Carlotta Cardana is an Italian portrait and documentary photographer based in London.
After obtaining a degree in Theatre and Performing arts and a photography diploma, she lived in Argentina and Mexico City, where she started freelancing.
Her recent personal work explores the issues of identity, belonging and community, whether among young Italians living abroad, Modern Couples depicting couples from the Mod subculture or modern Native Americans. Her approach to portraiture privileges the subject’s experience and stresses the relationship between people and their environment.
Ahoicipha (ah-hoh-ee-chee-pay, Lakota word meaning to have self-respect; to honor oneself) intends to explore the role of traditional identity in the daily struggle of Native Americans, examining how they use pride of their original culture and traditions in dealing with their dismal objective conditions.
While their cultural practices and language have almost vanished by the various attempts at “assimilation”, the tribal peoples suffer a sort of forced segregation at the very bottom of American society: on every indicator, from the 88% unemployment to the worlds second lowest life expectancy, the reservations stand as Third World islands in the biggest economy on Earth.
Her work, however, departs from the gritty depiction of these issues by portraying Native Americansin a positive light and exploring how they rediscover and use pride as a tool for survival and advancement. She highlights inspiring stories of confident women and men rediscovering and using pride as a tool for empowerment.
In 2013, she was named “Discovery of the Year” at the Lucie Awards. She was also among the winners of the New York Photo Awards, the LensCulture Student Photography Award, the LensCulture Exposure Awards and the Association of Photographers Open Awards. She was also shortlisted for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.
Cardana’s work has been featured in numerous publications around the world, among others The Guardian Weekend, Marie Claire, D Repubblica, Rolling Stone, L’Espresso, and Flair. She has also collaborated with magazines in Mexico, the UK and Italy.