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#03.2013


Editorial Usa

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The catacombs of Las Vegas

Italy

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World

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Gabon

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Nagorno Karabakh

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Maldives

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Italy

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Multimedia

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Contacts

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The Nicolas, art savers

Climate change children

A dirty African star

The limbo nation

Being young in paradise

The Concordia show

Red earth of no one

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EDITORIAL There is a capital city that speaks French, where rivers of champagne flow and a minority of foreigners with the skin a different color from the locals have a hard time living decently, since for them, according to a Mercer study, this is the world’s seventh most expensive city. To be precise, the minority’s skin color is white, the rivers of champagne are not metaphorical (the country ranks among the first twenty importers on the planet), the nation is Gabon and the city is not Paris: it is Libreville. Africa is changing fast, and Gabon’s capital, photographed by Sergio Ramazzotti for this issue of P’Zero, is a stunning symbol of those changes: as the Gabonese oil-rich oligarchy lives the dolce vita driving Porsches and sipping Veuve Cliquot, workers from Europe become the new, struggling middle class which migrated here in search of a job they no longer could get at home. The U.S. are changing, too, and unlike Gabon, not for the better, as Alessandro Gandolfi’s powerful photographs show: in Las Vegas, the economic crisis has forced thousands of people to literally seek refuge underground, where they live and hide in a dark, parallel world that the rest of Sin City does not seem ready to face yet.

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The changes that will most affect us all, however, are those regarding the climate: Luca Gonzaga’s portfolio compels us to look at the faces of children whose life is being threatened by global warming. When we see those kids, like the one on our cover photograph, we cannot forget that there are already 175 million of those lives at stake because of climate change. On the pages of this issue, we also take you to a little village in Northern Italy where an extraordinary family of art restorers has opened for us the door of their laboratory and allowed our photographer to follow the slow, almost magical process of rebirthing of a 17th Century masterpiece. And we take you to Nagorno Karabakh to see how people live in a country that does not exist, and among the younger generations of Maldivians who try to cope with the prohibitions of an Islamic society, and to the Brazilian forest, where you will see photojournalists Paulo Siqueira and Nadia Shira Cohen, partners in life as well as in their profession, work on their latest assignment in a backstage video. Finally, we’ll come back to Italy, on the tiny Giglio island, where, since January, 2012, a huge shipwreck has been teaching us a lot more about our society than on the rules of safe navigation.

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USA

THE CATACOMBS OF LAS VEGAS


USA

THE CATACOMBS OF LAS VEGAS By Alessandro Gandolfi Las Vegas is a mermaid that enchants you with its lights, but it is also a living hell for desperate people. Homeless persons whose number raised as a result of the economic crisis, and whom Sin City prefers not to see, forcing them to live in underground tunnels originally designed as gutters. Catacombs run for over 500 miles underneath Las Vegas and are home to thousands of ghosts, shadows of men with no work, no family, often with no identity: lonely elderly people, depressed teenagers, poor young mothers, sick persons, drug addicts, alcoholics, war veterans and compulsive gamblers. It takes little to evict them: a police bust, an argument, even a violent rainstorm on the mountains. ”When it rains we expect a little tsunami” says one of the inhabitants of Las Vegas’ underworld, ”and you know you have only thirty seconds to run for your life.” 5


A man trying to put some money in a strip dancer's pants near Las Vegas Boulevard 6


Michelle Arne, 36, lives in a tunnel with her boyfriend. Born in New Mexico and raised in Seattle, she ran away from home when she was just 16 7


Damon begs on a bridge along Las Vegas Boulevard. “Damon was the first person I met when I arrived in Las Vegas” Michelle Arne, 36, says “and we still live together in the same tunnel” 8


Neo Brown, 57, is a US army veteran. He lives in a tunnel and makes his living by collecting and selling aluminum cans. Part of the money he earns is spent playing at the casino

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Victor Corses combs his hair in the pipe where he lives. Victor, 58, is from Los Angeles and his job is to find recyclable wastes inside garbage bins and sell them

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Jack (right) is 27 and he is a drug addict: born in Las Vegas, his parents divorced shortly after his birth

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John Hutcheson, 53, a temp worker at Mandalay Hotel. He lives in a tunnel along the Las Vegas Boulevard South in order to save as much money as possible from his salary 12


Michelle Arne takes a walk downtown

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William, 69, lives in a tunnel in front of the Excalibur Hotel. Originally from Kansas, he has been living in Las Vegas since 1998 and has been unemployed for years

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Casino lights reflect on the windows of a cafeteria along the Strip 15


Victor Corses, 58, is from Los Angeles and his job is to collect recyclable waste inside garbage bins and sell it 16


A view of the city at sunset. On the right, the Las Vegas Boulevard

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THE NICOLAS, ART SAVERS

LOVE GIVERS

ITALY

THE NICOLAS, ART SAVERS

By Simone Cerio

This is a journey. A physical and mental journey. Sexual assistance is a technique of psychophysical approach to disabled people, based on massages, kisses, visual contacts and erotic stimulation. It is commonly believed that disabled people have no sexual needs and their isolation causes them


