Since the end of the 19th century the Austrian administrative district of Zell am See, in the federal state of Salzburg, has been a typical tourist destination, mainly for the neighboring countries, but in the last decade something is changed; first trough the word of mouth and later on trough promotional campaigns in the Middle East by the local travel agencies, the area has become a popular spot for Arab tourists during summer. AlpenHimmel is photographic documentary focusing on the esthetic and social clash of this peculiar mass-tourism phenomenon.
Says Elisa: Quite opposite to the negative images linked to the 2015 refugees crisis which hit the same region I found myself documenting the encounter of Arabs tourists with an unknown nature that remind them the Quran’s paradise description.
Elisa D’Ippolito was born in northern Italy in 1984. She spent the first eleven years of her life in a small village located a thousand meters above the sea, in the heart of the Dolomites. At twelve she moved to Pergine Valsugana, a village dominated by a castle that is said to be haunted. In 2005 she moved to Rome where she attended the ” Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata”. During and after the years of study she earned a living as a sculptor of sand, a fine-art printer and as a waitress. In 2010 she moved to London where she worked as assistant of the photographer Leonie Hampton. In 2011 she moved to Bruxelles where she worked as a free-lance, curating her own work and realizing reportages for magazines. Since 2016, she works and lives in Berlin.