Beyond the fence, in the center of the large, manicured condominium garden, where people are rarely seen, is a statue. From a distance, in foreshortening, one cannot quite see what it represents: it seems a muscular male figure, perhaps a classical scene, made of bronze. In the accomodation center, however, there are no symbolic, allegorical, […]
An anthropologist friend, who specializes in nomadic cultures, is in Afghanistan these weeks (several guests who live here come from that country). On her socials I see pictures and videos of small caravans on the move, flocks and shepherds along steep and rocky paths, tents set up in ever-changing landscapes. Here, however, everything is still, […]
All the spaces here have a function, all the elements obey the rule of functionality. Not only that: the elements have been configured to avert its opposite, non-functionality. Window sills, where people might simply lean and look out, are not contemplated by the design of the windows; all doors, that are usually osmotic elements for […]
At the corner of the sand play area there is a kind of small house/hut, open on two sides, raised a few decimeters from the sand, like a kind of small pile-dwelling. it is the only wooden structure amid the concrete buildings, it has a sort of temporary, mobile vibe. It is for children, but […]
Animals are not allowed in the accomodation center. Birds – especially cawing crows in the early early morning, when most of the people is still sleeping – are the only appearances of the animal kingdom. If, in the private garden beyond the fence, a pair of squirrels chases each other over the trees, or a […]
The buildings in the area are arranged in a strictly orthogonal manner. The shape of each building, such as that of the windows, entrances, interior rooms, is based on the rectangle; the outdoor spaces – the central little lawn, the play area, the concrete dividing elements – are also rectangular in shape. The dominant lines […]
These days I am healing from covid, outside the Refugee Accomodation. I never had it before. Hard to say where I got it. Perhaps during ping-pong games and small talk with the guests; perhaps, simply, on public transportation in the city. Beyond the physical discomfort, comparable to that of a bad flu, there remains the […]
Although many people live here, and spaces are strictly planned and functionally organized, there exist (and resist), at the edges and corners of the area, almost forgotten marginal spaces, “wild” liminal paths. Uncertain places, without contours, undecided.
All around the buildings is a green ring of trees and vegetation, the city is almost not visible. But gray is the color that dominates this space, even inside the buildings. A color that is difficult to make domestic, cozy.
It happens daily to see guests with envelopes in their hands, or intent on reading their contents, with extreme seriousness and attention. It is through paper letters, traditional, not electronic or digital, that important communications from institutions take place.
At 10 p.m., when it is time for the kids to go inside for the night, the place suddenly becomes quiet. In the outdoor spaces, previously a territory dominated by the noisy ramblings of the kids, the presence of adults with smartphones in hand, looking for a comfortable, more intimate and private place, multiplies. It’s […]
Lives here are kind of on hold, neither here nor there.
Here there is no a unique special place, a shared center where people meet; there are different gathering points. The kid’s ones are the most interesting: constantly moving, always chasing new and temporary points of interest: a ball, a game, new elements in the space (like this curious little yellow house), something super fun to […]
I listened to the story of a never-ending journey: 3 years long, it went through 13 countries – including Italy – before arriving here. Some parts of the journey happened by train, most of the time on foot, on paths and in the woods among the trees. A story about existences interrupted in the countries […]
Language is certainly a barrier. It is not always easy to talk to people here. Our exchanges are not smooth, direct and fast. Our dialogues are uncertain, short, hiccup-like, accompanied by smiles and dubious expressions. They are indirect, sometimes mediated by an app that tries to translate simplified sentences, standardizing vocal timbre and sacrificing emotion. […]
Inside a space that is already comfortable and mine, that I can already call home, although I have been here for a day or so. Outside a place I am still measuring and trying to understand better. The kids, outside, I think they are doing the same, from an opposite point of view: “What’s going […]