Lens: Voigtlander color-skopar 35mm f2.5
Camera: NEX-7, ISO1000, f2.5, 1/60, raw
The centre of the family life, and the very heart of any home, in Italy, is the kitchen. The very intimate core of the family is called with “focolare”, which literally means “kitchen fireplace”. It is a place, as Beppe Severgnini wrote in his “La Bella Figura”, of transverse democracy. I bought that book years ago, when I was still living in the Netherlands. I liked it because it is a good guide to the Italian idiosyncrasies for foreigners, especially for North Europeans. At that time many of my colleagues and friends were asking questions related to the apparent idiotic behavior of Italians. It was 2008, so you can figure out what was that most stupid thing that Italians did. So, the only way to give any reasons, other than “because we’re fucking retarded”, was trying to explain a bit of our very peculiar scale of values, the sacred importance of family and the widely accepted disrespect towards politicians. That book, “La Bella Figura”, helped me out in many occasions.
So, family is a sacred thing in Italy, and families love to spend time together in the kitchen, so the kitchen is the heart of the home and the center of family life. I, as any Italian, love it too. And I especially love to see others’ kitchens. They say a lot of who they are and how they approach family life (and sometimes life in general). Today I spent the day shooting portraits of a very large family, fifteen members from grandmother to nieces and nephews. Many kids, old enough to move around and mess with everything, so shooting wasn’t easy, but we had a lot of fun. And the kitchen was obviously homely, beautiful, and large, as the family was. A place of transverse democracy, where all family members have the right to express their opinion on any family matter.