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Martina Cirese

Asankojo

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What happens when a circle begins? You know the circle will end. The matter is how is it gonna end. (The matter is, how can you know how is it gonna end?). A photographer meets an subject, not that she thinks he his, but it’s the only thing he deserves to be. And he knows it, and he likes it. Skin is a boundary [then] skin is an opportunity.

I met Asan in Paris. I was caught by his mental universe of anxiety, straying and questioning. With him, I felt immediately messy but complete. I entered his nomadic life and his persistent tension with spaces. I found myself in it. I started to take pictures hanging over him, in every street, light or wall he was leaning in. But he kept asking for more. He was viscerally attracted to me. He was obsessed with me.

For over one year, I denied him but I came back in an endless and tense tango. Following him across Europe and Asia, in a bipolar courtship, I was led into intertwined, overlaid worlds: erratic, liquid cities, revealing then hiding themselves; and Asan, more as an entity than a person, a mentor, a spiritual guide. As we chased each other, he took me away. When I found my own vision and language through our photos, I was already gone from his life, as he from mine.

 

Bio

Martina Cirese was born in Rome in 1988.

From 2008 until 2009, while studying History at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, she also enrolled at the institute of photography “ISFCI”, collaborating at the same time with the “AGF” photojournalistic agency and with the organization “Shoot4Change”. Completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2010, she has moved from Rome to Paris to finish her studies, winning a scholarship to do her thesis abroad and receiving her Master degree in Contemporary History in 2013.

Her first publications have been about the student movement: in 2008 on “PeaceReporter”; in 2011 on the book SpringTime: The New Student Rebellions by Verso Books; in the German magazine “Rosa Luxembourg” and in the Italian newspapers “La Repubblica” and “Alias – Il Manifesto”. In 2012, her first reportage assigned and her first cover were published in the Italian magazine “L’Espresso”, with an inquiry about the power of Taxi’s lobby during the Italian economic crisis.

Between 2011 and 2013 she has been working about the human search of identity: with this project, named “Asankojo”, she has been selected as finalist for the “Emergentes DST 2012 Award” and the “WinePhoto International Contest 2012”. She has won the scholarship for the “MasterClass 2012” held by Enrico Bossan, head of photography department in Fabrica.

This year, she has been selected in the “New York Portfolio Review”; she was among the shortlist of the “Bourse du Talent Reportage” and of the “Prix Pixpalace-Visas de l’Ani”. “Asankojo” was also nominated as “Honorable Mention” in the “Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant 2013”, and awarded with the first prize of the student category in the “Fotoura International Street Photography Awards 2013”.

 

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The Weinstein Co. has released a trailer for Julian Schnabel‘s Miral, starring Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto. The film covers five decades of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Pinto playing a young woman who falls for a political activist (Omar Metwally, Munich) and becomes involved in the Palestine liberation movement. Watch the trailer after the jump.


[via TheMovieBox.Net]

Although this new trailer features slightly less violence and improper language, it otherwise looks pretty similar to the French-subtitled one we posted last summer — right down to the melancholy Tom Waits song that plays over the very end. Miral has since hit several film festivals, starting with Venice last year. It was originally scheduled to open in the U.S. last December, but has been rescheduled for a March 25, 2011 release date.

Disappointingly, early reviews for the film aren’t looking too good — Miral currently holds a worrying 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Granted, that’s out of only 15 reviews, but even the positive reviews seem less than enthusiastic.) The consensus seems to be that it’s well-intentioned, but not well-made. Given the breadth of the subject, I wonder if Jebreal’s book would’ve been better served as a miniseries.

Miral is based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same title by Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal. Schanbel became involved with the project when Jebreal sent him the book after the two met at a dinner in 2007. They began work on the film later that year, and became a couple during the course of the production. Schnabel has said in interviews that Miral has a personal significance to him: “Coming from my background, as an American Jewish person whose mother was president of Hadassah [the Women's Zionist Organization of America] in 1948, I figured I was a pretty good person to try to tell the story of the other side.”

Hiam Abbas (The Visitor) and Yasmine Al Masri (Caramel) also star in the film, as Miral’s teacher and a prisoner, respectively. Vanessa Redgrave and Willem Dafoe appear in small roles.

Official synopsis:

From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award© nominated director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls and Basquiat, comes Miral, the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini (HIAM ABBASS, The Visitor, Amreeka) opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old Miral (FRIEDA PINTO, Slumdog Millionaire) who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother’s tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (OMAR METWALLY, Munich, Rendition) and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind’s defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace.

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