We recently launched the LensCulture Network with the idea of offering talented, accomplished photographers a place to showcase their work on a global stage while also giving them a place to share, learn and engage with one another. The LensCulture Network began with a small number of hand-picked members, and we are very excited to watch it grow and evolve as new photographers apply and are invited to participate as members.

Each week, we will highlight a project from the members of our Network and publish their work on the front page of LensCulture. We hope you enjoy!


The Circus

There is nothing more anachronistic than this scene.

A legacy of a past millennia is kept alive in microcosms on the fringe of reality—especially in Europe’s forgotten states. They exist for pleasure and for nostalgia: a wistfulness to inhabit a time period that is now buried in the ruined pages of worn history books.

The circus: so outdated, yet so perfect, like a symbol of a world without frontiers—a globalized, multiethnic wheel that spins and squeaks relentlessly. With its delight and its despair, the Circus is a metaphor for life.

The artists’ lives are filled with love, victory, triumph, defeat and humiliation; their lives are nomadic and follow diagonal or circular routes, like the cycle of the seasons. They are at liberty to ignore both masters and borders. The nomads are slaves to relentlessly cold and rainy winters as well as the suffocating sun of summer—it beats down on the dusty roads to barter with one’s last breath.

The circus symbolizes both freedom and enslavement. As the Italian novelist Fabio Stassi once wrote: “Only in the disorder called Love, any stunt is possible.”

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“Amori Nomadi” focuses on a family in one of these circuses. They work for themselves, their families and their fellow adventurers. This family is large: Lisa, Manu and their child Ernesto; Maria and her son Marius, and Luca.

The Brunette Bros family—at once the greatest and one of the smallest circuses in the world—is a confirmation that humanity still exists in this hyper-technological world. In this sphere, connections are made through spoken words, peering eyes, faces that express emotions and thoughts, and bodies that touch and reveal relationships.

The circus is many things: art and creativity, patience and preparation, physical training and manual labor. It consists of study, design, blood and sweat, not to mention hours of diligent preparations and long days of grueling tests. All this perhaps with just a few dollars in your pocket and scant food in your pantry.

Its greatest virtue coincides with its greatest limits: the impossibility of a definitive goal, the eternal search for something which may or may not exist.

Everyone dreams, occasionally, of a house and stability. But instead, you find you’re still in your trailer, under the big top, or outdoors in front of an audience of 60 people. Clearly this show is not for everyone. We are all tightrope walkers on a thin wire in precarious equilibrium with the world around us…

You can learn by osmosis, like the children who grow up in this company of artists. They are evidence that we discover more of life through travel. These roads are made from an array of colors; they wear down your shoes as you pursue dreams and wonders.

—Stephanie Gengotti