“There was no end to the questions it was possible to ask about them and no end to the answers it was not possible to frame”

Henry James, The Aspen Papers


“Pilgrimages have attracted photographers from the world over, and continue to do so. For Bonaventura, pilgrimage becomes an opportunity to understand, and photography the passport that gains him entry into a world that is foreign to him. This is a world of its own, apparently timeless, which travers different countries and unites multidues that recognize in one another a common interpretation of religious faith. Thus begins Bonaventura’s own private pilgrimage, which would last four years and see him accross seven countries, almost a journey of initiation whose aim is comprehension, as he seeks out answers to questions that have not yet been perfectly formulated. The non-believer’s eye- the eye of the photographer- accompanies the pilgrims, records images of the masses in motion, their solitude, their religious symbols, their pain and fatigue, the hope painted on their faces. […] . If photography were still and art divided into various genres, the work of Bonaventura could be defined as a kind of social-humanistic reportage- a genre which, if one chooses to work in it, requires time, sensibility, courage, visual talent, abnegation and patience. These are far too many prerequisites to make such a genre widely practiced – yet each and every one of those characteristics shine through in Tommaso Bonaventura’s lengthy study.

Giovanna Calvenzi, Paths of Faith, ed. Gribaudo 2005