On 20 March 2020, at the height of the most dramatic phase of the covid19 emergency in Italy, the most affected regions tried to stem the infection by imposing restrictive measures for the entire population. One of the most significant was to limit travel, for anyone who was not exempt from work or health reasons, to a radius of 200 meters from their home.

In those days of fear and uncertainty for the majority of us, sacrifice, mourning and pain for many others, everyone has tried to exorcise this invisible threat in various ways: flash-mobs of solidarity towards health workers, improvised concerts on the balconies, activities sports in corridors or between the roofs of condominiums, TV marathons, classics of literature finally started and finished, culinary experiments shared in social networks …

Obviously, my way of dealing with this situation was photography.

Just a month earlier I had finished reading Oesterheld and Solano López’s Eternauta, in whose incipit an alien and mysterious snowfall kills most of the population. Now I found myself locked in the house, with the threat of a virus whose origin, mortality and method of infection were not clear. After assimilating so much science fiction, we found ourselves immersed in a condition in which the surreal had become real.

In an age when globalization has sanctioned that stopping is impossible, what happens when we stop? In this stillness that we all had to experience, how do we live our domestic spaces and especially the interior spaces? What is happening around us and within us?

It was not possible to plan tomorrow, with all the fear that this entails, but this also led to the need to live the present more intensely, perhaps even consciously.

I wanted to record all of this, but I could not go beyond 200 meters from home, I could not even enter the gardens of my neighbors and I could only use the photographic equipment and the material I had with me.

So I decided to tell with what I had available the inside and outside of my personal experience, a fluid dichotomy between exterior and interior in which the photographs set inside the house represent the desire to be reborn in a better world and to explore it, while those externally they document the courage and resilience with which people close to us have faced the same limits.

So here are skies that become oceans in which to dive, beds as ports from which to sail towards dreamlike journeys, Easter eggs that symbolize rebirth, rooms that transform into a womb and flour into amniotic fluid. And while these metamorphoses take place in me, the people around me work the land, play bingo while maintaining social distancing, learn to know each other and remind me that love is the first thing to rely on to start hoping again.

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In the stunning silence of this springtime, only nature is allowed to come out and make herself heard. In the joy of her rebirth, all that remains for me is watching a nature changing her scenary day by day. Leaves, buds, flowers and now fruits. I enjoy the show defenceless and, surrounded by butterflies, birds and noisy bees, I look forward to the time when I’ll go on stage: as soon as I get an OK from the director Covid19.
Everything will be fine! (I hope)
I had decided to get up early, at 5 am, to go and watch the sun rise, on the Col di Dante. I leave home at 5.30, looking fresh, I walk out in the street with my rackets towards my goal. It had been a cool month and a half since I hadn’t left home, because of the infamous Coronavirus, I couldn’t believe I could move my legs, quickly and joyfully, laughing to myself, rediscovering life, looking around, hearing the roosters’ crow and the birdies’ chirp. Guys, I swear I hadn’t felt such a similar emotion in a long time. Walking and biking, since I retired, are my main occupations. I saw the sun rise, 6.10 am, a ball of fire pointing little by little from the Valdobbiadene hills and lighting up all our hills in a heartbeat, wonderful. The infamous Coronavirus. I think it frightened all of us, young and adults, maybe in a different way, but it was real fear. Waking up in the morning and, firstly, trying to understand whether you’re feeling well, no cough or cold, and asking the people who are at your side how they spent the night, whether there are health problems. Hounded through the day by news getting worse and worse. People are dying, so many of them, it seems to me that the well-known curve has reached its peak, now it’s going down, let’s hope for the best.
Dad has been without work for two months because of the pandemic, and my daughter said to me: ”You know, mom... I wish daddy would go back to work in September as we children will, now that our schools are closed”.
At the time of the pictures we were playing cards as we do every Sunday, family reunion day. We share our time, the laughters, the small talk, and we bind ourselves together more and more. Covid made us appreciate again the small things, emotions, sharing and opinions.
Dear Vania, it’s been quite a weird spring, with lots of concerns for me and for my family, because fear has been and is still just around the corner, but at the same time we can also thank the Good Lord who has protected us so far. Just the thought of all those dead people makes me feel a bit melancholic. Let’s be confident, let’s try to smile and be happy. - During this difficult time, at least there are the ladies who make me enjoy good Sundays outdoors. - We’ve gone through a difficult situation, but together we did it. Now let’s look forward and hope for the best.
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