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150. Photographing Reality, Seeing the Invisible, Looking Ahead

By Giulio D'Ercole


As I wrote some blogs back, being a photographer means, amongst other things, being more aware of the reality we live in, of the environment around us. Being a professional photographer with a past long experience in humanitarian projects implemented in Africa, and having worked in those as communication officer and documentary film maker, I developed a certain ability to assess emergency situations and to look ahead when crisis strike.

You must forgive me, but at this point in time, since Rome and the whole of Italy has become red zone, and since our Government has implemented new laws FORBIDDING PEOPLE TO GO OUT UNLESS STRICTLY NECESSARY, I feel that my duty is both to inform my readers, my old and my potential clients not only on what it's happening here but also on what it might happen later somewhere else if things are not addressed properly.


Those that have already taken my workshops know that I don't only guide my clients to shoot memorable photos in the most iconic places of Rome, nor I provide only photography technical teaching, but I also try to include in my tours notions on the philosophy involved in the art and making of photography. Those who know me and my approach, also know that I always try to combine content and form, meaning and aesthetics.


I do the same in my everyday life, and when I reason about something, I try to put things in perspective....I try to photograph reality, giving it its right composition, so to speak.

What does this have to do with the CoronaVirus crisis? Here you go.


It seems to me that during this crisis, although for weeks we have been talking about a possible pandemic and although for at least two decades we have been talking about globalization and fell for it, every individual and every country thinks in a limited, narrow minded way.

Now, we Italians are proud, and rightly so, to have been the first, after China, to implement a shock therapy in our country to stop the spread of the Virus. Needless to say, this happened when we were hit hard by its virulence.

Now we wonder why other countries are not doing the same. Personally, I'm sure they will in a few weeks, but not all of them at the same time.

The tough decision will be made on the basis of three elements:

1. The number of infections and deaths

2. Economic convenience

3. The political opportunity of those who are in Government.


Sad, frustrating to say, so far I have not yet heard anyone speaking of a fundamental consequence of this time difference in taking action. In fact, even though Italy could be Coronavirus free within two months perhaps, another neighboring country could reach the same result in three months, another in four, an in overseas developed and non developed countries in five months. Leave alone what might happen in Africa where, sooner or later, God forbids, we could have a huge epidemic and the contagion could be under control only in one year time, maybe longer.

So what will happen, what sense will it have to be an healthy nation in a world of infected countries?

I ask myself why I haven't I heard anyone talking about this. I have not heard any journalist, opinion maker, politician, no one whatsoever having a truly global long-term vision.

Why in 2020, when we are facing what the OMS (WHO) has finally decided to call PANDEMIC, everyone is just looking at its own backyard?

I hope that sooner or later we will really start thinking globally.

If this will not be the case, we will return to being very divided nations with increasingly thick and high border-walls.


Let's not go back there. Let's acquire the proper vision to look ahead for a new beginning! How could it be? Imagine!