Gianluca Drago

Well-Known Member
Before Columbus, through a miscalculation, landed in the Americas, maize was not maize. For those living in the United States, I believe it is still just popcorn and food for animals. In the region where I live, maize later became the main food source of an extremely poor population that ate polenta. Only polenta and turnips kept them alive, but then pellagra made them die from vitamin deficiency.

The people in my region a century ago were so poor that those in other parts of Italy called them 'polentoni' (polenta eaters) with contempt and racism. History then took its course and today it is those in my region who are among the most racist in the country.

Deep sadness.

These photos taken 20 years ago in my mother-in-law's small maize field are meant to be a tribute to maize. They are not perfect I know. For privacy reasons, the most beautiful photo is missing, the one of my then young son who, bare-chested, like a Mowgli, explores, hides and has fun among the tall stalks of a forest of sharp-leaved maize. I could not censor his beautiful eyes.

Thanks to the Maya and their ancestors for the polenta and popcorn. For everything else that happened I am not personally responsible although I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth.


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For those living in the United States, I believe it is still just popcorn and food for animals.
Beautiful images Gianluca. When I looked at 0061 the name Edward Weston immediately popped into my mind.

With regard to eating habits in the USA, lots of people eat corn (not just the popping kind). Corn on the cob, canned corn, creamed corn, Karmel Korn (just kidding, that's a candy). Corn on the cob is very popular at back yard barbecues and if you ever attend one of the many state or county fairs that take place each year the scent of grilled corn on the cob can be almost intoxicating.
Corn on the cob

We do that too. Nowadays also supermarkets sell corn cobs. You pick them when they are in the stage between milky and waxy, not too early or too late, and season them with melted butter. During the winter period I cook polenta at least 4-5 times to accompany it with succulent dishes: baccalà alla vicentina, beef stew, etc.
I actually get asthma from corn - a mystery, but it really sets me off.

Setting that aside...

These photos are beautiful, Gianluca! The shoe in the last shot was a complete surprise. Your son? Edward Weston also came to my mind (Brian and I, being Scots, are telepathically's a mystery too).

Seriously, Gianluca, I love your photography - this, the lilly, and the botanic gardens are really interesting and beautiful photography. Keep them coming!
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You are all too generous to me, but I will accept your compliments. Having enjoyed your works, I feel grateful to have your consideration. It is an honour for me. I'm your slave (figuratively, I'm against slavery). Namaste.
I'm against literal AND figurative slavery. So we have to forge another relationship. Friends would be more than good enough. Next time you are in Edinburgh, I'll let you pay for lunch...

If I say 'Ciao' as we Italians say Hello, I am etymologically saying 'I am your slave'. I will not stop saying 'Ciao', because that is what we Italians say to our friends. Sooner or later a government will come along and prohibit me from using metaphors that are very expressive and have millennia of history behind them.

Next time you come to Padua you will be my guest and I will cook polenta and many other things for you. Everyone knows that I am a better cook than a photographer.