Michele Palazzi · Black Gold Hotel

Nov 12, 2020

Michele is an Italian photographer inspired by arts in general. Working primarily on documentary projects, Michele's work offers a sincere point of view with a minimal approach that, besides informative, is aesthetically very pleasant. In his series 'Black Gold Hotel', Michele travels to Mongolia in order to capture the daily lives of those families that decided to remain nomadic, as well as those which migrated to the urban centres facing several difficulties and unimaginable challenges. These beautiful images are also the reflection of a global migration phenomenon, where more and more people abandon traditional lifestyles for an urban one.

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

MP - After high school, I attended a three years Master in photography in Rome, where I am currently based. After my studies, I started working as an assistant for several photographers and since 2014 I am represented by the photojournalist agency 'Contrasto'. At the moment I teach photography at the Rome University of Fine Arts and I’m carrying on the second chapter of my latest project 'Finisterrae'.


am - How did you start in photography?

MP - I got passionate about visual arts after high school, so I decided to join a photography course. After the master I started working as an assistant for some photographers and during this experience I discovered this job under many points of view. I’ve been working for a while as a news photographer, and at the same time I've traveled a lot in order to carry on with my personal projects.


am - What inspires your work?

MP - My work is mostly inspired by the arts such as sculpture, cinema, painting and of course photography.

am - What is 'Black Gold Hotel' about?

MP - 'Black Gold Hotel' is a journey in the daily lives of people all over Mongolia, from the families in the Gobi desert that chose to continue the tradition of the steppe despite all the difficulties, to the young people living in  Ulaanbaatar. From the kids forced to look for food and shelter in a dump, to the people that abandoned nomadic life hoping to find happiness in a more urban lifestyle, but ended up being trapped in-between.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

MP - I’m really inspired by Werner Herzog, Andrej Tarkovsky, Erik Kessels, Egon Schiele and Joan Fontcuberta.


am - What is your favourite movie?

MP - My favourite movie is 'Stalker' by Andrej Tarkovsky.


am - What is your favourite photo book?

MP - One of my favourite books is 'Open See' by Jim Goldberg.


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

All images © Michele Palazzi


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