Alessandro Scattolini


Isolation is the first book in a long-term project that aims to investigate the narrow sense of the word Island through a photographic gaze.
Isolation | Alessandro Scattolin ©2019

This post is also available in: Italiano

Olkhon Island, Oblast' di Irkutsk, Russia

Prize Italy Photo Award 2019
Winning work in the ‘Young Talent’ category

An island encloses within itself a microcosm, isolated from the others, which seeks continuous contact with the mainland even though it does not need it because it is independent. Isolation is the first book in a long-term project that aims to investigate the narrow sense of the word Island through a photographic gaze. Isolation is about confinement, not as a sense of loneliness but rather the art of reinventing oneself, surviving and finding one’s balance in the face of a tyrannical nature. In the depths of Russia, within Lake Baikal, lies an island called Ol’chon. There are seven villages within the island. The main village, Khuzir, has about 1,000 inhabitants and owes its name to the small lake located within the town, which is the centre of village life because of the salt, which the island’s animals loved to ‘taste’.

Discovered by Kurbat Ivanov in 1643, it began to be inhabited in the early 1930s. The ice is the sacred element of this project, it is fundamental for both the island and its inhabitants: it creates a natural bridge for about two months of the year that allows the transit of heavy vehicles, connecting the inhabitants to the outside world quickly. Thus the ice, instead of dividing, unites the two realities by changing habits and lifestyles. Fundamental for the inhabitants is to create moments of leisure on the island that allow them to glimpse a kind of admiration for the outside world. The absurdity lies in animals living in absolute freedom as opposed to people creating fenced-off corners of the world where they can live safely.

Their homes are warm, cosy and full of life, in contrast to the cold and hostile climate. Their skin absorbs everything around them, sometimes resembling ice, sometimes everyday objects. The days are full of simple things, they are the key to a peaceful life, regardless of the distance from the metropolis or political problems. Time is marked with slowness and everyone has the right way to devote themselves to what they love, recreating the theatre, a swing or building their own home with pride and dedication.

At the centre of the project are everyday moments, combined with situations of the absurd for the western or so-called western world. On the island of Olkhon, the absurd is experienced as a way to give vent to one’s freedom of being. On this island, everything is imagination and nothing that has not been imagined before can happen.

The island of Olkhon in this project represents the idea of absurdity and isolation, through the vision of everyday, human and natural reality with a focus on real and imaginary objects.


Alessandro Scattolini was born in Loreto in 1991. He studied photography at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia and post-production at Studio Interno Grigio. Always interested in new digital solutions, he has attended numerous post-production courses over the years with masters such as Davide Vannini, Gianfranco Manzo and Daniele Coralli. In 2012 he produced his first book, Il Treno, about three different favelas in Rio de Janeiro. He has currently self-published three books: Hardcore Scenes, War Memories, Feel and Louder.

He also completed the series About Trees, personal research on trees and photography with which he won an honourable mention at the Prix de la Photographie in Paris, the second post at Portfolio Italia Città di Nettuno and many publications in national newspapers, including Reflex. In the same year, he made La grangia di Monlue a reportage for the eight per thousand to the Catholic Church on political refugees. In 2013 he moved to London where he met and worked with several photographers as an assistant and post-producer, from fashion to reportage. He currently lives and works in the Marche region where he is the founder of Alessandro Scattolini Studio, a multi-purpose photography studio.


Italy Photo Award

Prize for the enhancement and diffusion of Italian photographic culture

On 15 December 2019, the final event of the year took place: the presentation of the finalist projects selected in the Portfolio Readings hosted in the various stages by some of the largest Italian photography festivals and the award ceremony for the winners of the 5th Edition of the ITALY PHOTO AWARD

Italy Photo Award, founded by Cecilia Pratizzoli and created to enhance and disseminate Italian photographic culture, is among today’s most important national photographic realities. Collaborating with the biggest Italian festivals hosting the Portfolio Readings and the best professionals in the field offers young authors a unique opportunity for visibility and professional growth.

Over 20,000 images, submitted by professional photographers from all over Italy, competed in the 2019 edition. The Prize aims to be a training and growth opportunity for new authors as well as an important artistic and cultural initiative for our country. During the event, which took place on 15 December 2019 at the MACRO Museum in Rome, the presentation of the finalist projects and the nomination of the overall winners, respectively in the ‘Best Portfolio’ and ‘Young Talent’ categories, took place, thus winning the ITALY PHOTO AWARD 2019.

Text: Italy Photo Award 
Photo: Alessandro Scattolini 
Original text in Italian - In house translation
Federazione Russa
Olkhon Island, Oblast' di Irkutsk, Russia
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© Portfolio - Isolation

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