“It’s all one song” wins the Hemingway Prize for Photography. Capitalism, globalization, and homologation in the photobook by Marco Zanta, a work that focuses on architecture to reflect on today’s reality.  

Hemingway Prize for Photography  

“It’s all one song”, a photobook that is a unique image,  a portrayal of urban places with architecture as if it were a single city. Marco Zanta’s work is a true hybrid of art and philosophy, touching on topics such as globalization, capitalism, and homologation. And, as with all his work, the photographer distorts the reader, leading him to wonder and think about the reality that surrounds him.   

It is impossible to represent a complete and entire city, but Zanta finds a way to symbolize urban areas as parts of a single whole. After all, cities throughout the world, including Italy, are becoming increasingly similar. On the one hand, this is reassuring since the same logic can be found everywhere, but on the other side, it levels the nuances that make us unique. According to Zanta, what distinguishes our architecture are the little medieval towns as well as the lack of a “ratio” in the construction of new buildings. 

Men, women, and children appear between buildings, in houses, and on billboards, yet they are frequently distant and overwhelmed by the metropolitan expanses that surround them, almost as if they were too overwhelming for people. Many, probably too many, structures contrast with the lack of plants, emphasizing the city’s grey areas even more. 

Marco Zanta’s photos

The book’s afterword, edited by Stefania Rossi, is titled “A Continuous City”. The architectural composition professor gathered images collected on multiple journeys made by Zanta, between Europe and the United States, Africa, and Asia. A flow of inner and outdoor areas from various times and countries encircled a single circle combining abandoned structures and modern architecture. 

«A prestigious and singular photobook, also in the graphic design that makes use of a particular printing and packaging process – reads the motivation of the award -. Dedicated to the social architecture that characterizes the city, the book highlights its human symbolism: a visual memory of our time that is emblematically identified in this evocative, cathartic volume».  

Marco Zanta was born in Treviso in 1962 and has published many monographs during his career, beginning with Rumore Rosso (Charta, 2022), which covers pictures made between 1989 and 2000, and UrbanEurope (Contrasto, 2008).   

Marco Zanta’s photos

Hemingway in Lignano Sabbiadoro  

“But this is Florida, indeed it is the Florida of Italy!”. This is Hemingway’s famous exclamation when he saw the beach of Lignano Sabbiadoro for the first time, presumably because of the strong resemblance of the vegetation to that of the Everglades, with which the American writer was enamored. On April 15, 1954, he and his wife boarded the Lancia Aurelia B21 bound for Lignano Pineta from Venice.   

In honor of that moment, the Municipality of Lignano Sabbiadoro founded the Hemingway Prize, which has been awarded since 1986 and recognizes not just the American writer’s eternal stamp on literature, but also that of modern artists. And this year, the Award has been incorporated into the celebrations for the 120th anniversary of the creation of Lignano Beach, blowing out 120 candles.   

The other winners  

The competition includes four categories, symbol of the multidisciplinary of the great American author, 1954 Nobel Prize winner: Literature, Photography, Witness of our time, and Adventure of thought. 

The 2023 Hemingway Prize for Literature goes to the French writer Amélie Nothomb «The French writer Amélie Nothomb has received the 2023 Hemingway Prize for Literature “for his novels pervaded by an irresistible rhythm, – the jury’s motivations – which are a hymn to youth, to the fragility and uniqueness of every human being and every human relationship, to the joy of the body, to being free and surrendering to the senses and dreams, to that bizarre adventure we call love.” A kaleidoscope of life in which one discovers the wonder of the human, sometimes even his awful depths, with a sense of amazement and intrigue that only great literature can achieve». 

The Hemingway Adventure of Thought Award goes to Carlo Ginzburg «to have reconstructed through the many essays, the imagination and the daily life of entire historical periods starting from well-defined microcosms, which in some cases also concern Friuli Venezia Giulia, and tracing the voices of those who usually have no voice. Extraordinary then his exploration, conducted with rare intelligence and great ethical magisterium, the relationships between historical truth, fiction, and lie, aware that distinguish the truth, in the constant interweaving of imagination and reality to which we are subjected, is the result of a path of knowledge that defines not only the work of the historian but also constitutes the plot of our being in the world». 

Hemingway Prize 2023 Witness of our time was won by the Iranian lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi. «In 2003, she became the first Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for inspiring millions of people across the world via her work as a human rights lawyer. Shirin Ebadi succeeded in giving a voice to individuals who have always been forced to keep silent and suffer abuse by the theocracy that controls her nation, inspired by the faith that there may be a better future for Iran. Hers is a narrative of tremendous moral convictions and personal strength in the face of a force that has tried to steal everything from her, has threatened her and her loved ones in harsh ways, but has failed to affect her need for justice and love for her people».