Longing for Italy – photo message in time of pandemic

The Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) in Sofia, in association with the BulFoto Agency, is organising this season’s first open-air exhibition in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Entitled Longing for Italy, the photo exhibition is being set up in the Crystal Garden, a popular socialising spot with citizens of the capital, and can be viewed from 12 until 22 May.

“This exhibition was inspired by the first days of social distancing in Bulgaria. As Italy was reeling from the initial blows of the epidemic, I noticed attitudes towards Italians walking around Sofia starting to change. Many passers-by regarded them with suspicion and animosity. So I decided to try and remind people of the positive sentiments we have always shared as nations, of the time when every photo of Italy posted on social media used to instantly garner likes, smiley faces and heart emojis,” says Evgeni Dimitrov, manager of BulFoto Agency and author of the 26 photos in the show and their captions.

One at a time, Dimitrov started posting on Facebook images from his trips to Italy accompanied by interesting details about the picture. The posts quickly became a hit with his friends. “I believe I was able to rekindle that sensation that makes us long to go back to Italy,” the photographer says. The oldest photo dates back to 1991 and the most recent one is from 2019 .

“Italy will always be one of the most attractive tourist destinations,” Verena Vittur, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia, notes.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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