Tomato Soup

Sicily, Italy 2008

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® Michel Oliva

The more I take pictures the more I feel that my work strives at becoming an enduring expression of my consciousness so rooted within my inner being, my soul. When I take a picture that works, it is able to transcend the time and the place in which it was taken. All these apparently different workshops photographing different people, in different countries try to capture the universality of our existence. The Easter in Sicily workshop is just part of this intuitive process that perhaps one day will make some sense of all these apparently disparate images.

The beauty to return to my native island each year is given not only by having another chance to take new images of the same processions, but by also having the possibility to see my parents to whom I’m very close.

As always we worked hard, we saw lots of images both analogical and digital and we savored the simple and delicious Sicilian food including the fantastic fried octopus.

My students faced the photographic challenges bravely and some of the images show how each one of them captured in his own way the essence of the celebrations about Jesus’ death and resurrection.

My workshops have given me the unique opportunity to retake pictures here where I grew up as a happy child over 40 years ago. I like to say that the pictures I take are the product of this unique upbringing. If I were born somewhere else in Italy, I’d not take the pictures that I do take everyday.

It’s a great privilege to have shared my origins with my beloved students. Why did we call the group Tomato Soup? Because I was threatening my students to only feed them tomato soup if they wouldn’t take good images. In the end the name stayed although the pictures are there. EB


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