Quit While You're Ahea 

- the no-future lifestyle of some youngsters in Southern Italy -

How does a youngster live in a region where there is little to no hope for work?

The south of Italy is a tourist paradise lost in the hands of corruption. The economic crisis has left some regions in southern Italy almost without industries or job oportunities, which does not provide the brightest future for the young generations.

How does a youngster live in a region where there is little to no hope for growth?

There has been decline of the southern Italian society in recent years, which most of the time is been translated in unemployment rates. Amid beautiful beaches the young people of the south think about emigrating. Tired of political instability, they find themselves without any hope in this deserted lands empty of possibilities.

How does a youngster live in a region with little to no hope for hope?

Calabria is the region in Europe with the highest youth unemployment rate. With a record 58,7 % in 2017, acording to Eurostat.

Calabria is also home of one of the most fearest mafias in Italy. The N’drangheta.

During the last elections for the european Parliament, 38% of the first time voters in Calabria decided to vote for the italian right wing party, La Lega.

Double Trouble

- la bella vita di Giannino - 

Gianfranco Franciosi has a good sense for stories. He jumps from point to point like a speedboat over the waves.

On the evening of January 22, 2005, a man was murdered in the middle of Rome. Franciosi saw the news while eating breakfast.

Franciosi was startled. Tortellino was one of his most loyal customers.

Two years later in front of the gate of his workshop two guys were waiting for him in a car. „We‘re looking for Giannino, is that you?“ asks the one, a Neapolitan, Franciosi recognizes by the accent.

The Narcos commissioned Franciosi to prepare speedboats. Then was ordered to pick up cocaine himself.

He drove from Ameglia across the Mediterranean, out to the Atlantic.

At what time exactly Franciosi turned to the police is not sure, but the contact remained unofficial for a long time.

The Special Commission received a message from Franciosi, that an operation would soon start, in the middle of the night.

It was not until later that they learned that he had been intercepted by the French Coast Guard off France, at the height of Marseilles.

Head over heels, they packed their bags. What did not fit, they left behind.  
To prevent them from being detected, they had to break off all contacts. 

Franciosi had been admitted with his whole family to the witness protection program of the Italian state.

They got a new surname: Ferrero.

But they were stuck in the assigned homes. Isolated. Captive.

They lived like this for almost two years until Franciosi decided to leave the program.

Gianfranco Franciosi, 40 years old, two years lived as Gianfranco Ferrero, is back in Ameglia, his hometown.  Where he grew up. Where everything began.

All he has left is his story.

*This story was an assigment for the F.A.Z Magazine, the texts are excerpts from the publication and were written by David Klaubert. 

The Nowhere and its People

- a journey through some forgotten villages -

There are people living in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes with horses, sometimes with sheeps. Here teachers sit in empty rooms in front of just three children, policemen look for animals on miles large grounds on foot, horses graze amidst the streets.

Life passes by, slowly, silently, almost without even happening. The landscape is bleak and the villages are scattered in the steppe. Only a few villages have over hundred inhabitants, work is scarce and some schools are closing. Beside the emptiness of this enormous savannah that spreads around the Highway 23, in the region of Rio Negro, Argentina, you can also find small villages of sheep breeders. Years ago the wool of these villages was even exported abroad. Now not only the animals are disappearing, but also the people. These people are not lost, they are simply forgotten. They are left here, in the middle of nowhere, to watch the time pass like a rolling bush, to try calming the silence, but the forgetfulness makes more noise.

In the summer, traditional events are organized in each village. It is a good opportunity for the residents to connect with their roots. But it is not enough. For lack of work and adequate investment, families are forced to move into larger cities and the villages begin to disappear with their culture. There are people living in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes with horses, sometimes with sheeps. But mostly alone.

The Nowhere in Argentina from Carlos Bafile on Vimeo.

Mark There are people living in the middle of nowhere. But they are mostly alone. Sometimes with horses. Sometimes with sheeps.

No Names,
Just Numbers

- people arrive, people die and others try to identify -

In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri uses the word Limbo to describe the first circle of hell, a prison for those who are neither allowed into heaven nor into the underworld.

Walking through Sicily’s cities, there is little to remind you of the catastrophe that is taking place off the island’s shores.

It is not only the living that the Italian authorities have had to manage. Some 14,000 refugees and migrants have died trying to reach Europe by sea since 2014 — more than 2,000 of them in this year alone.

The causes of death are mostly the same.
The identities: mostly unknown.
Migrant boats don’t have passenger lists.

The migrants arrival has changed the world of the dead as much as the world of the living.

After the ceremony, the dead are buried in cemeteries in the region, depending on where there was space.
More than 100 refugees are buried in Catanias cemetery. Only one grave has a name on it. The others are numbered.

Refugee boats have no passenger lists. In addition, many of the dead come from countries where you can not simply call relatives. In 2015, forensics wanted to identify the deaths of a shipwreck in front of Lampedusa in 2013. More than 350 people died at the time.

For the identification, information obtained after the death must be compared with samples from the life of the dead. If people die in the crash of a scheduled aircraft, relatives can be found via passenger lists. But is not that easy for shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. Most of them who die during the crossing can not be identified. They become numbers in a statistics that draws their horror from the masses, not the fates.

In Sicily the disaster is close, but not everything is lost. In the middle of the resulting chaos of the Mediterranean Harbors, there is still a bit of hope. For those that are dedicating their life to identify the corps of refugees, it is a personal matter to give these people a bit of dignity back.

*This story was an assigment for the GO Magazine, the texts are excerpts from the publication and were written by Johannes Laubmeier.



- some (un)familiar faces -

All rights reserved. All Images © Carlos Bafile