When I first arrived in Florence, Italy, in September 2007, I never thought my camera would take hold of me and lead me to images other than the typical tourist photos. But as I explored my new surroundings with wonder, I found myself yearning to find and document the beauty in the mundane as well as the conventionally aesthetically-pleasing. In this series of photos, I captured the often overlooked details of the everyday life in various Italian cities.
My goal was for my experience to feel as authentic and local as possible and to that end, I was the only student in my program that took Italian language classes consecutively the whole time I was living in Florence. This meant I couldn’t travel to other countries like my classmates, but I took the opportunity to completely immerse myself in what would eventually become my third home. I traveled to Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Fiesole, San Gimignano, and many others in an effort to claim as much of bella Italia for myself as I could.
Though I’ve since returned to my first love of creative writing, I’ll never forget the feeling of the creative spirit moving me to make images of my life then, in that moment, in that rich and rewarding space. Without it, I don’t think I would be as observant of what’s going on inside and outside of me, the pockets of existence that eventually lead me to create an image, but this time with words.
Read the sonnet that reflects Pérez-Lozano’s experience at https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/sonnet-1-in-italia-by-eloisa-perez-lozano-where-i-live-poetry-photography-series/
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Eloísa Pérez-Lozano is a photographer and a poet. She graduated from Iowa State University with her M.S. in journalism and mass communication (emphasis in photojournalism) and her B.S. in psychology. Her master's creative component dealt with putting faces to the immigration issue by documenting the lives of three immigrant families living in Marshalltown, Iowa, through audio visual slideshows. Her poetry has been featured in The Texas Observer, aaduna, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and The Acentos Review.