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In 2018, photographers Luca Santese and Marco P. Valli documented the birth of the so-called Third Republic in a critical-satirical way. After the end of the First Conte Government, their research focused on Matteo Salvini – the political leader of the Italian Lega – and center-right forces. His voters call him “The Captain”. Salvini’s propaganda style is highly innovative: he is constantly photographing himself, his daily life and his body, to come across as a ‘man of the people’.
“The Captain’s Body” relies on an organic and detailed documentation of Salvini’s activities that openly and radically hinders the way Salvini portrays himself. His likeable, colourful, “pop” aesthetics is opposed by a rigorous black and white, obscure and dystopic. At the beginning of the book, one might have the feeling that the project is truthfully and ironically documenting different perspectives of Salvini’s propaganda; However, the work transforms into a counter-propaganda, as Santese and Valli put forward their own imaginary storytelling: a definite response to the factious narrative that “the captain” often uses.
Luca Santese, Marco P. Valli, Il corpo del capitano
Cesura publish, 2020
Prefazione di Filippo Ceccarelli