In the Italian city of Trieste, there is a saying that sounds like “Every bar has its mad!” .
This particular expression is not just related to mental patients but also to humans contemplated in all their facetings. It refers to all the people who live in the city and spend most of their timein bars, the ideal convivial place, a place where some people could be judged for their “non standard” behaviours that put them in the centre of attention. But most of the times this way of saying refers to the “mad” people who live in the city.
Trieste was the first city to open the doors of asylums and the first that welcomed in the street the “mad” people set free by Dr. Basaglia. Trieste had to quickly adapt to the new situation that its citizens accepted with joy, improving relationships with these new individuals.
Psychiatrist Franco Basaglia opened the doors of mental hospitals in early 80's to give back these people the dignity of being persons. He claimed that doctors have to cure mental diseases but also
participate, listen and relate, in part empathize, to help the patient establish social relationships with the outside life; he argued that patients do not need only treatments, but only human relations.
The disease is not a disease, but only a uncomfortable life.
The project does not intend to label people but tell about this particular reality in Trieste, where the "crazy" people does not appear like Martians dropped into the earth, but normal human being who attend these places, exactly like everyone, and relate to other people in their special way to describe the life.
2012 - ongoing
Mad about you
"Love is a serious mental disease" We'd better start from this sentence of Plato to talk about the love story of Gabriele & Donatella and their psychic conditions. The meaning of the ancient greek philosopher’s sentence describes the emotional state that love could provoke in all of us, carrying us to emotional extreme states, to psychological excitements and irrationality, love takes away our faculty of evaluating reality. If love is a serious mental disease I think we all are happy to be mad. Donatella and Gabriele are happy. Their lives are consequences of families who couldn't express their emotionality since childhood, this loss of emotionality bought them to psychic sufferings and periods in sanitary structures. In 2005 they got married, from the moment they met, they support each other, they have everything they couldn't have before and fully share everything. They work as actors at a theatre academy for "mad people" in the italian city of Trieste. Trieste was the fisrt city in which psychiatric hospitals where closed and gradually replaced by a whole range of community-based services, including settings for acute in-patient care, This happened thanks to battles of the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia who obtained in 1978 the law 180. Dr. Basaglia claimed that doctors have to cure mental diseases but also partecipate and help the patients to establish social relationships with the outside life; he argued that patients do not need only treatments, but also human relations, Charlie and Donatella are a succesfull result of this far-sighted view of Dr. Basaglia.
Gypsy Interiors is a series of portraits capturing the private world of these outwardly loud, vivacious people. Here he finds a rich and profound intimacy, hidden but exhibited among antique furniture, tapestries, paintings, religious images, china, staircases and mirrors, set into large rooms or sometimes minimized in empty spaces waiting to be filled. Images of women sitting on elegant sofas or portrayed during intimate family moments, young people lounging on beds in their luxurious rooms, elders immortalized amongst their mementoes, proud faces of parents admiring their children. These are portraits of a people wanting to show that they have finally succeeded in finding and forging a place and a dignified future within our society, without losing the gypsy values, handed down orally, that come from the hearts of their ancestors.
It can be trigged by something as trivial as a dispute between neighbours or a disagreement among family; an incident that, anywhere else, might be forgotten with the passage of time or left to the authorities to resolve. But in northern and central Albania, where an ancient code of conduct known as the kanun still regulates life for a large portion of the population, it can descend into a blood feud spanning generations and forcing entire families into confinement.
The remainders of madness
The Sao Pedro Psychiatric Hospital, founded in 1874, was the first psychiatric institution in Porto Alegre (Brazil). its complex, once very interesting from an architectural point of view, is now decaying and run down. The hospital was built according to the idea of a city within a city, in order to fulfill a segregation of “madness". From 2001 new policies are pursued in order to reduce the number of inmates through external medical treatments. Today the hospital hosts 246 inmates, unlike 1970 when they were around 5,000. The 2001 federal law, based on the reform operated by italian psychiatric Franco Basaglia, aims to turn the Psychiatric Hospitals from a place of segregation into institutions involved in the care of mental health. The inmates are not only those who are seriously ill, but also those who suffer for the lack of family members or for extreme poorness . Walking through the halls, the rooms, the lounge or the common you come across the “remainders of madness", the result of former incorrect treatments. You can feel their deep pain; you can hear the suffering screams caused by the responsibilities of the previous institutions. The new treatments aim to grant a decent life to all patients. Doctors, nurses and the staff are trying to apply new psychiatric methodologies, with the hope that in the future such photographs won’t be no longer seen.
Boycotters and Activists
Israeli members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement explain why they want the world to stop supporting their state.
Muslim Brothers of Egypt
One third, this is the share that, in the opinion of most of the Muslim Brotherhood members, will take their political party Freedom and Justice in parliament in the forth coming elections. The MB are preparing totake power, but they do not want to do alone, they want to share the responsibility to rebuild Egypt with other political forces
Who are Hezbollah? In the collective imaginary they are like a clan of Islamic terrorists that operates in Middle east, but it is a political party of Islamic religion whose representative are part of the parliament. Undisputed and charismatic chief is Hassan Nasrallah that brought Hezbollah at the top of the political heights in Lebanon. Politically active in south Lebanon , they provide social activities for the population exhaust for numerous wars and conflicts.
The thin white line
Israel and Palestine, two populations and cultures that attract and repel each other in a conflict that has lasted for far too many decades. But the people living there, in that area of land close to the thin white line, are all alike and their daily lives are so similar that it seems impossible not to try to photograph them in order to understand that the current division may be real but is, at base, fictitious.
Lunch with the dead
For two days each year one week after Orthodox Easter the dead in cemeteries Moldovan gather the family to spend several hours in joy. Relatives arrive serene and smiling, full of cloths and food and prepares the tomb ready for lunch with the dead. The population passes through the narrow streets with their families and prays and blesses round ciambelloni (Colac) topped by long, narrow lighted candles on top and pour a glass of wine in the ground next to the tombstones. At the end of the rite of the dead guests sit around the grave or at a table placed in the fence and start eating, chatting and laughing loudly to the health of their loved ones. It is a very cheerful and lively party but also spiritual. The dead are not only weep and mourn but also to meet and make them participate, at least virtually, to the everyday family life. The dead do not speak but watch from above, partecipate and thank.