Short Story 2024 | Francesco Comello (eng)

Short Story Award Winner 2024Francesco Comello
Oshevensk, ai confini del tempo

The village of Oshevensk, located in the Kargopol district of the Arkhangelsk region, stretches along the bank of the Churiega River, about 900 km from Moscow. Consisting of five settlements, Oshevensk once had more than a dozen villages, but over time many have been abandoned due to the constant flow of migration to the cities. Currently, the village is home to around a hundred inhabitants.
The photographer arrives in Oshevensk for the first time at sunrise, on a cold August morning in 2008. A leap back in time, into the auras of Tarkovsky’s films or Tolstoy’s novels, into the womb of Mother Russia, a place impervious to the social changes of recent decades. From that first trip a great fascination was born that brought him back to the village in the following three years. Short journeys, marked by the changing of the seasons, to scrutinize with the eye of the soul that microcosm of simple and authentic gestures, where time passes more slowly, far from the consumerist logic of Western society. A long-term project that has been going on for almost 15 years now.
Through photography, Francesco Comello seeks to give voice to a resilient community that clings to its roots. In an era dominated by technology and frenzy, Oshevensk represents a refuge, a place where time passes at a more human pace. The choice to remain in the village, living a simple and rural life, takes on a profound meaning and becomes an act of resistance and reclamation of identity and the right to peace. These images aim to offer a glimpse into a world that reminds us of the importance of roots, community, and simple values. It is an invitation not to forget small rural communities, custodians of an invaluable cultural heritage and biodiversity, fundamental for building a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Copyright photos: © Francesco Comello

Francesco Comello is a freelance photographer who works and lives in the province of Udine, Italy. After graduating from the School of Art, he began working in the field of advertising design and illustration. Since his school days he has been passionate about photography, but only in the last 12 years has he intensified his interest, intending to produce photographic stories.
In 2016 he won the Spotlight category of the World Report Award|Documeting Humanity and in 2017 the World Press Photo. In 2018 he published his first book together with Barbara Tutino titled “Yo soy Fidel”. In 2019 he was named FIAF author of the year. He participates in numerous national and international exhibitions.

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