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Milanese preview of “Oliviero Toscani. Ladro di Felicitಔ for the 70th anniversary of Costa Cruises. By Connexia

Costa Cruises is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a special project and an outstanding partner: Oliviero Toscani. Toscani “stole” over 100 photographs while on board the Costa Pacifica ship to showcase the happiness experienced by the guests on Costa ships through the lens of his camera and immortalise these unique, one-off moments in time captured during a Caribbean cruise.

The “Oliviero Toscani. Ladro di Felicità2 (Happiness2 Thief) exhibition opens on 6th July at Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, and Costa Cruises tasked the Events Team at Connexia, the Doxa Group’s data-driven creativity agency, with organising the Milanese preview of these photographs.

Oliviero Toscani and six international Instagrammers Mattia Bonavida, The Rerum Natura, Marko Morciano and Laura Masi from Italy, Oliver Vegas from Spain, and Loic Lagarde from France – will be at Area Pergolesi in Milan this evening for a round table discussion that promises to be a lively debate about the evocative power of images, the evolution of photography, and its personal interpretation, the contribution by major photography brands compared with the new digital expressive models and the innovative new ways of using images. By exploring the new frontiers of photography and their relationship to traditions and social networks, the guests will be literally “projected” on board Costa Cruises ships with 360° video projection.

Nicolas Ballario from Oliviero Toscani’s Factory will be the evening’s moderator. A curator and journalist, Nicolas Ballario has worked with many Italian newspapers and magazines and the Venice Biennale, and is also the writer and presenter of contemporary arts programmes.

The real star of the show is photography, which recounts tales of journeys and “happiness squared”. The story of Costa Cruises began when the Anna C. passenger ship made her maiden voyage on 31st March 1948. To mark the occasion Oliviero Toscani boarded the Costa Pacifica also on 31st March to embark on a project that uses images to celebrate the seventy years of emotions experienced on Costa ships. A hundred photographs were selected from the many taken during the cruise to be featured in the exhibition in Genoa and become an integral part of the history of Costa Cruises.

The venue was selected specifically for its digital facilities and given a customised Costa Cruises look: an enormous funnel, which is characteristic feature on every Costa Cruises ship, welcomed the public as they arrived. In addition to being a fully video-projected event, the interiors had also been creatively staged to take guests on a real virtual cruise: every element from the seating to the stage had been imaginatively designed by Connexia to recreate a typically maritime setting.

 “Many things have changed since Costa began back in 1948, but we continue to work to achieve our primary goal: to make our guests happy,” said Luca Casaura, Costa Cruises’ Senior Vice President of Global & Strategic Marketing. “This is why we decided to dedicate an exhibition to happiness to celebrate our 70th anniversary, and work with a master of photography like Oliviero Toscani who has so brilliantly captured the real essence of a Costa cruise. This is a truly special project and it was important to us to give it to Genoa, our city. It was also important to hold an exclusive preview in Milan, so we could create a unique opportunity for people to discuss and share photographic techniques and how they are evolving.”

 Connexia has created an event for real photography buffs: 150 guests were invited to take part in the round table discussion, including members of the Canon Academy and students from Milan’s top photography, social media marketing and digital marketing schools, such as the IIF (Italian Institute of Photography), IED and IULM.

“We are delighted that Connexia was selected as the exclusive partner to produce and coordinate such a special moment for Costa Cruises, the only cruise ship company in the world flying the Italian flag,” said Paolo D’Ammassa, the CEO of Connexia. “We love telling unique stories with creativity, originality, passion, and an eye for attention to detail; it’s what we do and it’s what we do well.”