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Mr.Incredible, how I won this war



During the two lockdowns, my family closed itself in a protective bubble for many months, living together in the same house to cope with the situation, losing the real knowledge of the outside world to such an extent that our disorientation generated the most varied behaviors. Nicolò, who turned 4 years old in April, suffered the greatest burden of this situation and found himself in the complex situation of having to relate only with adults, losing the reference of his peers. A situation that has severely stressed him. Being a rather emotional child, he was unable to manage some emotions and alternated states of euphoria with states of strong irritability.

For his birthday his mum and I gave him a puppet of his best superhero, Mr. Incredible. Nicolò completely identified with the character to the point of becoming his alter ego. They are inseparable, they are the same person. This has helped him to overcome many difficult moments. Mr. Incredible is not afraid of anything. He’s not afraid of the dark or of this virus. He is not afraid of infection because he is so careful and always washes his hands. He is able to defeat this evil and bring the whole world back to the reality of some time ago.

Turin, Italy – December 2020. Nicolò poses for a photo in the costume of Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible, his all-time favorite superhero.

The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families in Italy is described by a survey promoted by the Giannina Gaslini Paediatric Institute in Genoa, which chose to collect during the lockdown the valuable contribution of thousands of families in Italy describing the effects on their health. Analysis of the data showed that in 71% of children under the age of 6, behavioral problems and symptoms of regression occurred, and that the most frequent complaints were increased irritability, sleep disturbances and anxiety disorders. The study found that the level of severity of the children’s dysfunctional behaviur was statistically associated with an increase in stress symptoms caused by COVID-19 in the parents.

How we found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic I no longer remember. A long and vague time has passed that has clouded the memory of the days gone by. What I know is that each of us fought a difficult personal battle to survive a terrible event that changed our reality forever.

Turin, Italy – December. During the year, the absence from school, the long and endless days spent locked up at home without the opportunity to play with his peers and friends have made many moments difficult to deal with. There were many crying fits and countless arguments for trivial reasons.
Turin, Italy – November 2020. In all these days that followed one another without rest and without lucidity Nicolò was often elusive. Sometimes very quiet, sometimes impossible to deal with. He certainly built his own shield to deal with it all.
Turin, Italy – October 2020. For his birthday his mom and I gave him the Mr. Incredible puppet from which he has never been separated and with which he has shared countless adventures becoming his alter ego.
Turin, Italy – December 2020. One of his favorite hiding places. Behind the curtain in the bedroom, where Nicolò could transform into Mr. Incredible.
Turin, Italy – October 2020. Nicolò has always been afraid to take a shower, despite being a superhero, but you know, every superhero has his weakness.
Turin, Italy – November 2020. Mr. Incredible is treated following an accident on the road. Nothing serious for a superhero.
Turin, Italy – November 2020. My old bedroom became her play space. It was so strange for me to find those now forgotten spaces again.
Turin, Italy – November 2020. This year went by like we were all in limbo. Making every little decision felt like taking a giant step. Time and space became one. An amalgamation of feelings.
Turin, Italy – January 2021. Nicolò is his alter ego during one of the thousands of adventures they had together.
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Federico Tisa

Turin. April 1982. I studied photojournalism between Milan and Rome, trying to deepen the use of photography as a means of communication dedicated to… More »


  1. beautiful work, really. I have a son of your age, who perhaps did not consciously understand anything about covid, but certainly his emotional memory has elaborated something that will emerge over the years. photography is certainly the memory that we leave to future generations, and a job like yours must make people talk and discuss

    1. Thanks a lot Lorenzo. He too was not fully aware of what really happened, but in his own way, in his own reality, the power with which this situation imposed itself was disruptive and I think he will carry the marks for a long time.

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