CHANTAL RIEKEL – TORRE PADULI, 2003 – THE SHOT I NEVER FORGOT
I took this image of the crowd soon after sunrise at the annual ’Torre Paduli festival’ in southern Italy, as part of my first personal photography project, as a then self taught photographer, thanks to European funding, covering the cultural significance of local ‘pizzica pizzica’ folk music and dance traditions. I had been there all night, trying to capture the energy of this very popular festival when I witnessed this magic moment. People were hardly showing signs of lacking sleep, still gathered in circles, singing and dancing to the exhilarating rhythm of the ‘tamburello’ drumming. There is a certain peacefulness about this scene, without communicating verbally, people seemed united by their shared passion for this music, indifferently of their skin colour.
To this day, whenever I look at this photograph again, something resonates deeply in me and it continues to inspire, and intrigue me as an image maker.
I remember the moment when I discovered this scene on my contact sheets. Even without being there, it had a real presence about it and I became for the first time aware of photography’s ability to communicate feelings and emotions.