Elisa Mariotti (IT) "A Letter from Home" - Helphoto 2023




A Letter from Home
Therapeutic communities (TCs) for addictions, methadone-maintenance therapy, or detox programs are examples of answers to drug addiction. Therapeutic communities aim for reintegration into society through a drug-free life.

Overall, around 2500 facilities using TC-type interventions were identified in 2011 across Europe, of which 708 were in Italy.

San Patrignano is an Italian long-term drug-recovery residential community considered among the largest and most successful worldwide. Twenty-six thousand people have been hosted since 1978. That’s more than four thousand years of prison converted to rehabilitation programs in twenty-five years.

“Ours, if we really need a definition, is a community against social marginalization,” Vincenzo Muccioli, the founder, said.

These photos are part of an ongoing project started in 2021 on the personal, didactic, and rehabilitative journey of the residents. Since 2021, Elisa Mariotti has spent, on average, two days per month with the residents who work in the kennels, one of the thirty-five activities in the community. At every moment, they face their own limits, fears, fragility, and the need to mediate between their needs and those of other community members.

The “senior” residents, nearing the end of their journey, try to help the “young” ones recognize the mechanisms of addiction and escape the cage of negative habits. The sharing of emotions is key.

It is a hard, deep, and long fight with no predictable ending. No distractions are permitted. Only energy and time are necessary to rebuild hope for the future.

Driven by principles protecting human rights, Elisa Mariotti focuses on documentary photography and social issues. Her work is primarily long-term projects to grasp the complexity of reality. In 2019, Mariotti started a photo lab with children in a protected community, and part of the work was published in a scientific journal. While she continues her photographic studies, Mariotti is working on A Letter from Home, a project about the path of rehabilitation, education, and personal development of addicts in an Italian drug-recovery residential community. She is also working on Yes We Do, a project about the economic gender gap.


Elisa Mariotti (IT) "A Letter from Home" - Helphoto 2023
Elisa Mariotti (IT) "A Letter from Home" - Helphoto 2023