Lisetta Carmi

TRAVESTITI, GENOVA, 1965 – 1971 COURTESY GALLERIA MARTINI & RONCHETTI, GENOVA

Lisetta Carmi has had many lives. A pianist and concert performer first, she moved to Switzerland to escape racial persecution. At the end of the 1960s she returned to Genoa and embraced the anti-fascist political battle. She also rejected the role she was supposed to play as a woman and through her encounter with the local transvestite community, she understood that everyone has the right to decide who they want to be. In times when LGBTQ communities were still undefined and silent, Carmi would tell about them through images like ‘Transvestites in Genoa’, one of many stories, full of contradictions, a staging where laughter is contrasted with the perception of deep sadness. She was a photographer of great humanity and the courage of dedicating her genius to the underdogs and the invisible. Her rich life ended in 2022, at the age of 98, in the Cisternino ashram that she had founded.

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