Inside Outside Under Bucharest

Words by Teresa Sartore
December 14, 2015

Isolab presents the photographic exhibition Inside Outside Under Bucharest by Massimo Branca and Igor Marchesan (Collettivo Fotosocial). The opening will be on Friday 18th December at 6.30 pm. Inside Outside Under Bucharest is the result of a long term photographic project, conducted with an anthropological slant. The photographers lived for two years with one of the most marginalised communities in Europe. The images on show depict the everyday life of hidden realities, as well as the fragility and unpredictability of human existence.

Branca and Marchesan document a complex reality, marked by profound material and emotional deprivation. Their photographs portray the Gara de Nord underground life without judging it. The aim is to create a bridge between different social spheres, enabling the audience to project their imagination and empathise with the feelings of people who found acceptance in a rejected community.

In the words of the photographers: “When we first visited their subterranean house in Bucharest city center, we never expected that, over time, we would become part of their family. A group of children aged up to forty years, they are the street tribe of Gara de Nord. Trained with punches, they have learned to growl in order to be heard. It’s hard to be kind and respected at the same time. Many of them, growing up without parents and in social exclusion, bear the marks of the early discovered drug addiction, disease and prison. Sometimes it seems they rush towards death on purpose and sadly someone has truly told me so. Yet, by themselves, they have learned the values of hospitality, sharing and fraternal bond. In search of affection and safety, those boys have given each other mutual support, gathering around a fatherly and authoritative figure. According to rules that can be easily misunderstood in the ‘civilized’ world, they founded a small community opposed to the society above ground. Underground tunnels have turned into shelters for the outcasts, but at the same time they ended up reinforcing their marginalized condition and strengthening their self­perception of excluded. Integration with the outside world has become hard to even “consider” ”.

Massimo Branca is an independent photographer and anthropologist. He is the co­founder of Collettivo Fotosocial, an association that uses visual storytelling to produce positive social change. Igor Marchesan is a photographer influenced by his Romanian roots, he is interested in recounting the stories that marked his life through images.

The exhibition will be open until 16 January 2016 with the following schedule:

From Dec 19th to Dec 23rd and from Dec 17th to Dec 30th from 3pm to 7pm; from Jan 2nd to Jan 16th from 3pm to 7pm. In January the exhibition will remain closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and on the 6th.

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