Apr 21, 2015

Frida's Diaries

With the start of April I tried to write or draw every day. An unspoken promise to make something out of this period of inactivity. A promise that became extremely hard to keep when this little girl arrived.
Her name is Frida and she is a Weimaraner puppy, 2 months and a half old. Her gray coat changes shades under different lights and her blue eyes are almost white. When my mother and I went to take her, she was so little. Way littler than what you may think looking at the photos. But in the 10 days she has been with us so far, she has already grew a bit.  
First day home.

She doesn’t like to stay alone, not even for five minutes, not even while she is sleeping. And she is so lovely… a part for when she goes completely out of control! 
How she likes to sleep.

 She is still not very happy to left the house and go somewhere new, but if cuddles are involved, everything ends up happily.
10 days and Frida completely stole my heart. But I mean, who can resist in front of such a beauty?

Apr 18, 2015

The last 4 years and the next 2.

I started this blog 4 years ago. 4 years ago I had no clue that it will be still in activity 4 years later.
I opened Too much light burns the negative, after toying with the idea of a blog in English for a while, on a particularly blah day, when I felt bored and alone and at the same time full of a desire to do something. I was in my last months of high school and as a name I choose the translation of the thesis I was writing for my final exam, which was about the purpose of photography. 

I stumbled upon many blog posts lately about blogging. Some wrote about what having a blog means to them, many shared tips on how to grow one's audience or how to make it appear more professional or something similar. I read them all as I was reflecting on what having this space affected and affects me. 

My blog can not be included in a category, I suppose. I never wrote about fashion or make up or design or cooking or any specific topic. I sometimes show my photos and post some stuff that I write, but there is never a specific direction behind my decisions. It is basically made of those part of my journals that I chose to make public. And therefore, it changes as I change. That's it. And that's why I have never been interested in making something out of this. Sure, if I write a post is because I want people to read it, and yes, receiving the notification of a new comment makes me more happy than what I should admit, but growing an audience or make it more professional has not appeal on me (not that there is something wrong in the contrary, of course). 

In the last 4 years many things happened, many things changed, even if, living day by day, everything always seems the same. I finished high school, moved to another town for university and graduate. I met knew people and left some old one behind. I grew in ways that I don't know if I would be able to descrive even if I wanted to. Also thanks to this blog and to those I followed, I found new interests and acquired new knowledges that help me deciding which will be the next step.

If you have noticed my last two posts (here and here), you may have wondered what they meant. They means that the next step is getting closer and closer with every passing day, and I am already excited behind measurements.
To be more specific, I recently found out that I have been accepted to the GEMMA Erasmus Mundus, a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies. The two years program links various universities around Europe and who have been accepted will spend a year in one of them and the second in another one. I selected Utrecht, in the Netherlands, as home university, and Hull, in the UK, as mobility route, but nothing have been confirmed yet. So I know that in few months I am going to move abroad but I still don't know where. 
I have not much else to write about what I'm sure will be the biggest and scarier and most exciting adventure of my life so far, but it will definitely shape this blog in the near future.

To conclude this post, I want to thanks everyone who has read my blog or left a comment and all those people whose blogs inspired or entertained me. Some of those blogs does not exist anymore, some other are well and alive. Which is the case, thank you. 
See you soon.

Apr 5, 2015

Alice Abroad - TT #2 (2015)

1. Interior, same bedroom. Afternoon.
The Macbook is on, placed on the desk cluttered by books, notebooks, post-its, pens and pencils, a watch, cacao butter, elastic bands, photos, etc. 
The same girl is sitting in front of it. The hair in a bun, a red sweater on. She is checking her mail. The expression says that it’s not the first time that she does it that day. There are no new messages. In the right high corner of the screen there is the date: Saturday February 28th, 04.31 pm.

2. A series of short videos. The girl refreshes the page multiple times, with different outfits and at different time of the day, from both the Mac and the iPhone, at home and outside. She wakes up in the middle of the night and checks the emails before realizing what she is doing, she checks it after the shower, she checks it while talking with a friend.

3. Interior, same bedroom and scenario of the first scene. Early afternoon.
The girl sits in front of the MacBook with a gray pajamas on. 
A voice: -Alice, lunch is ready.
Alice: -In a minute.
She refreshes the page another time, than leaves the room. 
Few seconds later, three notes come out from the computer and a new mail appears on the screen kept open.

