement. I emailed one of my London friends right away to make sure The Independent is a well respected magazine, and more over, to let him know to be on the look out from now on.
The day after I got a list of questions from one the writers and my Portfolio was scheduled to be published on Sunday, November 24.
To read the full interview with me and also find out my age (yes, they mentioned that) you can see here.
To see the highlights of ‘Intimacy Under the Wires’ project, you can find here on my website.
I did go to Naples. And it didn’t disappoint. On the contrary. It was a heavenly place for my shoot and a tremendous landmark for my project.
Walking in the narrow streets under the crumbling balconies of old colorful buildings, keeping my head up and my camera always ‘on’, was an amazing visual experience. I couldn’t keep my head down, not for a minute, not to miss any shooting opportunity but to keep following the cloth- lines as they ran from one balcony to another.
I booked a private tour guide in advance, to make sure I visit the tiniest streets and the more dangerous areas so I could be free to shoot Laundry. Marina, who was born and raised in Naples and is very proud to be called a native Neapolitan, took me to Via Forcella in the Forcella district, where the Camorra (Naples’ Mafia) clans rule. And so, a sense of urgency and danger accompanied my shooting experience. (I loved it!)
When we got to the entrance of Via Forcella, Marina stopped and said; ‘This is where GOD is’. She looked at me to make sure I understood what she meant and continued: ‘I find GOD in human beings. and this is where we hang our clothes…This is where the hanging clothes and the hanging stories of the Neapolitans exist’
She urged me to be quick with my shoot (‘because it is not a safe place’, she said) and I took a deep breath to overcome of my sense of apprehension and got my camera ready.
There is nothing more rewarding for a photographer than to be mentioned in one of the most prestigious photography blogs, Pro Photo Daily, part of AI-AP organization.
Pro Photo Daily is run and managed by David Schonauer, and it is all about‘Inspirational work and insightful news and opinions’ regarding photography.
I met David on July 3rd. While half the New Yorkers were fleeting the city to go for a holiday, I found David working quite around the clock in his midtown office. The initial meeting was actually to show him some of my work from Buenos Aires, but while I was showing him my portfolio, he got curious about my laundry images I took. I found myself telling him more about my on going project ‘Intimacy under the Wires’ and David got intrigued. One thing led to another and David suggested to write about it in the blog.
The week after I was also surprised to find another image on the cover of the magazine (issue *349) in which I am talking about the Love signs on the walls of Lisbon.
Le Cool Magazine is a free weekly magazine distributed every Thursday that features a selection of cultural events and leisure activities, revealing the things you really shouldn’t miss. The magazine filters out, among other things, the best art, film, music, and club nights, as well as a careful selection of extraordinary bars, restaurants and other fine places. Le Cool is featured in Barcelona, Budapest, Dublin, Istanbul, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Rome and Vienna.
I knew it was going to be a LUST Summer, when the Editor in Chief at Sanoma Media magazines in Antwerp, Belgium emailed me one day on May and asked me about my ‘Intimacy under the Wires’ project. Apparently, he saw my project featured in Feature Shoot and loved it. One thing led to another and I’ve been offered to be featured in a 5-double spread story in the Lust, Summer edition, July 2012. LUST is a new Belgian (Flemish) ‘Summer Magazine’ with reportage, literature, photography, fashion, lifestyle, and a lot of travel. In case you read the language or visiting the Nordic part of Europe, LUST is the perfect guide for a Hot Summer.
I am already getting used to all the suspicious looks from people, when they see me standing under laundry wires, pointing my camera up or kneeling down to get a better angle. Deep down I keep telling myself that if they had known what I was looking for or what I was working on, they wouldn’t have given me these looks or maybe they would have understood me. But on the other hand, I can’t blame them; A photographer who is standing under laundry wires waiting for the breeze, is not a common view. I was visiting Lisbon for two days for a shoot, and during my free time, I was looking for laundry, so I could add and expand my ‘Intimacy under the Wires’ collection. It wasn’t hard to find. I was walking in the narrow streets and alleys of Alfama and Bairro Alto, and could easily spot laundry on wires. It really made me smile. And as for the suspicious looks I kept getting from the locals? I guess I have to get used to it, or just smile back.
My Israeli friends already know how to spot laundry-hanging-out-on-wires for me. They already know which path and road to choose so I can have a great visibility of hanging clothes. They are patient enough to stop when I’m stopping all of a sudden, pulling my camera out of my bag and standing under the wires, waiting for a breeze and a windy wave to come by and animate the clothes. Some of them even pull out their iPhone cameras and take pictures of me taking pictures of laundry. (one day I should have a post only with those pictures). Some of them parting from me, giving me my time, my space and make plans to meet me later. In all occasions, there is always a picture to take.
Tel Aviv is filled with opportunities to take pictures of laundry. The warm weather makes it easier on those who want their laundry to get dry faster. Lots of old crumbling terraces that serve as a great background, air conditioners backs peeping out of the windows and electricity wires sliding down. Here are some images from my recent visit in Tel Aviv.
Just in time for Spring Season, the Fashion Magazine Marie Claire ITALIA is featuring my ongoing photography project ‘Intimacy under the Wires’. See the latest April Spring Issue.
For me, it is just another reason to go back to Italy and revisit….
I migliori panni della nostra vita
Lenzuola che sventolano, calzini spaiati, tovaglie colorate, le vite degli altri appese ai fili dei balconi. Sono quelle che Sivan Askayo, fotografa 36enne israeliana trapiantata a Manhattan, ama immortalare nei suoi viaggi, da Firenze fino a Tokyo. “Ero tornata dopo tanto tempo a Jaffa e mentre aspettavo un amico in un vicolo, ho alzato gli occhi. Una donna stendeva il bucato al sole: una scena che, vivendo a New York, avevo dimenticato”. Il suo progetto (in corso) Intimacy Under The Wires, racconta l’intimità esibita in città, sotto gli occhi di tutti.
It is not that difficult to find laundry in Vietnam. It is everywhere! In fact, I’m not sure if there are dryers in Vietnam (in other words, I’m quite sure there are not). The Vietnamese hang their clothes out to dry in every window or balcony of their home, and sometimes, they just open a window to let the wind dry the clothes in doors. In Hanoi, for example, the Vietnamese hang their flags outside the windows and sometimes the National flag seems like part of the laundry itself. In all places though, laundry (and a lot of laundry) could be seen in all parts of the day and sometimes I just had to walk inside an alley into a small court in between the houses to find the clotheslines. In most cases, the Vietnamese women who were either hanging the laundry or cooking/selling food outdoors, didn’t really understand why I take pictures of some clothes on a wire.