Carmine Monaco, Giovanni Savio, Mariano Di Giovanni, Giuseppe Schisano, Luca Monaco, Gennaro Masiello, Antonio De Vincenzo
Simona Infante, Paco Centomani
HD - colour
The Spanish Quarter in Naples is a maze of alleys, squares, Baroque churches, and the “bassi”, the poor, teeming residential area behind Via Roma, the main thoroughfare. Yet the quarter is culturally far removed from the heart of the city: it’s a world of its own, in which the young people spend their days looking for something lift them out of their condition. Their lives are punctuated by the sounds of gunshots that echo in their memories and those of their loved ones. Carmine, Giovanni and Mariano are kids who are the product of this social fabric woven of crime and poverty. They share a common need to release their own pent-up energy beyond the confines of their own ‘hood.
The Spanish Quarter is in the middle of Naples, but as remote from it as Scampia, the Sanità or all those areas that are “marginalized”, an over-used word which means almost nothing any more. And yet it does mean something: it means a lot to those who experience firsthand the daily madness of being ‘branded’, disparaged, just because of where they live, even inside their own city. I’ve seen how they’re treated differently, and I see it again today, in the eyes of the kids I interview. Mariano, Carmine, Giovanni and the others: their lives exploding around them, their eyes speaking volumes though they don’t say a word. They’ve got the same dreams as others their own age. A job, a family to take to the beach in the summer, friends to meet up with for a chat after dinner. In the Spanish Quarter, life stands still at times. In the “bassi”, the women stand outside talking about the same things every day, and our kids greet them every time, knowing full well what they’re talking about: their concerns for the future of the young people and the roads they will take.