Black screen.

A white writing appears, capitol letters: 


Apr 3, 2015

Alice Abroad - Teaser Trailer (2015)

Interior, a bedroom. Late evening. 

The room is dark, only the blue-ish light of a MacBook placed on the bed makes possible to see some shapes. 
A girl sits in front of it, crossed legs. The hair is hold high by an elastic in a dirty messy bun. She wears a pajama and a warm sweatshirt and is enveloped in a purple blanket. 
The girl is reading for the umpteenth and last time some documents she is uploading on the program’s page and  presses the button send. 

A whisper: -That's it.

Black screen.

A white writing appears, capitol letters: 


Mar 31, 2015

On art.

Last week I watched Finding Vivian Maier, a documentary (that I highly recommend) about a woman that, a nanny for 40 years, during her lifetime took thousands of photos. Self-portraits, snapshots of the kids under her care, street-pics. As happened with Emily Dickinson, no one knew about this activity. Until a Chicago collector, John Maloof, bought some of her photos at an auction and get gradually captivated by the mystery behind the woman, who died in 2009.
The figure of Vivian did not left me since. Why didn’t she show anyone her pictures? Why didn’t she share her incredible eye with the World? Maybe she did not think it was art?  
I’m not always on social media writing status about my moves and opinions, but I have a blog. And when I finish writing somethings or I’ve taken some pictures, most of the time I feel the urge to share them. I may not consider the majority of what I do art (if I ever considered something I did art), still I don’t put much thoughts in pressing the button “post”.

But what is art?
For the first time, I have in front of me months without the obligation to study, and this question is getting more urgent. 
I just graduated in a field that has very little of artistic. But I’ve always been captivated by art, in most of its shapes. I’ve always dreamt to find some talent, hidden somewhere, that would have made an artist out of me. 
Last week I also read Just Kids by Patti Smith (loved it), and in the first part she said something similar. She wrote about that time that, as a kid, she went with her parents and siblings, during a rare family trip, to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. And about how that visit, in particular Picasso’s paintings, changed something in her: “Secretly I knew I had been transformed, moved by the realization that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not.” Than, she says that she had not evidence of being an artist, but was “hungered to be one”.  

I have been attracted by words and books long before I was able to write and read. At 5 I asked my parent to take piano lessons, despite the fact that my family is not really into music. I always loved taking photos. Instead, I am intimidating when manual skills are involved. That is my mother’s reign. She sewed herself dolls as a child, adjusted old cloths as a teenager and now, we could no buy anything if it wasn’t for her ability with the needle. Once at a time, she has some project to focus on. Oil painting, decoupage, a crochet blanket. Now it's iron wire. If she had the chance, she would redecorate the house every other year. I remember that she helped my brother with the drawings he had to do for school and when I was a kid she explained to me how to shape faces and bodies. But I was never good enough. I didn’t have her hand, I will never have her ability.
This awareness has always slowed me down. I had period of inspiration, as the days spent coping most of W.I.T.C.H. covers or the never finished Wreck This Journal, but they never last long. I was not up to a standard that my mother, the teachers, the common concept of art, they have fixed, in my eyes, now and forever.

Last October, when I went visit my friend Mela in Bologna, I bought a little black square notebook by Tiger for 2€ with the intention of making sketches. Only in the last weeks my hands started to itch. This is usually the expression I use to describe how the fingers sometimes ask me to write but my head doesn't know what. This time, they are asking me to draw, at least to try to. And I did. I am trying. As it happens when I take photos, I found that, even when I'm drawing, I'm captivated by people faces. Nothing more than sketches. But they gave me an energy that I was longing for. I may not be Michelangelo, but no one says I should.

I avidly read Just Kids in a couple of days. My bedroom was a mess, there were things I had to do for my graduation and my mom kept interrupting me to adjust the dress I wore at the ceremony to fix microscopic details that she only notices. I read it and felt reconnected with a part of me that I left out because it doesn't fit the idea that I have of myself. I love words. I will always use words as way of expression. But there are so many medias out there that I can use too, even if it's only for me, even if I won't make any art out of them.
But then, what is not art?

Mar 30, 2015

read and watched #3

Two months passed since I wrote one of those, and I read and watched many things, so I'll keep this recap short and it will include only books (next: films and tv shows). Click on the titles for more infos.

