Antonio Di Carlo is an Italian photographer who, thanks to an unexpected last-second proposal, decided to embark on a trip to Africa, more precisely to Gambia, realising one of his dreams. Once there, he decided to use his camera to document with sincere and natural shots what he saw, thus capturing, in a tangible way also for others’ eyes, that much unexpected and desired journey. Through his photos, it’s easy to feel part of this trip, to perceive a strange, unjustified familiarity with what one is seeing.

Staff: From what necessity was this trip born?

Antonio Di Carlo: Rather than a necessity, it was an opportunity that presented itself when Papa, one of my co-workers, expressed his wish to return to Gambia to his family for the first time since his arrival in Italy six years ago. When asked, I replied: “Can I come with you?” I could hardly have had such an experience again: in Africa with an African. In my travel plans, Africa has always been a dream, a dream that came true in an unexpected way.

S: What impressed you most about this experience?

ADC: From the beginning, I was impressed by their cohesion and the trust they put in others. People help each other and cooperate, a positive and, for me, an ideal society. Then, from the second week onwards, I started to feel an inner well-being as if there was a past connection with this land.

S: What made you start shooting?

ADC: The possibility that photography offers to fix a memory, to re-live what impressed me the most at a distance of time.

S: What did you want to tell with your images?

ADC: I wanted to tell the story of my journey, to make people feel the smells, the tastes, the energy I experienced.

S: What was the cultural connotation of your point of view?

ADC:The culture I belong to influenced, in a small way, my view, certainly because of the different customs that differentiate ours from their culture. In many cases I avoided shooting or was forbidden to do so. When I travel, I always respect the customs and traditions of the country I visit, almost always.