Published by Damiani. Text by Abel Fernández-Larrea.
Casting an eye beyond its romantic façade to its impoverished population, photographers Cosmelli and Light depict the capital in this moment of long-awaited historical transition. Caught in fleeting glimpses from its public buses, Havana’s features are dispassionately laid bare. Behind the romantic languidness of its urban relinquishment, the daily struggles for survival of an impoverished but resourceful population are displayed against the backdrop of anachronistic propaganda billboards, decrepit housing estates, crumbling infrastructures and a lush tropical nature that reclaims its rule after man’s neglect. Yet signs of change are visible throughout the city and the new appears to seep through the cracks of the past, creating a unique blend of antique and nouveau, nostalgia and hope, disillusionment and elation. The world may soon lose the Havana of romantic postcard dreams, but the people of Havana may be about to experience a new revolution.
Cosmelli and Gaia Light's Milano Buzz is the second chapter of their ongoing series The Buzz Project, a portrait of contemporary cities and their inhabitants as seen from the window of public transport—in this case the ubiquitous city bus and trolley car. Captured literally in passing, each image is a chance arrangement of figures that appeared for a brief moment in front of the camera before the bus moved on, gleaning hidden or transitory states of being and extracting enduring moments from the swirling tides of the contemporary city. Published in the wake of Cosmelli and Light's 2012 volume Brooklyn Buzz, this volume is a visual exploration that links the city center to its suburbs, the high and the low, the glamorous and the real. It is a portrait that bares the multifaceted and cosmopolitan soul of a city that will play host to the 2015 Expo.
Published by Damiani. Text by Gavin Keeney, Jamie Wellford.
Italian-born photographers Alessandro Cosmelli and Gaia Light’s Brooklyn Buzz uses the framing device of a bus window frame, and the attendant serendipities of photographing on a moving vehicle, to present an extended photographic portrait of Brooklyn and its inhabitants. Cosmelli and Light have been photographing Brooklyn, their adopted home since 2007, capturing the borough at its most social and vibrant. “The windows work as filters with the outside,” they write of this project, “sometimes like enlarging lenses, amplifying, revealing unpredictable details, capturing life as it is in that precise moment, in the streets, at the bus stop, through the windows of a local deli; other times they work more like protective barriers that allow you to deeply penetrate people’s lives.” Analogous to Frank’s The Americans as a European eye on America, Brooklyn Buzz is full of effervescent charm and warmth.