2017 – 2018 — Italy
About this series
Shared toilets on buildings’ balconies, overcrowded apartments, occupied factories, social housing attendance lists, and forced evictions.
The most used word in Italy’s last public showers is as simple as, apparently, unattainable: “home”.
House expenses account for 36% of the annual expenditure of Italian families.
32,069 evictions were executed in 2017, 2799 in Turin only: the highest rate among Italian cities, an average of 7 every day.
To cope with its systemic housing crisis – exacerbated by the economic collapse of the 2000s – the city of Turin still runs 4 communal baths offering a basic service for those living in harsh housing conditions. It can be seen as an outdated memory of the past, but municipal baths hide stories of social cohesion and solidarity, still playing a key role in the struggle for a shelter.
While being a needed service, the very existence of these public showers clearly shows the breakdown of our society: the failure of the right to a decent accommodation.
Michele (b. 1991 – Bologna) is a news and documentary photographer based in Johannesburg, where he mainly strings for AFP – Agence France-Presse in southern Africa.
His photographic, journalistic and documentarian practice is focused on the study of bodies and space: how politics, religions and social rituals affect and shape contemporary cities and urban societies.
In 2016 he graduated in Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Ferrara developing a master thesis on the role of public spaces in post-conflict cities, with a research semester in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2017 Michele attended the ICP Masterclass Visual Storytelling and New Media. In 2018 he completed a one-year program in Photojournalism at the ISFCI – Superior Institute of Photography in Rome, Italy and he has been selected for the Nikon-NOOR Academy Italy and for the Canon Student Program at Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan.
In the same year his project about public showers and housing crisis in Turin won the Canon Italy Young Photographer Award – Multimedia and has been exhibited at Cortona On The Move Festival.
In 2019 Michele has been selected by Canon Europe and Matera European Photography as the Italian representative in Visions from Europe, an artistic residency for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.
Michele started working as a freelance photographer in 2017 .
His work appeared on international media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, Time, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, El Pais, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Courier International, La Repubblica, and others.
Michele speaks English, Italian, French, has good command of Portuguese, Spanish. Since 2019 he is a member of the Frontline Freelance Register.
2018: Canon Italy Young Photographer Award – 1st prize
2019: Geopolis – Centre du Photojournalisme, Brussels – Rising Water
2019: Palazzo Viceconti, Matera 2019 European Capital of Culture – Visions from Europe
2019: Corigliano Calabro Fotografia – The Guardians of the Mountain
2019: FoTo Torino – Rising Water
2018: Cortona On The Move International Photography Festival – Acqua Alta
2018: Camera Work Off, Ravenna – Atopia
2016: Antonello Ghezzi Studio, Bologna – Leila
2015: Case Aperte, Bologna – In/Out
2019: Matera 2019 European Capital of Culture, Visions from Europe – with Canon Europe
2018: Master in Photojournalism – ISFCI, Rome
2018: Nikon – NOOR Images Academy in Turin, Italy
2018: Canon Student Program @ Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan, France
2017: ICP – International Center of Photography Masterclass – Visual storytelling and new media
2016: Master degree in Architecture – University of Ferrara