I have been working in the field of photography and publication design for nearly 10 years. I graduated in political science in 2006 from the University of Bologna with a dissertation on multicultural policy and women’s rights in Quebec, and my background is in critical theory and gender studies. While studying, I became interested in the role of representation in contemporary societies and in photography as a medium; following my degree, I undertook the General Studies one-year program at New York’s International Center of Photography. Upon completion of the program, I decided to return to Italy: it was 2009 and the contemporary art scene was rapidly changing and going in new directions, as well photography itself.

I started to freelance as a photojournalist for weekly and monthly magazines, tailoring stories for the editorial market and building relationships with photo editors and graphic designers in Italy and internationally, also gaining experience in publication design. Through mentoring programs focused on the book-making process as well as working as an assistant in photobook production, I became keenly aware of and embraced the potential and concept of the book as a medium and as an art object.

I have presented my work at many self-publishing events and have collaborated with different artists in designing books, from the concept through to production and distribution. “Dreaming Leone” by Alvaro Deprit was the first book I curated as a designer and producer. Published in Istanbul, the work was a finalist at the Anamorphosis Prize in 2015 and is now part of the MOMA collection of self-published books in New York. I was adviser for the Photography Department at Istanbul Minar Sinan Fine Arts University for the implementation of FUAM, a research center dedicated to artist and photography books, and I currently teach workshops on photography, book creation and self-publishing.

As a photojournalist, I came to feel constrained by the editorial market, and slowly went back to my personal practice.

I still believe in the idea of photography as a document, but as a visual artist I am strongly aware, thanks also to the strong foundation of my academic studies, of the impossibility of neutralizing the gaze. In (self)-publishing, I found the freedom and power of constructing more expansive frames for images, and so I came to elect the book as a medium to transport my practice – in terms of content, by making small editions of artist’s books with my pictures – and in term of curating, by selecting and bringing together work in order to give new meanings for other artists.

I have been based in Palermo for two years now, where I am a contributor at Minimum Studio, a space dedicated to new languages of photography and the image, mainly focusing on curatorial projects dedicated to the independent publishing scene. I also continue to work as a freelance consultant in book design. I believe each image on my path forms a step in my ongoing research, while also representing fragments that refuse a unifying discourse. In my work, I seek to invite the public to engage with my vision and challenge it, reconsidering what they see.


You can download here my resume.


mmichelapalermo@gmail.com / +39 349 78 61 731