Omar Martinello, sharing nature through effort
From the Po Valley to the mountains and the great paths. With Omero, fatigue is a means to reach ecstasy
The silence of a bivouac abandoned to the blowing of the wind, the uncertain ground on which feet, wheels, reflections rest. It is the atavistic search for sensory abandonment, communion with nature, symbiosis with the wild element.
It is the intimate discovery. Beyond rhetoric, beyond the trivialization of it.
“In some places you can meditate and find yourself”, says Omar Martinello. He has long hair and the typical smile of a rebellion crystallized over time, innocent and sincere, never dormant.
“In the mountains you can savor nature and its simple forms. You can find in the spontaneity of small gestures, like lighting a fire, the way to forge social bonds, human connections”
Omero, this is his nickname, has decided to visually narrate his travels, his meditations. He did it by escaping the flat Po Valley and the working routine of a provincial pastry shop.
“I wanted to take a sabbatical year after a long period of work. I created a YouTube channel dedicated to the mountains and started producing low cost travel videos. Bivouacs, landscapes, trails, rough roads on two wheels… I wanted to show that you can have lots of adventures even from home, from my Caselle di Selvazzano, for example”
The camera in hand, the drone that cuts through the clouds. A bike and shoes that touch secret lands, underrated lands. Those portrayed by Omar Martinello are heritages to be transmitted, riches rarely revealed.
They are the Sibillini Mountains, the Tetric cliffs sung by Virgil, they are the Luca Vuerich bivouac, a refuge in the heart of the rugged Julian Alps, the Groppa Pastour, a reddened metal point in the Belluno Prealps.
These are timeless places out of time, as modest as they are of inestimable value. Goods of easy access, which Omero has taken on the task of narrating through shrewd and pressing montages, returning both practical and intimate confidences to a community that has amplified over the years.
“I look for peaks and mountains that are normally of interest to a few, I look for remote or unknown places. It makes me feel good to be able to convey what I feel during these adventures. Usually I have no set list, everything is inventive, everything is pure adaptation. Then, when I get home, I immediately start working on the files: I want the emotions to be still fresh. Seeing that so many people are moved and, in some way, inspired by what I do makes me happy”
In addition to inspiring, the videos of the 26-year-old from Padua have pushed some of his fans to break the virtual barriers and ask for shared outings.
In these group adventures, Omero perceived, strongly and pervasively, the maturation of another great chapter of his life: that of a professional hiking guide.
“It was a fascinating and constant evolution of what I had started doing without too many pretensions. If before I could only communicate with my audience through a screen, then I started walking alongside the people who followed me on social networks and, finally , I felt the will and the need to make this passion a job. I think people who travel with me appreciate how genuinely sociable I am, how I try to create relationships without superstructures”
Thousands of views, thousands of kilometers. For Omar the effort has turned into a means to reach the ecstasy, the sublime. Destinations impossible to analyze with gps and heart rate monitors: emotional destinations, destinations that led Omero’s backpack also on the dirt road to Santiago and that, in the near future, will lead him to face the long Italian and American routes.
“I train every day by running, cycling and climbing. Athletic training allows me to travel with peace of mind, not to feel tired, to experience the journey in its entirety. Now I want to dedicate myself first of all to Italy: there are many parts that I have not visited and it is absurd how many things there are to see in our country. For example, some high routes and the ‘Con le ali ai piedi’ walk are my next goals. Then I will think about bigger projects, like returning to the Way of St James starting by bike directly from home, or some very demanding American routes, such as the PCT”
It is the intimate discovery. Beyond rhetoric, beyond the trivialization of it. Get this out of Omar Martinello’s voice. From his voice transpires the desire to share something more than a simple path or panorama.
After all, his is a particular kind of rebellion. It is the rebellion of sharing, it is the rebellion of a symbiosis with nature that cannot and does not want to be a selfish act.
There is no real photography without communication and human contact, explains this young French photographer
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