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PORTFOLIO

22.01.2015

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After living abroad for a number of years, photographer Giulio Rimondi returned to Italy. But what does his homeland look like nowadays? Rimondi sets out in search of his first love, discovering himself along the way.

You can see the first part of his journey here.

“On the Adriatic coastal express I meet Rosario, aged twenty, with a southern Italian accent he tries hard to conceal when he talks about the officers’ school he is attending. ‘This is my life now’. And he seems to have no doubt about it.

I turn up early in the morning at Elena’s parents’ house in Old Bari. They’re not in, but I learn from a female neighbour that Elena is working at a luxury hotel spa in Nice. ‘Damn!’ I count what little money I have left, then look up and read on a wall: ‘There’s a crisis, the Madonna is also weeping’.

I arrive in Trani, flooded with light. Chico turns up in the cathedral square. He was born here, but scrapes together a living as a harmonica player in England. He has a spermatozoon tattooed on his cheek, a sign of fertility. He preferred it to a wedding ring when he got married. When we roll back to his house drunk, his mother is asleep in an armchair with a blue and yellow budgie on her shoulder.

I leave the next day, heading inland: Irpinia and Lucania, few Italians know anything about either. There is an unearthly silence in the ravines at night. It is shattered by a couple of powerful cars and a truck on a lonely dirt lane. I ask myself if they’ve taken the wrong road. The answer comes with my morning coffee, when the barman hints at toxic waste buried by the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia in this remote area of the south.

I reach Aliano and it’s like being on the moon. The people here are tough yet friendly. A widow in black nods to me as I leave.”

Giuilio Rimondi

Born in Italy in 1984, Rimondi studied literature and history of art. In his photo reportages he focusses primarily on social phenomenon and problems in the Mediterranean region. His photo journalist work has been published in the New York Times Lens, Le Monde, Repubblica and other European and Middle Eastern magazines.

www.giuliorimondi.com
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