Daniele Vita

Bagnanti

Catania è una città con un’alta percentuale di persone colpite dalla povertà e dall’esclusione sociale, la maggior parte delle quali vive nei quartieri poveri di Quatteri. La vita reale inizia presto, il tasso di scolarizzazione è molto basso, i bambini sono costretti a crescere in fretta e molto spesso si dedicano ad attività illegali come il furto o lo spaccio di droga per mantenere le madri e i fratelli più piccoli perché il padre è stato “attaccato” (arrestato). Nei contesti sociali più abbienti vengono chiamati “Mammoriani”. Il termine deriva dall’espressione “mammoriri mo mà” (se mia madre dovesse morire), usata come forma di giuramento, che aiuta a comprendere il legame profondo con il membro più sacro della famiglia: la madre. La famiglia è l’unità sociale primaria, con regole e ruoli molto chiari da rispettare nelle scelte della propria vita, in un vincolo indissolubile di devozione e rispetto. Questo tipo di “rispetto” coincide con una cultura mafiosa ancora oggi molto diffusa.

I primi passi nella società, iniziano con le attività criminali da bambini, per poi alternare le loro esistenze tra carcere e libertà. In estate molti ragazzi dei quartieri più disagiati di Catania trascorrono le giornate sugli scogli a San Giovanni Licuti, alla Testa del Leone e al Campo da Basket. Il fotografo ha seguito un gruppo di 10 bambini dagli 11 ai 15 anni, un’età importante e cruciale, dove provano per la prima volta tante cose nuove, come i loro primi baci, la scoperta del sesso, le prime sigarette o spinelli. Molti di questi ragazzi hanno già un passato travagliato o stanno vivendo il loro presente in un modo che non riflette affatto la loro giovane età. Li ritrae tra le rocce, mentre poteva intravedere le cose come erano nella loro infanzia; amava raffigurarli con semplicità durante alcuni momenti di spensieratezza vissuti in libertà. Dopo 56 giorni di Lockdown questi ragazzi hanno recuperato la loro libertà.

A group of boys from Catania climbs up the rock known as The Head of the Lion. The summer of 2020 was a special season for young people. In Italy the lockdown lasted 56 days. Now, these guys can finally enjoy the pleasures of being together again with their peers. Following May 18 (the first day of the so-called phase 2), the city cliffs have been crowded with many young people, all sharing a great passion for the sea and a great desire to make up for the three months of confinement at home.

© Daniele Vita

Paolo places his hand on Melo’s shoulder, while Riccardo and Turi look thoughtful in the background. On July 16, Melo, a 14-year- old boy from the working-class area of Librino, received bad news. Due to the events that occurred when he was 8 and 11 years old, starting from the following Monday he would have been put into temporary custody with a foster family. This is Melo’s last day of freedom and the summer on the rocks has ended early. The boys are sad, their friend will no longer be with them starting from tomorrow.

© Daniele Vita

Agatino, an 11-year-old boy from the San Cristoforo neighborhood, holds an unlit cigarette in his mouth. His summer was marked by first loves, first cigarettes, the first marijuana joints and lots of diving. Agatino is one of the few who dives from the basketball court, from a height of 30 meters.

© Daniele Vita

Elena kisses her boyfriend Mirko on the rocks of San Giovanni Li Cuti. Theirs was the first love born in the group. They spent the whole summer kissing each other, stopping only when Mirko was diving.The two broke up at the end of the summer. Many children around the age of 14 of the popular neighborhoods in the city of Catania do the “fuitina”. They run away from their respective families and take refuge somewhere to discover love and the girls often get pregnant. So the boy makes a proposal that cannot be refused by the families.

© Daniele Vita

Turi, holding a toy gun, shoots at a carnival game while Riccardo points to the targets. Turi is a 14-year-old boy from the Nesima neighborhood, a very smart boy despite his young age. Every now and then, on occasions like the end of the year or for special events, he is given a real gun by his father. He has good aim and deep respect for his family, and the tattoo on his arm is a testament to that. The sacredness of the family in the popular districts of Catania is very important. Young people often drop out of school in order to support the family, as the father is often imprisoned. Turi himself, when he was born, could not see his father, because he was in prison. His father was only 15 when Turi was born.

