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I Travestiti – Lisetta Carmi

I Travestiti – Lisetta Carmi


Essedi, 1972
I Edition
Hardcover with dust jacket, 24,5×32 cm
150 pages, b/w photographs

Italian text

excellent overall conditions, the dust jacket (rare) is worn out

In stock (can be backordered)

Excerpt from an article by Renata Ferri:

A Jew, fleeing the racial laws, she abandoned a promising career as a pianist to join the social struggles. It is the 1960s, Lisetta participates and takes photographs. (….) In 1965, she began her investigation into the world of transvestites in Genoa, a groundbreaking and founding work (…) They were her friends, her investigation is free of judgement, terribly human, emotionally involved.

“I never looked for the subjects to photograph, they came to me,” she declared. For a certain period, these transvestites were part of her life. Having been welcomed into their community, she was able to reveal their search for identity, anticipating by decades the interpretive approach to the issue of gender identity. The book containing this work became mythical, coveted and unobtainable for many years. Reinforcing the mythology is the most curious genesis of the volume: rejected by all publishers, even those that were left-wing, it was printed by Sergio Donnabella, a gentleman who was not a publisher but had the courage of a neophyte. In fact, he published a few thousand copies at his own expense. It would seem like a happy ending. But it wasn’t. There was another problem: no bookseller wanted to have it on display. It was too scandalous, despite the rebellious years and the sexual liberation that broke the boundaries of the couple but not those of identity. ‘Transvestites’ had to be hidden on the shelves. What then? Barbara Alberti, journalist and writer, a good friend of Lisetta’s, retrieved the copies and, little by little, took them home. Before long, they became ‘bed bases, tables, bookcases, walls, sofas and chairs that changed shape every day depending on how many we gave to friends,’ the writer declared. In a decidedly original way, she preserved and circulated them.

Additional information

Weight3 kg
Dimensions32 × 24,5 cm





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