“A mean and uncivilized act that insults not only the work of the young participants of the photography workshop but all the associations that are active in the neighborhood.”
NEWS: “Bangladeshis, leave Rome,” insults, and swastikas on the panels of the multiethnic exhibition in Tor Pignattara
In the Repubblica on March 11, 2015 [translation: Luisa Fabriziani]:
Swastikas and racist insults appeared on the panels of the multiethnic photographic exhibition TorPignaLab in Tor Pignattara.
The organizers of the exhibition issue statement in response to the act: “A mean and uncivilized act that insults not only the great work of the young participants of the photography workshop, but all the associations that are active in the neighborhood.” Council member Ms. Marinelli condemns the episode.
The condemnation comes from the organizers who characterized the act as a “mean and uncivilized act that insults not only the great work of the young participants of the photography workshop, but all the associations that have worked for TorPignaLab and the entire neighborhood of Tor Pignattara. The exhibition has been organized by the associations Bianco e Nero, CdQ Torpignattara, daSud, Mena, Musica e altre cose and is the result of a workshop in which have taken part thirteen young people of eight different nationalities and aimed at appraising diversities by creating an autobiographical photographic album of the neighborhood”.
“We hope,” conclude the organizers, “that what happened will arouse a serious consideration about the climate we breathe in this neighborhood, where even a simple message of opening to diversity and integration is seen as inconvenient”.
The council member responsible for Culture, Giovanna Marinelli, condemns the episode: “I feel deeply indignant and I feel sorry for the swastikas and the racist comments that have soiled the panels of the exhibition in Tor Pignattara, a neighborhood that is a laboratory of practical experiences that have to be valued more and more. I renew my solidarity with the artists involved, the organizers, the Council and its representatives who are committed to guaranteeing the success of this and many other projects that are stimulating the growth of a new idea of public culture that has to be open, alive and popular. This gesture worries and insults the whole city of Rome.”
The presidents of the Social Welfare Office and the Culture Office of Rome City Hall, Erica Battaglia and Michela Di Biase, commented: “It is an offense to the city and a gesture of cowardice that qualifies its author. We feel close and give our solidarity to the organizers of TorpignaLab and the associations that promoted the multiethnic photography exhibition that describes a neighborhood in constant transformation; we are thankful for their precious work that we perceive as gift for the community. It is time to reject those who hide themselves behind coward and villain gestures. It is time to appraise those who on an everyday basis help the city to enhance its diversity.”
Link to the article in Repubblica
DOWNLOAD: Panels from the exhibition at Tor Pignattara [courtesy of Gaia Parrini]: fim_torpigna_mostra_extract.pdf (PDF)
And here are images of the Italy that welcomes diversity, courtesy of the translator Luisa Fabriziani.
Facebook page of the Comitato di Quartiere di Tor Pignattara
Page with all the events that took place in the neighborhood
Photography project that was held by Simona Ghizzoni, twice winner of the World Press Photo