My essentials: Anne Immelé’s cultural picks

116 | Anne Immelé, 52, photographer, curator, art teacher

1. Book

I re-read ‘Austerlitz’ by W.G. Sebald. For me, he’s one of the greatest contemporary authors.  The story is about how the events of the past haunt lives and resonate in the space around the survivors, those who have escaped disaster and destruction. The main character, Jacques Austerlitz, is doomed to a melancholy wandering, a permanent exile. Photographic images play an important role in the story, increasing the ambiguity between reality and fiction.

2. Film

The Mirror (1974), an autobiographical film based on Andreï Tarkovski’s memories, particularly his childhood in the countryside with his mother after his parents separated. Memories of his life are interwoven with those of his father and grandfather, and three dream sequences punctuate the film. The non-linear editing also incorporates archive footage. This film reminds us that the present slips through our fingers like sand, and sometimes only has material weight through memories.

3. TV/Internet 

I really enjoy podcasts. One of my favorites is The Urbanaut Podcast, produced by Urbanautica, an independent publisher focused on photography, visual anthropology, and cultural landscapes. They’ve recently launched a podcast that features in-depth interviews with photographers. These extended conversations offer deep insights into the challenges and perspectives surrounding contemporary photography. Another podcast I regularly tune into is The Real Photo Show. This programme delves into the world of photographers and their connections with the broader arts community.

4. Music

P.J. Harvey’s albums have been my constant companions since Dry, her very first album. Among her vast discography, White Chalk stands out as a timeless work. Her haunting, sometimes ghostly voice is both striking and deeply moving. The use of minimalist acoustic guitar and piano arrangements underlines Harvey’s talent for creating deeply emotional and poetic soundscapes. More generally, I listen to a lot of music that soothes me and helps me concentrate.

5. Place

I simply love exploring cliffside paths and discovering the caves of the Maltese islands. These caves inspired my current photographic project, ‘Melita, Refuge’. Of these, Għar il-Kbir stands out for its many interconnected caves. It is thought to have been a complex habitation system, which remained inhabited until 1835. The unique geology of the Maltese caves makes them ideal shelters.