The project tells, through images, of a little explored and known territory in which I lived part of my life. Specifically, it is about Specchiolla, a small seaside resort frequented mainly in summer, which stretches on the Brindisi coast. This area has been my reference point for many years as my parents owned a restaurant near its cliff. It is only when I stopped frequenting those places that I could really notice what was around me and its hidden beauty. My photographs show how architectural and natural elements coexist and interact with each other. I have already pictured the architecture-nature dualism in some of my previous projects as it is increasingly becoming my own signature when I capture the landscapes that I find myself in front of.
The name Mare Rurale (Rural Sea) refers to a specific characteristic of the Specchiolla area: the continuity between land and sea. In the collective imagination, these two ecosystems are quite distinct, while here they coexist harmonically. The inhabitants of this area take this rural landscape that touches the sea as ordinary sightseeing and do not realize of its interesting glimpses and amazing contrasts.
A good part of the inhabitants of the nearby villages, such as Carovigno and San Vito dei Normanni, are farmers or land owners that cultivate a variety of products and sell them in local and national markets. If you enter the narrow streets that cross these cultivated plots, you will come across large, rust-colored fields, mostly cultivated with tomatoes, wheat fields, fruit trees and local vegetables. These colorful fields create a sharp contrast with the strip of blue sea that overlaps in the distant background and welcomes and fascinates tourists. Dried stone walls and rock constructions alternate with newly constructed holiday homes and unfinished or abandoned works. All these constructions are in perfect harmony with huge fig trees, sea pines, coastal dunes and Mediterranean maquis.
These and other elements reveal an extraordinary corner of Apulian territory and tell us about this dualism between land and sea, all to be discovered.
Stefano Gio Semeraro (b. 1984) is a documentary and landscape photographer based in Milan, Italy. Graduated in Chemistry, he then decided to start exploring photography and its applications. After attending courses in Analog and Digital Photography and Visual Storytelling at CFP Bauer in Milan (from 2013 to 2015), in 2014 he co-founded the CROP Collective which brings together independent photographers who conduct a photographic reflection on nature and meaning of images.
His interest is mainly focused on the transformation of the landscape, the relationship between nature and architecture, the relationship between human presence and the surrounding landscape, the journey through intimate photography.
His work was presented mainly in Italy, at Photofestival Milano / HTTP_HyperText Transfer Photography (2015), Ram Studios Milano / Fabbrica del Vapore (2015), Palazzo Marino / Milano City Hall (2015), Spazio Soderini / International Photo Project Milano ( 2015), Viridi / Spazivisivi Sanremo (2017) and Festival 10×10 / Gonzaga (2018), Milano Photo Week (2019).