Fata Morgana

Alessia Rollo


About the Project

Fata Morgana is the name of a complex mirage that distorts objects and then fades very quickly. Fata Morgana is visible from my region in the southern part of Italy, Salento, and it gives the illusion to see Albanian mountains from the Adriatic Sea: but to me it represents a powerful metaphor of contemporary geopolitical situation.

Salento, like all of Europe, has recently become a place of wonder and hope for people who are fleeing from Africa or Meddle East: but the pictures published by the newspapers often reduce migrants lives to few and common stereotypes or to a transitory moment of their existence. 

I’ve started to work on Fata Morgana in 2015 because as photographer I was feeling deeply irritated by a picture that show the body of a Syrian baby boy on a beach in the failed aim to reach Europe. 

So, I decided to set up other photos from my point of view and esthetic: for the very first picture I took I’ve used some watermelons to speak metaphorically about people who are fleeing their homes in search of a better life. It was an attempt to make people think about the content of the scene without explode the sufferance of human beings. 

It was the starting point that after 2 years give as result this project, that represent my willingness to create a visual complexity around these topics so relevant in the contemporary European scenario but as well to think about the role of photographers, which are powerful producers of meanings, ideas and opinions.

Fata Morgana includes portraits of foreign people who live and work in my region, descriptive and evocative pictures of some elements of the landscape, still life of symbol of the exploitation of seasonal workers and some metaphoric component as the mirage of Albanian Mountains.

This project is a storytelling in between realty and fiction in which the spectator is invited to recreate his own story, fill up the gaps and give to the characters of the book the possibility to double them self and transform in someone else. The possibility of dreaming, which is a fundamental aspect of the existence of all human beings. 


Take a look at “Fata Morgana” Book