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Photo Book


FORCELLA, Jean-Marc Caimi • Valentina Piccinni
[W]hen we first visited Forcella it was to meet a friend, a publisher. That day, while we wandered in the neighbourhood, we realized that in that very place we had to come back soon. What intensely moved us was the suspended aura, a time-lapse back somewhere around the Eighties, an era of no modernity, no globalisation, no homogenisation to imprint the values of our generation. Forcella was our ideal scenario for a photographic feature, possibly a book.

The intent was quite clear from the beginning, we aimed to “humanise” a place, mainly infamous for mafia related dreadful crime news, just by photographically narrating the daily life in the neighbourhood.
Forcella is a place that swallows you up, where everything is stuck, frozen in time, forgotten by the institutions, abandoned to the casualness or to the lazy routine of its own citizens.

We rented a small flat in a passageway of Forcella. From there we pushed our exploration to other areas we felt had a similar atmosphere, like the Spanish Quarters, SanitĂ , and the city beaches of the Caracciolo broad walk.
We brought with us only compact cameras. We set up the darkroom in the toilets and after every long shooting day we developed the films straight away. We were anxious to see how our encounters were imprinted on film. since we wanted to give the work a book form, we edited the material we were gathering daily. We followed our imprinting as photojournalists, who are aware of the crucial role of a tight edit to shape the story.
We didn’t want to follow a narrative scheme. Instead a sequence of images able to evoke the lives of those who make these places unique.

“Io so questo: che i napoletani oggi sono una grande tribù che anziché vivere nel deserto o nella savana, come i Tuareg o i Beja, vive nel ventre di una grande città di mare.  Questa tribù ha deciso – in quanto tale, senza rispondere delle proprie possibili mutazioni coatte – di estinguersi, rifiutando il nuovo potere, ossia quella che chiamiamo la storia o altrimenti la modernità. La stessa cosa fanno nel deserto i Tuareg o nella savana i Beja (o fanno anche, da secoli, gli zingari): è un rifiuto, sorto dal cuore della collettività (si sa anche di suicidi collettivi di mandrie di animali); una negazione fatale contro cui non c’è niente da fare. Essa dà una profonda malinconia, come tutte le tragedie che si compiono lentamente; ma anche una profonda consolazione, perché questo rifiuto, questa negazione alla storia, è giusto, è sacrosanto.
La vecchia tribĂą dei napoletani, nei suoi vichi, nelle sue piazzette nere o rosa, continua come se nulla fosse successo a fare i suoi gesti, a lanciare le sue esclamazioni, a dare nelle sue escandescenze, a compiere le proprie guappesche prepotenze, a servire, a comandare, a lamentarsi, a ridere, a gridare, a sfottere.
I napoletani hanno deciso di estinguersi, restando fino all’ultimo napoletani, cioè irripetibili, irriducibili e incorruttibili.” (Pier Paolo Pasolini)

This work has been made in conjunction by two photographers, Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni, whose work focuses both on documentary projects and more personal intimate photography. They work freelances for the New York based agency Redux Pictures. Among their recent documentary projects, the consequences over people and environment of pollution in contaminated areas in Italy, religious pilgrimages in the era of Pope Francis, the Maidan revolution in Ukraine (this year exhibited In Malmö and Hannover). Their work is regularly published on press worldwide.
The duo has seen their common project Same Tense released as a book for Witty Kiwi books. This year was also released the book Daily Bread by Jean-Marc, for the Australian publication T&G.

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