Vedo, Sento, Parlo…Sono

“First and foremost, the Mafia lurks in indifference, superficiality, looking for a quiet life, pointing the finger without doing anything and looking the other way. The code of silence is a killer; hope lies in the truth.”

Father Luigi Ciotti

Commitment and Memorial Day to remember innocent victims of the Mafia, Locri (Reggio Calabria), 21 March 2017

There is a clear, undeniable reference to the three wise monkeys in the title of this project (which means “I see, I hear, I speak… I am”) and the associated pictures. However, the message in this case is the exact opposite of the way in which the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is often interpreted today.

Over the years, the image of the three monkeys has been adopted as a symbol of indifference and the code of silence. As a result, it is used by people campaigning to exercise their right to freedom of speech and in the fight against measures that aim to restrict or violate it. This meaning might be different, but that does not necessarily mean it is unrelated. Today, the three monkeys playfully poke at our consciences and remind us that we should not only strive to be kind and honest, but also stand up against indifference and efforts to curb our freedom of expression.

“Vedo, Sento, Parlo…Sono” is a project that deliberately picks up on the “negative” take on the image and intentionally downplays it by presenting small pictures of people on the front line. For each of them, there are three miniature images in the traditional poses of the wise monkeys that contrast with a much larger photograph of the people as they really are, free to choose to be and think whatever they want. The image aims to highlight and underline the importance and prevalence of this stance. It harnesses the expressive power of the face and the eyes, assuredly looking towards the lens and thus towards viewers, who consequently look back as they empathically go face-to-face.

The photographs can be found in “La Voce di Impastato” (“Impastato’s Voice”), a book that was written by the journalist Ivan Vadori and published by Nuovadimensione.