EP.6 • LORENZO ZANETTA

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In your photographic exhibition in Argentina, at Teatro Roma, you deal with the theme of modern man's disenchantment and his feeling of loneliness. Can travel attempt to reverse this trend by bringing us to a new worldview?

Between feeling lonely and being lonely, there is a subtle difference. I believe that the loneliness experienced by modern man coincides with the absence of desire: he generally travels a path toward goals and/or objectives that have nothing to do with emotionality. Then this causes me to be surrounded by many people, many things, a thousand actions, but I feel lonely because none of this feeds my true inner desire. Modern man usually pursues what the culture "imposes" on you through models, and in the West it is rooted in industrialism, in the scientific and technological progress that were hallmarks of the transition between the 19th and 20th centuries, a process of unstoppable magnitude that has become more and more acute today. This model wants one man to be the same as another. That's why there are many people who feel lonely being surrounded by people, because many times what is presented to them as something important that they should pursue, they don't actually desire, whereas the man on the journey is a man who has a strong desire. Which one? Well, the same desire to travel, to know, the will to get in touch with nature, and desire is what doesn't make you feel lonely. I think we feel lost when we don't desire. In my case, when I am traveling alone, in front of the majesty and immensity of nature or when I get in contact with indigenous peoples a strong downsizing of the ego occurs in me and a feeling of humility emerges: there is no model to conform to except one's own, to one's own rhythms and time. 

Cesare Pavesi said that traveling forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that is familiar and comforting to you. Nothing is yours except the essential: the air, the hours of sleep, the sea, the sky; everything that is eternal or that we consider as such, and for that reason is enchanting.

Do you think nature desires to be explored or would it prefer to continue its growth process undisturbed? What benefit would it derive from being discovered?

I believe that nature itself finds no advantage in being explored, indeed the less it comes in contact with man the more it lives in balance and the more it develops the tools it needs to continue to exist. The only one who can benefit from the exploration of nature is man, who could not live without it. But I believe that its exploration and contemplation should take place silently and inwardly; no trace of its passage should remain. I like to think of the idea that nature wishes to be discovered to remind man of his subalternity and the fact that we are all her children.

How might the journey change between those who, like you, create photographic images and videos along the way and those who do not?

I imagine that those who work in the world of content creation fulfill a need, or at any rate a personal desire to make known and disseminate to an audience their experience through the most varied forms of art, including precisely for example photographic images or videos, and in my case, this desire is followed by a purpose that is partly composed of a motivational/inspirational character towards those who want to undertake their journey and secondly is composed of an informative character in that I often choose destinations that are not tokenistic and little known.

Could you identify an important moment that happened on the trip while you were with company and one while traveling alone?

I can only mention the Cotopaxi volcano expedition; I was not really alone because I was accompanied by the local guide Juan Quintuña. But for a few moments I can claim to have completely forgotten about it, and more specifically I am referring to the point when starting to climb the Yanasacha ramp (5700 m) and I began to feel the effects of altitude sickness, experiencing hallucinations and falling asleep whenever I blinked. It was the first time I had experienced those sensations, so I identify that moment as one of the most significant. As for an important moment that happened in Ecuador while I was in the company I would like to mention the despedida party that the guys from Greenstep.ec, a tour operator with whom I trained and acclimatized preparing for the climbs, organized for me; they were like family during the two months I spent in Cuenca.

 Do you think it can actually be said that the world is made up of lines and boundaries? What defines one place from another?

Yes, if we want to make the answer fall within the political sphere so to speak, we can say that the world is made up of lines and boundaries that someone once drew, but personally I think that what sanctions one place from another falls within the cultural sphere and so I am referring to language, history, customs, traditions, art and music. So we will find different places within the same boundaries and similar places separated by a line. 

If you had to assign a piece of music to this journey, what would it be?

If I would need to relate this journey to a lyrics, this would be “If I can dream” by Elvis Presley, while the soundtrack that comes with me was “The rapture pt.II” by &ME