It may be that, to paraphrase Herman Melville, real places are not on the maps. Surely, however, most of the existing ones have been consigned to our knowledge, as well as to our memory, by a photograph. Revealing unknown worlds, showing territories and paths more or less accessible has been a real mission for many photographers, since the dawn of photography itself. Especially in times when travel and exploration were not within everyone’s reach, an image could allow you to cross a border at least with your imagination.

Even for photographers, it’s true what Fernando Pessoa wrote: “Travels are travellers. What we see is not what we see, but what we are” (The Book of Disquiet). So, every author who, in the company of a camera, has tried to tell a portion of our small but boundless world has given us not only a series of evocative images but a map, a vision of life and art, an idea of photography. In this suspended and frozen time, when our movements are reduced to a minimum, we wanted, with this issue, to broaden our horizon through photography, following the steps of some of the many authors who have pursued the theme in a masterly, original, often surprising way.

Have a good trip!

Lee Friedlander – America by car

The American landscape as seen through the car’s rear-view mirror and windows. A visionary exploration beyond the already known, beyond the obvious, in a game of reflections and ironic references, in which each shot offers a new vision of the States.

Bernard Plossu – Travel dust

A great traveler, Plossu has photographed and lived in various parts of the world, but the desert is one of the recurring themes in his work. His emphatic gaze rests on landscapes, things and people, following with a spontaneous approach and without hierarchies, the unstable rhythm of life and the pace of the journey.

Franco Vaccari – The journey as an exhibition

The artist subverts the usual relationship between photography and travel to create a completely new, anti-tourist, and anti-spectacular product and places the very act of traveling at the center of his reflection. The focus is on the journey, not the destination, in a deconstruction of traditional forms of representation.

Natalino Russo – Italy is a path

According to the author, “the only way to photograph and observe the world is to walk”. And by walking, along ancient and modern mountain paths, he has written a book – not a travel guide, but one that contains a philosophy of life. Here we also show the photos that marked his travel when creating the book.

Postcards, a journey through history

Back to the origins of the postcard, which changed travel-related communication. A real publishing success that intertwined its destiny with photography, a beloved medium to which globetrotters entrusted their messages and thoughts, nowadays mainly a collector’s item.