Valerio Vincenzo is a talented Italian photographer lives somewhere between Paris, Milan and the Netherlands. Over a period of eight years and 10,000 miles, Vincenzo documented these internal boundaries that have slowly faded from the landscape and from people’s minds. Using his 1964 Hasselblad camera with one 50mm lens, he zigzagged around countries such as: France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and Austria. The catalyst for “Borderline, Frontiers of Peace” series came in 2007, when he visited a village on the border between France and Belgium. “Some of the borders in my pictures have been the most violent, bloody, and dangerous borders of humankind,” he says.
Today, with 26 countries belonging to the Schengen Area, 16,500 km of borders can be freely crossed. The attribution of the Nobel Peace Prize to Europe in 2012 has confirmed the historical importance of this slow, almost imperceptible, but radical change.
With the help of a GPS and detailed maps, I have conducted many trips along these “erased” borderlines, with the intention of capturing the essence of these now-peaceful crossings. Even if sometimes these pictures have been taken thousands of km away from each other, they all provide images that are far from the stereotype that we tend to associate with the notion of border. What is a border anyway?
– Valerio Vincenzo