The New Italians: Looking at Second Generation Immigrants in Rome

Interested in exploring adolescence as a time of emotional change, Rome-based photographer Gianluca Abblasio chronicles the daily experiences of a group of teenagers who are living a life enriched by dual heritage.


Fino a Qui Tutto Bene turns the famous quote, “jusqu’ici tout va bien”, from the movie La Haine into a positive meaning, while depicting a fluid situation whose evolution is not known, as it is new; new like the current wave of second generation migrant teenagers in Italy. Fino a Qui Tutto Bene investigates the identity of these teenagers; an identity that is similar to those migrant teenagers from other European countries, but, at the same time, it is rich with its own specificities. On the one hand, the influences of global culture, Youtube, MTV, hip hop, Afro music and their culture of origin, namely Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Colombia. On the other hand, Italy and Rome, Torpignattara, and the neighbourhood where they live.

All of this creates a blend that is similar but so different at the same time. And so are these youths: a unique combination of distinct elements, apparently comparable but extremely different from Italian teenagers of the same age, from the migrated teens of the second generation in London or, still, from their peers in their respective homelands.

Born in a country different from their parents, they have learnt day by day how to exist in a path that lays across various cultures. In them, endless stories, experiences and anecdotes coexist. Many of these stories are bound to their families of origin, to their religious culture, while inevitably influenced by their daily life in a new place. I decided to develop a project about them as I feel close to them as we live in the same neighbourhood and also because I believe they represent much better than any other group some fundamental aspects of the process through which an individuality is forged, while being suspended between continuous influences from other cultures, sense of belonging and self- affirmation. I am interested in the adolescence as a period of emotional change, a difficult period, yet, full of discoveries, a period of life that stands at the crossroad between ingenuity and brave invincibility. Adolescence to me is complex also in the way it relates to images, as adolescents are so used to representing themselves through images. We all have had a clear vision of ourselves and we all have expressed it through a certain aesthetic, but theirs is precise, neat, perfect, obsessively modelled to fit social media through the filters of Instagram.

Words and Pictures by .







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Gianluca Abblasio is an Italian photographer based in Rome, he attended his master in photojournalism and documentary photography at Officine Fotografiche Roma. The focus of his photographic research is on the representation of the contemporary society, its changes and the recognizable patterns among those. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.

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This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

Portfolio review month, April 2019 | PHmuseum Education
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