Lello Fargione: personal exhibition presentation “Western Views in Burma”
Riva Tre Novembre / Angolo Via Mazzini - Trieste
Saturday 28 October 2023
Located between Thailand and China, Burma (now Myanmar) has, in recent years, been one of the most visited Asian countries. After decades of autarky, Burma has recently opened up to tourism, showing itself as a naturalistically and culturally unique country, inhabited by a wonderful population capable of always making you feel at ease without having the perception of danger felt in a foreign place.
The Burmese are an educated, disciplined people (except in driving…), welcoming, respectful, with a deep, sincere, authentic spirituality.
The protagonists and supporters of this spirituality are the monks, who number around 500,000 and represent a true army in defense of democracy, as opposed to the military regime.
These monks, who appear fascinating and mysterious to us, are an example of real Buddhism that can be breathed at any time of the day and in every corner of the country. Their condition means that they cannot possess anything and so, very early in the morning, in the city streets one frequently encounters “processions of monks” who parade between the houses, in the streets amidst the traffic to receive ladles of rice from the faithful. , fruit and, sometimes, even money. Some are very young, children as young as six or seven years old and it is precisely the little ones who make their presence on the streets, in the monasteries and in the community more spontaneous and cheerful.
The monks play a fundamental role for the faithful and for the community from which they receive help to continue their prayer and meditation activities. Over the course of the day, meditation, prayer, charity and study follow one another with age-old regularity and everything is surrounded by an atmosphere of internal and external serenity and a mysterious air.
It is precisely this evanescent sacred atmosphere of inner peace that Lello Fargione wanted to “capture” in this photographic collection.
Wandering between the south and north of the country, another characterizing element that you notice is work, fatigue, the unhealthy environment in which the population and, in particular, women live. A cross-section that imposed itself with all the drama of the apparently impassive gazes of women who seem to be eternal figures of an exotic and enigmatic mosaic. Often in the shadows, as if to underline a dark and oblivious role of the past, the gesture is repeated with the automatism forged in the toil of days that have worn out the face and limbs.