ON THE IDENTITY OF A TOMATO PICKER

Dario Bosio is an independent photography professional based in Napoli, Italy. He owns a BA in Media and Journalism and completed the TV-Documentary and Photojournalism programs at the Danish School of Media and Journalism of Aarhus, Denmark.
After that experience, he interned at NOOR Images in Amsterdam and spent last year working as a project coordinator and production assistant at 10b Photography Gallery in Rome.
Now he’s a working as a freelance photographer and filmmaker, while he still takes part in coordinating photography related projects such as workshops and exhibitions. He is a member of PanAut collective.

About the project:

I went to Grand Ghetto, a cluster of precarious shelters in the countryside near Foggia, Italy, with the intention of documenting the harsh living conditions of the thousands of African immigrants that work in the fields picking tomatoes.

While there, I started being confronted by them about my right to shoot those photographs. Many others have been here before me, they said, shooting and distributing pictures that were largely unrelated to the image that the people portrayed have of themselves. It’s an image that hurts, an image that is far from their identity.
‘I am not what I look like,’ was the key concept of this long speeches I had while I was trying to understand why people were so reluctant to be photographed.

Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the vast spectrum of humanity I had been able to come across during my stay. At the ghetto I met students, teachers, electricians, musicians and rebels. People that saved money for years in order to afford the journey to Italy, a place where – they were told – they could find a well-paid job and have a brighter future. People that left their countries and families to reach the ‘promised land’ Europe. People that now live in cardboard shelters with no water or electricity, working ten hours per day for less than four euros per hour. People that had to lose their identity and become tomato pickers.

I worked on this series with the intention of telling a story in a way that would respect these people’s right to self-represent themselves, a story that leaves some questions open. I did not want to exploit their appearance again, but rather collect hints and traces that could help me create an open narrative about their struggle to identify themselves with the pictures.

Foggia, Italy - August 2014. Portrait of a tomato picker.

Foggia, Italy - August 2014. The mosque of the Grand Ghetto.

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Foggia, Italy - August 2014. Portrait of a tomato picker.

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Foggia, Italy - August 2014. Portrait of a tomato picker.

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Foggia, Italy - August 2014. A view of the fields around the Grand Ghetto.

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Foggia, Italy - August 2014. Portrait of a tomato picker.

Foggia, Italy - August 2014. A view of the fields around the Grand Ghetto.

Foggia, Italy - August 2014. Portrait of a tomato picker.

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