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La Métropole

Pointe-à-Pitre is the largest town of Guadeloupe. It is located on the eastern Guadeloupe island, named Grande-Terre. Guadeloupe island (aka the butterfly of Caribbeans) is indeed made of two main islands (wings), Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, divided by a string of sea. Despite that fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and cholera have been afflicting the citizens of this town for the last 300 years, Pointe-à-Pitre is still there with its delicious, albeit decadent French colonial style. West from the central Place de la Victoire (victory on slavery, 1794) you find the modern commercial part. East of it there are artist areas, red-light districts and the modern Museum on Slavery.

If you are a photographer, keep it down when you move to the red-light district even in day-light. “F*ck you” sounds cute with a French accent but faces look still aggressive … not an area to visit by night, with or without camera equipment.

Historical five attics in downtown, desperately looking for renovation in Pointe-à-Pitre

A new,  mysterious main gate leading to where? in Pointe-à-Pitre

Street corner with the usual barred doors, West-side, Pointe-à-Pitre

Scrap materials shaped into a house, East end, Pointe-à-Pitre

Red light district, Pointe-à-Pitre

Tilted-Bar, East end, Pointe-à-Pitre

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)

Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)

Supermarket goods on Guadeloupe are as expensive as in Europe, if not even more because of import costs from France and French colonies in Central and south America. This is a solid excuse for tasting local recipes based on sea food. Still… same same but different. If you ask for a Dorade in Guadeloupe, you get it sliced like if it was a sword fish. If you think a Lambi (conch shell) might be a good snack with beer, don’t order dinner later. Everything grows unexpectedly larger here in Gwada, especially for a tourist used to the Mediterranean environment. Gwada, Lambi, Bokit (aka “bucket” sandwich) and Gwo-ka (drum music) are some of the creole words you will easily stumble upon during your stay.

Les Métropolitains, town beach of Sainte-Anne with (mostly?) European tourists

Fisherman at work on local-sized Dorade fishes at the harbor, Saint-François

Romance on the beach of Saint-Anne

Lambi (conch shell) and beer, an appreciated combo in Saint-François

The cemetery-beach or the beach-cemetery of Saint-François

Promenada Pointe-à-Pitre, whatever-fish-I-catched daily market

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe

My lady of Guadeloupe

Constantly rocked by Atlantic gusts onboard my 777 flight, I understood why Cristoforo Colombo named Guadalupe the shores he reached with his second voyage. “Jesus Christ“, “Holy Mary“, “My God” would have been good alternatives to me. Of course, nothing against Colombo’s choice: he invoked “Our Lady of Guadalupe” for his fleet, endangered by tropical storms exactly 526 years ago.

Pelican with rusty neck, harbor of Saint-François

The flight from Paris-Orly to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe took me only eight hours. Colombo needed six week-long sailing from Cadiz, Spain. Colombo looked for new commercial routes through the West, slaves, gold and spices. I got to Guadeloupe to meet my friend Josè, cultural mediator at Île du Monde, a Paris-based organization that documents the cultural diversity present in France and Europe. Recently crowned with UNESCO, Josè and his crew were sent to Guadeloupe by the French State, thus to compile an official report on the intangible cultural heritage of this Caribbean island.

Coconut palm trees on the town beach of Sainte-Anne

“What do you know about Guadeloupe?”, he asked me and I was asking myself while flying over the blue vacuity of the Atlantic. Caribbean seas, never-ending summer, winter holidays for métropolitains (meaning French citizens of the European territories)… zika virus, dengue fever, maybe… diving? What do I expect to picture there? Wild pelicans, white beaches and tall coconut trees… what’s more?

Back from school at Mare Gailard

What is the cultural heritage my friend is documenting in Guadeloupe? More than 15 million Africans were traded as slaves to central/south America along four centuries. Do their ancestors still honor their roots or did they get Frenchisized? What happened to Guadeloupe natives? Are there still any? Why was Josè so excited for the opportunity to document a Ramayana event during the Indian (from India?) cultural week of Guadeloupe?

