Reportage # 36, ‘Like a bird’ a photographic portfolio by Johanna-Maria Fritz at Officine Fotografiche Roma
WORDS
REPORTING
TAG
BROWSING
SHARE
Facebook
WhatsApp
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email
Twitter

Bistro’f, Rome. Officine Fotografiche’s café and a bookstore for the different facets of photography

«A magazine has to be broad, open to different themes, places, times and genres otherwise it becomes a photo album. I choose magazines based on this criterium» states curator Mariella Boccadoro

BistrO’f in Rome

The bookshop and café B.strO’f – Bistro’f, Rome – opened in 2010. It began as a collaboration between Officine Fotografiche and Alessandro Vogliono, as a sales point for HF Distribuzione, an online specialised photography bookstore. Mariella Boccadoro joined in 2012 and is now in charge of the library and the bookshop. Before working at Bistro’f, Rome, Mariella already had a passion for photography books, having collaborated with Magnum Photos in Paris. Over time she became more involved in the selection of books and now prides herself on her particular attention towards the selection of the projects, the narrative and the quality of photographic prints.

Bistro’f, Rome, the café bookshop of Officine Fotografiche

Bistro’f, Rome is located within Officine Fotografiche, a photography school that has been active for the past 20 years. Being in this environment, talking about photography, seeing exhibitions, attending classes, seminars, editorial presentations, meeting Italian and international photographers, all encourage the circulation of ideas and projects. The bookshop is fortunate to be situated in a space where there is also a library entirely devoted to photography books. «Our aim is to spread a culture of images, to present various photographical languages, so that people can understand them, elaborate on them and create new ones when possible» explains Mariella Boccadoro, «on top of that, we also aim to help those who want to become part of this environment and don’t know where to start from».

Bistro’f, Rome philosophy

As Bistro’f, Rome is part of Officine Fotografiche, it participates in each activity of the association. Officine Fotografiche is a school and the bookshop is integral to its functioning. The café bookshop, Bistro’f  is located in Rome. The clients are mainly members, they benefit from discounts and Bistro’f’s ideal location. All the students who attend courses at Officine Fotografiche can either read or buy every kind of photography book. Students are the main clients, whilst non-members tend to visit when there are special events. 

Bistro’f is a space where people can talk about photography, share their thoughts and ideas about their current projects, look for suggestions and pointers on how to reach their goals. Officine Fotografiche and the bookshop provide what they are looking for: meetings, free seminars, working groups and lessons with practical workshops. With exhibitions, there are often tours that provide the opportunity to meet the photographers, so visitors can ask questions and converse with professional photographers. Book talks are ideal events to broaden the horizon of customers and members. «We love to create exchanges and debates. For us this is the perfect way to enable the diffusion of visual culture and culture in general» comments Mariella Boccadoro.

Cafè Lehmitz, Anders Petersen. published by La Fabrica
Cafè Lehmitz, Anders Petersen. published by La Fabrica

Events at Bistro’f, Rome

Bistro’f organizes many events for members, some are also open to the general public. The artistic directors, Emilio D’Itri in Rome and Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo in Milan, organize the exhibitions. Mariella Boccadoro organizes book talks based on her personal interest or following suggestions and exchanges with colleagues and friends. Everyone works together, listening to each other and keeping their minds open to new possibilities. Each event that Bistro’f organizes has a special meaning, as the artistic directors focus on topics that interest them the most, decisions are linked to either a personal preference or a group choice.

Mariella describes the process of choosing magazines to stock in the bookshop, focusing on the ‘different facets of photography’: «It is a subjective choice. One can find many magazines with amazing images but no text and a magazine has to be broad, open to different themes, places, times and genres. If a magazine doesn’t have this broad outlook and is not supported by a good quality text, then it becomes a photo album, it doesn’t stimulate a discussion. It becomes impossible to decode without the author and for me it loses its value. I look for magazines that make me think and I choose them based on this criteria».

The selection of self-published books and independent publishing houses

The publishing world has changed enormously in the last few years. The new generation of photographers has started to publish their projects using mainly independent publishing houses or even self-publishing. So photographers can also become publishing houses. The pros and cons are easy to imagine: large publishing houses have in their catalogues famous photographers, retrospective publications and the classic works of photography. You can only find out about new photographers through independent publishing houses. In order to keep the bookshop and the library representative of this reality, Bistro’f has had to expand their list of suppliers. So now, besides stocking large national and international publishing houses, they also stock a selection of self-published books and independent publishing houses. Mariella adds, «in the future there will be an even greater influence of web publishing and traditional publishing houses will have to find new formulas to produce photography books».

BistrO’f  – Bistro’f, Rome

Via Giuseppe Libetta, 1, Rome

BistrO’F is Officine Fotografiche’s bookshop/cafe. A space dedicated to the culture of images. The bookshop, specialized in photographic books, Supplied by the most important Italian and foreign publishing houses, BistrO’f also pays  attention to the new self-publishing realities.

Giulia Cangianiello

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

SHARE
Facebook
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email
WhatsApp
Twitter