Lens: Voigtlander color-skopar 35mm f2.5
Camera: NEX-7, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/60, raw
Days are still hot here in Rome, but evenings are fresh, calm, and extremely enjoyable. So, when the twilight was right approaching, we left home for a walk, Claudia, Agata, myself and Lucy (the dog).
Ponte Testaccio, the bridge that crosses the Tiber connecting the neighborhoods Portuense and Testaccio is just at few minutes walking distance from our place. It brings directly into the faculty of Architecture, located inside the old slaughterhouse, which hosts also the MACRO (a modern art museum), the Città dell’Altra Economia (a center for sustainable economy), and the Villagio Globale, a squat house.
This corner is the border between the poverty of squats and homeless hiding and living on the banks of the Tiber, an area all but safe where illegal activities occur daily (they are probably the only activities occurring at all), and the richness of the inhabitants of the residential area of Testaccio, where the estate values raised exponentially in the last years. In the middle of the two colliding forces there is the old slaughterhouse and, hence, there are the students of Architecture.
Take this bar, for example. It’s old, uncanny, dirty, and desolate. It’s the place where most of the ambiguous figures from the dark side of Testaccio come to have (many) drinks and meet to arrange the next despicable business. But since the faculty opened, it’s crowded with students all day long. Students which, at the end of the day, will leave the place and return to the bright side of Testaccio, and of Rome in general.
These students were the driving force which turned the area into a more livable place. But they can’t win the fight alone. They can’t because they don’t want to. If most of the bad things happening around here stopped since the faculty arrived, it’s also true that to the criminals making their living in the areas didn’t take too long to realize that the very same students could be very good clients of their drugs trading business, which is since then flourishing.