A photo book on ritual masks and costumes of Sardinia // Preface by Paolo Fresu
by Marina Spironetti

In stock ( 2 copies left )

Project Description

Sealess is a photo essay by Marina Spironetti with the preface of Paolo Fresu, on ritual masks and costumes of inland Sardinia, particularly those of the Barbagia region, the beating heart of the island.

Senza Mare - Sealess un libro di Marina Spironetti - Crowdbooks

Developed over four years, this project was born out of a desire to describe the uniqueness of this territory and the attachment of its people to their age-old traditions.  It is a visual archive of a deeply Sardinian aesthetic. On a personal basis, it represented a journey of discovery, that enabled me to re-connect with my own roots, as my mother was born there.

Senza Mare - Sealess un libro di Marina Spironetti - Crowdbooks

I spent several months in Barbagia on different occasions, documenting the area’s oldest rituals. I always visited in winter, a time of the year far away from that postcard-pretty image people tend to have when they think of Sardinia. My aim was to depict a different view – an ancient land, far from sea, both geographically and historically – shortly, a Sealess territory.

Senza Mare - Sealess un libro di Marina Spironetti - Crowdbooks

The project is divided into two parts – the first is dedicated to Barbagia’s main Carnival figures, the second focuses on the traditional female attire of inland Sardinia, giving me the opportunity to show the richness and strength of Sardinian women.

Senza Mare - Sealess un libro di Marina Spironetti - Crowdbooks

When approaching my subjects, I deliberately chose a different point of view – most of the images of masks and costumes we are familiar with are taken during religious events or folk festivals, where myth often becomes spectacularity. Rather than documenting these events, I decided to go for a more personal approach, getting to know the people photographed and their communities, thus creating that reciprocal trust that I consider essential to tell a story. I was able to create images from the perspective of the active observer, aiming for an “insider” angle rather than a more detached documentarian point of view.

Senza Mare - Sealess un libro di Marina Spironetti - Crowdbooks

I chose to photograph my subjects in an environment that felt familiar to them – be it their house, their village or the countryside – combining the documentary aspect with staged photography. I used both of them in order to portray the symbolic identity of each one of them.

Book Specifications

Language:Sardinian, Italian, English
Category: Photobooks, reportage
Tags: mare, sardegna, sardinia, spironetti

Author Informations

NameMarina Spironetti
Country Italy


After earning a university degree in Languages and Literature, Milan-born Marina Spironetti trained as a journalist in Italy. In 2004, she studied photojournalism at the London College of Communication.

She worked as a UK correspondent for the Italian picture agency Eidon Press, covering major political events. She moved back to Milan in 2013 and she now freelances for a variety of magazines/newspapers, both in Italy and internationally.

Her range of subjects is fairly broad, from portrait to travel photography, but her aim is to use the human element as the main storytelling tool. A big part of her personal work focuses on capturing disappearing ancient traditions and cultures.

Her project Exposed – 184 creatives for Milan – a solo show of 184 portraits of Milan-based artists and creatives – was exhibited at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan during Expo 2015. Her images have been exhibited in solo and collective shows in London and Tokyo. In 217 she was one of the selected artists for Photo Oxford; she was also one of the artists of the first Triennale of Italian Photography in Venice. She has been among the winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year for three years in a row (2016-2018).

In stock ( 2 copies left )

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