Pietro Bazan Scholarship Gallery 2014
by Jordi Pizarro
Jordi Pizarro won his scholarship in 2014 by sending some of the images on his project on faith. He had difficulties attending the workshop that very year, but he finally managed to come to the Sacred Valley workshop this year. I’m very happy he did because besides being a very courageous and fine photographer of whom we have many, he’s also a gentleman of whom we have few alas, very few. We greatly enjoyed seeing each other again. It went beyond the workshop itself: it was very special! As I wrote in the intro to the workshop Holy Shit, Mud Club in the Peruvian Sacred Valley:“And then there was our sweet Jordi the Catalan that was finally coming to take his well-deserved BPW scholarship. I was touched by his tenacity, which reminded me of myself when I was his age. This almost blind determination to keep on no matter how challenging the world out there is. His black and white images speak for themselves.”
Jordi wrote me a letter as a commentary for the workshop’s experience and for receving the scholarship, which is here below along with some of his images.
All I can add is that I’m very happy we gave him this opportunity.
What a gift it was!
Thank you again to all of you who have supported so generously the BPW scholarships in 2014 and 2015. It’s my hope that you can continue to do in the future to bring more young, talented people home! Thank you Jordi for finally coming! EB
® Jordi Pizarro
Letter to Ernesto Bazan
I met Ernesto when I was 22-year-old, roughly the same amount of years that it has taken him to complete his first book Bazan Cuba. For me this book was a love at first sight. I was totally fascinated by these pictures, with those impossible compositions where it seemed that everything was in the right place at the right time, where everything was put there before him like a perfect painting as if by magic. I bought your book and asked you to write me something: “To a photographer who has yet to open his wings and learn how to fly” was the hardest and raw dedication that someone had ever written to me. It has taken me several years to really digest it.
About three years ago I decided to break away from my environment: I left my work at the newspaper that I had dreamed about for so long and closed my photo wedding business. I did what I should have done before: I followed what my heart told me.
Last year, I was told that I had won a scholarship to study with Ernesto. For me it has been an emotional moment at a personal level, besides the fact that I could travel and study with him, it was moving to know that he was the one who made me react at that point in my life in which I was looking for something despite not knowing what it was yet. Ernesto helped me remove the spider web from over my eyes.
I just came back from the workshop “personal journey” through the sacred valley in Peru and am back in Delhi. I intend to write these few lines as a thank you note for this emotional journey.
About these days I could write about many wonderful things of what we did and lived together, but many are too obvious, too technical. I will not bore you with what you already know. To be totally honest with you to say that a workshop with Ernesto Bazan is not just a workshop where you learn to edit, compose, to be demanding with yourself (although it’s about all of the above), but it also goes beyond all that because for me Ernesto teaches you to understand that a good photographic project needs to be slowly cooked, that patience is more important than being in a rush, that it’s hard work, that to make a good photo, of those that remain in your memory, it might take days, weeks or even months or years… and that to make a good project you will need many images like these. Ernesto conveys the illusion of a child when he goes out with his cameras to photograph with you; he helps you reconcile yourself with the magic of photography, he shows you that where you think nothing happens something does happen, you learn to look again, which is not the same as seeing.
Ernesto is one of those romantics who has not converted to digital, he loves the smell of chemicals and he continues to shoot with Tri-X. When he shows you one of his silver-gelatin prints you understand why.
My sincere congratulations for your work, for your way of being, for sharing with your students your future books, for wanting to teach all you know, for building this very nice group of people that you are creating. Keep it up Ernesto! You’re a source of inspiration for many of us. Good luck!