Il Quartiere

"II Quartiere" as it is referred to, is a triangle between Farringdon, Clerkenwell and Holborn , where London's Italian ghetto formed at the end of the 19th Century.

The first wave of Italians migrating to the UK began in the late 1800s, initially of artisans from the north of Italy. Larger numbers of poorer migrants followed, with communities settling across the country. This led to a moral panic and overcrowding of housing in central London, and eventually the passing of the Alien’s Act of 1905 : the first immigration legislation restricting entry to the UK.

Today there are 220,000 registered Italians living in London. A large part of the community still reside and gather in Clerkenwell.

This project was started as a response to Italy's increasingly hostile position on immigration, from policy makers to public opinion. It aims to explore and trace the history of Italians in London today.

This excerpt from the project was shot over two summers during the religious procession in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which to this day is a yearly milestone event for a significant portion of the community. The procession is organised by St Peters, the oldest Italian church in the capital, and has been running every year since the 19th century - interrupted only twice by the two world wars.

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