© Daniele Vita

Agatino prepares to dive from the wall of the Timba in San Giovanni Li Cuti. After the 56-day lockdown, the energy of the young boys was very high. In Italy there was a social distancing rule of 1 meter. The boys, however, ignored it, as physical and social contact were a priority for them.

© Daniele Vita

Agostino plays with his friends in the equipped area of the basketball court. Agostino is 13 years old and he is the older brother of Agatino. They are from the San Cristoforo neighborhood. When he grows up, Agostino would like to become a hairdresser, an almost impossible dream for a boy who has already dropped out of compulsory school and lives by his wits to support his mother and his younger brother.

© Daniele Vita

Turi and a friend of his pose for a photo while Paolo kisses his girlfriend Valeria at the war memorial. Every Saturday the boys take a break from the sea, they meet in the afternoon at the war memorial, go to the amusement park and spend the evening together.

© Daniele Vita

Agostino and Nadia pass each other a cigarette like a kiss. Nadia is a girl from the Librino neighborhood, she is very beautiful and disputed among the boys on the rocks. Agostino was able to court her and after a few days from the taking of this photo the two got together. Immediately after they both ran away from home for a romantic getaway. They were found in the street after a few days. The two were on drugs and were taken to the hospital, having perhaps smoked crack. Agostino and Nadia had sex, but luckily the girl did not get pregnant. The two broke up soon after.

© Daniele Vita

Carla and her friend watch Mimmo dive from the Piazzetta.

© Daniele Vita

Agatino and Mirko are preparing to dive at the basketball court, from a height of more than 30 meters. Every year the rocks are crowded with very young people. There are many divers, but very few of those jump from the basketball court. The two teenagers were considered the two new heroes of Catania in 2020.

© Daniele Vita

A group of girls dancing in San Giovanni Li Cuti.

© Daniele Vita

Agostino smokes marijuana at the port of Ognina. The boys wanted to illegally enter a private villa with a pool to swim there together. Music and cigarettes however distracted them from their objective.

© Daniele Vita

The boys all together at the Timba in San Giovanni Li Cuti.

© Daniele Vita

A portrait of Nunzio.

© Daniele Vita

Corrado lights Mirko a cigarette, while Agostino climbs a public lighting pole. Shortly thereafter, he will be sent down by the policemen that guard the Piazzetta in San Giovanni Li Cuti every day.

© Daniele Vita

Agostino, Turi and Valerio walk to the war memorial. They are listening to their idol, Skinny, a young rapper from Catania who sings about the drama and real life of the kids living in the neighbourhoods.

© Daniele Vita

Carla at The Head of The Lion rock.

© Daniele Vita

The whole group of adolescents from San Giovanni Li Cuti.

© Daniele Vita

The group of bathers go back home after a day at the beach.

© Daniele Vita

Catania, Italy

www.danielevita.com

 

Daniele Vita nasce a Viterbo, Italia, nel 1975.

Studia antropologia dal 1995 e inizia a fotografare.

2003-06 Ha documentato il teatro nelle carceri italiane, per due anni consecutivi è stato finalista al premio Hystrio Eyes.

2005 Ha documentato la vita quotidiana dei migranti per il comune di Roma, l’opera è stata esposta al Santa Rita di Roma. Nel 2007 la mostra è stata ospitata a San Pietro Scheraggio agli Uffizi di Firenze per i fratelli Alinari.

Nel 2008 ha vinto il Premio al Tuscany Photo Festival con il suo lavoro da favola morale. Nel 2009 è finalista al Premio Kiwanis, Portfolio Italia ed espone al Cifa di Bibbiena, vince il Premio Sud Est ed espone al Festival Internazionale di Roma.

Nel 2011 espone al MIA, Milano Image Art Fair Il fantastico mondo del Harryson Circus ed è finalista al premio Unicef ​​Poy con Cojimies, opera che gli dà la borsa di studio G. Tedde l’anno successivo.

Nel 2014 vince il Premio Castelnuovo Fotografia con # 0 frontiere, progetto paesaggistico dell’isola di Lampedusa.

2015 espone Ruins a Roma, La forza delle rovine di Palazzo Altemps.