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The Hornet’s Nest
San Luca, a remote hill top town in southern Italy, is the ancestral home and principal headquarters of a criminal organization that has emerged as the country’s most powerful and dangerous mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta.’ San Luca was an unfortunate city even before the mafia took over; a succession of tragedies scar its history. In December 1972, a flood destroyed the beautiful scenery of San Luca, tearing apart the upper section of the city, famous for being a “hornet’s nest.” Though the name originally came from the shape of the streets and buildings in the neighborhood, it is now sometimes used as a hideout for Ndrangheta fugitives.
This project was born from an encounter with Mrs. Rosy Canale, the chair of the Movement of Women of San Luca, a group engaged in the development and awareness of the village. I spent a week in San Luca, hosted by one of the families working in the neighborhood, trying to show the cultural isolation of the community. My interest is to raise awareness about a little known part of Italy that is often connected only to news reports about mafia without real understanding of social and cultural dynamics. This work is ongoing.
Gianluca Tamorri was born in 1971 in Rome, Italy, and currently lives in Paris. He holds degrees in political science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and the Rome School of Photography. Tamorri assisted various photographers in Italy between Rome and Milan, and moved to Paris in 2005 to work with the artist Michael James O’Brien, known for his collaboration with Matthew Barney in the Cremaster series 1,2,4,5. Concurrently, he has worked on his own personal projects in still-life, portraiture and street photography.