Paola Sarappa | Blog

Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Posts Tagged ‘London

Music at the Elephant – When the Sun goes down

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This is a school project that took place between the 6th and 13th of June. The aim of the “Elephant Project” was to document the area of ​​Elephant and Castle, where the London College of Communication is based. A group of 28 international photographers have captured the life that took place within a week. My choice was to document the music, when the sun goes down. To my great surprise I found the area full of interesting and varied situations. Music, as usual, combines different cultures together. And by the way…who said that Elephant and Castle is dangerous?

Written by Paola Sarappa

10/07/2011 at 11:13 am

A journey through the canals of London

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Since Roman times it was clear that communication was the key in the expansion of an empire. In order to do this, there was a need for appropriate and fast means. These requirements led engineering for the construction of safe roads with branches spread throughout the empire. The Roman roads can be considered the first true form of technology, used primarily for military purposes, and since then men understood how important the connections and the communications between the various sectors were.

In the same way, as regards to the British Empire, its navy was without any doubt the most important contribution to the expansion to other continents, economically and militarily, and this allowed for almost three centuries the control of the seas and trade routes.

One thing that always fascinates me about England is the extensive network of navigable canals: important way of communication, transportation of goods and raw materials and sometimes a clever way to bypass part of a river to make navigation easier. Basically is possible to browse inside the whole England using this waterways.

Even though in the history of canals probably Britain was not a pioneer (as many other things Chinese can claim the paternity of this invention) there is an open debate of which is the country that gave the birth to the first man-made waterways used for navigation.

However no one can deny the importance that canals has for this country. Nowadays their role changed completely: the most important function has become the tourism and also canals have become, for instance, a cheapest and various way to live in London or a leisure place where people go fishing, jogging or just enjoying a sunny day.

During my journey along the canals of London I experienced a place which is so far away from the busy, noisy and fast city that normally people considers. Here everything flows as slow as the water that fills the ditches. Especially if is a sunny day, which I had the luck to found, you can enjoy your walking, that can extent for miles, as much as if you go to a park or in the countryside.

Paola Sarappa

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Written by Paola Sarappa

17/03/2011 at 6:31 pm

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5 Picture Story – A problem called Berlusconi

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One of the more important principle that a journalist should always try to respect is objectivity. Since I started working as journalist I’ve always done my best to be neutral, trying to leave comments and opinions to the reader. Quite easy to say and far less easy to carry out.

The desire to direct the mind of the reader toward your own thought is often overwhelming, especially if you are writing on a topic you really care about, but often also if you have all the goodwill to be nonpartisanship this happens unconsciously.

The beauty to have a blog is that none of this matters. You can write about your real thought, without the fear to be judged as factious. So in this case, I’m not afraid of deploying myself with that part of Italy who never liked his prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and will never do.

For this assignment I attended the protest against Berlusconi, which took place the 13th of February at Richmond Terrace, in front of Downing Street, in the centre of London. In the same day, in over 200 cities in Italy the people demonstrated against Berlusconi. This small picture story is my contribution, as an Italian offsite, to the protest.

Paola Sarappa

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14/03/2011 at 8:43 pm

3 Picture Story – Kurdish Community Centre

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For this assignment I decided to document the activities that take place in the “Kurdish Community Center” in North London. Most of the Kurds, in this community, comes from Turkey. They were really open and friendly and they totally understood my purpose.

My idea is to investigate their double identity: how they consider themselves and their life. Kurdish people who lives in Turkey are trapped in a country that hardly recognize their features and therefore they are often forced to emigrate in other countries to find a better life. Despite this, they love their homeland.

March will be a month particularly important for the Kurdish community, since they will celebrate the Newroz. According to the legend, the holiday is in remembrance of the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant. This is another way of demonstrating support for the Kurdish cause and for their own identity as well. Newroz usually take place the 21st of March and coincides with the spring equinox.

Paola Sarappa

Kurdish mother tongue celebration day, 21st of February – Waiting for the beginning of the celebration

Kurdish mother tongue celebration day, 21st of February – Musician plays the saz, a typical Turkish instrument

Kurdish women rehearse their traditional songs for the International Women’s Day, 8th March.

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Written by Paola Sarappa

25/02/2011 at 1:18 am

Person at work – Vol.2

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We had to choose two different work situations for the first assignment “Person at work”. My brilliant idea was to take photos of a magician just near my flat: palm reading, crystal balls, tarots. I couldn’t ask for more.

So I went there the first time, but it was closed. I tried to call and I booked and appointment for the day after, 10am. I woke up early to get ready and I went there again. I put all my will and my courage to go there, without any fear. And finally I made it.

I rang the bell, I got upstairs and I made my proposal to this beautiful woman who opened the door. unfortunately she didn’t understood my reason. As I was guessing is something really private and secret. No beating around the bush: impossible to make a project about this kind of job. The disappointment was immense, but I need to resign myself to that.

So I had to change subject, but by that time I had wasted two days already and the deadline was not so far. I opted for something easy, possibly in an open space this time, just to change a little from my first choise, the tattooist.

What better than a street artist and where if not in Covent Garden.

Paola Sarappa

 

Written by Paola Sarappa

19/01/2011 at 2:13 am

How to make a tattoo

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For the first assignment I choose a tattoo shop. I simply love tattoos (even though I only have one yet), and I thought that it could be interesting for other people to see the creation of something that will last forever. Especially for those who never got the chance to see it, I suppose a few nowadays.

I followed all the instructions given to us by the course director: all manual, no zoom, 35mm lens, black & white, 400 ISO. I shoot a bit more that asked, 70 pictures rather than 40, just because it was a very long process, around 4 hours, and there where many things to shoot. So I made a rough selection and I choose the following 21 pictures.

I believe the most difficult part for me was to push myself a little bit at the beginning and struggle with laziness, shyness and shame and ask the tattooist the permission, explaining my purpose. Actually he was really open to do it. I presume that it is just my sense of discretion. Sometimes I convince myself that I can bother other people, but it is something I have to overcome, sooner or later.

Paola Sarappa

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A special thanks to “A True Love Tattoo” studio – Denmark Place, London.

Written by Paola Sarappa

19/01/2011 at 1:27 am

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