An earlier post about Frank Cancian’s seminal photographic work ‘Un Paese’ in Lacedonia, Irpinia. Thank’s to Douglas Stockdale
Copyright Frank Cancian 2013 published by Delta 3 Edizioni
An anthropologist by training and a photographer as a passion, these two elements were fused together in 1957 when Frank Cancian investigated a small Italian hill-top community located east of Naples. This body of work could also pass for a photojournalist story found in either LIFE or LOOK magazines of this same period.
As a trained observer of culture and society, Cancian did not remain aloof and at a distance, but directly interacted with his subjects, catching them in self-reflection as well as allowing them to boldly face his lens. For a small Italian town, an Italian-American stranger with a camera was an oddity, thus his presence was conspicuous. Nevertheless, over time he was able to blend in and become more of an objective observer.
The book is divided into four sections; The Town, The Piazza, Procession of Our Lady of…
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For an American woman who first discovered her roots here eleven years ago, who has returned consistently ever since and has now chosen to live in one of these ‘piccoli paesi’ in Alta Irpinia, life here has offered beautiful experiences beyond what I could have imagined. Lucciole and the poems of Pasolini are just the beginning. I step outside myself and the vanquished memories of a 1st generation upbringing each day as I step outside my door on via Fontana. The door of maternal origins. The door of an emigrated, lost, & now honored grandmother. From Brooklyn origins to Los Angeles retirement and back again my parents watch listen and follow from afar as I contribute to the memory of the ghosts of our ancestors. Their 1st generation indifferences and concerns of having lost one of their own to a far away and misunderstood land quietly put aside. Since arriving ‘to stay’ with pride and joy I continue to contribute to the village in large and small ways. It is now a personal quest for me to see that this place this landscape this as yet un-trampled gem of Campania not only survives but thrives … I remain at your service Alta Irpinia. You only need to ask …
If you would like to follow some of my adventures here below is a link to my personal website and blog chronicling my point of view with fotos and text http://lamericana.blogspot.com
COME TO CAIRANO FOR THE ‘RUPE IN FESTA’ 5-6-7 august 2011
Travelers, curious pilgrims and guests can stay in village homes in Cairano made available by the town’s 300 inhabitants and about 3000 Cairanesi living abroad.
Catering is provided by the women of Cairano and the chefs of “The Mesali” a true Irpinian ‘transumanza gastronomic’ experience.
Reception and logistics are taken care of by young adult members of Cairano’s Pro Loco or Chamber of Commerce.