ITALY

THE NICOLAS, ART SAVERS By Bruno Zanzottera The Nicolas are an ancient, renowned Italian family of art restorers. In their laboratory in Aramengo, a small village in Piedmont, some of the most important Italian and international masterpieces have been brought back to their original splendour: from Tiziano to Tintoretto, to Egyptian mummies and the Turin Shroud. After the 2009 earthquake which destroyed the central Italian town of L'Aquila, the Nicolas came to the rescue of a painting named �Il miracolo della vera croce� (The miracle of the True Cross) by 17th Century master Giulio Cesare Bedeschini, which was kept in a church ravaged by the seism. The family decided to restore it on their own expenses. And during the months while this masterpiece was coming back to life under their hands, the Nicolas allowed us exceptional access into their magical world.

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L'Aquila. One of the churches destroyed by the 2009 earthquake 20


Aramengo. Bedeschini’s painting before the restoration 21


L'Aquila. Religious art collected in one of the many churches destroyed by the earthquake 22


Aramengo. First steps of the restoration process on Bedeschini’s painting

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L'Aquila. Nicola Pirano (Annarosa Nicola’s husband) along with a colleague in the San Francesco da Paola church where the Bedeschini painting was kept 24


Aramengo. The restoration process on the painting proceeds 25


Bedeschini’s signature on the “Il miracolo della vera croce”

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Aramengo, the village where the Nicola family lab is located

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Aramengo. Annarosa Nicola in front of the Bedeschini painting 28


Gianluigi Nicola, an egyptologist and restorer, in his Aramengo studio 29


The restorers in the Nicola lab move the painting in another room for a new stage of the restoration

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A cleaner works on the Bedeschini painting 31


The Nicola family gathered in their Aramengo house for lunch

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WORLD

CLIMATE CHANGE CHILDREN


WORLD

CLIMATE CHANGE CHILDREN By Luca C. Gonzaga Climate changes represent one of the biggest challenges humanity will face in the coming years. Global warming, ice melting, the frequency of droughts and floods are all symptoms of the ongoing climate change and the huge risks that it implies for the planet and for its future generations. As a consequence of these changes, 175 million children (40 percent more than in the past decade) are in danger. The climate changes will also have a worsening effect on malnutrition: according to Unicef, in the year 2050 there will be 25 million malnourished children. Here is a global portrait of this announced tragedy.

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LIBREVILLE, A DIRTY AFRICAN STAR

GABON

WOMEN OF THE AMAZON

LIBREVILLE, A DIRTY AFRICAN STAR

By Paulo Siqueira

Prostitution is a big word, to describe what goes on on the straights of the great Amazon River of Brazil in a region privy to years of conquest and exploitation. The life of the river people or “Ribeirinhas”as they are


GABON

LIBREVILLE, A DIRTY AFRICAN STAR By Sergio Ramazzotti Libreville, the seventh most expensive city in the world for expatriates, is hot, dusty and distressing. More than half of Gabon's population lives here, among shantytowns and open sewers, hoping for a brighter future that is not going to come. However Gabon, the country where the most amazing 'African miracle' has come true thanks to its natural resources, is among the first twenty consumers of French champagne in the world. And not far from the shantytowns, in residential areas, in expensive restaurants and nightclubs, the extremely wealthy Gabonese oligarchy leads a luxurious life style well above European standards.

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A model wears a dress in the atelier of Gabonese fashion designer Chouchou Lazare 50


The Casino Croisette in downtown Libreville

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Two women at Le Bistro, one of Libreville’s most sophisticated restaurants, in the Louis neighbourhood 52


Serge Abessolo, singer and former member of the Presidential Protocol, drives his car in downtown Libreville 53


The dance hall of Le Casting nightclub, a meeting point of the Gabonese jet-set 54


The BEAC (Bank of Central African States) headquarters building

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A customer of the Lokua bar examines a bottle of a rare single malt whisky 56


The swimming pool of the Maisha hotel is one of the favorite gathering spots of the Gabonese jet-set

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The golf club stands right beside one of the several slums of the city

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The Diamant shopping mall in downtown Libreville 59


A kid dressed for a dance performance at the French Institute 60


A woman at Le Kubrick restaurant in the Louis neighbourhood, which has the highest concentration of trendy bars 61


Traders at the Libreville Stock Exchange

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NAGORNO KARABAKH

THE LIMBO NATION


NAGORNO KARABAKH

THE LIMBO NATION By Francesco Alesi Nagorno Karabakh is a landlocked region in the Southern Caucasus. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its 140,000 inhabitants decided for independence. But they never received international legitimacy. Since then, the region has been called the Nagorno-Karabakh republic, an unrecognized, de facto independent state. Yet, for the rest of the world the territory is still part of Azerbaijan, a country which has not exercised power over the region since 1991. The independence declaration led to a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended in 1994 and resulted in 30,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 700,000 people. In 1994, the two nations signed a cease-fire leaving Nagorno-Karabakh in a juridical limbo. Here is how the daily life of the citizens of a country that does not exist looks like. 64


Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh's capital

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A military policeman waiting at a bus station in Stepanakert

