The Project :
Cross Italy starting from Milan destination Crotone without using any vehicle, photographing place and people to build up a travel diary sleep everywhere ask for hospitality interest yourself in the people you meet by chance and whose experience you share in
no car, no train, no bus, no hitchhiking, no flight, no horse
The Equipment: backpack, jacket ,sweater, pair of trousers, socks and underwear, a camera, tablet to download photos and write, small personal hygiene kit The most important: pair of comfortable shoes and spring in my step
” My name is Marcello and I’m a young freelance photographer, always on the lookout for new stories to tell and always ready to grab my camera and backpack and take the first flight to where the action is”.
This line, taken from the manifesto Marcello Fauci has written for his project “Italy on foot” / “Italia a piedi” is as good a way as any to begin to understand the processes at work in the photographic story - a class of narrative that necessarily incorporates both the individual and social identities of the story’s narrator.
Like the hero of a folk tale, Marcello decides to leave his home on a quest. Unsure what it is he is looking for, however, he struggles to explain his plans to friends and family. The questions life asks are too concrete and Marcello’s soul, with its wanderlust and desire for a story, is unable to understand them. We however may infer that for a man to be moved to leave on this
kind of a journey, something must be missing – something that it might perhaps be difficult to grasp in terms of purely material aspirations and which can only be apprehended though an open mind and a willingness to comprehend. In brief, fed up of waiting for an end to “la crisi”, for photography to decide what it wants to be, and for the bureaucratic obstacles (real or imagined) he sees placed in his way to grant him “official” permission to do something – Marcello experiences a desire for immediate action. In his case, this means making images – investigating and documenting reality, discovering other modes of existence, other ways of thinking.
These are the reasons that lead Marcello to undertake his journey, which takes him from Milan to his home town of Crotone in Calabria in the south of Italy. The bare statistics of the journey are: around one thousand two hundred kilometres, working out to approximately two million four hundred thousand steps walked, as the crow flies. But these figures of course fail to tell the whole story since – rather than flying straight like the proverbial crow - Marcello is more of a magpie, actively seeking out the widest possible variety of experiences - chance meetings, setbacks and misadventures, happy accidents and lucky breaks, friends and fatigue, hot and cold, rain and sun, pangs of hunger staved off by meals shared in company, moments of conflict and acts of solidarity - experiences which allow us to interpret the road travelled as an interior journey, of which the actual physical displacement achieved is merely the outward evidence, and which confirm the adage that when we complete a journey, we are never the same person we were when we left.
Marcello’s self-portrait taken in the Parco Manziana can be seen as representing a synthesis of his project, encompassing as it does a wide variety of possible readings. First and foremost of these, the relationship between man and nature, which is fraught by a constant tension, with the former’s attempt to dominate the latter in turn inspiring constant acts of rebellion from the natural world. The image, however, frames these dynamics in positive terms, pointing to an attempt to restore a certain balance, to establish a situation of cohabitation, towards humanity’s acceptance of the beauty of the world in which it lives and in this sense may be seen as an act of consolation and as signifying a desire to find a way back into a natural cycle of equilibrium.
by Dario Coletti