Sami Mannerheimo (FI) "Kaloleni Empowerment" - Helphoto 2022




Santa Lucia
There are places in southern Italy that carry scars of incurable wounds on their walls and on the flesh of their inhabitants. In those wounds lies the historical memory, the real face of human beings. In those wounds grows solitude in its rawest form and love in its most sincere display: It’s in here where it is hidden, escaping the superficiality and the homologation of consumerist society. Ciro’s images are an intimate disclosure of invisible existences, an attempt to recover the meaning of life through relationships, the neighbourhood and the families that inhabit it. Between 1950 and 1970, the city of Cosenza underwent its major demographic and building development, due to the population migrating from rural areas. However, at the same time the decline of the historical center also began. The urban expansion was not regulated and followed the unwritten rules of speculation, corruption and maximum gain. Matters related to economy, university education, general public services were moved to the newer, northern part of the city, together with the richer families. Later, when the public housing neighbourhoods of Via Popilia, Serra Spiga and San Vito were built, the remaining population left the historical center. This second depopulation together with the total neglect from local administrators aggravated the social disadvantages. The district of Santa Lucia in Cosenza’s historical center was once the core of city life. Also known as the “lucciole” (prostitutes) district, it is a different entity separated from the city; a parallel world where the decay of its buildings shares the everyday life of its people.Today, the few families and indigenous inhabitants that still live in the Santa Lucia district have chosen tenaciously not to abandon that place which is the guardian of their identity, despite the constant risk of collapsing buildings. Apart from the locals, foreign families live in the district, among which some come from the Roma ethnic group.

Ciro Battiloro (b. 1984, Torre del Greco) is an Italian photographer based in Napoli. He studied philosophy at The University of Naples Federico II and later on specialized in documentary photography. For a long time, the artist photographed and worked outside Italy, traveling around Africa (Senegal and Morocco) but also in Iran, Macedonia, Turkey and Romania, among others. His work is an overall analysis of human beings and how relationships, lived in contexts of discomfort and social neglect, can reveal their real human nature. In his photography, Ciro uses a very intimate approach and through everyday life he discusses broader, more general social thematics. In particular, his latest research focused on a couple of the southern Italian neighborhoods (Rione Sanità in Napoli & Quartiere Santa Lucia, Cosenza) that after certain historical processes and countless building policies, suffered from a gradual ghettoization. In 2015 the artist participated in the 2nd edition of LAB, Irregular Laboratory organized by Antonio Biasiucci. In 2017 he was selected to become an artist in residency at BoCs Art and in 2018 at Up-Urban People residency in Milan. His works have been published in several magazines and exhibited in various museums, galleries and festivals. 

Ciro Battiloro (IT) "Santa Lucia" - Helphoto 2020
Ciro Battiloro (IT) "Santa Lucia" - Helphoto 2020