L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
Quatrani (kwah-trah-nee) is the for “youngsters" used in the italian city of l'Aquila.
It has been ten years since the earthquake that shook l'Aquila, causing people to end up homeless, injured or dead.
The children of what it is now known as The Forbidden City are now 18 years of age and have grown up without a hometown, a safe place they can call ‘home’. Nevertheless, these children have managed to find a sense of belonging in the bond they share with one another. They started calling ‘home’ the solid friendship they built by going through the same experience with remarkable strength.
‘When an earthquake takes away the place you are from you need to find it again. Find it where there not a thing in sight but you have nothing more to ask for than the company of your family and friends. Find it in those who love you.’
‘The earthquake was sort of a Year One. People don’t mention 2006, they either refer to ‘pre-earthquake or post-earthquake.’
‘It's about relying on one another, it really is all about that.’
‘Blood is irrelevant when it comes to who I think of as a brother. Those who have gone through my same experience and have stood by me are my brothers.’
‘Parents would try their their best to make the best of the situation, they did what they could for their children, all they possibly could.’
‘I came to realise how it is to talk about it. It meant the world to me to be able to talk about it to my teachers at school.’
‘They say L'Aquila was beautiful, but how can I ever imagine it?’
‘We had to cross over the barriers to find what was left of our city. We would see things we had forgotten or things we never knew about.’
Voices of the young people who lived through these times.
This natural catastrophe changed the land, the sense of awareness and the stories of the few and the many who were involved.
Young people from a whole generation, shattered by a devastating earthquake, found themselves looking for a way to fight back, a way to pick up the pieces and move on. And they did.