Yvonne De Rosa founded a non-profit association of social promotion, in 2016. Since then, she has disseminated contemporary visual art in Naples supporting, at the same time, sustainable tourism in her city. Hosting exhibitions of different visual mediums and by several famous contemporary artists, Magazzini Fotografici raises awareness about photography's power in storytelling and social commentary.
Magazzini Fotografici is a non-profit association of social promotion that you founded back in 2016 in Naples. How did you come up with this idea and what were you aiming to achieve by offering this creative, free space to the public?
Originally an abandoned warehouse used as a bag factory, Magazzini Fotografici has transformed into a cultural outpost. I aimed to create a project that supports and disseminates culture through visual mediums. It represents a challenge not just for me but also for fostering sustainable tourism in Naples’ historic centre. The goal is to be an independent space promoting culture and contributing to urban regeneration, steering away from fast-paced tourism activities.
It has been almost ten years since the establishment of Magazzini Fotografici. Congratulations on giving life to such an incredible idea and artistic hub! What was the journey like so far? Did you see yourself and your association where you are today when you started eight years ago?
Thank you! Reflecting on these years is truly unbelievable! Magazzini Fotografici has hosted numerous initiatives and exhibitions by prominent artists such as Letizia Battaglia, Lisetta Carmi, Sylvia Plachy, Mario Giacomelli, Luciano D’Alessandro etc. If I think about every step, it’s been an incredible journey, and I had no idea we would come this far when I started. Initially seeking a space for my photography practice, discovering the potential during the cleanup of the abandoned factory was a pivotal moment. My studio was never placed there - [it] is nearby, Magazzini Fotografici has become my other soul space, a place where I promote photography as a way of enriching and nurturing our culture.
Can you tell us more about your associations incredible job in supporting emerging talented photographers and in increasing awareness about and conversions around photography?
Magazzini Fotografici has been a platform for nurturing emerging talents in photography and beyond. We provide mentorship, workshops, and exhibition opportunities to help them grow artistically and professionally. Through our events and collaborations, we aim to raise awareness about photography's power in storytelling and social commentary, sparking meaningful conversations and conversions within the community.
Despite its name, Magazzini Fotografici goes beyond photography. How do you choose what art forms to include in this space, and what is the artistic partnership process like?
While photography forms our core, I take immense pride in our dedicated photobook shop, which enriches our cultural offerings. We embrace a range of art forms, with a central focus on visual arts. Our selection process is guided by our mission to foster creativity, critical thinking, and cultural dialogue. We collaborate with artists whose work resonates with our vision, ensuring a diverse and engaging programme for our audience.
Among the several exhibitions and artists you hosted, from Letizia Battaglia, Lisetta Carmi, and Gabriele Basilico, to Chris Steele-Perkins, Sylvia Plachy, Laura Pannack, and many others, is there one that significantly marked and shaped your approach to this project and the association itself?
Each exhibition and artist has contributed uniquely to our journey, shaping our approach and expanding our horizons. If I had to highlight one, Letizia Battaglia's exhibition stands out for its powerful portrayal of social issues through photography. Her work inspired everyone to use art as a catalyst for social change and to engage with pressing societal issues, ranging from a more journalistic perspective to using art through creative expressions.
Not only is Magazzini Fotografici culturally enriching Naples photographic scenario, but it is also giving a new life to a UNESCO heritage site in the centre of this incredible city. What is it like to inhabit the Palazzo Caracciolo DAvellino del Decumano Superiore, and how do you manage this space to make the best out of it for both the association and the city?
Inhabiting Palazzo Caracciolo D’Avellino del Decumano Superiore is a privilege and responsibility. We strive to honour its historical significance by curating exhibitions and events that complement its heritage while bringing contemporary artistic expressions to the forefront. Collaborating with local authorities and community stakeholders, we ensure that our activities benefit not just the association but also contribute positively to Naples' cultural and touristic landscape.