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Jurij and Laura were teachers before retiring. During the war he dug trenches, while she kept teaching at her school 67


In Nagorno-Karabakh every young male must serve in the army from the age of 18 to 20. Many spend their service controlling the border with Azerbaijan 68


The monastery of Ghazanchetsots in Shushi. During the war, the Azerbaijan army used the Monastery to store their weapons. Today the monastery is a destination for thousands of tourists every year

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A man pushes his carin the garage in Shushi 70


Stepanakert. A civil policeman on the bus with his daughter 71


Khnabad. Dancers from the National Dance School perform during the inauguration of the sports court

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Block of flats in Shushi. In Nagorno-Karabakh there are rules regulating clothes hanging. The order is determined by the colour and size of the clothes 73


Even though the war is over, the ceasefire is often violated. Lorella lost her son on the frontline in September. He was doing his military service and would have finished in October 74


A man with his horse outside the Monastery of Gandzasar. Every year thousands of tourists visit the several ancient monasteries all around the country

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BEING YOUNG IN PARADISE

GOD BLESS

MALDIVES

BEING YOUNG IN PARADISE

by Francesco Alesi

When St. Patrick set his feet on Irish land to preach Christianity, it is unlikely there were any Irish Travellers in sight. Almost sixteen Centuries later, the Irish Travellers is one of the strongest Catholic communities in the world.


MALDIVES

BEING YOUNG IN PARADISE By Jacob Balzani Lööv The population of the Maldives has doubled in the last 30 years and has now reached 320,000 people, with more than half under 25. It is not easy for young people to grow up in the Maldives, particularly in Malé, where one third of the population lives. The main issues, aggravated by a lack of physical space, are restrictions placed upon personal freedom and an absence of opportunities. The country proudly declared itself one hundred percent Muslim and the United Nations Human Rights Committee recently asked the government to review the 2008 Constitution, which states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen. And although the state is not based on the Islamic Sharia law, religious rules have a strong influence on the freedom of the population and particularly affect the lives of younger people. 77


A recent building stands in the Maldivian night. Because of the better opportunities, education and health services, a large number of Maldivians have moved from distant islands to the capital MalĂŠ

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Maldivians wait at a traffic light. Despite MalĂŠ island being one mile long and being it possible to reach every part of it within 20 minutes by walk, more than 15,000 motorbikes and 3,000 cars are registered in the capital 79


Female students waiting for the beginning of a lesson in a MalĂŠ high school 80


A rare graffiti depicting a face. Graphic representation of faces, especially the eyes, is condemned by islamic preachers

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Friday prayer on Majidi Magu, the main street of MalĂŠ

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A young man rests on the top of his family house 83


A house in MalĂŠ. Due to high demand, rental prices are high and many families have to share apartments, often living in a small room together

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Silhouettes at the Maldivian Youth Award in MalĂŠ depict common Maldivian characters: a soldier, a dancer, a praying man

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Morning prayer at Iskandar school in MalĂŠ 86


Young people in one of the two swimming areas of Male. The wall surrounds the island to shield it from the waves

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Mubaa, 23, received several death threats because of his blogging about taboo issues like religious tolerance

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Young people in Artificial Beach, the only small sandy waterfront in MalĂŠ

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ITALY

THE CONCORDIA SHOW


italy

THE CONCORDIA SHOW By Gianluca Panella In January, 2012, the Costa Concordia cruise ship hit a reef and ran aground at Giglio Island, requiring evacuation of the 4,252 passengers on board. Thirty people died, 64 were injured. In the days following the accident, TV crews from all over the world arrived on the little island of Giglio, and the huge, half-sunken ship became the apocalyptic background for hundreds of broadcasting journalists. Shortly afterwards, the gigantic hull started to attract tourists, and again it was featured in hundreds of thousands of souvenir shots. These are not pictures of a simple shipwreck (a ghostly presence which the population of the island have been forced to share their daily existence with), but rather images about our contemporary society, which highlight the cynical side of the news circus and act as a sort of psycho-social mirror, revealing more about ourselves than a sociological study would. 91


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BRAZIL

RED EARTH OF NO ONE

Parallelozero Multimedia


BRAZIL

RED EARTH OF NO ONE By Paulo Siqueira and Nadia Shira Cohen In October, 2012, the Guarani-Kaiowa indigenous tribe of Brazilian state Mato Grosso Do Sul vowed to fight to their death in a dispute over the land of their ancestors. The community of 50 men, 50 women and 70 children wrote a chilling letter to the Brazilian government. "We have all decided that we will not leave this place, neither alive nor dead." The letter came after a judge's decision to uphold a petition from a ranch owner who claimed the tribe was illegally occupying his land and asked for them to be evicted. The tribe claims the contested land belonged to their ancestors and that they would prefer to die on that land, rather than be forced to leave.

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No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Parallelozero Srl Via Donatello, 19/A Milano - Italy ISBN: 9788898512058 P’Zero #03.2013 - All rights reserved - Copyright Parallelozero 2013 www.parallelozero.com


P'ZERO #03.2013 parallelozero reportage monthly