Wednesday, August 15, 2007

029. (florence project phase one.)

i studied abroad for a month in florence. one of the tasks of the program was to do a project on some facet of italy that influenced or struck you. mine is about the roma, or gypsies. living in milwaukee, i can barely step out of my house without someone asking me for money. what struck me about the italian homeless were their hustling tactics. most american beggars i encounter either play on your pity, or have some weird sense of entitlement. the roma's hustle was far more intriguing. every day i saw something different, from musicians to women laying in the street, to children trying to pick pocket you (apparently, thats way worse in rome than it is in florence).
how i went about taking their pictures was i gave them money, and then asked them permission. i only got one refusal the entire time. each picture has a story, every person i met was completely individual, and immensely facinating. i woman with the sign who's frowning was very gracious and smiley until i snapped her picture. the boy with the accoridian instantly posed with pride for the camera. the three men played only elvis songs. the woman with the dog was one of the sweetest people i encounters, and her dog was really friendly too. the two old men playing accordion were almost identical. the woman in the street was completely unresponsive, so i gave her the most money.

these photos are the first phase of my project. i'm working out kinks, deciding whether i want them in a straight line or to mix it up. wondering if i should double up the twine. the purpose of me hanging them with clothes pins is because i saw tons of clotheslines from window to window. i'm also trying to decide whether or not i want to rough up the prints with sandpaper. we will see.

if anyone wants to purchase (or trade for) a print, let me know.

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