The Challenges and Joys of Making a Dream Come True

Who's still saying that film is dead? We are always very excited when fellow analogue photographers can make their dreams come true. This is the story of Community member Gabriele Lopez a.k.a. @gabrielelopez, whose dream was to open a space for the analogue community in Milan, Italy. What used to be only a dream became reality. Red Room opened the door on October 8 and welcomed the public.

As a physical space, Red Room is a big basement, located in the trendy neighborhood of the Navigli in Milan. There's much more of it in spirit. It functions as a darkroom with all the amenities necessary to develop and print black and white negatives. Originally, it was simply Gabriele's laboratory, but his dream was to be able to create with other people. That's how Red Room has evolved. Now, it is a hub for the analogue souls. It functions as a place to work, read a book, draw inspiration, and meet like-minded people. It aims to give the opportunity to self-publish your work or have an exhibition of your photos. Your projects will be tailored from the beginning to the end.

As for every dream, if you want them to come true, you can't give up when faced with obstacles. And boy, they had a few of those along the way! Finding the right location was challenging. Moreover, fixing the place from the state it was found in has not been an easy nor cheap task. We are glad that Gabriele's determination paid off.

As far as the community goes: we are happy to hear that Milan has a vivid and proliferous analogue community. It was a joy to know that many are expanding their analogue section and that film photography is making a strong comeback, so much so that analogue businesses are likely being reborn.

Gabriel tells us, that one of the challenges between digital and analogue photography is to persuade the artist to have a tangible record of their work. Often with digital, we rely on printing stores to handle the job for us. Printing is an integral part of photography of all routines, and it is quite satisfying to work on your negative and give the final touch with a physical reproduction of your work. It is a step worth working on.

There are some cool projects that they are currently working on. Many of you may be familiar with the genre of "fanzine". The word, born in 1940 from science fiction author Russ Chauvenet, comes from fan & magazine which, stands as a self-publishing outlet. The next project will come out as a show, taken from a past fanzine, titled, "Grido Taciuto", which they worked on with Karimava -- one of the artists that attend the Red Room and is under the publishing house, Broken Poems.

So if you are in Milan or you're passing by, make sure to stop by and say hi! In November 2021, after these long and exhausting years of the pandemic, Gabriele will also be holding some live events, so stay tuned!

Visit the Red Room website.

written by eparrino on 2021-11-12 #people

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