Unity and Diversity
Daniele Vita is an Italian freelance photographer, follows long-term personal projects. His is a social and anthropological photography, his studies in anthropology have led him to develop an interest in photography as a tool for recording the daily life of human beings. His way of photographing is instinctive, he chooses his subjects on an empathic level, he draws on microcosms to narrate wider social, cultural and political issues and problems.
Italy, Sicily Catania
Catania is a city with a high percentage of people affected by poverty and social exclusion, most of whom live in impoverished Quatteri neighborhoods.
Real life starts early, schooling rate is very low, children are forced to grow up quickly and they very often engage in illegal activities such as theft or drug dealing to support their mothers and younger siblings because the father was "attaccato" (arrested).
In the wealthier social contexts they are called "Mammoriani". The term comes from the expression "mammoriri mo mà" (should my mother die), used as a form of oath, that helps to understand the deep bond with the most sacred member of the family: the mother. The family is the primary social unit, with very clear rules and roles to be respected in regard to the choices of one's life, in an indissoluble bond of devotion and respect. This type of "respect" coincides with a mafia culture that is still very widespread today. The first steps into the society, begin with criminal activities as children, later alternating their existences between prison and freedom. In the summer, many kids from the most deprived neighborhoods of Catania spend the days on the cliffs in San Giovanni Licuti, at La Testa del Leone and at the Basketball Court.
I met these guys after a week of attending the rocks of Catania. After three days of taking pictures, a boy told me not to take pictures because it was inappropriate. From behind, I hear a boy answer, "he has been here for days and has every right to take pictures".
That boy was called Agostino, a friendship was born that led me to meet and photograph his newly formed group of boys. I spent about three months with them, I never felt like them, I was not a social worker, a policeman, but a simple photographer who spent their summer at the sea with them. The boys accepted me, and then they forgot about me.
I was able to freely portray and learn many of their life stories. My only interference was the advice to use a condom to prevent them from remaining parents at 14.
It was a group of 10 boys aged 11 to 15, an important and crucial age, where they try so many new things for the first time, such as their first kisses, the discovery of sex, their first cigarettes or joints. Many of these kids already have a troubled past or are experiencing their present in a way that doesn't reflect their young age.
I wanted to show the simplicity and moments of light-heartedness as they lived in freedom. I felt a lot of energy in their spirit and an urgent need to recover the lost time stolen from their lives due to Covid 19.