Radici is a personal project that analyzes the struggles I have had and still do have living away from my country and my family for now a little bit over 17 years.
Five years ago, we lost two grandparents in less than six months and my dad left home for he no longer felt he belong in it.
My mother, my sisters and I, were in disbelief. We closed into ourselves not allowing anyone to come between us and the pain we had to face. We took summer vacations in remote islands together, we spoke to noone and we were each other's strength even if miles and miles apart. We all three alternatively moved back in with mom in Rome for a while. We wanted to rebuild. We wanted to erase the pain. We wanted to numb the madness.
While my two sisters stopped talking to my dad for about two years, I was unable to cut the umbilical cord with him. I was in complete denial of what had happened. My dad had been my best friend, and my primary support system since my adolescence. I was not sure if I knew how to survive without him in the house.
But, I had to find a way.
I was away in the States and had been for years already, but every second I had free, I was always coming home, spending all my vacations time with family, but there was no longer a family to visit now. Both sisters were out on their own, my grandmothers were widowers living on themselves and not talking to one another for obvious reasons and mom and dad were no longer a thing.
No more Sunday lunches all together, no more pizza nights, no more picking me up at the airport all together and then fleeing to the beach house. None of it. No more visiting me wherever I would be. No more family bike trips in the remote hilly countryside of Austria.
I did not know what to make of all of this, because my dad was my best friend and he had betrayed me as well and to me this was impossible. So, I picked-up my camera, and I tried to heal. Or maybe I never completely did, but taking photos was all I could feel like doing to make it hurt less.
Since then, I never stopped taking those homecoming photos of those fleeting moments that make being back home both special and nerve racking now.
No matter the timing, the moods, the house we were visiting, mom's or dad's, the images I was taking were showing me my dad again under a less harsh filter and a more human angle. He was hurt too, he was unhappy and he was lonely. But, most of all, he was still my father.
So, I started including him in the project and to forgive him. My sisters did the same. We are rebuilding. We are reconstructing. We are together again in some very, strange ways, but it is happening. And I am documenting it, because that is what home feels like to me now.