Family albums. The community tells its story.

This video is the result of a research campaign conducted between June and July 2023 and features the people who accepted the Archivio Latera project promoters’ invitation to share pictures from different family albums in order to compile them into one big digital archive. The pictures are sometimes dated and very poetic and other times more recent, colored or in black and white. They’re kept in photo albums or boxes, sometimes lost and then found, forgotten or passed down generation to generation, frantically stuck in a quest for lost time or consigned to oblivion. Some are out of focus snapshots carrying visible signs of wear and tear, photographed by innovators of now antiquated machines and others look like actual studio poses. Marked, torn and taped back together, carried around in wallets or safeguarded like a relic. Portraits and snapshots that depict important occasions as well as everyday moments of conviviality and lightheartedness. Testimonies not only of what’s depicted on paper in black and white, but also of a world, not so distant from our own chronologically but miles away in terms of practices and sensitivity, that had a very different relationship with printed pictures.

The story tellers, around 40 people, were given two pictures out of the many they provided for the Archive and were asked to share their stories and memories: to give a voice, emotions and consistency to the two-dimensional paper. In some of the cases the tales unfolded naturally and impetuously. In others, the story struggled to take form between uncertainties about the dates, difficulties in recognizing the subjects, memory glitches, dates guessed by a process of elimination and second thoughts. The video didn’t seek to hide any of these dynamics though, and chose instead to highlight them to invite witnesses and visitors alike to reflect on the relationship between pictures and memories and how remembering is a complex process the outcome of which is influenced by many circumstances.

The Archivio Latera project started as a workshop that took place in Latera in 2021 held by Alessandro Imbriaco and Alessandro Coco. The mostra diffusa on the photographic heritage of Latera, of which this video is an integral part, was curated by Daniele Cimaglia and Giuseppe Odore. The venture was sponsored by the Comune di Latera and the Caffè Minerva cultural association of Grotte di Castro and carried out with the support of the Museo della terra and the Pro Loco di Latera.

The video