Simona Ghizzoni is the protagonist of the Sirmione Photo Residency 2023

Her project chosen among the nearly 300 presented at the Sirmione Photo Residency

Published on : 28 July 2023 This article is older than 6 months

« This year, the response to our Sirmione Photo Residency Award was amazing! We had nearly 200 candidates, from all over the world and with very different photographic approaches. It is very stimulating for us to see how lively and divers the photo world is and how many photographers are interested in working for two weeks in Sirmione on their own photographic project.”

This was the enthusiastic comment of Andréa Holzherr, Global Exhibitions Director and curator of Magnum Photos and president of the jury of the Sirmione Photo Residency in announcing the name of Simona Ghizzoni, the person selected for the second edition of the photographic residence in Sirmione.

The project with which the Roman photographer convinced the jury is called Isola and was created starting in 2020 on the Emilian Apennines and then on the Reatino area. For the new project, which will be carried out during her residency in Sirmione, Simona Ghizzoni will work in close collaboration with Andréa Holzherr and Ludovica Pellegatta of Magnum Photos.
Simona Ghizzoni has a clear idea in mind of the project she will carry out in Sirmione:
“A large part of my artistic practice tells of the link between human beings and the environment, updating the historical and mythical roots of the territory. The design idea for Sirmione Photo Residency fits into this framework. Lake Garda is a precious casket of legends and traditions related to water: Sirmione is, etymologically, the refuge on the water; the relationship between the nature of the territory and the inhabitants is a fundamental part of this investigation. Through field research and the participation of a group of residents, I would therefore like to produce a imaginary reinterpretation of the place in three chapters: the portrait and the still life in mise-en scène, the landscape and a herbarium of traditional plants”.
This is how Simona Ghizzoni describes the Isola project with which she was selected:
“In 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to return to the house that belonged to my maternal family, in the Reggio Apennines, trying to understand if there was, despite everything, a common thread that united my mother, me as a new mother and the land where I grew up.

I was born into a family of peasant origins, the very life of my family depended on nature, that nature from which I have painfully felt the distance for years.
Since March 2020, crossing other territories and other houses in search of a place that is mine, which still has no conclusion, this red thread has become an obsession and I have discovered that a large part of my work is born precisely from this nostalgia for my origins. Isola speaks, through self-portraits, staged photography and images of daily documentation, about me, my new family and the search for a reconnection with the earth and with my roots”.

Simona Ghizzoni
(1977) is a photographer and visual activist for women’s rights.
Her work is strongly rooted in her personal experience, reinterpreted through photography. Her production revolves around two great strands, which often intersect: the social dimension of the woman and the private dimension of the self-portrait.

Twice awarded the World Press Photo for her work on the condition of women, her work has received numerous awards: Poyi, The Aftermath Project, Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant, BBC Arabic Film and Documentary Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Sony World Photography Awards, among others. In 2022 she was president of the jury for Europe at the World Press Photo. Learn more.

Sirmione Photo Residency: all the applicants of 2023 edition


In the photo gallery a selection of images taken from the Isola project.