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Photo Essays

Massimo Barberio | The Neverending Story – South Antifa

Bari, Italy – Jan 2011. A view from the courtyard of the Socrate.
[I] come back to my hometown in december 2009 to spend Christmas with my family. And then I never moved again. Just few days before, more than 130 political refugees who were asking for their rights, decided to occupy an old school in Bari, called “Socrate”. Having no kind of help or rights, they used to live in the streets and squatting that empty building seemed to be a great idea. In the absence of immigration policies and reception procedures, self-organization was the only way for them.

It’s very important to remember that all the immigrants that arrive from Africa in Italy, are seen in a very suspicious way in a nation day by day more intolerant, on the brink of the precipice, cultural and economic: in Italy while the economical default is almost reached, cultural default is already “achieved”.

One of my best friend was one of those fools who helped them organizing the cohabitation, so I decided to go with him and have a look.
In this way I met the antifascist movement in Bari, absolutely the most defining meet in my life.
From then on I documented the daily life of young men and women whom, with a disarming candour, were trying to change the current state of affairs. I have followed them during manifestations for human rights, demonstrations for better immigrants’ conditions, in the course of squatting to solve the housing emergency, when they organized concerts, or when they had to go to the hospital, in the streets were they endlessly have to reaffirm the fight against fascism, that is forbidden by the Italian law, but practiced as power’s tool and within political parties, unashamedly “nostalgic”.

After three years witnessing the fascism phenomenon and the unbelievable growth of resources and general media consent around it, I learnt that at every step I’ll be in danger, that weapons such as solidarity and knowledge aren’t enough against such corrupted legislative body but “the concerned photographer takes side” and so do I.
Having to face racism, militarism, repression all mixed up with violence and threats, makes yourself a man on the wire and put you on the verge of the perpetual battle between good and evil: deeply in the neverending story of the human nature.

Bari, Italy – Nov 2012. B. (29), during a manifestation.
Bari, Italy – Jul 2010. A particolar of one of the corridor
Bari, Italy – Jul 2010. “The tall”, trying to play Krar, an Eritrean typical instrument, in a corridor of one of the building they squatted to solve house problem.
Bari, Italy – Aug 2010. A protest during a concert.
Bari, Italy – Apr 2011. Ashraf (48), Palestinian, teaching lessons to Palma (26), in the room where he lives. Ashraf was a pro-boxer and then a dental technician and also a fixer in his homeland, until he was arrested for political matters by Israeli force. Then he lost everything and came to Italy. Nowadays, after having been around the whole world, first as a pro boxer, and then as a pro-Palestine activist, he cannot renew his passport and he lives day by day. Usually, after talking about his past life he bursts into fight or into tears, as for example with Palma, who feels helpless in front of him.
Bari, Italy – Apr 2011. A. (40), is one of the most hospitable and kind man that I ever met. He is almost devoted to this group of guys.
Bari, Italy – Oct 2012. Ruggero (20), is a RASH (red anarchist skinhead); dancing during a concert, showed me his favourite tatoo: it says equality.
Bari, Italy – Nov 2010. Donato and Marcus, sharing times and beers while making a necklace, in the room where M. lives in “Socrate”.
Bari, Italy – Jul 2010. Young immigrants come back to the socrate after having found some furniture.
Bari, Italy – Nov 2012. After a fascist raid.
Bari, Italy – Jul 2010. A benefit party at the beach, to foot everiday’s bills.
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