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Stromboli, Iddu / Gaia Squarci

January 2018


© Gaia Squarci

Exhibit opening & talk
Tuesday January 23th, 2017, 7:00 PM

Moderated by Half King Photo Series Curator Anna Van Lenten


Gaia's pictures of Stromboli, one of the Eolian Islands between Italy's mainland and Sicily, were made in 2016 and 2017. There are no cars or lights on the streets, the population drops to 400 people in the winter, and the volcano smokes and erupts constantly. Meanwhile, locals fish and make their lives amid seasonal influxes of visiting scientists, students, and tourists.

As Gaia explains, Stromboli is a conic island emerging from the Tyrrhenian waters. Its surface is mostly occupied by a volcano in constant activity. Not a lot of space is left for human life around the mountain. Only two small villages crawl on its slopes, exposed to the winds, and the seasons’ caprice.​

Tiptoeing on the island you feel its strange, reckless chemistry, 'a mixture of volcanic air and sea salt,' in the words of Mario Cusolito, a fisherman from the island."

An ancient society of fishermen and farmers, with few last names and rivalries whose reasons no one remembers anymore, blends with a community of foreigners, artists, renegades from all over, who settled on the island long ago, attracted by the volcano, or to turn a page in their lives.​

I grew to love the contradictions of the place. I could feel the reason why the locals call the volcano “Iddu,” Sicilian for He, like a god who can’t be named and a friend you live with every day.

~ Gaia Squarci


GAIA SQUARCI is a photographer and cinematographer who divides her time between Milan and New York, where she teaches multimedia at ICP. She is a contributor to Prospekt agency and Reuters. With a background in art history and photojournalism, she leans toward a personal approach in documentary photography and video. 


Gaia attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2014, and in 2015 her installation Broken Screen was selected for the exhibition reGeneration3 at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.


She is an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow. POYi awarded her cinematography and photography work respectively in 2014 and 2017.


Clients range from the New York Times and the New Yorker, to Time, Vogue, and Der Spiegel, among others.


Her work has been exhibited in the US, Italy, France, Switzerland, UK, Mexico and China.

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