Orange is the new black: my year in a women's prison by Piper Kerman. If you like the tv show, no bother reading the memoir from whom it is adapted. Maybe it is because I love the show so much, but I found both the writing style and the narration flat.

Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban by JKR, audiobook read by Stephen Fry. As good as the first two. Now I'm thinking if I should re-read the goblet of fire or listen to the audiobook (it is my favorite of the series, and with the audiobook sometimes I don't keep much attention).

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I liked so much the film that I wanted to read the biography too, and it was a good idea. There are obviously some facts and many details that have been delated in the adaptation that I am really glad to know now. (And I particularly like II WW stories).

Ms Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal and Ms Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation why by Willow G. Wilson. These are the first comics I've ever read, and I have to say that I loved this reboot of Ms Marvel. Check it out, even if you are not into comics.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I wanted to read this book for a long time and I finally did. I liked it, but it doesn't excited me as much as I thought. It's really intriguing, you want to keep reading because you want to know what happened and what will happen between these two vicious characters, but the third act didn't work for me. Interesting concept, anyway.

The three musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Luke Pasqualino is probably the biggest reason behind my decision to buy this classic of the French literature and I have to say that I found it very funny and entertaining. Don't let be scared by the number of pages (800 in my edition) because they fly by quickly.

The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I read this book for the first time years and years ago, before the movie came out, and so I did not remember much of it. I liked it more now than the first time, probably. I remember that I thought it was too slow, but now I didn't mind the slowness (is it even a word?), and actually is pretty intriguing.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt, on my to-read list since I read the Goldfinch. I love this book. You know that the protagonist and his friends murdered someone since the first phrases and gradually finding out how that happen and why it's a beautiful journey. Beautiful is the right word indeed, every detail, every description in this story is so on point that you cannot but see it developing in front of your eyes. I'm surprised that no one adapted The Secret History into a film or a mini series, but maybe we don't need an adaptation, reading these pages is already a visual experience.

Bad feminist: essays by Roxanne Gay. I wanted to read this since it came out, and I finally did. I liked it, she makes really interesting points and I totally recommend it, even if I may not agree 100% with what she says. The essays directly linked to the title, those about being a "bad feminist", are so good.

1984 by George Orwell. I read 1984 for the first time when I was 11 or 12, way too young to really understand it. So it was on my list to re-read. What to say? This is a classic, and as every right to be consider such.

Saga, Volume 1-2-3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Finally, finally I put my hands on the first three volumes of Saga. And they are as good as I expected them to be.

Just kids by Patti Smith. When at the end of 2015 I will think at the best books I read during the year, this is going to be one of those. I know this for sure.

Ready player one by Ernest Cline. A funny and quick read with also some depth.

172 hours on the moon by Johan Harstad. The plot is intriguing, three teenagers from around the World sent to the Moon, but I didn't particularly enjoyed this book. It's more on the horror side that what I thought and (without spoilers) the ending did not satisfied me at all, even if the author take some bold choices.

Reality boy by A.S. King. I heard so much about A.S. King that I expected a lot from this book, as I did with Please ignore Vera Diez, but it's just a "meh" for me.

Mar 24, 2015

Time races on. Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road.

Hello everyone. I'm a doctor now.
No, I can cure no illness. But in Italian a Dottore is someone with a university degree, even if the degree is in International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs, as in my case.
Yesterday, my brother took some pictures with my camera, my mother cried (a lot), my father brought something to eat and drink for a mid-morning appetizer. And I've been proclaimed doctor. 
When I was a little kid, my grandma used to tell that she hoped to live long enough to be at my wedding (yes, I know...). When I started to protest, others were the days I was looking for, not my wedding, she changed it with a "to be at your graduation".
My favorite tradition is this laurel crown (corona d'alloro) that every new graduate wears after the proclamation. Usually the ribbon is red, but my faculty color is purple, so I had a purple one and mom and I looked for (fake) purple flowers to add.
The tradition comes directly from the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, where a crown of laurel was donated to the triumphant general after the victory.
with my brother
with Mela
with Ivano
with Bi
In the evening, back home, we had a little dinner at my father's bar.
with my grandparents
my mom kept crying
with the cousins
Bi and Bea

brother and dad
...and now?