Irene Artuso · Asinara

Dec 15, 2020

Irene is an Italian scientist and photographer who enjoys shooting natural landscapes as a way to preserve her memories. In her series 'Asinara', Irene portrays a personal voyage through the homonymous Mediterranean island that used to be a prison up until 1997 when it became a National Park. Since then, nature has retaken the landscape, and past and present conditions of the island can be found in Irene's uncomplicated and inspiring pictures.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

IA - Hello, my name is Irene Artuso. I'm 28 years old and I was born in Rome, where I currently live. I graduated in Physics and Bioinformatics, and am currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. Apart from my academic activity, I work on several series of analogue photography, mainly focused on my travel experiences.


am - How did you start in photography?

IA - I started shooting analogue when I was 21 with an old camera that my father gave me for my birthday. It quickly became an essential instrument for exploring the world that surrounds me.


am - What does photography mean to you?

IA - I’m always looking for spaces that can touch me deeply: natural landscapes with a special atmosphere and their inhabitants. Photography is a means of preserving a memory of these images and a way of sharing them.

am - What is 'Asinara' about?

IA - Located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the north-western tip of Sardinia, the 20-square-mile island of Asinara is a national park and a marine reserve. Bated breath before the force of nature, while contemplating the windswept landscapes covered by Mediterranean scrub, and the mysterious charm heightened by a century of isolation, which has preserved its true nature. Its whole population in 1885 was forced to leave and found the town of Stintino, in fact, it was planned to make of Asinara a quarantine location and a prison camp for some 24,000 Austrian and Hungarian soldiers during the First World War. In the 1970s the prison facilities were refurbished as a maximum-security prison. Basically, prisoners and warders were the only inhabitants of Asinara for about 110 years. Since 1997 Asinara island is a National Park while in 2002 its offshore waters were zoned and designated as a marine protected area. The 'Asinara' series is about a day I spent there together with my friends.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

IA - Luigi Ghirri is definitely my favorite photographer.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

IA - Currently, I am very fascinated by the work of Alessandra Sanguinetti, so I would say 'The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams' and 'The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Illusion of an Everlasting Summer'.


am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

IA - Thank you for having me!

All images © Irene Artuso


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