The polaroids of Francesco Sambati speak of a joyful melancholy

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Francesco Sambati is a self-taught photographer born on 12 February 1981 in Lecce, Italy, in the southernmost region known as Salento. He attended an art high school in his city but came to photography later in his life, starting with digital photography fours years ago. After working for awhile in digital photography, he felt that something was missing, and like many photographers, he turned to instant photography to ll that void. He had been fascinated by Polaroids as a child and remembers seeing people in movies shake their Polaroid photos.

Those childhood memories remained with him, and he as his photographic journey progressed, he was curious to discover what was so special about making Polaroids. As soon as he took his rst Polaroid photo, it was love at rst sight. He says he had nally discovered the perfect medium to convey the sense of atmosphere he desired in his photographs. Sambati has a symbiotic, intuitive relationship with his Polaroid SX-70, stating that the camera itself is almost an extension of his feelings at the time he is shooting.

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About ‘Diaspora‘:

In my recent work I then started to tell  the feeling and the pleasant melancholy of the land where I was born and raised. The land in which I live, is a land surrounded by the sea which is normally associated solar image, joy, a welcoming land where there seems to forget the passing of time. Indeed this is true, but under the surface there is a layer that only those who grew up here can grasp.

Mine is a land steeped in melancholy absorbed over the centuries, due to poverty, geographical difficulties, the people who had to leave their homelands in search of a fortune that he could not find here. It’s an atmosphere that you can breathe in the air, even though many of these difficulties have now been overcome and it is the atmosphere that I try to capture in my shots. A palpable melancholy, despite now should not have reason to exist, but it is so much rooted, to be part of the DNA of the territory.

A melancholy that, during the cold months, comes out with arrogance in the deserted streets, empty beaches and deserted nature herself: the instant photography is the best for capturing everything. It only takes a moment to shoot, but despite this, I always get the impression that what I photographed immediately after there is no more, it’s already past although it is still before my eyes: it is a wonderful feeling that I can only hear shooting Polaroid.

I’m terribly influenced by the land where I live: a land surrounded by the sea, which during the winter months, it gives me a strong sense of melancholy. Here, where I live, beauty and melancholy would not exist without the other, and I would not exist without them These factors combined with my constant melancholy do the 99% of the work.

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Time to read
4 min
Words by
Published on
1 June 2018
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