Photographer's Note

Every year, from February to March, Carnival in Venice is held. It started in 1168 as a celebration of victory of Republic of Venice against Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia, and became annual event until it was banned by King of Austria in 1797. It was again reestablished in 1979 and is again held annually. Carnivals in Venice is famous for its masks that everyone wears and are very specific.

Little is known about the reasons for wearing of the masks during the carnival. It could be an act of defiance against one of the most rigid class hierarchical structures in all of history of Europe. First document that mentions use of masks in Venice is from 13th century. It bans masked men to throw eggshells full of rose water from roofs at women on the street. Same document bans masked men from gambling. Another law also forbade wearing disguises that are vulgar, visiting convents in those masks, painting faces and wearing false wings and beards. Idea of wearing a mask in Venice was not to hide identity but to hide a class.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 0 N: 363] (1882)
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