Valentina Abenavoli


Tortures, fissures, walls, hugs, suffering, explosions, dances, landscapes… Anaesthesia is a black-and-white narrative that revolves around two strongly connected opposing concepts: evil and empathy. Attempting to comprehend the evil side of humans and the fact that empathy is so exclusive, the author appropriates images from documentaries and news reports made in conflict zones by professionals and amateurs and sets off a fictitious composition that calls into question the way we experience the reality of others. The result blurs the boundaries by taking the individual into account above any problem of national identity, but above all it manages to expand the concepts of approach, identification and concern, or their absence, depending on how much each spectator becomes involved. Anaesthesia was conceived by Abenavoli as the first book of a trilogy in which the next step will be to explore the private sphere of individuals, the empathy of one person with another through notions such as sex, friendship or love.


Born in the 80s in Naples (Italy). She prefers reading photography in lyrical sequence and being constantly on the edge between awareness and reveries. After a degree in Photography, a master in book publishing and several odd jobs, she founded Akina Books, together with Alex Bocchetto. Their independent publishing house edits and produces challenging photobooks in limited editions, often handmade. In 2016 Abenavoli curated and edited her first own book Anaesthesia. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in Turin, Barcelona, Istanbul and Belgrade.