photographer

life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI

Flavia

Fontana Giusti

Another midwestern city in three days // Minneapolis (MN), June 2024

Amy lives in Minneapolis, and I’ve been trying to see Amy for the past two and a half years, and every single time something came up, and it didn’t happen.

It would not be quite factually exact to claim I impromptu decided to hop on a bus and book a room for three nights to go see her, because we’d talked about it for a few months, and once again it almost got cancelled, but I kind of did book a last minute bus ride and airbnb room to go see her for a few days when she didn’t have to parent. This time I didn’t let life back me out of my plans. I had to make it happen, I had my own reasons to want to be out of town, but I also miss my friends, and Amy is a friend.

And Minneapolis really is a lovely town. It’s a place that puts resources into it’s deep rooted love for the arts and culture, and it shows, it truly does – looking at you Wisconsin…

I took three camera on this trip, but only used two, in a classic me-move: the Yashica Mat EM, loaded with Kodak TMax100, and my beloved magical Holga 120GFN (sans mask, because life tastes better maskless) loaded with Kodak Gold200. 

The lakes

I arrived on Friday afternoon, and once my luggage dumped in my airbnb uptown, I went for an exploratory walk around the area. And I couldn’t find the people!

The answer to my confusion was at the lakes, that’s where everybody was hanging out. Of course, I should have known…

The art

I wasn’t expecting art to have such a central place in this town, but it truly does, in ways not unlike Mexico City. People stopped me on the street to talk about my cameras, with genuine interest and curiosity, and deep conversations followed. My kind of place!

And that giant cherry, I didn’t get it until I saw it. Or rather, I didn’t get it until I spent time with it, playing with the holga, trying microclicks, even painting it on my mini watercolor travel pad. And then I felt it, in all it’s absurdity. It’s a fabulous landmark. Anyways, whatever you think of this, you can’t deny it makes for a stunning subject and an equally stunning backdrop:

Conversations

I must say that it felt amazing to be in a place with such layers of multiculturalism. I was not expecting such a vibrant community of people originally from Eastern Africa (Somalia, Eritrea…), and it was a feast on the eye. I refrained from capturing as much as I would have wanted to, because I didn’t feel legitimate doing this, however, I kept my eyes open for connection, because no matter what, that’s the stories I want to tell.

moments of quiet

It was the weekend, after all, so there was a goog amount of contemplation and also plain crashing. This first image below tell it all:

I didn’t shoot that much, considering my usual habits, two rolls with the Yashica, because I was really pushing myself, and one roll (more like 2/3 roll) with the Holga, but the images I made I really enjoyed making, and I think that makes the results sweeter, because that’s what really matters. 

I sort of missed downtown, but I feel like I’ll be back eventually, it’s ~6h by bus, it’s really not that far.

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