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Mario Rizzi

Mario Rizzi deals with broad societal phenomena through the collective memories and individual stories of social outsiders, often forgotten or untold. The artist’s films are humane portrayals of people who are left outside of the Western gaze.

The Bosnian War in the early 1990s was Mario Rizzi’s (b. 1962) first contact with Islamic culture. He became interested in people who are easily bundled together into one uniform group and perceived as outsiders in relation to Western culture. For twenty years, Rizzi has portrayed the Islamic world and its transformation. His films have addressed the political movements that emerged in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010. Over the past fifteen years, he has lived for long periods in Turkey closely following its social change.

Rizzi addresses themes of migration, notions of the border, issues of identity and belonging to portray broad societal phenomena. He focuses on people and communities that are easily left outside of the Western gaze. As an artist and filmmaker, Rizzi portrays people with a humane approach. Genuine connection is at the heart of what he does, and he has spent a lot of time with his subjects, in their homes, in refugee camps or wherever they live.

Photo: Heinrich Völkel