Andrea Calestani Photographer

Scotland-London 1982

When the Tarantola bookshop in Corso Zanardelli in Brescia set up an entire window dedicated to the launch of the photography book “London by Gian Butturini”, where the poster with the painted face of the hippie boy stood out, it was a real brainwave.

The mythical, fantasized “sweet London” was there to be seen. Desired as much as our generation was able to elevate the English metropolis to a symbol of every utopia of the time.

A fatal attraction. It was the beginning of the Seventies, but I had to wait another ten years to set foot there with a camera around my neck.

A long and pampered inspiration sketched in front of the bookshop window as children that dream in front of a toy window. But things don’t always go as you dream. It happened that travel friends wanted to go to Scotland first. And after Edinburgh, on the way back, London was only the hurried final leg of the journey.

Those were times when travelling was very expensive. The fact is that upon arriving in the English metropolis the remaining scarce economic resources gave way for a short, very expensive stay. I had run out of spare films in Scotland.

For London I only had enough money buy one 36 exposures roll. In other words, one of many missed opportunities.

Only in more recent years, thanks to a thoughtful reprint, of Gian Butturini’s iconic book was I able to have a copy. As partial compensation and consolation for all the missed photographs (and dreams).

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