I travestiti / fotografie a colori – Lisetta Carmi


Contrasto, 2022
Hardcover, 24,3 x 31,8 cm
160 pages, color photographs
Italian text

In stock

I travestiti. Fotografie a colori di Lisetta Carmi. published fifty years after the publication of I travestiti (Rome, Essedi, 1972) and appearing a few months after the author’s death, is a volume strongly desired by the photographer, with unpublished color photos of one of the reportages most intense and important in the history of photography, found in his archive in 2017. These images make up a large and complete corpus that allows a new reading of Carmi’s long work with the transvestite community of Genoa..

The volume, with a text by Lisetta Carmi,is edited by Giovanni Battista Martini and it is enriched by texts by Juliet Jacques – journalist, writer and activist for LGTBQ+ rights who recounted her transition experience in a memoir, by the writer and psychiatrist Vittorio Lingiardi and Paola Rosinawho reconstructs the history of the book published in 1972.
At the end of 1965, for the New Year’s Eve party, Lisetta Carmi, thanks to a friend, was invited to a house of transvestites who lived and worked in the former Jewish ghetto in the historic center of Genoa. That same evening he began to photograph them, starting a friendship and an acquaintance that continued until 1971. The following year Sergio Donnabella, for the Essedì publishing house, created specifically for this publication which had received no from other publishers, published the book I travestitia romance book halfway between an art book and an investigative book, explicit between harshness and sobriety, with texts by Lisetta Carmi herself and the psychoanalyst Elvio Fachinelli and graphic layout by Giancarlo Iliprandi. But the work on sexual identity contained in those pages seems too shameless to most people and even just the choice of title, which reveals an unacceptable stance, causes scandal. Many bookstores refused to sell it, so the volume became an editorial case and a scandal to the morals of the time.
Now Contrasto publishes the unpublished and unmissable work with a selection of 94 images in which the photographer recounts the lives of transvestites in an intimate and participatory way and, through them, also questions the role that society wants to impose on them. Carmi exploits the communicative power of color to bring out the truth, through the concrete physicality of her subjects. The search for truth is the supreme guideline of all her photographic practice. The photographs document the long preparation of make-up, hairdo and the dressing phases, from the images in bra and garter belt up to the shot in which these people finally show themselves to the world as they would like to be welcomed. Being represented means existing, having bodies, faces, names. Carmi goes further and photographs the transvestites who in pioneering times set out on the transition journey around the city, outside the confines of the ancient Jewish ghetto which for too many of them was protection but also a prison. They are the first step of a still long and painful journey. Lisetta’s goal restores normality and beauty to them.
Weight 1 kg


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