“There are places in the world where people live in critical conditions, far from the eyes of society. I found one and I’ve learned to observe life from that point of view.
Near to the "Grande Raccordo Anulare" of the city of Rome, there is an urban settlement, where many people live ignored by society. La Rustica is one of the suburbs that grew up during the economic boom of the 70s in Italy. Although, over the years, there have been attempts to ‘scourge’ the place of crime, it is still a depressed area, with very high illiteracy and most citizens live every day, conscious of illegal activity around them.
I discovered this place in 2015 when KINO productions hired me as a stage photographer in the film set "I Was a Dreamer" by Michele Vannucci. The film told the true story of a man born and raised in that neighborhood, following him after leaving the prison at the age of 39, and trying to rebuild his life.
For about six months, after the film, I lived in that place, staying in the home of a middle-aged couple. I shared a room with their young niece. I lived and observed life from their point of view and I have developed a great interest in the intimate details of their lives. I have discovered how stifling their lifestyle is. Time passed very slowly. I realized that most of them saved a dream, that is, to wake up one day and find themselves outside that milieu. But, I have always realized that such a milieu was also the place where they find their identity, and outside of it, they felt alienated.
‘Behind the Dream’ is a project that will never be closed. La Rustica remains a dear place for me, full of affection. I often return and spend some time with them and continue to document the changes in the neighborhood.”