Carmelo Eramo is an Italian street-documentary photographer who captured his journey through the streets of Southern Italy. Resource Magazine had a chance to hear about his latest project: Before Everything Gets Lost Forever. This project demonstrates the balance and often-contradictory past and present. Carmelo Eramo describes Southern Italy as a time that flows slowly not at the mercies of the hectic modern world or fashion trends, but still displays a unique beauty.
Did you have a vision for this project?
I tried to capture the poetry of what is disappearing and how much still remains. [I was] searching among the narrow streets and the houses of ancient villages and small towns of Apulia and Lucania, in the old beating and sometimes suffering hearts of cities. I wanted to take the eye of a street photographer for scenes of ordinary, simple and everyday life.
What lead you to become involved in photography?
I’ve always had a philosophical attitude towards things in life. I suppose photography is part of this. Photography for me was a need to express myself, to communicate, to understand and look for meaning in my environment.
Why did you use black and white only for this particular project?
I feel that I can better express my view of things; I’m less distracted by the colors. I can reach for a higher synthesis; focus more on composition and content. I think it’s more existential than stylistic matter. But I like color too; in some cases I prefer it to monochrome to preserve light and the atmosphere.
Who inspired you to pursue photography?
I think the origin was from album covers, especially those of Pink Floyd shot by Storm Thorgerson. The conceptual surreal works and visions he had made me want to try to capture the world from behind a lens in a certain way. I also studied the work of Cartier-Bresson, Ferdiando Scianna and Mario Giacomelli from then my photography became something more than experimenting.
How do you keep your pictures raw and modern?
Being modern doesn’t concern me much. I try to be as true and honest as possible. I’m interested in life, human stories, people and places- not something constructed or artificial.
What is the one thing you want people to take from your work?
I want them to have a better understanding, get into and be touched by the world around them through my images. I would like to be recognized like any photographer, but for my style.
What are some things you’re currently working on?
I’m working on a special project collaborating with some great Italian street photographers. We’re each trying to have our own emphasis of style and make it known on an international level. The collective is called Spontanea.