Saturday, October 13, 2012


Rihla (The Journey) – was the short title of a 14th Century (1355 CE) book written in Fez by the Islamic legal scholar Ibn Jazayy al-Kalbi of Granada who recorded and then transcribed the dictated travelogue of the Tangerian, Ibn Battuta. The book’s full title was A Gift to Those who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling and somehow the title of Ibn Jazayy's book captures the ethos of many of the city and country journeys I have been lucky to take in past years.

This rihla is about Rome and its people.

In Rome recently for a conference I was heading early one morning to the Piazza d.Republicca Metro station along the Via Nazionale. Outside the Palazzo Delle Exposizioni there were large posters advertising a retrospective exhibition for the French photographer Robert Doisneau; famous for his scenes of every-day life in Paris and particularly for his now infamous Le baiser de l’hotel de Ville (The Kiss) which resulted in two law suits over its ‘staging’ and the identities of the couple involved. I thought about Doisneau’s work as I headed towards the soulless conference centre at Fiera de Roma near the airport and promised myself some time to try and capture some Roman scenes the following afternoon. These are the result and if by chance any of the people captured recognise themselves (particularly the young couple kissing) please get in touch.