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PORTFOLIO

06.02.2015

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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 parts of his journey here:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

“The Tyrrhenian horizon flashes past the window of the local train taking me north. Then we get stuck at the station in Carrara, due to a breakdown. I chain smoke on the platform, but the train shows no sign of leaving. I’m struck by the mountains towering above the city, just a stone’s throw from the sea. A sign indicates the road to the Michelangelo Quarries – the source of the marble from which the David was sculpted.

A tunnel several kilometres long connects the outside world to the heart of the mountain. The gate’s open, I go in. A magnificent space opens up before me, with internal basins, sheer walls and terraces. I hide from the quarrymen until I hear them leaving through the tunnel, followed by a clanging of chains and metal bars: the lights go out. I’m locked in, dammit! I spend the night in the freezing cold, cursing myself for being so stupid.

The next day I’m at Sestri Levante with a stormy sea. At midnight I stroll along the harbour, smoking. While I’m playing with the spray carried by the wind, a thunderous explosion shakes the breakwater. Before I have time to be scared the water hits me, like hell unleashed. A wave has burst through the harbour barrier and sweeps me away.

I don’t remember what happened. The sea took everything with it. All I have on me are my soaking wet clothes, one shoe and a 50 euro note that I miraculously find in my pocket.

I cry from fright, because I’m alive, and for whatever other reasons. Then I wake up a priest looks at me as if I were a ghost but offers me a hot shower.

I get on the train to Genoa without a ticket, but I can’t go any further. I meet a hooker in one of the alleys. ‘If you’ve only got 50 euros,’ she says, ‘the best thing is to spend them on me.’

She arrived in Italy from Nigeria, she tells me from the toilet while preparing to make love. Full of high hopes that have turned to dust. It must be Italy, I think to myself. The same thing happened to me. I toss the banknote onto the bed for her, light up a dog-end and slip away unseen down the alley.”

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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