SABRINAâ€™S WORLD Sabrina was abandoned by her mother when she was one year old. She was left on a mattress in the wooden hut where they lived on the outskirt of Torino, Italy. It was 2004.
friendship and affection: my affection for an innocent girl, whose fault was none but to be born.
The relationship that developed became extremely strong, tight and profoundly humbling. Also, it gave the broken woman a new meaning in her life: to secure a better future for the child.
With Sabrina I create a world of images that express, educates, moves and informs, sometimes screaming sometimes whispering. Through a multitude of different and sometimes unreadable languages, we are re-writing her story so that she will always know who she is, where she comes from and what happened to her. Also through images we are trying to reach out to people, and make think, feel, laugh and cry. Through images we are trying to break the vicious circle of isolation that so dangerously is getting tighter and tighter around her in these difficult times.
Her grandmother, who had come from Romania 2 years before in search of a better life, found the girl and had no choice but taking care of the baby as one of her own children.
I spent long hours with the family, participating in their life, listening to their stories and photographing them: I was struck by the normality of their intimacy, inside the fragile walls of their home. I was honoured with a trustful access to something for me unknown and unseen, even though so close to my reality, and yet of an astonishing simplicity: a woman caring for her child, regardless of any struggle or difficulty.
It is the story of her dreams, which are still unbroken and should be cared for by us all. It is the story of a whole world, a whole culture, a whole history of which I knew nothing, of which I only knew what was perpetuated for centuries by ignorance and fear.
It made me think of my people, a society that has condemned the Roma people, to be the least welcomed minority in Italy.
Together we are creating a world of wonders, a free space for expression and encounter, where we can shorten the distance from our colliding worlds, where we can both be Italian, Romanian, Roma, human. Together we are creating beauty, for it is within beauty that we can better express our feelings, our fears and our most intimate wishes.
This is the story of an encounter: the encounter of two colliding worlds. But it is also the story of a relationship, based on slowly growing trust,
Welcome to Sabrinaâ€™s world.
Sabrina represents a minority not yet recognised and an entire generation at risk of isolation and exclusion.
What you will see in the following pages is a peep into a world of images ever changing and constantly moving. This is a window to a world that was never seen before. A world you will not forget.
Comes the rain it seems good to me in the garden there is a flower the rain will make it grow strong comes the rain it seems good to me Romanian carol
I was 18 years old when I married Ioani and went to live with his family in Caransebes, not too far from my hometown. Ion also was a Roma and his family spoke the Romani language. I didnâ€™t understand a single word for in my house we spoke Romanian. My husband was ashamed of his language and he refused to teach me. His five-year-old brother taught me instead. When my mother-in-law asked me to add wood to the fire, to bring some water or to do the cleaning, the little boy translated for me, and so I learned.
Quando Ioani era al militare aveva un quaderno dove ogni giorno mi scriveva, dicendomi cosa faceva, cosa mangiava, e chiedendomi cosa facevo io.
â€œLa sera quando dormivo io ti sognavo che stavi sul mio petto e mi baciavi tanto.
Ti prego non dimenticarmiâ€?
Mi disegnava fiori, era romantico.