Behind The Bank

“I needed something to bound to, a story that could teach me how to stay on a project for long time without craving for an immediate result”

PREMISE: In the past twenty years the western society has grown much faster than was possibly imaginable at the beginning of the 90’s.
We hear about climate change , technology booming, demographic growth and many other aspects characterizing our time, but what all of these parameters have in common is a vertical growing, the fastest ever happened in our history as far as we know. Nowadays we devour without tasting, we look without observing, we talk without thinking and almost never we heed to our deepest necessities but rather we act following what otherwise would exclude us from a “well oiled” system. Technology booming and the action speed requested at any society level, made us always more distracted and approximate. Quantity and result are in our time preferable to quality and personal identity.

Starting from the previous premises, I started thinking how I could invert the longstanding trend and start working on that new asset with photography. I understood that for me the hardest challenge was the inability to bound to a project for enough time to reach that intimacy and intensity I was looking for. Based on the previous considerations, I thought about Italy, my country, an amazing place that has always come to the end when choosing a new topic to put my attention on. I tried to think a way to give value and at the same time, to get to know better the place where I grew up. I imagined the Italian rivers , they crossed us vertically and horizontally, quietly they represent the abundance and variety of my country.

They start their journey crossing the mountains, then they travel an endless and dumpy flat land, to conclude their journey jumping into the sea after having crossed thousands of lives made out of hands that still get dirty, hands of people that still work in the fields or in the craftsmanship, hands of people that do those things that nobody want to do anymore.

I started walking following the course of our main rivers, sometimes along their sides, some others behind their banks, going through a skein of small towns and villages that slowly lead us to the cheered cities. Us, city people, surrounded by cement tongues, slaves of a routine made out of not enough hours, we have forgotten how our rivers had been fundamental for the development of the modern society and the economic independence we have gained today. Together with the sea, rivers had been source of energy, transport and one of the main font of alimentation. Our cities wouldn’t be the same without their help.

Italy’s main power, has always been distinguishing for the quality of its craftsmanship, for its ateliers and small family businesses. The world envy us for the incomparable quality and the creativity that we are able to express, all the sectors that represent better the Italianness in fact, like the food, fashion and the cultural heritage we have gained in centuries of conquests and cultural achievements, have as common denominator “quality and creativity”.

Nowadays instead we are gradually losing our country identity towards a dimension that doesn’t belong to us. Globalization and Capitalism together with the help of the technology development, are ruling the market, making the survival of the small labourers or farmer economically unsustainable. New generations crave for working at the highest economic market levels, forgetting what really are the country

This long term project has the finality to make me cross the whole country, using the flow of our main rivers as a metaphor to rediscover those areas and communities so much important for the sustainability of our country. A documentary that aim to show the hidden society that live along the river’s banks of our Italian rivers, people that have decided to stay rooted to their origins instead of moving with the modern development. A project that want to investigate on a different Italy, that live behind the banks of its rivers, communities that seems to be exiled out of the cities as if they didn’t deserve to hop up on the winning cart. Often it’s a choice, in other cases instead is a necessity; in both cases however, is fascinating to see how quite often rivers and people work together for a common purpose.

The project started in 2016, I started from the Arno river that cross Tuscany from Pratovecchio Stia until the end of it, at the mouth into the Ligure Sea. Then, I’ve been walking along the bank of the Tiber river, starting from its mouth in the Tirreno Sea to its source at Monte Fumaiolo. In the end the hardest experience was dealing with the Po river, the longest of Italy and probably also the most complicated. It crosses four different regions, stretching and bending among thousands of small towns and medieval villages. Getting lost in endless fields and hiding itself behind It crosses four different regions, stretching and bending among thousands of small towns and medieval villages. Getting lost in endless fields and hiding itself behind banks built by men that don’t see the great river anymore.
The project has the goal to become a photography book.