Carnivals of the World (Hardback)
Libreria AbeBooks dal 14 gennaio 2010Quantità: 10
Libreria AbeBooks dal 14 gennaio 2010Quantità: 10
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Titolo: Carnivals of the World (Hardback)
Casa editrice: Maestro Books, Netherlands
Data di pubblicazione: 2011
As a young photographer in London having completed his post-graduate studies, Marcelo Bendahán had the opportunity of working with the British photo agency, Performing Arts Library. They specialized in photography of music, dance, opera, and festivals. Coming to this exciting work without having been a musician or performer meant that he brought a fresh eye and after a few years he developed an understanding of movement, rhythm, action and the possibilities all these offer us to produce beautiful photography.
Wanting to explore other fields of performing arts beyond the limited space of a theatre or an auditorium, he started an exploration of the arts spectacle that is the Carnival. In 1999 he went to Venice-Italy to photograph its Carnival there. He found what he wanted: an enormous display of imagination and fantasy, combined with a strong desire of people to express their traditions, culture and passions through costume, masks, dances, and music.
Each year since, he has traveled to one pre-Lenten Carnival. This project has taken him to Basel, Switzerland, Binche, Belgium, Dunkerque and Nice in France, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Barranquilla in Colombia, Oruro in Bolivia, Mazatlan in Mexico, Jacmel in Haiti, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Cadiz in Spain, Cologne in Germany and Mardi Grass in New Orleans, USA. After 14 Carnivals, the time to present this book has come.
Along with the strong visuals of Carnival, essays by a collection of writers will explain the significance of Carnival universally and the particulars of each local celebration.
Carnivals of the World is also a study of color; it explores how people express their emotions through colorful dresses and movement and invites the reader to think on how important it is to live with a touch of imagination and fantasy.
What is Carnival?
Carnival is a festival season that occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February or March. It typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of dancing, music and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations. The derivation of the word is uncertain, though it possibly can be traced to the Medieval Latin carne vale or carnelevarium, which means to take away or remove meat. This coincides with the fact that carnival is the final festivity before the commencement of the austere 40 days of Lent, during which Roman Catholics, in earlier times, fasted, abstained from eating meat, and followed other ascetic practices. Yet another translation depicts carne vale as "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrations that encourage letting go of your former self and embracing the carefree nature of the festival.
The historical origin of carnival is also obscure. In its broadest sense, “carnival” refers to a pageant, festival, or public celebration found all over the world. It originates in prehistoric times, varying in content, form, function, and significance from one culture to another. Many local carnival customs are also based on local pre-Christian rituals, for example the elaborate rites involving masked figures. The general consensus is that it began during the middle Ages, evolving from the burlesque celebrations associated with Easter, Christmas, and other European festivities such as Maypole, Quadrille Ball, Entrudo, and Halloween.
The most famous traditions, including parades and masquerading, are first attested from medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was for a long time the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to Spain, Portugal, and France. From France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New Orleans. From Spain and Portugal, they spread to Latin America. Many other areas have developed their own traditions.
Masking, disguising, cross-dressing - the essential gestures of carnival are intimately related to the idea of becoming “an other”, of entertaining fantasies, of travelling to other worlds, old and new. Sometimes carnival masquerading is aimed at subverting established social, political or racial hierarchies. Costuming, dancing, and all of the rituals are acts of cultural preservation. Thus, carnival is a vehicle for a range of social expressions and differences. The main feature of carnival is not as a spectacle but as an event to join in.
Marcelo Bendahán began his professional career in 1995, after graduating from the School of Communications in Madrid. Approached by the Performing Library in London, he spent five years taking pictures of the fascinating musical scene in that vibrant city. His work has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard, Gala Magazine, the Sunday Times, OK!, and BBC Music. In 2004 he founded Maestro Books and published his first book, Amsterdam Always, a captivating photo book that portrays the city, as it has never been seen before. He followed that with 'Melilla Viva', a unique insight of this Spanish enclave in North Africa that has belonged to Spain for over 500 years. 'Jerusalem Always', a moving journey into the heart of the capital of Israel was published in 2009, and he is presently working on a photo essay book on the Carnival celebrations held around the globe. Bendahán lives in Amsterdam with his family.
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