author Gabriele Basilico, publisher Humboldt books, 1° edition, 84 pp., size 17 x 21 cm, 2015
In the summer of 1970, Gabriele Basilico set off from Milan in a Fiat 124, nominally heading for Kabul. The journey towards India was a rite of passage for the flower children generation, and Basilico had plans to take a series of photos to then sell on to some magazine. The journey didn’t quite turn out as planned, but in his personal archive, those shots were carefully stored away, and on more than one occasion, the Milanese photographer thought about turning them into a book. As Luca Doninelli writes in the introduction, this is “Basilico pre-Basilico”, a reportage stretching from Yugoslavia through to Turkey and Iran – which turned out to be the final destination of the trip – in which we may note the inklings of his vocation-to-be. The afterword by Giovanna Calvenzi, Gabriele’s travelling companion on that journey, tells the story of that adventure in an era of unprecedented freedom.