DIVA: No one can be himself

Alice Pastorelli

2018 - Ongoing

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

The project was born in May 2018, when the author decided to tell the story of Francesco, a twenty-six-year-old Italian queer from Sesto Fiorentino, a small town just outside Florence, where he still lives.

What emerges from the narrative is the path Francesco faced in living his identity as an expression of normality, in a society that is not yet ready to accept all of the different facets of a human being .

The boy's life is characterized by the symbiotic relationship with his sister Eleonora, who together with him undertook a path of physical, emotional and creative transformation: both of them underwent surgery to fight obesity; Eleonora supports her brother in the daily affirmation of her identity and together they have formed a band, "Glitter Diamonds". The first piece performed by the duo is titled "DIVA".

Photography represents the trait d'union that allows the viewer to focus on the experience and the metamorphosis of the protagonist. The experience of Francesco, thanks to the comparison with his family and with the author, becomes a means to convey the courage to show oneself as one is.

The project consists of images accompanied by audio contributions telling the twenty-six years of life of the protagonist.

An account of a personal experience opens up to the broader themes of acceptance of diversity and the recognition of the right to be oneself.

Is the project unpublished? Yes. A selection of the project was presented as a portfolio, during the portfolio readings that took place on November 25th in Lucca, during the Photolux 2018 Festival, and was recognized as the best portfolio. By virtue of this recognition, the award-winning selection will be screened during the Luz del Norte Festival which will take place in 2019 in Mexico City.

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  • Almost two years ago, his weight was almost 110 kgs more. After an entire life with obesity, his health was truly critical so he decided to fight his inner fears and undergo surgery operation.

  • A public garden in Sesto Fiorentino where Francesco usually played in his childhood and
    experimented first sexual experiences during his adolescence.

  • While he was working in the family shop, a client started to address some racist comments at him.

  • A portrait of a geisha, realized by Francesco and his best friend. It is still exposed inside his high-school.

  • The ceramic class room inside his high school, represents a place full of delicate memories.

  • His geometry teacher was one of the first person who accepted Francesco's personality and allowed him to express always completely.

  • Francesco and his sister's bedroom. They still live together in their parent house.

  • Francesco while sews a costume for a show.

  • Francesco while sews his trousers for a show.

  • Francesco and his sister during a comix festival.

  • Francesco and his sister during an evening out.

  • Opera lesson.

  • In summer, Francesco and his sister, usually sing to some local festival.

  • Francesco, during an ordinary summer day.

  • Eleonora, his sister.

  • At cinema.

  • Giuseppe: Francesco and Eleonora's father. He is a deacon of Catholic Church.

  • Marzia: Francesco and Eleonora's mother. She was an agonist marathon runner as long as Francesco was born.

  • Francesco inside his kindergarten. This place is full of sad and delicate memories.

  • Francesco and his sister's bedroom.
    They realized this wall together, using pink and golden colors.