Boxing Bari 2011

Posted: April 10, 2011 in Bari 2011
Tags: , , , , , ,

The first day of Boxing Bari has begun, we have met the participants with an English tea that I brought from London, tea and scones with strawberry jam. Something to share, something to allow an introduction to my culture to show that this project is all about inclusion and dialogue.  Today we meet the ‘couples’ and hand out the diaries and boxes. Today we arrange the locations and times for the stories to be told. Today we find out how this estranged community begins to interact and begin a new journey.

This year, even more so, we have a new climate of religious and political uprisings. And Bari, being in the south of Italy is right in the main landing strip of refugees, evacuees, escapees……. Boxing Project is not bias in what is right or wrong it is not stating who ought to talk and work with whom. Boxing Project simply investigates a situation through storytelling and photography. Little did I know that this idea would have such an impact? Little did I know that creating the Boxing Project in Bari we would raise eyebrows, cause a stir and begin discourse?   Let me take you through the days here. Giuseppe Romito has written a precise account of each meeting, I must add he has an amazing memory as this record was written from it.  Below are photos, diary entries  and a few videos of the the meetings: With tremendous thanks to our partners and our hosts in Bari.

 Boxing Bari daily accounts, photos and videos…..

Boxing Bari 2011

Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

Giovanni e Eyob -5 aprile 2011

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The first day of a new project is always something of a mystery. Anticipation and nerves to meet a new team of people, to meet a new set of participants. Well, this project was already a success in Bassano so really, not a lot could particularly be nerve racking here. Still I have not learnt enough Italian for a conversation, and still I rely on Roberto Casarotto to help me with this.  We meet the first couple in a bar the ‘Agora’ just round the corner from the elders centre. The meeting is too stiff for my liking too many faces peering onto the couple who, we hope will form a friendship, be able to chat and not have ‘US’ to look on and distract them.  After all, in any encounter, it is enough to have one or two  faces around them,. But here there were…Roberto,  Cristina, Lelo, Marta, Giuseppe and myself.  I suggest after hearing and understanding part of the story that we move to the port, I think it is near, at least we go to the sea where we can at least see the port.

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A much better environment for the EYOB and Giovanni to talk and chat amongst themselves without our beady eyes and cameras in their faces.  It is here however, at the sea front that I suggest to EYOB that he takes some photos. A bit set up in this case as… well as I am not sure if he really got all the story that he needed.  However, this scene, here at the sea was amazing and a really good start for him to take some photos.  An older child of 11, he already knew how to take photos but not through the eye piece, the view finder, I think he was expecting to simply look at the back screen.  No, not on my watch. We are here to frame and to try to be as a real photographer. Despite the fact we were no putting any manual functions onto the Leica DLUX 5, I wanted the children to simply lock out the excess views and really concentrate on what he could see JUST in the view finder.  We walk back to the bar and I hope that EYOB managed to find out a little of Giovanni’s life, that he liked taking photos and that I managed to get a shot or two.   Giuseppe a very silent witness, was taking notes, mentally in his head. And below we can see the results. Amazing memory. Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

Arcangelo e Arcangelo -5 aprile 2011

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The second visit was to a bar in the old town. Coincidently a meeting with Arcangelo and Arcangelo. Little Arcangelo listens as the older Arcangelo who, talks about his life a bit. We learn that he has had a troubled life and I wonder if this conversation will need to be supervised as we are indeed in a bar in the middle of the day. However, all is perfectly well and it is my own misconceptions that make me think this. The two of them are quite happy. They talk a little and then we go off to get Focaccia. The whole energy is cleared as we all enjoy the bread based food.It is quite lovely and we are all sad to leave. Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

Michele e Winni –6 aprile 2011

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Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English) The third couple we meet on the roof top of a shopping centre just to the side of Bari. Michele the older gentleman is the supervisor of the centre there. He shows us into his office and we sit and chat amongst the children’s playground. There is no one there but soon there will be full of people after school. Winni and Michele walk into the distance for a while and talk amongst themselves. The father is with us on this visit, this is ok, he is very involved and is so keen to have participated. I wonder we might think about the parents at some point.  After the meeting we go for ice creams in the shopping centre below.

Tina e Milena — 6 aprile 2011

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The fourth couple are Tina and Milena. We meet at the church saint Nicholas and the walk inside. It is very quiet and Tina manages to get the caretakers to turn on the lights very quickly for us to look at the mural painting they have uncovered. We see a hand being uncovered. We look and then the lights go off again. We then walk to a cafe and listen to their conversation. I play with the photo having seen a mirror in the café counter base. Outside I learn that Tina was an ambassador for herbal cosmetics and exported products from Bari. Her character is very vibrant and addictive.   Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

 

Tommaso e Gerum – 7 aprile 2011

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The fifth couple are Tommase and Gerum and we go to the chef’s school with a demonstration about how to make rabbit stew. We watch them prepare dolce and patisseries along with some amazing dishes. They shave asparagus and prepare foods for a fine dinner. The demonstration is for us and we really love it. Alas we have to go and move on to the next couple who we have already planned to meet.

L1000198Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

Annina e Beti  – 7 aprile 2011

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PHOTOS OF THE BOXING BARI PROJECT APRIL 2011PHOTOS OF THE BOXING BARI PROJECT APRIL 2011PHOTOS OF THE BOXING BARI PROJECT APRIL 2011

Please click here for Text by Giuseppe Romito (Italian & English)

The sixth couple Betty and Anina. We meet at the bar (where we met Arcangelo and Arcangelo). For us the voyeurs, we simply love love love how these two get to know each other. Firstly, they are both short, they lean either side of the barrel in front of the bar and their body language is amazing. We really let them chat for a while before we all move in closer to hear or at least see if we can hear what they are saying. I wonder if we really want to hear, their body language keeps me amused for some time. they really are getting on and I really don’t want to disturb them. Alas, I step in and announce to betty that we could take some photos. She is happy to do so and when she started she didn’t want to stop.

Our final couple was a perfect ending to this week in Bari. Now to organise the exhibition and hope we have brought some communion to these disparate people.

The show

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Thank you to the students of the Perotti School who made the delicious Dolce for the evening and the fabulous gallery Museo Nuova Era in old Bari who hosts the show.

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Comments
  1. classicarta says:

    Very interesting. Good Luck with project.

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