Indian dancers (from India) in Schoelcher square, Sainte-Anne

Despite that Josè invitation sounded as indecipherable as Lisbon story postcard to Winter, I set sails to reach my friend. Follow me in the next weeks and add much more than pelicans and tropical beaches to your own postcard of Guadeloupe. Pictures shot by Lorenzo Borghi, editing by Maria Francesca. All pictures ­© artborghi. Click each picture to zoom in.

New Episodes (published from 9.12.2019 to 10.01.2020 every Mon, Thu, Fri )

2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)

3. La Métropole

ZÜRCHER/IN: heavenly beauty

Did you miss ZÜRCHER/IN the exhibition? ZÜRCHER/IN is a photography project created by ARTBorghi (Lorenzo Borghi and Maria Francesca) on the common people highly over-represented as bronze and granite statues in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Just a few statues of prominents adorn this Swiss city, which is flooded by commoners mostly relaxing in their free time.

Several of the statues represent female nudes. Fore sure, part of ZÜRCHER/IN is an ode to feminine beauty.

In the book, available online, coordinates and maps will additionally help you in this art-quest.

Click here for the previous post on ZÜRCHER/IN: between work and free time.

Hermann Hubacher, Frauenakt (1923) / Hermann Haller, Schauende (1923)

Rolf Brem, Irene die grosse Bellissima (2006) / Hermann Hubacher, Sitzendes Mädchen (1934)

Eduard Bick, Schreitendes Mädchen (1928) / Arthur Tigram Abeljanz, Mädchengruppe (1936)

Hans Brandenberg, Weibliche Figur (1959) / Hermann Haller, Stehendes Mädchen (1946)

Click each picture to have it full screen.

ZÜRCHER/IN: between work and free time

Thanks to all the visitors for the highly positive feedback and support ZÜRCHER/IN got in the last two weeks, from the vernissage to the last day at Photobastei 2.0.

Did you miss ZÜRCHER/IN the exhibition?

Find what was all about in the next three blog posts. ZÜRCHER/IN is a photography project created by ARTBorghi (Lorenzo Borghi and Maria Francesca) on the common people highly over-represented as bronze and granite statues in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Just a few statues of prominents adorn this Swiss city, which is flooded by commoners mostly relaxing in their free time. A Swiss hymn to power to the people? A wise suggestion to take it easy? A neo-classic time-machine?

In the book, available online, coordinates and maps will additionally help you in this art-quest. Contact the author artborghi@gmail.com for fine printing requests.

Werner Friedrich Kunz, Grosse Prometheus (1958) / Karl Geiser, Denkmal der Arbeit (1952)

Franz Fischer, Knabe und Mädchen (1928) / Valentin Walter Mettler, Fischerbrunnen (1909)

Alis Guggenheim, Frau (1928) / Otto Kappeler, Vier sitzende Jüglinge (1929)

Hildi Hess, Weibliche Figur (1957) and Hermann Haller, Mädchen mit erhobenen Armen (1939)

Click each picture to have it full screen.

ZÜRCHER/IN last 3 days

Don’t miss the opportunity to bring home an ARTBorghi picture or photobook signed by the author. Pass by Photobastei 2.0 Sihlquai 125 Zürich, 3rd floor!

Still open this Fri-Sat 12-9pm and Sun 12-6pm

See you there!

ZÜRCHER/IN, the new ARTBorghi photo exhibition opens July 5.

ZÜRCHER/IN of lorenzo borghi - Photobastei 2.0, Zurich, Switzerland

ZÜRCHER/IN of lorenzo borghi – Photobastei 2.0, Zurich, Switzerland

An elusive presence. Many of the bronze and granite statues in the streets and parks of Zurich have populated the city for almost a century. The artworks of local and foreign artists rightfully acquired the honorary citizenship. Whether women in skimpy clothes or young nude boys, everyday human being is elevated to symbolic heights.  A photographic exhibition that invites not only to look at but also to look inward.

Find more at the official Photobastei website (auf Deutsch), on the website of Centro Italiano di Cultura in Zurigo (in italiano) or download the flyer in English.

Contact me through artborghi@gmail.com for more information or for setting up a guided visit to the exhibition. Pass by and discover an elusive side of Zürich you might have missed!

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