13 May
91/365(+1) by Luca Rossini
91/365(+1), a photo by Luca Rossini on Flickr.

Lens: Voigtlander color-skopar 35mm f2.5
Camera: NEX-7, ISO1600, f2.5, 1/6, raw

Some time ago I participated to a competition on urban landscape with a panoramic, wide angle shot of a basket court. The photo was completely ignored. This is what I wrote about it:
“Basketball courts are one of the few remaining aggregation points for young people in urban environments. Differently from other urban meeting spots, such as shopping malls, movie theaters, or nightclubs, basketball courts often are free to use and hence are equally opened to all social classes.
What to me looks scary, though, is the tendency to build these courts as if they were cages, with thick fences drastically surrounding the whole area and heavy grey concrete covering the floor with no signs of grass or green. These courts make perfectly clear that urban areas are not designed for the playful stages of youth, from which have to be instead separated and protected.”
I know I sounded a bit politically bitchy, and that Italian basket courts look a bit less jail-ish than London’s ones. Yet, I’m seeing that Rome is clearly moving from opens space equally shared by adults, children, and dogs, into an “adult-only” open space populated with boxes, some for children and others for dogs. I know this is mainly for security reasons, and that parents are generally happy not to have to continuously worry that their child will be run over by a car, while dog owners are relieved to be able to unleash their animals without worrying of the grumpy lady who will start complaining. I understand that those boxes provide a very welcome service. Yet, I feel that a service like this shouldn’t be necessary. Shouldn’t be welcome.
As the Tuiavii Chief wrote in the 30s, when he came back to the Samoa islands after a long travel through Europe:
“Is the Papalagi (the white man) really proud of the stones he put together (the cities)? I can’t tell. The Papalagi is a person with weird ideas. He does many senseless things which hurt him, and yet he glorifies and praises them.”

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