Ilona and Maddelena
July 2015, Montpellier, Gély neighbourhood, Unit 26.
I first met Ilona and Maddalena, two sisters aged 12 and 11, as they were walking with their dogs here, in a working class neighbourhood of about 2100 inhabitants, close to the city center of Montpelier, in the south of France. I started to talk to them and quickly got invited in their daily life. A 80 square meter apartment, 4 rooms, Françoise, Thierry, the two unemployed parents. Etienne the uncle sheltered by the family, five dogs, four cats, and a multitude of objects making a reference to the native Americans and the american culture.
Since we first met, I’ve been shooting them mainly in their flat, as exiguous as soothing, which is like a shelter to their harsh environment. I’d like to talk about teenage hood in a working class background and in a developed country like France. I am captivated by the fragility and the resistance that shows at that age and in that social background.
The first time we met I understood that I would follow them and no one else: deep in my own past, I can picture myself at the same age, growing up in a similar district.
This work is in progress since I would like to follow Ilona and Maddelena for several years until they become adults.