A book by Tony Rizzo in collaboration with Barbara De Finis and Emilia Sfilio

The Book

The hardback edition of Obiettivo/Focus on Taranta is the first bilingual (written in Italian and English) work on the biggest international free folk festival in Europe, La Notte della Taranta. Published by Gelsorosso Editrice, it contains 184 pages fraught with mesmerising and unaltered images obtained during the 2010-11 editions of the Festival, plus interviews to artists and expert ethnomusicologists giving personal insights about a phenomenon whose origins go back to time immemorable.  

It is not accidental that the three authors have set heart and mind to probe the depths of such event: Tony, Barbara and Emilia are part of 4Imagae a collective of freelance journalists based in London but still deeply connected to their Apulian origins.

In fact, the Festival is one of the expressions of the most south eastern region of Italy, Puglia, a land abunding in terms of art in all its forms: nature, architecture, culinary and most importantly traditions sinthesised in a centuries old oral tradition that gave birth to Pizzica with its music, staggering rythms, painful or celebrative songs.

About the Authors 

Tony Rizzo was born in Lecce, Puglia.

Throughout his thirty-year career he has been able to produce an extensive range of photographic material spanning  from politics and current affairs to theatre, ballet and music.

In 1992 he began teaching photography at college level. He earned a BFI Award (Benemerito of Italian Photography) in 2002 from FIAF (Italia Federation of Photographic Associations).  He established and manages the Hifoto photography club, organising  events and exhibitions at national level, with excellent results.

Since 2004 he has been based definitively in London where he is also a member of the National Union of Journalists and of the London Freelance Branch Committee. 

His editorial work can be found in Italian magazines like Panorama, Epoca, L’Espresso, Oggi, Gente, Natura Oggi, Sipario and in  English publications such as The Independent, The Observer, Metro, South and in the books Natale è Gesù che nasce a Bari by Enzo Quarto and Milena Romita, published by Biblos & Cooperativa  Lavoriamo insieme;  Alla ricerca dell’immagine by Giorgio Saponaro, published by Schena. In 1995 he published the  book Su il sipario al Petruzzelli, gli ultimi cinque anni del teatro (1986 - 1991), with texts by Nicola Sbisà, published by Schena and in 2002 Fasano: Confraternite, Processioni della Settimana Santa.

Barbara De Finis  was born in Stornarella-Foggia (Italy).

She moved to London in 1996 where she graduated in Modern Languages and International Business. 

In 2009, after working in the foreign trade and the enterpreneurial fields, together with the photo-journalist Tony Rizzo, she established 4Imagae and re- discovered an enthusiasm for writing about political, cultural and news items. From the story of the first Pizzica group among Italian immigrants in London to Margot - Diary of an unhappy Queen by Goran Bregovic; from the events of the Italians in London to interviews with Italian politicians, journalists and writers, meeting thousands of young migrants.

In the same year, she entered the National Union of Journalists as freelance journalist.

Emilia Sfilio was born in Bari, Italy. 

She studied at the “Aldo Moro” University of Bari, where she graduated  in Foreign Languages and Literature and Italian Literature. She worked for fifteen years at the A.C.L.I. youth centre with disadvantaged children.

Since 1994 she works for the Ministry of Public Education.

She has developed an interest in journalism and since 2010 has been part of the 4Imagae group based in London.  She acts as Editor, organising and finalising various journalistic and editorial projects on a wide range of subjects concerning music, dance and social traditions.

In 2011 she became a member of the National Union of Journalists as freelance editor.


 What the press says about Obiettivo Taranta

"... Tony Rizzo and his Nikon have shot more than 100 pictures capturing the artists and musicians's expressions, gestures and attitudes. Eloquent images offering a parallel and evocative story-telling to the savvy festival-goer... The text, as you would not expect from a beautiful photographic book, has its own strength in unveiling the different souls that each year animate "The Night"..."  (Il Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia, 01/11/2012)

"Immortalising the rapture, the ecstasy, the liberating and obsessive rythm of Pizzica; a wordless language able to lit up a dream and give back a voice to the essence of Taranta through elegant images and a written reportage full of insights, this is the result of great artistic and creative effort by Tony Rizzo, Barbara De Finis and Emilia Sfilio..." (Affari Italiani 10/10/2012)


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