Naima Morelli

Tag "borgata"

Twenty-fifteen has been an intense year full of cheerfulness, discovery and adventure – I feel I learned so much! For starters I reconquered Rome, which I re-elected as my base (I keep on saying “for the time being”, but truth is, I’m in love with this city). Since I installed in my bedroom in San Lorenzo – the left-leaning, working-class neighborhood of Rome – I felt a new chapter of my life had started.

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While with our fluttering dresses and carefree attitude we might not look like the toughest girls on the block, we gals of TeenPress love the borgata. So this time around we ventured to San Basilio, one of the most difficult neighborhoods of Rome. While San Basilio has a cozy architecture and great graffiti pieces, it is mostly talked about for its crime, killings and drug trade. In making this report my colleague Ornella and I had a couple of weird experiences ourselves. From a group of shirtless guys throwing clothespins at us from a window, to kids on scooters intimating us to put away our camera, not everybody was so friendly. At the same time, in the Centro Aldo Fabrizi we found an oasis of peace and protection. We documented the activities of the center in this video, hoping that it will be able to keep on growing a new generation of responsible and caring adults. 

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When I first came to Rome, I had my head full of Pasolini. I was in love with the idea of the borgata, but I ended up living in the more central Piazza Vittorio – which was pretty cool as well, but for other reasons – Chinese mafia anyone? Back then I was continuously thinking about the borgata with this sort of detached romanticism, but never dared to go there to explore it that much. Six years later – six months ago as I’m writing this – I went for a job interview with the news agency TeenPress. I was thrilled to know they were located in Pietralata, one of the historic borgate of Rome. But even then, for a long time I didn’t went beyond the short walk from the bus station to the door of the TeenPress office.

This report, dubbed “Pietralata Mon Amour”, gave us the chance to go deeper into the history of the neighborhood. The students of the local high school, together with the project Area Agio and the association GoTellGo, developed an app (called APPietralata) to explore Pietralata. It is a sort of audio guide which activates by walking around the neighborhood. I find this kind of projects just awesome on so many levels, and in the video below we explain why…

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This is a short essay about the Italian photographer Sara Magni that I wrote some time ago for the catalogue of “Fuori 5”, an exhibition at Galleria Gallerati, Rome:

“Waking up from a nightmare of desolation, discovering to be frightening and completely alone.
Founding themselves in a cruel and frozen night, in a pasolinian lawn. When the concrete buildings are the background, you suddenly realize that your room’s walls are just a fleeting shelter. Is it all just in our own mind, or is it actually a torched dream?

The series “Doppio Incubo” (Double Nightmare) was realized for the Premio Cairo at the Permanente in Milan. In this work the author explores the theme of man’s estrangement in the city. Sara Magni ventures in the human psyche, taking snapshots directly from the subconscious. She enacts characters that seems out of context, but at the same time she forced us to deal with them. No one has the voice to cry his longing for an “elsewhere”, we can read in his photos a frozen shadow of reality. Her research is displaced in the suburbs and non-places loaded with a reflection or anxiety, a sort of alienation in between Antonioni and David Lynch.

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