Writer in Residence
Pictured: Boy with Violin, photograph/drawing composite from the Thematic Apperception Test, used by Edward Banfield to produce data about the inhabitants of Chiaromonte, a town in the Italian province of Basilicata.
Felix Bazalgette is a writer, photographer and filmmaker. During his residency in Spoleto he will work on his book Natural Magic, which weaves together various micro-histories of photography with reportage, research, found imagery, quotation and clippings. The book revisits a southern Italian town still grappling with the legacy of Edward Banfield, a camera-bearing sociologist who visited in the sixties, examines the intertwined histories of spaceflight and instant photography, and recounts early beliefs about optical technologies, steeped in aristocratic notions of magic and violent colonialist appropriation. Throughout, the book is interested in photography as it is used, seeking to consider some of the many empowering, subversive and repressive ways in which this form of image-making has now infiltrated every corner of contemporary life.
Felix’s poetry, journalism and essays have been published in a variety of places including The White Review, the LRB blog, the New York Review of Books Daily, The Guardian and Blackbox Manifold. His short films have been featured on Nowness, nominated for a One World Media award, and screened in competition at festivals such as Full Frame and Big Sky. Natural magic will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2021.