curated by Rafal Milach and Ania Nalecka


Bosco Chiesanuova (Verona)

What is Lessinia?

Lessinia is a geographic region located in the Prealpi Venete, most of which is part of the province of Verona whereas the remaining smaller part remains under of the provinces of Vicenza and Trento.
A slice of this territory constitutes the Regional Natural Park of Lessinia – a vast plateau of forests and grazing land, where nature and traditions of ancient populations blend in together. It is a land of spectacular karst phenomena and traditional districts with stone rooftops, it is rich in fossil deposits unique in the world that serve as proof of its origins.The natural park, instituted in 1990, occupies 10’000 hectares rich in history, archaeology, unique natural and geological phenomena; as well as priceless ethnographical, architectural and linguistic aspects. Bosco Chiesanuova, with a population of 3’000 inhabitants, is one of the most important districts of Lessinia and it is located 30 km from Verona.

What’s SÅM?

SÅM is a triennial project based on the visual exploration of Lessinia. SAM operates in collaboration with the Lessinia Film Festival which includes many cultural events revolving around the theme of the mountain, taking place in the rooms of the gallery Fonderia 20.9 in Verona. The artist residency is now at its second edition and also includes a workshop in Bosco Chiesanuova. SÅM is a project curated by Ana Blagojevic, Chiara Bandino and Francesco Biasi.

Artist Residency 2019

Photographer Rafal Milach and book-designer Ania Nalecka will be the curators of this year’s artist residency.The curators, together with SÅM staff, will select three artists who will be invited to work on the Lessinia territory.A fourth artist will be chosen in collaboration with Sputnik Photos collective in order to participate in the Mentoring Programme hosted by this Polish collective.
The selected artists will have 20 days, divided into two phases, in order to produce a body of work, which will be shown at the end of August as part of the 25th edition of the Lessinia Film Festival as well as at Fonderia 20.9 during Spring 2020.

The programme consists of:

I period – Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th March 2019

Exploration and research.
During the preliminary phase, we will provide all the tools and means  (bibliography, maps, guides etc.) needed to carry out the exploration of Lessinia. SÅM staff will be staying on site and will be available throughout the period.
There will be a series of events involving experts in various fields such as geology, history, nature and locals that can help in the individuation of the final theme of the projects. 

Site-specific field trips will be organised for the artists that will request them.
On Friday 22nd March 2019 there will be the first tutorial with the curators via Skype.

II period – Monday 13rd – Sunday 26th May 2019

The second phase will last two weeks and it is ought to be the most productive part of the residency.During this phase (21-26 May) the two curators, Rafal Milach and Ania Nalecka, will be on site inorder to tutor the artists in the editing, the development and the progress of the project and theplanning of the final exhibition.
The artists will be provided with:

  • A bibliography related to various themes regarding Lessinia 

  • Free access to the public library 

  • Archival material 

  • Van

  • Scanner 

  • A set of studio light with backdrop 

  • A4 printer 

  • Fine-art printing studio for the test prints (upon request) 

  • A black and white darkroom (upon request) 

 As well as the possibility of staying in the provided apartment, both the curators and SÅM staff 
will be available even beyond the time frame of the two residency phases. E-mails and Skypecalls will be planned in order to keep the curator on the loop with the work in progress.

Final exhibition – Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August 2019

The exhibition will take place in the Centro Culturale of Bosco Chiesanuova during the Lessinia Film Festival Opening Weekend. Moreover, the participating artists will have the chance to hold a presentation open to the public during which they can talk about their working process and the project they carried out on Lessinia.

Practical aspects and expenses

The selected artists will be provided with an apartment in the centre of Bosco Chiesanuova constituted of – two bedroom with single beds, bathroom, living room/kitchen, one extra (and bigger) room. Moreover, they will have access to a studio space situated in the Centro Culturale of Bosco Chiesanuova with all the material need (the studio is located two minutes walking distance from the apartment).
The residency will cover the following expenses:

    • Accommodation during the three phases 

    • Food expenses 
(in the apartment)
    • Transport from Verona to Bosco Chiesanuova 

    • Black and white darkroom material 

    • Fine-art test prints (during the residency) 

    • Prints production for the final exhibition (produced by Fonderia 20.9, sticking to the budget 
limits that will be communicated to the artists in due time)
    • Stationary material needed

The residency will not cover the following expenses

    • Trip to Verona 

    • Restaurants

    • Technical material such as computer, camera equipment…

When the apartment keys will handed out to the artists each one will have to fill in a release form and pay a deposit of 100 euros that will be returned at the end of the stay.

Due to the timeframe and logistics, the organisation suggests the use of either digital equipment or black and white analogue cameras (only black and white darkroom available).

How to apply

In order to apply the artists need to send:

  • Filled-in form 

  • CV and biography 

  • Artist statement (500 words max, either in Italian or in English)
  • Portfolio (PDF format, 25 Mb max,the portfolio should consist of one project or up to 20 images)
  • Video Submissions. Artists that work with video have to provide a direct link.

with the following email object “SÅM2019” by 31st January 2019 at the latest.

(download PDF)

(download PDF)

The call is open to all individual artists and it is free. A basic knowledge of English is preferred, even though a translator will be always on site.

The selected artist will be notified 15th February 2019.

Residency Curators

Rafał Milach (b. 1978 in Gliwice, Poland) – visual artist, photographer, author of photo books. His work focuses on topics related to the transformation in the former Eastern Bloc. Lecturer at the ITF Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic and Katowice Film School at the Silesian University, Poland. His award-winning photo books include The Winners, 7 Rooms, and The First March of Gentlemen. Rafał Milach has received scholarships from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Magnum Foundation, and European Cultural Foundation. Finalist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 and winner of the World Press Photo competition. Co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective. His works have been widely exhibited worldwide, and can be found in the collections of the MoMA Warsaw, CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the ING Polish Art Foundation, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan), and Brandts Museum in Odense (Denmark). Rafal Joined Magnum Photos in 2018 as a nominee member.

Ania Nałęcka-Milach born in 1977, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Faculty of Printmaking and Graphic Design in 2002, is a book designer (alias Tapir Book Design) and a collaborator with Sputnik Photos collective. She has designed many critically acclaimed photobooks, that have been awarded many of the most prestigious prizes such Paris Photo / Aperture Foundation Photobook Award Nominee (USA/France 2012, 2013 2014 and 2016) and POYi The Best Photography Book Award (first prize, USA 2012, 2014). She also gives talks and offer workshops on photo book design. In collaboration with her husband and photographer Rafał Milach she has co-curated international exhibitions in places such as FOAM Museum, (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). PHOTOEspaña (Madrid, Spain) and Photomonth in Kraków (Poland.)