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The new masters of the City



Nature sometimes reappropriates spaces that had been taken away by the overflow of the City.
Then alien beings, alien to the memory of the inhabitants, begin to appear and interact in a surreal way with the City.
It would seem like revenge, but perhaps it is just another of the deleterious effects of our presence: in the end we have imported seabirds into a city that is not, transforming them from expert predators into rebellious scavengers.
As beautiful in flight as they are ungainly on the ground, a large colony of seagulls has colonized the center of Rome.
But I still remember that sense of estrangement, the end-of-the-world atmosphere, the bewilderment that gripped me when I first saw them circling like pterosaurs, squawking unpleasantly against the low cloudy sky near Piazza Venezia.

Now they are a constant and common presence, we are used to them, and they to us, they ignore us or approach us without fear, apparently harmless, but arrogant and unpleasant in their ways: they are the new masters of the City.
But in me there is a jolt of unease, a startle of alarm: I observe them, they let themselves be photographed, and even pose, they are cute allowing me to get light and funny images, but just a cold look of their reptilian eye (in the end they are close relatives of the dinosaurs, indeed evolutionarily they still are) to recreate the atmosphere of surreal threat implied.

Avant-garde. Rome, Piazza Venezia, June 18th 2021.
Attempt at franciscan dialogue. Rome, Lungotevere Castello, October 7th 2021.
The boss. Rome, Lungotevere Castello, July 21th 2021.
Opposing patrols. Rome, Piazza S.Pietro, July 11th 2021.
Eternal love, but there is no longer anyone. Rome, Lungotevere Castello, November 30th 2021.
Careful Leda! It’s not a swan! Rome, Lungotevere Castello, October 7th 2021.
The troublesome guest. Rome, Lungotevere Castello, November 30th 2021.
Night presence. Rome, Via della Conciliazione, November 10th 2021.
The challenge. Rome, Lungotevere Castello, November 30th 2021.
Fait accompli. Rome, Piazza Venezia, June 18th 2021.
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Pietro Coppa

Nato e vissuto a Roma, fotografo per antica passione.

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