WOMEN IN BALI
All this material is now collected in a book, which has more than 150 photographs, accompanied by texts by Anita Lococo, American resident for 35 years on the island, and Cok Sawitri, the largest Balinese writer.
The book WOMEN IN BALI , published by Silvana Editoriale, will be on sale from September 2016 in the best libraries in Europe and the Americas.
With the first 1000 copies of the book, a donation of 5% will be donated to the association Smile of Bali, which
provides assistance and free operations to children with severe physical deformities.
“WOMEN IN BALI” is a photographic project between art and reportage, a travel in images at the heart of Bali and a tribute to the energy of all the women living there. Bruna Rotunno tells of the feminine universe and the creative power of nature in the island where water is still venerated as the sacred origin of life and as an element of purification.
In this eight years long work – inspired by a great attraction for the island, visited for the first time twenty years ago – the photographer has built an image story in which every gesture and character translate the essence of a unique place, characterized by a constant harmony. Taking the cue from the Balinese mythology, based on the cult of water – Holy Water, the Great Mother, a symbol of creation and purification – the photographs show the flow of the female side of the island. To that side are linked the sacred, the ritual, creativity, art, music and dance, told of through the everyday life gestures of the Balinese women. They are the authors of the sacred offerings and magnificent decorations, created to attract the attention and benevolence of the gods. In this ‘theater island’ – as Bali is named – where beauty reveals itself as a fundamental quality of life, women move with grace and elegance, dancing and working in a universe where also the rice paddies, the lush tropical plants and the stones are animated by Shakti, the divine feminine energy.
In addition to offering us a report about the Balinese women’s life, Bruna Rotunno focused her attention on the many foreign women who, attracted by the beauty and spirituality of the island, have decided to establish themselves there to create a new women’s community and develop ethical, social, artistic and educational projects, often in the name of eco-feminism and sustainability. Amongst the many, American Robin Lim, with her Bumi Schat Foundation, that helped giving birth to more than 5,000 children, reducing the high mortality rate, Indonesian Sri Adnayani Oka, who founded a micro credit bank to help the poor, Irish Nattalia Sinclaire, who opened a Montessori school on the island and English Mary Northmore, who, with her non-profit Smile Foundation, funds surgery to correct congenital malformations in children.
«Bali is a living island that has always stirred up mixed emotions in me – says photographer Bruna Rotunno – stimulated by its fluid and variable light, by a ritual made of gestures that make the invisible visible and above all by a widespread beauty that reflects a harmony in a constant state of becoming. Over the course of time, I met many women, both Balinese and from other parts of the world, who have started important artistic, ethical and social projects on the island. Through their portraits I tried to capture their essence, telling of the power of the feminine energy symbolized by water, a vehicle of ancient memories, and a healing instrument. The images brush against the everyday life of a place where everything is sacred and where the creative power of nature resonates with the creative energy present in each of us, making our dreams more lucid and realizable. This project wants to be a homage to the island and to all of the women living there.»
Bruna Rotunno’s search has been collected in an important volume, « Women in Bali » (published by Silvana Editoriale), with more than one hundred and fifty photographs, along with texts by Anita Lococo, an American resident on the island for thirtyfive year, and the Balinese writer Cok Sawitri.
Bruno Rotunno lives between Europe and Asia. Her artistic practice includes photography and video. Her production also develops in wide-ranging projects based on narrations where visual sensitivity and empathy combine with the immediacy of the reportage. Her works have been published on Vogue, Muse, Shon, Twill, etc. Her « Shanghai 24h » work was exhibited at the Triennale Bovisa (2010). She also participated in the exhibition « 60 Grandi Fotografi 60 Grandi Architetti » at Spazio Marini Light (Milan, 2015). Her short film « Sultan Dream » was presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Among the awards she received, a honourable mention at the Tokyo International Photo Awards (2016) and the Silver Award at the Paris Prix de la Photographie (2016). In addition to « Women in Bali », she published: « The Queen of the Andes » (Skira, 2102), « The Lotus Flower » (Skira, 2010), « The Long Journey of Excellence » (Skira, 2008), « Ethno Folk in Cortina » (Renographic, 2007).