The Silent Clapping of Their Hands


“In my life I have never given up, never stopped. One day I decided to transform this room into a circus, into a small circus, which would gather my whole life in such a small space.“
Claudio Madia, 60 years old, was a TV presenter in Italy during the 1990s of one of the most famous children’s programs of the time: L’albero Azzurro
In his life he was also a wanderer, deckhand, graphic designer, wader and acrobat for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, writer of seven books for children and founder of the Small Circus School in Milan. 
He never stopped precisely.
All these experiences have one thing in common: the continuous search for an audience. Claudio has always had the need to have his say to someone. The end of the job at the Rai television studios, the economic crisis that hit Italy after the 90s and the separation from his wife that forced him to leave the Small Circus School, severely affected him, leaving him alone and with a house he didn’t know what to do with it. 
From there the idea of transforming it into a circus at home (the Circincà), where every Friday evening, for 7 months of the year, with some acrobat friends, he organizes shows to make ends meet.
 In 2020 his world suffered another trauma, the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced him to close the doors of his Circincà, as he was unable to get an audience in, and left him into substantial debt. Once again, he did not give up and began the construction of a space for free artistic expression on a ground ready for building in the center of Milan. 
Mostly he spends his days at home dreaming alone in his circus. Sometimes this routine is interrupted by the presence of his four sons who come to find him, but as he himself says: “this house is my most important companion”.
“Il silenzioso battito delle loro mani” (The silent clapping of their hands) is a story of resilience. 
Claudio is pure resilience.
Any traumatic event in his life has always passed him in a positive way.
Nothing has ever stopped him. Nothing has ever stopped his dreams.

As real as his home.


2024 | Kolga Tiblisi Photo Award – Shortlist One Shot

2023 | Gomma Photography Grant– Finalist 

2022 | Lugano Photo Days Award– Finalist IBSA foundation

2022 | World Report Award – Finalist, Short Story Award

2021 | LensCulture HOME International Photography Award  – 2nd Place winner

2021 | Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography  – Finalist

2021 | PX3 (Prix de la Photographie Paris) – Silver medal

2021 | Portrait of Humanity – Shortlist

2020 | Canon Giovani Fotografi – 15th Edition – 1st Place Winner

2020 | Premio Ponchielli – Finalist

2020 | World Report Award/Fotografia Etica – Finalist – Single Shot

2020 | Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards – Finalist

Screenings & Exhibitions

2024 | Kolga Photo Festival – Tblisi, Georgia

2022 | Pingyao International Photography Festival – Ping Yao, China

2021 | Photo IS:RAEL – Tel Aviv, Israel

2021 | Officine FotograficheRoma, Italy

2021 | Paratissima – Torino, Italia

2021 | Head On Photo FestivalSydney, Australia

2020 | Cortona On The Move – Cortona, Italy

2020 | Festival della Fotografia Etica – Lodi, Italy

2020 | International Photography Festival – Suwon, South Corea

2020 | LHAM Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2020 | Yakushima Photo Festival Yakushima, Japan

2020 | Auckland Festival of Photography Auckland, Australia

2020 | Fotofestiwal Lodz, Poland

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